With the ODI series going in Sri Lanka’s favour and the Mankading incident taking place in the 5th and final ODI , have just managed to spice up the test series which begins tomorrow. A lot will be at stake for both the teams . England, on one side will be looking to restore their pride near their home crowd and Sri Lanka will look to try and improve their away Test record and defeat England in this series, which might well turn out to be last English tour of Sangakkara and Jayawardane.
Head to Head
Both the teams have met each other on 26 encounters in Tests and England has taken away the cake on 10 occasions compared to Sri Lanka’s 7 , and 9 have ended up with neutral result for both of them.
Pitch Conditions and Weather
The weather will be a typican English one with alll five days are supposedly going to be cloudy on some level, though only day three (Saturday) has any real probability of rain. Temperatures will be cool though, around 20 Celsius every day, which should suit England.
Pitch is expected to be dry and reverse a bit and will also aid the spinners a bit.
England will be without the service of Kevin Pieterson , for whom this was a hunting ground. Even England don’t have a specialist spinner in the line up and this will mean that Moeen Ali is all set to debut as an all rounder . They have a good pace attack for the conditions with Broad and Anderson leading it.
Sri Lanka will miss their key bowler Lakmal , who is out of this series because of injury , as he was outstanding in the domestic as well as recent outings for Sri Lanka. Their batting will be their biggest strength.
Players to watch out for:
Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara has been the back bone of the batting line up and this might well be his last English tour and he , with all his ability is the man to watch out for.
England: Ian Bell , after receiving the England Men’s Cricketer of the Year 2013-14 will again be boosted . He was above average and looked in good touch in Australia’s horrible Ashes Down Under.
Overall, it looks an even encounter with Sri Lanka’s batting fighting with England’s bwling to bring home the advantage.
Sri Lanka (From): Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews(c), Prasanna Jayawardene(w), Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedara, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Dinesh Chandimal, Dilruwan Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhammika Prasad