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Sri Lanka News

Sangakkara hopeful Sri Lanka can overcome 'chaotic' build-up to World Cup

Kumar Sangakkara on Friday said he was hopeful that Sri Lanka can somehow overcome their "chaotic" build-up to the World Cup in England and Wales.

The 1996 champions head into this year's edition in England with a poor run of form in the 50-over format, having lost eight of their last nine one-day internationals.

They recently won a rain-hit ODI over Scotland, a non-Test playing nation.

"It's been quite chaotic, both in terms of continuity in selection and giving players a very good, consistent run in the team, which is essential for confidence," former Sri Lanka captain Sangakkara said at Lord's.

"If it's a constant change and churn, where you're always looking over your shoulder trying to safeguard your position, rather than trying to execute team strategy, I think that becomes a big problem," added Sri Lanka great Sangakkara.

Since the start of 2017, Sri Lanka have had six different captains, the most recent of whom is Test opener Dimuth Karunaratne.

A consistent batsman in Test cricket, Karunaratne had not been part of Sri Lanka's ODI set-up since the 2015 edition, largely because of his slow scoring rate in white-ball cricket.

"Dimuth Karunaratne is a very capable player, technically very sound, has been very successful in Test cricket over the last two years," said Sangakkara himself an outstanding Test batsman.

"With two new balls (in use in ODIs), the ability of someone to anchor the innings, to bat through a long period, is going to be very important."

Sangakkara said Karunaratne's lack of ODI cricket under his belt could yet help Sri Lanka.

"With Karunaratne coming in now as a fresh face and fresh captain, it could actually help the team.

"He doesn't come in with the baggage of being part of a set-up that for the last two-and-a-half years have had a lot of issues. He won't have partisanship in terms of how he wants to play or who he wants in the side."