England v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, The Oval June 27, 2011

Captain Cook takes the helm

35

Match facts

Tuesday, June 28, The Oval
Start time 1300 (1200 GMT)

Big Picture

This time last week, Andrew Strauss was England's man at the helm. On Saturday, for a perfunctory 37.2 overs, Stuart Broad took over as national captain, and at 12.30pm tomorrow afternoon, Alastair Cook will line up at the toss as England's third skipper in eight days. The policy of separate leaders for all three formats always looked like a bit of a gamble, but right at this moment, following the most anticlimactic coronation imaginable for Broad at Bristol, there's an additional layer of scrutiny pending.

On the bright side for Cook, his first game as full-time ODI captain is unlikely to go quite as badly as Strauss's last in the role, in Colombo three months ago. England's ten-wicket drubbing in that fixture was inflicted by Upul Tharanga, who is currently serving a suspension for the use of a prohibited substance, and Tillakaratne Dilshan who, although passed fit, is still feeling the effects of his broken thumb. Nevertheless, there was a yawning gulf in class on display at Bristol. In the 50-over format, England have four years in which to get their act together ahead of the 2015 World Cup. Few people are expecting them to pull it off at the first time of asking.

There will be other factors at play at The Oval. After a handy cameo with the ball, if not the bat, at Bristol, Sanath Jayasuriya is preparing to sign off from international cricket at the ground where, in 1998, his blazing double-century set the stage for Muttiah Muralitharan's 16-wicket masterclass in the one-off Test against England. The circumstances of his recall have been controversial, even though with Dilshan missing for a week his experience has not been unwelcome. Meanwhile off the pitch, Stuart Law has confirmed he will be moving on to become coach of Bangladesh. Distractions abound for Sri Lanka, but they are pretty accustomed to such things.

But the major focus will be on a left-handed opener with a somewhat different reputation in short-form cricket. The success of the three-captain policy requires each of the leaders to display personal form while producing the victories expected of them. So far this summer, Strauss has won a Test series without scoring runs, while Broad has been hammered in his solitary outing without showing much evidence of a return to his best. Cook, meanwhile, has been scoring runs for fun in Test cricket, but struggled to raise his game in an ODI scenario at Lord's last month, where he was stumped for the first time in his first-class career. He will know, better than anyone, how much he has to prove.

Form guide (most recent first)

England LWLWL
Sri Lanka LWWWW

The spotlight

Where else to look but Alastair Cook? Stuart Broad may have had a tough time on his captaincy debut at Bristol on Saturday, but at least his value as a limited-overs performer has rarely been called into question. Cook, on the other hand, wasn't deemed worthy of a place in England's 30-man squad for the World Cup earlier this year, and yet has now been parachuted back straight back into the set-up as skipper. In his defence he performed admirably in a stand-in capacity in Bangladesh last year, but the doubts about his suitability have been voiced already, with the former England captain Mike Atherton denouncing him as a "plodder" on Sunday morning. "Takes one to know one," was Cook's wry reply.

Lasith Malinga's four overs at Bristol were as perfect as one could hope to witness in Twenty20 cricket. His first Powerplay over cost just three runs, his second accounted for the vital wicket of Eoin Morgan, his third leaked five singles as England tried and failed to up the tempo, and his last resulted in two wickets, three scrambled byes and not a single run off the bat. His absence from the Test series was understandable given the nature of his role and the workload required in five-day games, but this was a hint as to what exactly Sri Lanka had missed.

Team news

Andrew Strauss's ODI retirement means there will be no change more notable than the one at the top of the order, where Cook will be reunited with his opening partner from last year's tour of Bangladesh, Craig Kieswetter. Of the two rookies who opened the bowling in the Twenty20, Chris Woakes seems the likelier to make way for the returning James Anderson, which means Jade Dernbach should make his ODI debut on his home ground. Tim Bresnan's late inclusion in the squad could squeeze Samit Patel out of the starting XI, despite his five-wicket haul on this ground against South Africa in 2008.

England (probable) 1 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 2 Alastair Cook (capt), 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Ian Bell, 7 Samit Patel/Tim Bresnan, 8 Graeme Swann, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 James Anderson, 11 Jade Dernbach.

Sri Lanka had good news late on Monday when Tillakaratne Dilshan was passed fit after his broken thumb and he'll open with Sanath Jayasuriya, meaning Mahela Jayawardene reverts to his middle-order role. Angelo Mathews is still doubtful to bowl and Dilshan may not be risked with the ball, either.

Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt) 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Thilina Kandamby, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekera, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Suraj Randiv, 11 Lasith Malinga,

Pitch and conditions

London's dank June has given way to a mini-heatwave in the two days leading up to the start of the match, although that is all set to end with thunderstorms forecast for Monday evening. The wet weather should have cleared sufficiently to allow a prompt start at 1pm, but the clouds may still be lingering.

Stats and trivia

  • England and Sri Lanka's last meeting in 50-overs cricket was the World Cup quarter-final in Colombo back in March, which - thanks to their ten-wicket trouncing - also happens to have been England's most recent ODI.

  • Inauspiciously for England, their home record against Sri Lanka is scarcely any better in recent times. In 2006 they were thumped out of sight, five matches out of five, with Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga racking up an opening stand of 286 at Headingley. Only two England squad members remain from that game - the new captain Cook, and the returning Tim Bresnan.

  • Alastair Cook averages 33.00 in 26 ODI appearances, with a solitary century against India in 2007, and a strike-rate of 71.38.

    Quotes

    "I just see myself as the one-day captain. I'm just concentrating on tomorrow's game and doing the best job I can. We can worry about the other stuff later."
    Alastair Cook presents a straight bat to questions about his Test captaincy ambitions.

    "Sanath won't be staying on for the rest of the series. He has already decided to retire after the first one-day. That's his call and we can't help it."
    Thilina Kandamby prepares to say farewell to Sanath Jayasuriya.

    Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sanjeevmukherjee2006 on June 28, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    @sri lankans dont worry we will see in England last time we won this time you lost..you can never win there in England and yes lets see how ur team does in Sa we atleast drew the series lets see how ur team does..and why did india not toured in early summer cause we are engaged with WI in 2002 we toured in may june dont forget that...fact of the matter is we are not afraid of fast or swinging pitches whether it is headingley, jamaica, perth, durban or adelaide, we atleast drew series in SL your team has yet to win test in India :))

  • sandunsba on June 28, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    to sanjeewmukarje. india gt test status in 1932& the had to wait for test win aus to1970.so what abt that?

  • Lakmalnj on June 28, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    I don't think cricinfor team will be final team of SL. Here are the my team..... Thissara should not be included in any format of the game.

    1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt) 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Thilina Kandamby, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Jeewan Mendis, 8 Nuwan Kulasekera, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Suraj Randiv, 11 Lasith Malinga

  • sandunsba on June 28, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    to sanjeewmukarjeThey became the sixth team to be granted Test cricket status.In their first fifty years of international cricket, India proved weaker than Australia and England, winning only 35 of the 196 test matches.

  • sandunsba on June 28, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    to sanjeevmukarji. when india got test status?and when sl got test status?only 116 test players for sl.& more than260 test players for india. sl showed their class. sl was the 8th team to get test status.so anyone cnt say sl isn't a very good cricket nation.actually there are the best.they are the only team that shows such a talent.though sl culdnt win a test in india aus sa.the main reason was lack of overseas tournaments.they wll prove the capabitily and the skillmore in nxt 2,3 yrs.let see

  • docdj_88 on June 28, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    look at last SLs form in recent ODIs and compare it with Englands. i dun c England winning this series...

  • anver777 on June 28, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    WOW !!!!!!!! Great news for SL cricket lovers, Dilshan is back & will play in 1st ODI. Like to see Sana & Dilshan open the batting for SL ???? Go Lanka Go !!!!

  • on June 28, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    Except for Suranga Lakmal, who bowled well in T20 and therefore deserves his place, Sri Lanka has gone with the most experienced lot in the squad. Jeewan Mendis can come in once Sanath retires after this game. Then he can provide extra spin option. Dinesh Chandimal finds himself out of reckoning which his supporters may argue as grossly unfair. However,he has not shown that he is capable of handling swing and extra bounce in English wockets in this tour. It was not only a single failure several failures in a series of matches. I am sure if he had shown good form he would have got in at the third test ahead of Lahiru although he is not an opening bat.

  • WaldermaltCricketer on June 28, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    SL must drop Thisara Perera who tried to destroy the T20 game by delivering lose & poor balls to clever batsmen like Kevin & Morgan. He should be dropped & Dhammika Prasad must be concerned. My team is 1.Dilshan 2.Jayasooriya 3.Sanga 4.Mahela 5.Kandambi 6.Mathews 7.Dhammika/Jeewan 8.Kulasekara 9.Randiv 10.Lakmal 11.Malinga

  • computermaster on June 28, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    Here's your first chance Dilshan to show the world what you can do as captain, as for Jayasuriya I'm going to miss the master-blaster he used to be my favorite batsman when I was small before I changed to Dilshan. It's going to be a tight game but I think because Strauss is not captain that Srilanka will have a slight advantage. Remember this is the ground that Jayasuriya played a double-hundred

  • sanjeevmukherjee2006 on June 28, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    @sri lankans dont worry we will see in England last time we won this time you lost..you can never win there in England and yes lets see how ur team does in Sa we atleast drew the series lets see how ur team does..and why did india not toured in early summer cause we are engaged with WI in 2002 we toured in may june dont forget that...fact of the matter is we are not afraid of fast or swinging pitches whether it is headingley, jamaica, perth, durban or adelaide, we atleast drew series in SL your team has yet to win test in India :))

  • sandunsba on June 28, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    to sanjeewmukarje. india gt test status in 1932& the had to wait for test win aus to1970.so what abt that?

  • Lakmalnj on June 28, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    I don't think cricinfor team will be final team of SL. Here are the my team..... Thissara should not be included in any format of the game.

    1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt) 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Thilina Kandamby, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Jeewan Mendis, 8 Nuwan Kulasekera, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Suraj Randiv, 11 Lasith Malinga

  • sandunsba on June 28, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    to sanjeewmukarjeThey became the sixth team to be granted Test cricket status.In their first fifty years of international cricket, India proved weaker than Australia and England, winning only 35 of the 196 test matches.

  • sandunsba on June 28, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    to sanjeevmukarji. when india got test status?and when sl got test status?only 116 test players for sl.& more than260 test players for india. sl showed their class. sl was the 8th team to get test status.so anyone cnt say sl isn't a very good cricket nation.actually there are the best.they are the only team that shows such a talent.though sl culdnt win a test in india aus sa.the main reason was lack of overseas tournaments.they wll prove the capabitily and the skillmore in nxt 2,3 yrs.let see

  • docdj_88 on June 28, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    look at last SLs form in recent ODIs and compare it with Englands. i dun c England winning this series...

  • anver777 on June 28, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    WOW !!!!!!!! Great news for SL cricket lovers, Dilshan is back & will play in 1st ODI. Like to see Sana & Dilshan open the batting for SL ???? Go Lanka Go !!!!

  • on June 28, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    Except for Suranga Lakmal, who bowled well in T20 and therefore deserves his place, Sri Lanka has gone with the most experienced lot in the squad. Jeewan Mendis can come in once Sanath retires after this game. Then he can provide extra spin option. Dinesh Chandimal finds himself out of reckoning which his supporters may argue as grossly unfair. However,he has not shown that he is capable of handling swing and extra bounce in English wockets in this tour. It was not only a single failure several failures in a series of matches. I am sure if he had shown good form he would have got in at the third test ahead of Lahiru although he is not an opening bat.

  • WaldermaltCricketer on June 28, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    SL must drop Thisara Perera who tried to destroy the T20 game by delivering lose & poor balls to clever batsmen like Kevin & Morgan. He should be dropped & Dhammika Prasad must be concerned. My team is 1.Dilshan 2.Jayasooriya 3.Sanga 4.Mahela 5.Kandambi 6.Mathews 7.Dhammika/Jeewan 8.Kulasekara 9.Randiv 10.Lakmal 11.Malinga

  • computermaster on June 28, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    Here's your first chance Dilshan to show the world what you can do as captain, as for Jayasuriya I'm going to miss the master-blaster he used to be my favorite batsman when I was small before I changed to Dilshan. It's going to be a tight game but I think because Strauss is not captain that Srilanka will have a slight advantage. Remember this is the ground that Jayasuriya played a double-hundred

  • danuk87 on June 28, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    @sanjeevmukherjee2006 don't compare sl test records in sa, aus. sl didn't tour those countries for ages. when did india beat sa?2006, and sl didnt toured there till 2001.lets talk about it after sl tour of sa later this year. have india ever white wash eng 5-0 in there backyard??, oh beat aus in a full series against them in aus?answer is no. when did india beat pak 1st time after 50 years in pak 2004 but sl won 6 matches when ur no 1 team find away to beat them for the first time ( after waqar,wasim,javid,mustaq retired),at least sl manage to good fight with bat in difficult conditions in early summer of uk,y did indian team didnt choose to play that period?,india won the 2007 series thanx to the rain.this time it will be 3-0 to eng. they cannot play when the bowl is moving, ur so called no 1 average team is only good on home conditions.

  • jackiethepen on June 28, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    Blake Huston is totally out of date regarding Bell. Stop looking at the past. Bell needs to be in the top 3. Bell's overall average in Tests in 47. But his average since coming back into the side is 69. Bell's overall average in ODIs is 35 with SR 72. But his average in domestic 40-over cricket over 2 years he was out of the side is 71 SR 86 in 2009 and 61 SR 106 in 2010. More importantly he captained Warks to the Trophy with a ton in 2010. He also got 124* opening at Canberra with a SR 121. But what does Flower do? Bury him down the order! He needs to be in the top 3 to deliver. It's scandalous that Flower prefers Cook on the basis of his 2010 Essex season. Av 33 SR 83. This is the so called improvement of Cook's one day game! Favouritism at its most unappealing. Flower and Cook were Essex mates.

  • asablaster on June 28, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    last t20 showed how talent SL is? tell something about last two matches IND vs WI? India play cricket becoz they afraid their people .... that's the truth remember after 2003 WC? anyway SL lions never afraid anyone. they give the mean to cricket.... early days cricket was so boring .... remember kapil dav's time sanath and kalu retired so many indian cricketers..... now dilshan malinga dominate cricket...... watch this series and you will say me correct

  • Aundray on June 28, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    The only change, Jeevan Mendis should be in and Thisara Perera should be on the bench i guess...

  • on June 28, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Oh Dear, "Cook- Trott partnership in ODI" and i cringed. While im sure there capable of putting on a big partnership the worry for me is that they will only end up with 200-220 in their 50 overs if their at the crease the whole time... All these calls for Bell to be int he top 3 are wrong, he has scored 1 ODI hundred after a lot of games, theres no need to have him higher, KP and Morgan need to be ahead of Bell, and they need Kieswetter opening to give a flying start. If England choose Bresnan over Patel the batting will be too short, Broad is inreliable in ODI's and in dreadful form, swann can swing the willow, but really with Kieswetter and cook finding their way at the top you really need some assurance down the order. It's all good to say "well Morgan and Bell are in form they will get us out of trouble" well what if they get out cheaply then ur left with a long tail.

  • sanjeevmukherjee2006 on June 28, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    england you have done it in tests now teach these lankans where they deserve to be, beat them and win the series we are supporting England no doubt about it, these SL players are overhyped still have not won a single test in Aus, Sa and India and claim they are a good team. they have also not won a test series in WI so beat these so called "LIONS" go England go and beat SL..

  • elangop on June 28, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    I'm sure srilanka will win this ODI series. there is no match for Sanath, Sanga, Mahela, Lasith in ODI from England. BTW wondering who is TOSS, Drinks, Power play, fielding, bowling, keeping captain on England side. not sure why board didn't pick them yet.

  • on June 28, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    I think that Jeewan mendis is good for the replace to Tissara perera. SL need strong batting linup for win this game.jeewan is in form now.

  • asablaster on June 28, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    This ODI series is for lions.... surely SL lions dominate England . we need 5-0 victory and go top of the ranking... we need to go ahead Indians..... I want to know when will SL meet boasting India again and win against them cheaply?

  • on June 28, 2011, 4:35 GMT

    All eyes will be on Cook ? lol/..Who cares about a captain of a semi minnow team ? all i will be on the greatest ODI player of all time,..... GREAT Sanath Jayasooriya...Who is Cook ? Hope The Master blaster will repeat 2006 oval or 2006 Headingly in his last match...

  • denwarlo70 on June 28, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    Mixed fortunes, mixed feelings and mixed up selections. Sri Lanka will win and win they will pretty easily. MJ and KS showed form in the solitary T20 which is very bad news for the POMS and with slinger Malinga back in the fore at his best, the POMS will feel it a bit uneasy in their own backyard. Stuart Law is not a distraction and now is Tharanga's verdict, we Lankans are so used to playing best cricket when they are distracted by these sorts of things. For them, they want the bat and ball to do the talking. All the best Team Sri Lanka and love to see the old dog do well in his final appearance for Sri Lanka.

  • landl47 on June 28, 2011, 0:07 GMT

    England have a pretty well-balanced side, though if they go in with 4 seamers they might have trouble controlling the SL batsmen. I'd rather have 3 seamers and two slower bowlers, which would mean either Patel or Bopara instead of one of the seamers. If England are going to play both Dernbach and Anderson they need another batsman anyway- Bresnan is too high at #7. SL will have a lot more trouble hiding their weaker bowlers in this format. If the pitch is flat, this looks like a high-scoring game. SL must be the favorites, but England showed in the WC they can play with the likes of India and South Africa, so it could be a close game.

  • jackiethepen on June 27, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    Flawed Flower selection places Cook at the top of the order to score in power plays with Kieswetter who couldn't bat for toffee in ODIs last time he tried. Is Kieswetter a better bat than Bell? If Bell is buried at 6 what a waste of a batsman in his prime. KP and Morgan showed their class in the T20 but Bell was out batting both of them in the recent Test Series. Flower seems keen to stifle Bell. Bell is now a thriving Test 5 but Flower kept him at 6 for a year and half when Colly was fading. Bell is at his best striking the new ball in one day cricket. He should bat with Cook at the top of the order. Or KP with Cook and Bell at 3, Trott at 4 so we don't get Trott-Cook together. I hope Kieswetter can keep wicket well because he won't last long against Malinga.

  • Finn92 on June 27, 2011, 22:44 GMT

    Have to be honest and say as an England fan we are going to struggle this series, we haven't chosen the best squad we can and we are still carrying a couple of players due to favourtism. We have the players to win the World Cup but we need to make tough decisions on who actually deserves to play. In fairness we were playing good one-day cricket until before the Aussie tour and the World Cup so I do get annoyed when journalists say we haven't sorted our one-day cricket under Flower. I believe we did

  • stationmaster on June 27, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    Good luck cook, I'm a Yorkshire man so Captain Cook sounds good to me ! Also, pleas please please can we have Bresnan instead of Patil (who's proved AGAIN he's just not into playing for England, it was a joke they way he got out) Tim Bresnan is a proven battler and has a real variation in his bowling style to the others (such as Anderson / Broad) so the balance is perfect with Bresnan in the side - he can also bat a bit !

  • Allen.Arendtsz on June 27, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    Many things have changed since the last encounter between the two teams which took place in the recent world cup where it was a pretty one sided game as the Sri lankan openers hammered the England bowlers all over the park. But now Sri lanka would be going into this match without Upul Tharanga, who along with Tillakaratne Dilshan have been very sucessful together over the past few years would not be taking part due to the fact that he had failed a drug test and would be banned for 3 months. Anyway tomorrow the opening pair would most probabily be Sanath Jayasuriya and Tillakaratne Dilshan it would be very intresting to see the way these two openers would cope up with each other due to the fact that Sanath Jayasuriya would be playing his first international ODI since 2009 (2 years). I wish the Sri lankan team the best of luck.

  • johnathonjosephs on June 27, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    Huge focus on Jayasuriya today. Have watched the man since I was born and I'm hoping he gets a century and changes his mind about retiring, at least until Tharanga can come back. That said, it probably is best for the nation to drop him and concentrate on developing a youngster (Tharanga) for the opening position

  • nlight on June 27, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    Cook and Trott shouldn't be together at the crease. Bopara must be left out; what were the selectors thinking : preferring him to the infinitely better Bell in the T20 ? Bresnan rather than Patel (obviously).

    The most important duty for Cook is to win the toss and put SL in to bat.

  • rajithwijepura on June 27, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    So, its tomorrow that we see Sanath Teran Jayasuriya (AKA Master Blaster of the new cricket) last time on a cricket ground wearing Srilankan colors. Best of luck sanath aiya. Tomorrow will be your day.

  • on June 27, 2011, 18:58 GMT

    All The best TEAM England and Kevin Peterson and then my super hero in English side Eion Morgan play freely and win the match. I want to england win 5-0 in this series because Srilanka won 4-1 My Indian team Moved to 3rd Rank so i did not wont that so go England win 5-0 All The Best

  • xxxneilxxx on June 27, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    hope the great sanath makes one final 50 or even better a 100. and most importantly an odi win!

  • ranga_s on June 27, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    All the best to Mr. Alistair Cook on his new job...but I still think Ian Bell is a better choice than Cook...Further I think Bell would be a better choice than Broad to captain T20 team too... and Bell will be a good choice for the test captaincy as well as and when Strauss departs....Anyways ECB made their choice and it's Cook.....it's a tough assignment to skipper against SL ODI line up as there are very few to be honest 2 line ups capable of constantly challange that line up which are India and Australia...I don't wish you all the success for this tour mate but wish all the luck and success from next tour onwards.....Cheers...

  • Herath-UK on June 27, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    I offered my commiserations to Broad before the T20.So do I now to Cook(another thumping win to Lions). Ranil Herath - Kent

  • on June 27, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    Good luck Cook, You need to cook a good soup against the world cup finalists. Should the recipe in London get it even slightly wrong, it will only be swallowed in one gulp by the LIONS. All the best........

  • Nayan_Deep on June 27, 2011, 14:40 GMT

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  • Nayan_Deep on June 27, 2011, 14:40 GMT

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  • on June 27, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    Good luck Cook, You need to cook a good soup against the world cup finalists. Should the recipe in London get it even slightly wrong, it will only be swallowed in one gulp by the LIONS. All the best........

  • Herath-UK on June 27, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    I offered my commiserations to Broad before the T20.So do I now to Cook(another thumping win to Lions). Ranil Herath - Kent

  • ranga_s on June 27, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    All the best to Mr. Alistair Cook on his new job...but I still think Ian Bell is a better choice than Cook...Further I think Bell would be a better choice than Broad to captain T20 team too... and Bell will be a good choice for the test captaincy as well as and when Strauss departs....Anyways ECB made their choice and it's Cook.....it's a tough assignment to skipper against SL ODI line up as there are very few to be honest 2 line ups capable of constantly challange that line up which are India and Australia...I don't wish you all the success for this tour mate but wish all the luck and success from next tour onwards.....Cheers...

  • xxxneilxxx on June 27, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    hope the great sanath makes one final 50 or even better a 100. and most importantly an odi win!

  • on June 27, 2011, 18:58 GMT

    All The best TEAM England and Kevin Peterson and then my super hero in English side Eion Morgan play freely and win the match. I want to england win 5-0 in this series because Srilanka won 4-1 My Indian team Moved to 3rd Rank so i did not wont that so go England win 5-0 All The Best

  • rajithwijepura on June 27, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    So, its tomorrow that we see Sanath Teran Jayasuriya (AKA Master Blaster of the new cricket) last time on a cricket ground wearing Srilankan colors. Best of luck sanath aiya. Tomorrow will be your day.

  • nlight on June 27, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    Cook and Trott shouldn't be together at the crease. Bopara must be left out; what were the selectors thinking : preferring him to the infinitely better Bell in the T20 ? Bresnan rather than Patel (obviously).

    The most important duty for Cook is to win the toss and put SL in to bat.

  • johnathonjosephs on June 27, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    Huge focus on Jayasuriya today. Have watched the man since I was born and I'm hoping he gets a century and changes his mind about retiring, at least until Tharanga can come back. That said, it probably is best for the nation to drop him and concentrate on developing a youngster (Tharanga) for the opening position

  • Allen.Arendtsz on June 27, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    Many things have changed since the last encounter between the two teams which took place in the recent world cup where it was a pretty one sided game as the Sri lankan openers hammered the England bowlers all over the park. But now Sri lanka would be going into this match without Upul Tharanga, who along with Tillakaratne Dilshan have been very sucessful together over the past few years would not be taking part due to the fact that he had failed a drug test and would be banned for 3 months. Anyway tomorrow the opening pair would most probabily be Sanath Jayasuriya and Tillakaratne Dilshan it would be very intresting to see the way these two openers would cope up with each other due to the fact that Sanath Jayasuriya would be playing his first international ODI since 2009 (2 years). I wish the Sri lankan team the best of luck.