Sri Lanka have had a torrid time of late when they lost to Zimbabwe 3-2 in a 5-match ODI series and that too, in their own backyards. Before that, they were knocked out from the ICC Champions Trophy in the first round itself. Recently, they were handed a whitewash by India in the Test series as well.
After the retirement of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, this team is struggling to find personnel who can carry forward the country’s legacy. There are some talented youngsters who have burst onto the scene but there is still a long way to go for the side to re-establish itself amongst the best teams in the world.
Now Sri Lanka are set to play a 5-match ODI series against India at home. With the series, they need to consider the bigger picture in the hindsight i.e. the 2019 ODI World Cup. The cutoff date for the qualification is 30th September and Sri Lanka are currently languishing at No.8 in the ICC rankings.
The top 8 sides in the rankings earn direct qualifications to the prestigious event and the sides ranked beyond 8 have to play the qualification tournament. Sri Lanka have 88 points to their credit which is 10 points clear of the Windies who are ranked 9th.
If Sri Lanka manage to win 2 matches against India, they will move to 90 points. The Windies are set to play 6 ODIs before the cutoff date, 5 against England and 1 against Ireland. Even if they manage to win all 6 of them, they won’t surpass Sri Lanka’s tally.
If Sri Lanka win just 1 game against India, the Windies will have a chance to overtake by winning all 6 of their matches. And if India win all the 5 matches, then the Lankans will still have a chance if the Windies lose to Ireland.
The qualifications scenarios seem more in favor of the Asian side as going by the current of the Caribbean nation, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll manage to win all their remaining matches. However, Sri Lanka would have a tough task of facing the mighty Indian side that won’t leave any stones unturned in trying to dominate the ODI series as well.