Players who can perform with both the bat and the ball and change the complexion of the game are worth their weight in gold as they lend flexibility to the side and provide the captain with multiple options in the field. Sri Lanka have one of the best all-rounder in the game today, another who has risen quickly and is now one of their mainstays and a third one who, though supremely talented has not made full use of his potential. Let us evaluate all these three men in question and find out what impact they are likely to have on the ICC WT20 2016.
Ever since he burst on the scene with that acrobatic fielding effort in the 2009 WT20, he has been an unstoppable force and a player who has played several high impact innings in pressure cooker situations for the Lankans. He is a genuine all-rounder - a fearsome hitter lower down the order and capable of bowling a nagging line and length with clever variations to fool the batsmen. Mathew’s greatest strength is his imperturbable temperament and his calm stature at the crease. He has often shepherded the weak Lankan tail and won matches on his own through sheer bloody minded composure and the ability to sense the correct time to launch an assault.
He did not play the three T20I’s against India since he was injured but he is now back for both, the Asia Cup T20I’s and the ICC WT20. A lot will depend on Mathews as far as Sri Lanka is concerned and they will hope that he can deliver for them once again in the crunch situations.
Impact Rating – 8.5/10
Siriwardena made his international debut last year but he is already an indispensible part of this young Lankan line up. Possessing the rare gift of timing, a mere caress of his bat often sends the ball scurrying towards the boundary. Strong both off the front and the back foot - an elegant cover drive and pull shots are his major strengths. He is a very calm figure at the crease unperturbed by the pressures of a rising required run rate. He has played several high class knocks coming in the lower order and bailed Sri Lanka out of tight corners with Mathews.
He can also bowl handy left arm spin although the Lankan side tends to under-use him in my honest opinion. Siriwardena has played 9 T20I’s for Sri Lanka making 168 runs at a strike rate of nearly 150 runs per hundred balls while also picking up 5 wickets with his slow left arm spin. He will be a vital cog in the Lankan machinery who has the ability of make an impact with his explosive batting and his economical bowling.
Impact Rating – 7.5/10
Siriwardena, along with Mathews, will be the two main trump cards up the sleeve of the Sri Lankans and their fans will be hoping that these two can combine to provide solidity and fire-power to a relatively weak middle order.