England Vs Sri Lanka, Match Preview
After negotiations, Sri Lanka is finally about to start its England tour. They had their share of issues before traveling, struggling against Bangladesh, and facing player issues. Several seniors are missing from the squad again, and for now, the future of many players is uncertain. Kusal Perera is the only surviving member from the 2014 World Cup-winning squad, and a lot rests on his shoulders.
Although England has struggled with the red ball, their white-ball performances continue to be excellent. They have a balanced side, and the results look promising. They won 16 T20Is and lost eight over two years and will look to build on their strengths.
The gulf in the team looks enormous, with England near the top and Sri Lanka facing the prospect of having to participate in a qualifying tournament for the T20 World Cup. Sri Lanka is known to punch above their weight, and they could still fight against a top opponent.
England Vs Sri Lanka, Team News
The Sri Lankans haven’t had a full-strength side during the pandemic and will be going understaffed this time around. Many first-choice players have been dropped or retired, and a lot rests on the likes of Kusal Perera. While Kusal Perera is one of the seniors, his recent form is a spot of bother. The bowling is another concern, with Hasaranga being the sole light in the squad.
Unlike in the Test series, England will be going into the white-ball format with a strong squad. Most of their first-choice players are back. Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes continue to sit out with injuries, but Malan and Bairstow have been declared fit. With Ben Stokes out of the side, Moeen Ali is likely to slot in at the all-rounder. Ali was brilliant in the IPL, and the confidence could help him and England add a new dimension to their game.
England Vs Sri Lanka, Predicted XIs
England (possible): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jos Buttler (wk), 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Jonny Bairstow, 5 Eoin Morgan (capt), 6 Moeen Ali, 7 Sam Curran, 8 David Willey/Chris Woakes, 9 Chris Jordan, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Mark Wood
Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Danushka Gunathilaka, 2 Avishka Fernando, 3 Kusal Perera (capt.)(wk), 4 Kusal Mendis, 5 Oshada Fernando, 6 Dhananjaya de Silva, 7 Dasun Shanaka, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Isuru Udana, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Nuwan Pradeep
England Vs Sri Lanka, Players to Watch out For
Wanindu Hasaranga was one of Sri Lanka’s bright spots in Bangladesh. He had a good time in the first ODI and bowled decently throughout. He made a name for himself in the Lanka Premier League and can become a massive player. With good performances in both departments, the all-rounder could play a key role in England.
Jos Butler was brilliant in the India series, finishing as the leading run-scorer, and could play a massive role in the series. He has excellent stats against Sri Lanka and did well in the IPL. His Blast form has been a little off, but that may not be a massive concern. With the T20 World Cup coming up, Butler may need this series to erase doubts about him opening the batting. He has been consistent at the top for a while now, and the role has suited England well.
England Vs Sri Lanka, Pitch Report
Throughout the T20 Blast, the Cardiff surface has been the second slowest. Runs have been a touch complicated, and the seamers have enjoyed the support given to them. The spinners are a little more expensive, but they still haven’t done as poorly. The weather is expected to be clear with moderate temperatures.