England Vs Sri Lanka, Match Preview
Whitewashed in the T20s without giving much of a fight, England has had it easy so far. The tour has been a cakewalk for them as they have bat and bowl as they wish. Sri Lanka has struggled with losing a few first-choice players, but following a recent incident, the side will be depleted further. Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwell, and Danushka Gunathilaka have been sent back home after breaching the bio-bubble.
The trio was a part of the T20 squads, with Kusal Mendis being a vital member. Their contributions have been bleak like the rest of the side, but the trio’s loss will undoubtedly deplete an already depleted side. The bio-bubble has already seen some issues with the match referee testing positive recently, while few county Cricketers have also tested positive. There has also been a pitch invasion which may spice up the bio-bubble talks and could raise concerns.
The ODI will be their first at home in front of crowds ever since the World Cup two years ago for England. After two years, they still have a strong bowling attack, powerful batting, and a depleted opponent ahead of them. The outcome is visible unless Sri Lanka can spring up some surprises.
Sri Lanka is known to surprise opponents as they did in the 1996 World Cup, and such a surprise is due. More recently, Sri Lanka managed to surprise tournament favorites two years ago at the World Cup. When the two nations played an ODI, the odds were against Sri Lanka like today, but they shocked everyone with a magnificent win. The result may play on England’s minds as they approach the game.
England Vs Sri Lanka, Team News
Mark Wood looks as fit as ever, getting through a lot of overs and improving his workload. They will continue to miss some key players like Buttler and Stokes but will have Root back in the squad for the ODIs. With Buttler out, Dawid Malan was retained for the ODI squad. He may open the batting again, with Jason Roy out due to a hamstring injury.
The Sri Lankan camp is full of chaos, and selecting an eleven will be challenging for management. Captain Perera will likely take up a triple role of leading the side, keeping wickets, and opening the batting. The side is very inexperienced and doesn’t look promising, but there could still be some surprises ahead with new faces.
England Vs Sri Lanka, Predicted XIs
England: (possible) 1 Dawid Malan, 2 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Liam Livingstone / Moeen Ali, 6 Sam Billings, 7 Sam Curran, 8 Tom Curran, 9 Chris Woakes, 10 Mark Wood, 11 Adil Rashid
Sri Lanka: (possible) 1 Kusal Perera (capt, wk), 2 Pathum Nissanka, 3 Oshada Fernando, 4 Charith Asalanka, 5 Dhananjaya de Silva, 6 Ramesh Mendis, 7 Dasun Shanaka, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Lakshan Sandakan/Binura Fernando, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Nuwan Pradeep
England Vs Sri Lanka, Players to Watch out For
England’s captain has been brilliant as a leader, but his batting returns haven’t been too satisfying. His highest score over the last seven innings is 28, and his strike rate is underwhelming for England’s standards.
During the T20 series, Dushmantha Chameera was brilliant but lacked support. He took four wickets in the third T20 and did well with both the new and old ball. His performance is proof that the bowling is OK, as Wanindu Hasaranga has also done a decent job. However, while the bowling has been good, the batting hasn’t, which leads to the reliance on bowlers like Chameera.
England Vs Sri Lanka, Pitch Report
The weather seems clear for the day, which is a big obstacle crossed considering the recent incidents in England. The surface at Chester-le-Street has seen some high-scoring encounters in the Vitality Blast. With a powerful batting line-up, England could use the surface to put up some big runs.