"There's no time to rebuild - the World Cup is this year," Sri Lankan captain Lasith Malinga said at Bay Oval in New Zealand on Wednesday.
"Now we have to find who is the best in Sri Lankan cricket. The last three or four years we've struggled for consistency but a lot of the young players are getting good opportunities. Now is the time to stand up and show our character" he said.
Ranked eighth in the world, the 1996 World Cup Champions Sri Lanka haven't had the best of times recently. They lost home ODI series to England and South Africa and had earlier been knocked out of the 2018 Asia Cup in the group stage itself. Not having a settled unit and a series of injuries to key members have also plagued Sri Lanka in 2018.
But with a new captain in Malinga, who seems to have turned a corner in the last year or so, the islanders will be hoping for a fresh start in the new year.
"The last couple of series we've performed well at the end of the tournament. What people have to understand is that we have to perform well when the series starts," said Malinga.
"We need to consolidate our first 10 overs, how we're going to address the conditions, how we build a good partnership - then we have time to accelerate at the end of the innings." he said.