Sri Lanka vs England: 1st ODI, Preview- Lanka strive to find solace against top-ranked Brits

The visitors look a settled lot and won't be easy to topple by any stretch of the imagination.

England v India - 2nd ODI: Royal London One-Day Series
England team. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England don’t have an overwhelming record in ODIs against Sri Lanka overseas, but they will be going into the five-match series as the firm favourites. The same is for the reason that the Three Lions, captained by Eoin Morgan, are the number ranked team in the format and have been on a rampage ever since their indifferent campaign in the 2015 World Cup.

The first encounter is scheduled to be played tomorrow at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium. The Brits showed resilience against Virat Kohli’s India to win the three-match series after falling 0-1 down because of their drubbing at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The visitors look a settled lot and won’t be easy to topple by any stretch of the imagination.

The Islanders, on the contrary, have strained to find their feet, having not been able to win a single match in this year’s Asia Cup in the UAE. Moreover, Angelo Matthews was sacked as the skipper after which the all-rounder lashed out at the selectors. To add to their agony, they also have slumped against South Africa in their own backyard a few weeks ago.

Team Combination

Sri Lanka

Sadeera Samarawickrama will get to open along with Upul Tharanga. Skipper Dinesh Chandimal will bat number four. Kusal Perera is expected to come lower down the order. Dasun Shanaka and Kusal Perera are the all-rounders. The spin-friendly conditions mean Lanka are set to field a couple of tweakers in Lakshan Sandakan and Akila Dananjaya with Malinga and Chameera being the fast bowlers.

Predicted XI

Sadeera Samarawickrama, Upul Tharanga, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal (C), Kusal Perera (wk), Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga

England

Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow are the opening batsman with Joe Root and number three. The skipper Eoin Morgan is slotted at number four. The team has as many as four all-rounders in the form of Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran. The onus will be on Jos Buttler lower down the order. Mark Wood and Adil Rashid are the other bowling options for the English skipper.

Predicted XI

Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (C), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood

Focus will be on

Lasith Malinga – Sri Lanka

The speedster was one of the positives for Lanka in the Asia Cup as he got wickets in the hour of need but didn’t get support from the others. The Poms have a power-packed batting lineup and the hosts would be looking up to the experienced fast bowler to curb the opposition batsmen. On the other hand, Morgan’s men need to be wary about the seasoned campaigner.

Ben Stokes- England

Ben Stokes recently came out of a legal tussle owing to the Bristol case, much to his relief. However, he hasn’t quite been at his best, faltering with both bat and ball. Nevertheless, a few lacklustre shows don’t diminish his potential as a cricketer. His exploits need to come to the fore if England are to get the better of their opponents in the 50-overs format.

Stat Attack

74- Runs Upul Tharanga needs to complete 7000 ODI runs.

15- Matches won by England out of their last 16 while batting second.

Head to Head

Overall

Matches – 69 | Sri Lanka Won – 34; England Won – 33 | N/R – 1

In Sri Lanka

Matches – 21 | Sri Lanka Won – 15; England Won – 6 | N/R – 1

Broadcast Details

TV – Sony Six, Sony Six HD

Live streaming– Sony LIV

Match Timings – 14:30 IST, Local Time 10:00

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