Where did Sri Lanka lack in the ODIs against New Zealand?

New Zealand whitewashed the ODI series against Sri Lanka 3-0. 

They managed to score above 300 in all the three ODIs. Moreover, out of these three, they crossed 350 runs mark twice.

On the other side, Sri Lanka could cross 300-run mark only once.

Star performers in this series were only batsmen. Out of the five centuries in this series, the New Zealand batsmen made three centuries and the Sri Lankan batsmen made two hundred.

Before the beginning of the series, Sri Lanka had a major setback as Angelo Mathews sustained an injury in the Test series between these two countries.

This article covers the areas, which Sri Lanka needs to work on in their next ODI series against South Africa in South Africa.


Weak Middle Order:

Out of the three ODIs, in two matches, Sri Lankan openers provided their team with a firm beginning.

In the first ODI, they had a partnership of 119 runs and then in the third ODI, they had 66 runs partnership.

It was their middle order who could not capitalize on it after. Kusal Perera and Thisara Perera did make centuries in first and second ODI respectively.

However, other batsmen could not quite stand with them and chase these big totals. If we compare this with New Zealand’s batting, in the second ODI New Zealand were 39-2. Afterwards, their middle order batted well and put 319 runs on the board.

Moreover, New Zealand batted full 50 overs in all the three ODIs. At the same time, Sri Lanka batted for 49, 46.2 and 41.4 overs in the three ODIs.

Read: Martin Guptill – the fastest to 150 ODI Sixes

Therefore, players like Dinesh Chandimal who made only 13 runs in two ODIs should take more responsibility and Mathews should try to remain away from his regular injuries.


Death Overs:

In the first ODI, New Zealand scored 126 runs in last 10 overs. Then in the second and final ODI, they made 97 and 130 runs respectively in the last 10 overs.

This is where Sri Lanka lost the series.

Lasith Malinga did pick seven wickets for his team in this series but was not quite economical. In the third ODI, he conceded 93 runs in his 10 overs and took three wickets.

mathews malinga partnership

Further, his fellow members also could not do much due to lack of experience. The next best bowler for them was Nuwan Pradeep. He picked three wickets in three matches.

Therefore, if Sri Lanka bowl better then it will reduce the pressure of their batsmen and may subsequently improve their performance.


What’s waiting for Sri Lanka in ODI setup before the World Cup 2019?

Sri Lanka will be seen playing South Africa in their next ODI Series in early March.

Sri Lanka and South Africa recently in August 2018 played an ODI series in Sri Lanka. South Africa won that series 3-2.

In this series, Mathews was the leading run-scorer. Therefore, Sri Lanka would want Mathews to get fit for the upcoming series in South Africa to find a solution of their weakness in the middle order.

Further, Akila Dananjaya was the leading wicket-taker in that home series who is now suspended due to his bowling action.

When India toured South Africa last year, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were the leading wicket-takers in the ODIs.

Therefore, in the absence of Dananjaya, Sri Lanka would hope that someone like Lakshan Sandakan who only took one wicket in three ODIs against New Zealand performs better in South Africa.

It is important for Sri Lanka that they solve their issues in this series as there won’t be more time left after this for the World Cup.


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