With the India’s tour of Australia almost coming to an end. We have yet another intriguing test series in the cards in the form of Sri Lanka taking on the 2019 ICC World Cup winners- England.
Both the teams will kickstart their 2021 campaign with this test series and the task looks tougher for the Englishmen as they will have been playing the in-form Indians at home in their next series. England are very much in the race for the ICC test championships and a series win against the Lankans will get them closer to their next opposition.
Sri Lanka have a mountainous task in their hands if they are to make it to the contention for the championship and they will know the journey is not easy. Lankans come on back of a humiliating white-wash by the South Africans. But they would be feeling better as most of their injured players have been adjourned fit to play.
England last played a test series against the Pakistanis and they did make full use of the home conditions to win the 3-match series,1-0. They would also be more pumped up with the fact that they are the only team to whitewash the Lankans at their home and will be hoping they can replicate that same performance which they showcased in 2018.
Can England start their 2021 campaign with a win? Or will the Lankans make full use of their home conditions?
Match Toss Time: 09:30 Local (09:30 IST)
Match Start Time: 10:00 Local (10:00 IST)
Match Venue: Galle International Stadium, Galle
The conditions do not look quiet in favor of cricket as rainfall is expected on all five days of the game. With continuous stoppages expected, the match could well end up in a draw. The temperature is expected to be hovering in the 29-24 degree Celsius and the humidity at the peak is likely to touch the 89 percent mark.
The Galle pitch as we know is a bit on the slower side and the spinners are expected to play the crucial role. The batsman would find the pace easier to face and that could be the scoring opportunity. If the weather does not play spoilsport, we are likely to have a result. The toss will play a crucial role as always in Galle.
England have a huge setback even before the start of the series in the form of Moeen Ali. The all-rounder was tested positive on arriving in Sri Lanka and is likely to be in quarantine for the entire duration of the series. Given that Galle heavily favors the spinners, Dom Bess and Jack Leach are expected to be heading the spin department. Daniel Lawrence who had an impressive stint at the BBL 2020 is all set to make his debut for England.
Sri Lanka on the other hand would be glad to welcome back Kusal Perera,Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal from injury and the side does look well balanced. Wanindu Hasaranga did impress everyone in his debut match against the proteas and with the conditions now in his favor, a lot is expected from the all-rounder.
Probable Playing Xl
Sri Lanka (SL): Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dilruwan Perera, Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal
England (Eng): Zak Crawley, Dominic Sibley, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Daniel Lawrence, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Stuart Broad, Dominic Bess, Jake Leach, James Anderson
SL vs Eng Fantasy Team
Jos Buttler, Kusal Perera, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Sam Curran, Wanindu Hasaranga, James Anderson, Stuart Board, Suranga Lakmal
Captain Picks: Joe Root (Eng), Kusal Perera (SL)
Vice-captain Picks: Stuart Board (Eng), Wanindu Hasaranga (SL)
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