ICC World Cup: Sri Lanka have a terrific, well-balanced squad, says Rahul Dravid
Former India captain Rahul Dravid feels that Sri Lanka are a "terrific" side and one of the most "well-balanced" units in the Cricket World Cup starting February 14.
New Delhi: Former India captain Rahul Dravid feels that Sri Lanka are a "terrific" side and one of the most "well-balanced" units in the Cricket World Cup starting February 14.
"It's a terrific squad, it's a really well balanced squad. They've got some really experienced batsmen. They've got the likes of Sangakkara, Jayawardene and Dilshan upfront with that experience with the bat.
"Even with the ball they have a good blend of some really good spinners, someone like a Rangana Herath, Sachitra Senanayakeas well. Some good fast bowlers as well," Dravid said on 'Contenders', a special World Cup build-up show on 'ESPNcricinfo'.
Last year's runners-up, Sri Lanka, who lifted the 50-over showpiece trophy in 1996, may not be front-runners to win the Cup this time around but Dravid opines that the fact that they are a very close-knit unit will give them the edge.
"I think they're a very close-knit unit, a good tight unit and virtually almost everyone will actually practice and train together. It's very rare to find an international team that trains and practices together and lives in the same city.
"So I think in that sense they are generally a very close-knit, good unit. Always very competitive and very very clear about what their roles are, they understand each others games really well, they understand each others strengths and weaknesses and I think that makes a big difference," the former captain said.
Sri Lanka have provisionally picked experienced fast bowler Lasith Malinga - "subject to fitness" - in their squad, but his the Islanders will find it tough to handle the death over if the pacer misses out. Dravid also said that the fitness of Malinga, who is recovering from an ankle injury, will be key.
"Yes, I think in their lineup and makeup, he's so critical to their side. Because one of the areas where Sri Lanka would struggle would be bowling at the death. As a death bowler, if you remove Malinga from that lineup and you look around, you don't really see. So for me, even if he's not 100 percent fit, you expect him to play," he said.