Big Picture: Problems to address for both teams
Both sides’ troubles are well documented. Since their opening game win against Afghanistan, Bangladesh have lost six on the trot. Only England have a worse record, and Bangladesh have lost to them too. For a side that had won 24 of 39 ODIs since the start of 2021, this has been the most underwhelming of tournaments, especially in conditions that on the face of it looked like it might have suited them.
The unsettling of a settled batting order could be pinpointed as one of the key reasons for this downturn in fortunes. They will be hoping to regain enough lost ground to overcome a Sri Lankan side that has its own set of issues.
Sri Lanka, for their part, have done what they’ve always done – at least in the recent past – mixing in brilliance with despair, jubilation with fatalism. Whichever way you splice it, this was an undercooked Sri Lanka side at least in terms of ODIs – one geared towards a T20-style and rediscovering its ODI bearings. It was also one seemingly caught up in muddled thinking.
“I want them to be aggressive to be honest,’ stated head coach Chris Silverwood prior to their defeat to India, and after an oddly timid display against Afghanistan. “I want them to play their game and obviously do things their way but have a positive mindset.”
And this is all without getting into the crux of the off-field issues, where the fallout from their campaign has seen a public back-and-forth between the country’s sports minister and Sri Lanka Cricket, while there have been questions posed of the impact of the coaching staff and whispers of a selection committee shake-up. Hardly ideal when trying to play fearless, aggressive cricket.
Bangladesh – LLLLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Sri Lanka – LLWWL
In the spotlight: Mushfiqur Rahim and Dilshan Madushanka
Team news: Kusal Perera back?
Bangladesh rejigged their batting order against Pakistan and it’s likely to stay the same.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Litton Das, 2 Tanzid Hasan, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk) 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 7 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 8 Towhid Hridoy , 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Shoriful Islam.
Sri Lanka might opt to bring Perera back into the fold after Karunaratne failed to impress in his stead. Dushan Hemantha could also make way for Dunith Wellalage if Sri Lanka opt for more batting strength.
Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Kusal Perera/Dimuth Karunaratne, 3 Kusal Mendis (capt, wk) 4 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Angelo Mathews 7 Dushan Hemantha 8 Maheesh Theekshana, 9 Kasun Rajitha, 10 Dushmantha Chameera 11 Dilshan Madushanka
Pitch and conditions
The overall weather conditions in Delhi though have worsened since then, with both sides cancelling scheduled practice sessions over the past few days owing to poor air quality. Any call on the match perhaps not taking place will only be taken on the day of the game.
Stats and trivia
- Dilshan Madushanka is five wickets away from equalling Chaminda Vaas and Muthiah Muralidaran – 23 – for the most wickets by a Sri Lankan in a World Cup. He currently is level with Lasith Malinga on 18.
- Of active players, Shakib Al Hasan has the fourth most runs in ODI World Cups with 1250, and the most of any Bangladesh player.
- Shakib’s 41 World Cup wickets is the second-most taken by a spinner. Muralidaran has the most with 68.
Chandika Hathurusinghe, Bangladesh’s head coach, on the measures they have taken to combat the air pollution in Delhi