Angelo Mathews and his team would be up against Zimbawe in a five-match ODI series starting from Friday. Both sides have been facing a lot of trouble both on and off field. Sri Lanka made a first round exit from recently concluded Champions Trophy 2017 after losing to Pakistan in a do-or-die situation while Graham Ford stepped down from the post of head coach.
Moreover, fast bowler Lasith Malinga faced a disciplinary action after his ‘monkey’ remarks that the fast bowler made in media about the country’s Sports Minister. The Sri Lankan government issued an ultimatum to the members of the national cricket team to get fit in three months or be booted out. Members of the Sri Lankan cricket team were recently found to be unfit for their upcoming series against Zimbabwe which starts on Friday. The country’s Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera said, according to AFP, that he is “making an exception this time.”
On the other hand, Zimbabwe are ranked 11th in ICC ODI rankings and they would gain some momentum before the start of the World Cup qualifying tournament in April next year. Zimbabwe have had a dismal performance in the recent past as they lost to Afghanistan 3-2 in a five-match series. They also lost the first ODI match of their tour of Scotland. The Scottish team registered their first ever ODI win against a Test playing nation.
Sri Lanka would bank upon captain Angelo Mathews’ all-round abilities. Lasith Malinga will also be looking to get his form back in this series.
For Zimbabwe, it would Hamilton Masakadza on whom the visiting team would depend. Cremer, Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams would have the responsibility for the spin.
Sri Lanka (for first two ODIs): Angelo Mathews (captain), Upul Tharanga (vice captain), Niroshan Dikwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratne, Wanidu Hasaranga, L. Sandakan, Akila Dananjaya, Nuwan Pradeep Fernando, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Madushanka.
Zimbabwe: Graeme Cremer (captain), Solomon Mire, Hamilton Masakadza, Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, Ryan Burl, Peter Moor, Sikandar Raza Butt, Tendai Chatara, Christ Mpofu, Donald Tiripano, Richard Ngarava, Wellington Masakadza, Malcolm Waller, Chamu Chibhabha, Tarisai Musakanda.