Top 5 ODI teams in international cricket between 2000-2009
#4 Sri Lanka
After their meteoric rise in the mid-90s, Sri Lanka established itself as one of the top ODI sides in the next decade. The Lankans had a power-packed batting lineup consisting of some of the best stroke makers of that era.
Their innings began with the destructive Sanath Jayasuriya who was a nightmare for any bowling side. Usually, Jayasuriya's strokeplay gave the Islanders some breezy starts which straightway put the opposition on the back foot.
Jayasuriya was supported by Upul Tharanga during the mid-2000s before Tillakaratne Dilshan became his permanent partner during the late-2000s. The middle order had two of the greatest batsmen of the era in Kumara Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, both having a penchant for scoring big hundreds.
While Sangakkara was a prolific run-getter across all conditions and rarely failed with the willow, Jayawardene was pleasing to the eye with his wristy strokeplay. The depth in batting was provided by quality all-rounders like Russel Arnold, Farveez Maharoof and later Angelo Mathews, all of whom could accelerate the scoring rate with some big hitting.
In the bowling department, the island nation was spoilt for choice as Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas took care of most batsmen. Both bowlers were Sri Lanka's strike weapons and won many matches on all conditions.
Murali had good support from fellow spinners like Upul Chandana, Russel Arnold and Sanath Jayasuriya. The pace attack was spearheaded by Chaminda Vaas who was a clever exponent of seam bowling. Vaas was well partnered by Nuwan Zoysa and Dilhara Fernando.
With the emergence of Lasith Malinga, the Lankans had one of the best death over bowlers who cartwheeled stumps with his lethal inswinging Yorkers. Malinga was well supported by Nuwan Kulasekara, who was quite an effective seam bowler in his own merit.
ODI Record Jan 2000 to Dec 2009
Played-276; Won-155; Lost-111; NR-19; Win%: 56.15
ICC Champions Trophy 2002: Champions
ICC World Cup 2007: Finalist
ICC World Cup 2003: Semifinalist
Published 11 Aug 2018, 01:14 IST