Sri Lanka vs England, Only T20I, Preview: Lankans hope to carry the winning momentum
Both the teams have a 50-50 record while playing against each other.
Updated - Oct 27, 2018 6:43 pm
One of the best performance from the Sri Lankan team was on display during the 5th ODI against England. Although they lost the series, the home team showed some grit and produced a very inspiring fight. After a very long time, we saw the Sri Lanka batsmen play with such freedom and authority. Of late with unstable leadership and constant changes in the personnel we’ve seldom seen the players express themselves anywhere near their potential on the field.
However, the performance in the previous game should give Sri Lanka a lot of confidence. With a boosted morale, they enter into a different format now. The hosts will play the only T20I against the Britts on Saturday. They will clearly like to keep the momentum going building up into the World Cup. All they need at the moment is some wins and credence behind them.
However, one loss shouldn’t be a huge matter of concern for England. The side has been playing some good cricket of late. Beating the No. 9 ranked T20I team for them shouldn’t be a tough task. They will look to regroup as a unit after the embarrassing loss and will want to outshine the hosts.
Toss: SL won the toss and elected to bowl first
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Niroshan Dickwella(w), Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera(c), Isuru Udana, Kamindu Mendis, Lasith Malinga, Amila Aponso, Lakshan Sandakan
England (Playing XI): Jason Roy, Jos Buttler(w), Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Joe Denly, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan
The home team’s line-up looks pretty good even in the absence of Angelo Mathews. Dinesh Chandimal will lead the batting side while Dickwella will be donning the keeping gloves. Thisara Perera is another vastly experienced player in their set-up and will captain them. Lasith Malinga could be marking a comeback into the T20 team after about a year. Mendis, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha, Nuwan Pradeep are the players who will miss out.
England haven’t announced their squad as yet. However, we could expect most of the players who were a part of the ODI side to continue in the T20I squad as well. Jason Roy should open the innings with Jos Buttler for the shorter format. Jonny Bairstow will be taking the role of a finisher lower down the order. Eoin Morgan will be back to lead the side. We might also see Chris Woakes in the XI along with Alex Hales.
Focus will be on
Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)
Lasith Malinga, after being rested for the 5th ODI, is most likely to be back into the XI for the only T20I. If he makes it into the final squad, he will be playing a T20I after more than a year. With the World Cup fast-approaching, a lot of eyes will be on how he fares and the fitness levels moving forward. From the team’s point of view, Sri Lanka will want him to pick some early wickets and expose the English middle-order.
Eoin Morgan (England)
Morgan has been in great touch with the bat on this tour. He only played four matches in the ODI series but scored 195 runs and ended up as the leading run-scorer. Morgan was only dismissed once in as many games and is expected to be the key in the T20I as well.
Head to Head
Matches Played – 8
England Won – 4
Sri Lanka Won – 4
4 – Sri Lanka have won only 4 of their 19 T20Is at the RPS Stadium.
TV – Sony Six and Sony Six HD
Live Streaming – SonyLiv
Match Timing – 19:00 IST.