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ICC U19 World Cup 2020 Team Preview: Sri Lanka’s fortunes will depend on skipper Nipun Dananjaya

Coach: Hashan Tillakaratne

Captain: Nipun Dananjaya

Previous Edition: Ninth

Best Finish: Second in 2000

Team Overview: Sri Lanka didn’t have the best of campaigns last time around. They finished at a lowly ninth position and that’s why they would be hungry to do better this time. Moreover, they have done the hard work and have prepared to the best of their abilities. No other country has played more than matches than what the Sri Lankan U-19 team has played since the conclusion of the 2018 U-19 World Cup. They have played 34 youth ODIs during this period and four players of the current squad belong to the category of most capped players during this timeline as well.

The skipper Nipun Dananjaya has led the side in 32 out of this 34 matches and that gives him plenty of experience for the job as compared to his other counterparts while coming into this tournament. Moreover, he is a left-handed batsman who bats at the top of the order and thus he will be looking to anchor the Sri Lankan innings all the way through. 

Sri Lanka is also coming into this tournament on the back of a highly successful Tri-Series against England U-19 and West Indies U-19 in the Caribbean. They won the final by beating a strong side like England and they got to witness the abilities of Navod Paranavithana. The all-rounder scored a century and claimed two wickets to secure Sri Lanka’s breathtaking 77-run victory over the English Side.

So they are high on confidence at the moment and if recent results are anything to go by, they look well set to get a better result than last time around. But a lot will depend on how big a victory they register against Japan as Group A consists of strong teams like India and New Zealand. 

Key Players: Nipun Dananjaya, Navod Paranavithana, Kavindu Nadeeshan

Squad

Nipun Dananjaya (c), Thaveesha Abhishek, Ashen Daniel, Amshi de Silva, Ravindu de Silva, Sonal Dinusha, Dilshan Madushanka, Kamil Mishara (wk), Kavindu Nadeeshan, Navod Paranavithana, Matheesha Pathirana, Dilum Sadeera, Mohamed Shamaz (wk), Ahan Wickramasinghe, Chamindu Wijesinghe

Fixtures

Sunday, January 19: India v Sri Lanka (Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein)

Wednesday, January 22: New Zealand v Sri Lanka (Mangaung Oval)

Saturday, January 25: Sri Lanka v Japan (Absa Puk Oval, Potchefstroom)

Prasenjit Dey is freelance cricket journalist based out of Kolkata, India. Cricket runs through his veins and writing has always been his passion. He is now a part of both worlds, trying to make a difference by writing on the nitty-gritty of the game.

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