ROYAL LONDON ODI SERIES
Wearing a new cap, questing to better its ODI reputation, Sri Lanka will go head on against reigning world cup champions England in the 3-match Royal London ODI Series starting at Emirates Riverside, Durham tomorrow with much to prove. It is a relatively new look cast from what last toured England in a selection shake up of longtime seniors including skipper Dimuth Karunaratne who led during the 2019 world cup.
Therein, the former 1996 world cup champions certainly carry a handicap of a new cast led by a new skipper in Kusal Janith Perera in a stated rebuild-up to the 2023 world cup – the realism of a gelling build up that would not be overnight. In that scenario, taking on the one-day kings of cricket is certainly a thrown into the wild baptism against a highly professional side. England, even sans its world cup winning champion all-round batsman Ben Stokes through injury, does possess an ace cast to revel in their own backyard.
What is more, Sri Lanka does carry the handicap of lagging 9th in ODI standings to England’s 4th as much as the last time out performances against England of 6 defeats from 8 contests.
Moreover, Sri Lanka head into the ODI series straight from a whitewashed T20 series where the batting department was a big letdown that came apart in shambles. That it was the core factor to that debacle with the highest worthwhile individual score coming from lower order batsman Dasun Shanaka does give an inkling as to how bad the outlook is given the fact that it will be virtually a good part of the same top order that will face England this time around. There are several expectant youth finds in the squad to raise their hands and it is interesting how the Lankan team management would go about it. Furthermore, the side will be minus right-hander Avishka Fernando who has been ruled out of the series with a quadriceps injury sustained during the second T20 versus England.
In the new look vein and other odds, Sri Lanka’s campaign will be dependence on a cast of talented players who have got there through the test of performance who will be put to the acid test by a quality England bowling attack.
The Lankan bowling attack in the T20s was not concentrated except for the individual performance of pace bowler Dushmantha Chameera in the final game and leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga to some extent and it will be interesting whether the ODI outfit would be beefed up by the inclusion of Praveen Jayawickrama, who made a sensational 11 wicket Test debut, and batting all-rounder Ramesh Mendis who in couple of outings proved to be a wicket taking spinner.
England Head Coach, Chris Silverwood, commenting on a 16-man squad has emphasised the importance attached to the series against Sri Lanka as a world cup building platform. “This ODI series is important as we continue to build momentum ahead of the 2023 World Cup. Despite some injuries, the squad I have selected is strong and gives us depth across all departments. We are looking forward to competing and putting on a show for the fans.”
“Several players are not available for selection due to injury. Jofra Archer (right elbow), Saqib Mahmood (abdominal) and Reece Topley (side strain) are all missing, but continue to make excellent progress from their respective injuries.
Called up for the first time is Sussex left-arm fast bowler George Garton is named in the squad for the first time who has been part of the England system since 2016, and seeking the big call up against Sri Lanka in the Royal London Series.
Fixture Schedule Royal London ODI Series
1st ODI: England v Sri Lanka, Tuesday 29 June 2021, Emirates Riverside, Durham (11.00am BST)
2nd ODI: England v Sri Lanka, Thursday 1 July 2021, Kia Oval, London (1.00pm BST)
3rd ODI: England v Sri Lanka, Sunday 4 July 2021, County Ground, Bristol (11.00am BST)
SRI LANKA SQUAD:
Kusal Perera (c), Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Oshada Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Chamika Karunaratne, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Isuru Udana, Binura Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Shiran Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Asitha Fernando and Ishan Jayaratne.
ENGLAND SQUAD – Eoin Morgan (Middlesex) Captain, Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Sam Billings (Kent), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Tom Curran (Surrey), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), George Garton (Sussex), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), David Willey (Yorkshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham)