By Srian Obeyesekere
Sri Lanka and defending champions England lock horns today at a batting top M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru from a precarious bottom both facing the tall order of performing the near impossible of winning five matches to gaining 12 points that calls for cracking the giant sized including high riding table leaders hosts India and second placed South Africa. It is from picking up from the dust of hollow defeats in the tournament run up Sri Lanka and England stare at each other both having lost three; Sri Lanka to South Africa, Pakistan and Australia to sounding the winning board against Netherlands while England having started the tournament defeating Bangladesh have since hit the trough losing South Africa, New Zealand and the third stunned by Afghanistan.
Going past England apart, Sri Lanka’s hopes of tilting the goliath scales from hopelessness to reaching the top four akin to walking through fire in that pitting puts them head on in that course against table leaders India and South Africa that certainly simmers to a David bringing down the giant task. The ant up beckoning call to staying in the world cup has been of two sides that have limped their way short of viable strategies with the helm captaincy failures to boot Sri Lanka having shed a wanting Dasun Shanaka for the inform Kusal Mendis who has taken over the reins while Jos Butler has conspicuously failed to spark the type of fiery ignition of an Eoin Morgan of 2019 when England raced to the world cup or an inspirational Ben Stokes the center piece to that success four years ago. England, will look to come out of a thus far wanting batting setback to their world cup campaign.
In that lifting up from the debris like hurdle of going past England, the Lankan camp, the essence to their campaign will take some plusses versus England. The impressive form of Mendis upped by a ton despite the losses that has in that bad run found a pick up razor edge by the win against Netherlands by a rousing unbeaten 95 in the growing sparkle of No. 4 Sadeera Samarawickrama. It has been hyped by the call up of veteran all-rounder and former captain Angelo Mathews. Certainly, old soldier Mathews, in for the injured Matheesha Pathirana, packs the firing up combining experience component to the side best exemplified by the all-round form he displayed in his sides LPL cup triumph that saw an altogether changed Angelo Mathews who brought back the trojan flair that has seen the right-hander leave a trademark name for his batting feats for Sri Lanka in the past. Therein, Mathews reproducing the form to sustaining Sri Lanka’s cup hopes is paramount to getting into the run act to shedding the rustiness that dwarfed him to falling early on that cost him his ODI place.
All in all, Sri Lanka will be inspired by their batting form that has produced two 300-plus totals that were consigned to defeat due to an ordinary bowling attack. However, a rejuvenation by the growing bite with the ball produced by pacer Dilshan Madushanka who has the highest number of 11 world cup wickets averaging 21.18 with best of 4 for 49 is good auguring to rising from the dumps where by and large the bowling department will need to have done a laundering homework to challenging an England side that cannot be counted out given some experienced campaigners despite a limping gloom thus far.
The pitch at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru is reportedly a balanced pitch. The average 1st innings score at this venue in the last 20 matches is 251 runs. The surface is a sporting one with equal assistance for both batters and bowlers. The team winning the toss may decide to bat first and make the most of the track to post a healthy total.
Pace or Spin?
Pacers have taken 67% of the total wickets at this venue. Hence picking up pacers for your fantasy team should be a good idea.
ENG vs SL weather report
Temperature will hover around 28.61 degree C and humidity is expected to be around 28%. 2.97 m/s winds are expected.
Meanwhile, England’s Chris Woakes is tipped to earn a return as Topley’s replacement with the new ball. England would assess their balance following the defeat to Afghanistan with Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone and Sam Curran in the all-round running blueprint.
England vs Sri Lanka head-to-head record
For the record, of the 78 ODIs the two sides have met, England has won 38 to Sri Lanka’s 36 with one match tied while three have yielded no results.