Sri Lanka vs England, 1st ODI, Match Prediction: Who will win the match?
Will Sri Lanka be able to put behind the Asia Cup disappointment?
Updated - Oct 9, 2018 6:15 pm
The two teams with contrasting fortunes in the One-Day Internationals, England and Sri Lanka, will lock horns in the first of the five-match series in Dambulla. The visitors are one of the major contenders for the World Cup next year and are coming off a superb win over India in the three-match rubber. Their captain Eoin Morgan has already termed this side as the best England side ever and they are on a winning spree in their last eight bilateral series.
On the other hand, it is completely gloomy in the Sri Lankan camp. Despite being the hosts, for the first time in many years they are not starting the series as favourites at home. Losses to Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the Asia Cup has messed things up for them and dropping of Angelo Mathews has left the team wanting for experience in the middle-order.
However, England will not make the mistake of taking them lightly especially after the way they defeated South Africa in the couple of dead-rubbers before the Asia Cup. The skipper Dinesh Chandimal will hope that the promising side delivers for them and the time has come for the youngsters to put their hand up in the crisis.
Morgan though doesn’t have any such issues with his team. Though the spinners will continue to threaten to exploit the conditions but for that to happen, their batsmen will have to support them and the fielders should grab on to the catches.
If the South Africa series is taken into consideration, the pitch will be a featherbed for the batsmen. The dew is also likely to come in later in the evening and expect the team winning the toss to bowl first. Though a decent score in the first innings will put pressure on the other team as the ball will turn later in the day.
Sri Lanka have to do some head scratching while picking the playing XI for the series opener. While Upul Tharanga will continue to open the innings, he will get a new opening partner in Sadeera Samarawickrama. In that case, Niroshan Dickwella should wait for his chance as the middle-order is stacked up with Dhananjaya de Silva, the skipper Chandimal and Kusal Perera.
The only issue with this line-up will be the all-rounders at number six and seven. Dasun Shanaka and Thisara Perera will come in next and more than capable of chipping in with the bat. The bowling looks stable with the return of Malinga and the spinners Akila Dananjaya and Sandakan are expected to trouble the opponents.
Predicted XI: Upul Tharanga, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal (c), Kusal Perera (wk), Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga
England have a pretty settled line-up compared to the home side. Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow will open the innings and Joe Root should continue to bat at three which will make Alex Hales wait for his turn. Root is a better player of spin and he will be expected to hold the innings together. Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes are the next to follow while Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran should look to make it count at the death.
The bowling also looks remarkably strong for them. Chris Woakes and Mark Wood will open the bowling unless it is a rank turner. Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali will come into play in the middle-overs while Stokes is expected to chip in as well. Sam Curran will add value to this talented line-up and the visitors are favourites to win the series opener.
Predicted XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood
Probable Top Performers
Dinesh Chandimal – Sri Lanka | Joe Root – England
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The prediction is for England to start their tour with a comfortable win.