Head Coach Mickey Arthur (centre) in conversation with Sri Lanka players during a training session
West Indies may have posed a good challenge to Sri Lanka in two of the three recently-concluded One-Day Internationals.
However, the hosts turned out to be quite feisty in conditions they call home and managed to whitewash the visitors 3-0 to finish on a high.
Barring the second ODI that Sri Lanka won by 161 runs, the margin of the other two being of one wicket and six runs show how close the West Indies were but they couldn’t finish the job.
Despite the upcoming T20I series being just a two-game affair starting at the Pallekele Stadium in Kandy today (4) and in a format that the West Indies themselves fancy, they will want to get the job done this time and build their side gradually for the impending World Cup later in the year.
And with personnel coming in, especially the likes of Andre Russell, they would want to give their star all-rounder enough game-time ahead of the big tournament, who is making a return after having last played a T20I way back in August 2018.
Sri Lanka’s top order was consistent throughout the ODI series and they will want to replicate that in the shortest format.Since 2009, the two sides have gone up against each other nine times in T20Is with Sri Lanka winning six of those clashes.
The sides, however, are level in Sri Lanka with both having won two each. Since the 2019 World Cup, West Indies have lost eight of their 11 played T20Is and Sri Lanka themselves are coming from a whitewash at the hands of India in the same format.
The wicket in Kandy is usually one with a lot of runs, and with the West Indies’ firepower, it’ll hold them in good stead, despite the consistency of the Sri Lankan line-up that also boasts of some power-hitters.
Sri Lanka (from): Lasith Malinga (Captain), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Shehan Jayasuriya, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Lahiru Kumara and Asitha Fernando.
West Indies (from): Kieron Pollard (Captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr and Kesrick Williams.