Colombo: Sri Lankan batting great Aravinda de Silva on Tuesday lashed out at the team`s inconsistent batting, particularly the middle-order failure, saying that the World Cup co-hosts need to perform several notches up if they want to beat England in the quarterfinal here on Saturday.
The middle order, comprising Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Silva and Chamara Kapugedera, has struggled to score runs and as a result Sri Lanka have not been able to capitalise during the slog overs.
Sri Lanka face England in their quarterfinal match here at the R Premadasa stadium on Saturday and Aravinda said the visitors would be a tough opposition to beat. "England will be a tough opposition to beat as they have the potential to upset any side on that particular day," Aravinda, now chairman of selectors, was quoted as saying by a state-run newspaper.
"Sri Lanka`s main concern so far in the World Cup has been their inconsistency in the batting department," said 1996 World Cup winner Aravinda, adding that the middle order has not yet performed upto expectations.
He said "England are comfortable playing quality spinners, have the batsmen to make big scores and potential to upset any side on their day". The former captain was critical of the performance of Sri Lanka`s middle order batsmen in their last group match against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
In that match, skipper Kumar Sangakkara and vice captain Mahela Jayawardene raised a century partnership but Sri Lanka lost their way after the dismissal of the experienced duo. The Man-of-the-Match in the 1996 World Cup final also said that toss will be a crucial factor during the Sri Lanka-England quarterfinal tie with the dew factor playing a major role.