This series is turning out the way as it was expected. England came into the series as underdogs and are performing as per that only. Alastair Cook and Ian Bell aren’t able to understand that they have become a liability to the team and they should drop themselves so that Alex Hales and James Taylor can come into the line-up and make it an exciting prospect for the World Cup 2015. Whether this happens or not remains to seen, but, for now, let’s shift our focus towards the 3rd ODI that’ll take place on December 3rd at Hambantota.
Sri Lanka have performed very well in the first two ODIs and have looked formidable. It looks like that they have overcome the trauma they suffered in India. All their departments have clicked when it mattered the most and that’s why they are two-nil ahead in the series. Rangana Herath’s return has boosted their bowling-attack and England’s inability to play spin in the shorter formats has been exposed to the fullest. Overall the team is performing extremely well.
Just for this ODI, Sri Lanka are forced to make a change as Mahela Jayawardne is unavailable due to personal reasons and Jeevan Mendis looks the most obvious choice to replace him in the playing eleven. This will allow Lahiru Thirimanne to bat at four and make the best use of this chance.
On the other hand, much has been said about England above. Their batting is suffering a lot because of Cook and Bell’s inability to score and that too quickly at the top. This has put a lot of pressure on the likes of Joe Root and Eoin Morgan to score big which always can’t happen. Ravi Bopara bats too low for him to accelerate, as Bopara always fights lost cause. On the bowling front, Steven Finn, Harry Gurney and Chris Woakes haven’t been able to pick up wickets at all. James Tredwell has been economical but his wickets column has also been almost empty. England bowlers would have to bowl out of their skins if England are to win a match in this series.
Probable Playing XI for Sri Lanka:
Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thilina Kandamby, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath
Probable Playing XI for England:
Alastair Cook, Moeen Ali, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Ravi Bopara, , Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes, Steven Finn.
Prediction: With the kind of cricket England is playing, it looks like Sri Lanka will make it 3-0 at Hambantota.
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