Sri Lanka have gone through a lot of ups and downs in their tour of England. The first two Test Matches proved to be disastrous for the side as none of the players seemed to be able top cope with the conditions on offer. But the final England vs Sri Lanka test match unwrapped a completely different Sri Lankan unit. They seemed to have gotten a hang of the conditions and all the players stepped up to earn a hard fought draw against the home side.
And the performance in the last test match was something that Sri Lankan’s really needed; especially after the battering they received in the first two test matches.
The ODI games against the Irish were always going to be tricky, but thanks to the sudden revival in confidence, the Sri Lankan’s could bury the hatchet and completely outplay Ireland in the three match ODI series.
Now, the focus shifts back to the England vs Sri Lanka ODI series, which could be more competitive than the test series, especially with the renewed confidence of this Sri Lankan unit.
But, not all is well in the Sri Lankan camp, as Shaminda Eranga has been ruled out of the series after he was banned from bowling, due to his illegal action. Their batting order too remains a mystery, as Upul Tharanga, who was once an opener, made an appearance at number 9 in the last game.
England would be looking to build on their World T20 form, as their limited over specialists would love to forget the bitter memory of the World T20 final and create some new ones instead.
Let’s get to business now!
England vs Sri Lanka
Joe Root, Alex Hales and Jason Roy are going to be my three batsmen for this game.
Joe Root is Engalnd’s Virat Kohli. His form in the World T20 was brilliant and the way he paces his innings in the limited format is enviable. You just have to get him in!
Alex Hales and Jason Roy are known for their blistering starts upfront and should feel at home against a depleted Sri Lankan bowling unit!
Kusal Perera will be my wicketkeeper for this game. He scored a brilliant hundred in the last game against the Irish and is looking in sublime form. Also, the fact that he opens the batting for Sri Lanka makes him a far more attractive pick than Buttler and Chandimal(both of whom play lower down the order)
David Wiley is a brilliant swing bowler and could exploit the early moisture and swing that is generally on offer in English conditions. Also, his late order hitting skills could come in handy, especially if England bat first.
Suranga Lakmal was brilliant in the last game against Ireland, picking up four wickets and also bowling a maiden. Throughout his career he has gobbled up 63 wickets in 43 games, suggesting that he easily takes more than 1 wicket a game. Get him in!
Steven Finn isn’t the typical English bowler. He hits the deck hard rather than swinging the ball around and when he gets to swing the ball and get steep bounce as well, he becomes a real threat.
Farveez Maharoof is the last bowler that I get into my side. He has recently made his comeback into international cricket and the fact that he gets to bat in the top 6, elevates his ‘point providing’ potential with respect to other available bowlers.
Seekuge Prasanna will be my flexible player for this game. Sri Lanka used him in a flexible way in the last game by sending him up the order as a pinch hitter, something that paid rich dividends. Also, his leg spin can cause a lot of trouble to the English batsmen, who generally don’t play spin that well.
Happy team picking!