Milinda Siriwardene is one of the fiercest hitters of the cricket ball although his selection, having last represented Sri Lanka in October 2017, has come as a huge surprise for many. He is one of the four all-rounders picked by the Sri Lankans for the World Cup.
Siriwardene provides the firepower in the death overs, an area where Sri Lanka have struggled in recent times. He has the ability to score quickly and is a handy batsman in the lower middle-order having the ability to clear the boundary frequently. This he proved during his maiden ODI half-century, scored against Pakistan at Hambantota in 2015. Sirirwardene posted an unbeaten 52 off just 26 balls to help Sri Lanka post 368 for four. With an ability to improvise, Siriwardene can take the attack to bowling if he clicks.
Aggression is not Siriwardene’s only forte. He can consolidate as well when chips are down as he showcased in Hamilton in an ODI against New Zealand on the Boxing Day of 2015.
In conditions tailor-made for swing bowling, Sri Lanka had been reduced to 26 for five when Siriwardene walked in after Angelo Mathews had been dismissed for a first ball duck. He played so well in tough conditions to top score with 66 and stitched some valuable partnerships with the tail to help the team to a decent total.
His left-arm spin also gives variety to the attack and has been largely neglected by the team. At times he had been called up to lead several Sri Lankan teams and he has done a decent job.
Siriwardene was first picked by Sri Lanka in 2015 after he scored heavily in domestic cricket. He was chosen primarily as a batsman although he could hold his own with the ball sending down a few overs economically. '
Sririwardene's abilities with the bat give Sri Lanka batting depth during the World Cup.