T20 World Cup 2022: "I forgot the count" - Aakash Chopra on Sri Lanka's problems ahead of their clash vs New Zealand

Australia v Sri Lanka - ICC Men
Sri Lanka are currently placed fifth in the Group 1 points table.

Aakash Chopra reckons Sri Lanka's injury concerns are their biggest problem heading into their T20 World Cup 2022 clash against New Zealand.

The two sides will face each other in a Group 1 Super 12 fixture at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday, October 29. The Lankan Lions, who were already rocked by injuries to some of their first-choice seamers, have been dealt a further blow after Binura Fernando was ruled out of the tournament.

While previewing the game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra pinpointed Sri Lanka's Achilles heel. He explained:

"Sri Lanka have different problems. They are the Asia Cup champions, but they have got injury replacements, then replacements for replacements and now it seems replacements for them as well. I forgot the count of the number of people they have replaced."
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Chopra highlighted that Dasun Shanaka and Co. have been severely hit in the seam-bowling department. The former India batter elaborated:

"Madushanka, Madushan, Dushmantha Chameera are not there. Now Binura Fernando is also not there. Asitha Fernando and Pathirana will come, how many people will come, who will play? You have only one stepney in a vehicle, they have already changed four. So in terms of their fast bowling, they are looking in a very poor shape."

Asitha Fernando has replaced Binura Fernando, who himself came in as a replacement for Dilshan Madushanka in Sri Lanka's squad. The 2014 T20 World Cup champions have also called up Matheesha Pathirana and Niroshan Dickwella as standbys for the injury-depleted squad.


"They have not played a match for one week" - Aakash Chopra on New Zealand's only problem

The New Zealand versus Afghanistan game was washed out without a ball being bowled.
The New Zealand versus Afghanistan game was washed out without a ball being bowled.

Chopra feels the lack of game time could be New Zealand's only concern. He observed:

"The opposition team does not have any problem. The only problem they have is that they have not played a match for one week. They played on this same ground a week back, defeated Australia by 89 runs."

The renowned commentator, however, added that a loss against Sri Lanka could comprise the Black Caps' chances of qualifying for the semi-final. He explained:

"After that, the Afghanistan match was washed off. Their problem is that this could be a banana skin. They have to ensure that they don't lose to Sri Lanka because if you happen to lose to England, there is a possibility that your net run rate is good but it might not be of any use."

Chopra concluded by stating that New Zealand's middle order is their soft underbelly and that their batting revolves around Devon Conway, Finn Allen, Kane Williamson and Glenn Phillips.

The Kiwis will likely bolster their middle order with the addition of Daryl Mitchell, with the hero of last year's semi-final win declared fit for the remainder of the tournament.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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