Sri Lanka in England 2011 May 7, 2011

Dilshan targets Test success with young attack

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Tillakaratne Dilshan wants to become the first Sri Lanka captain to secure a Test series victory in England after leaving the IPL early to lead his team. Although they famously won the one-off clash at The Oval in 1998, when Muttiah Muralitharan took 16 wickets, their best results in a series on English soil is the 1-1 in 2006 which was again secured thanks to a matchwinning effort by Muralitharan Trent Bridge.

This time there is no Muralitharan, but Dilshan has promised not to take a backward step over the next month. "Beating England in their own conditions in the early part of summer is not going to be easy, we have to play very good cricket to do that," he said. "But I am really confident with our boys. As a team we can give England a good run. It's a good challenge for everyone. Before the team leaves for England I will have a word with my players. We are going there with only one intention - to win the series. We are not going there just to draw or to survive in England we want to beat them. We are going to England with that mindset. I am seriously looking forward to the upcoming series."

How determined Dilshan is with his new responsibility can be gauged by the fact that he has made himself available to lead his team for the three-day tour opener, against Middlesex, starting on May 14 which meant cutting short his commitments with Royal Challengers BangaIore in the ongoing IPL tournament in India.

Unlike past captains Dilshan does not have the luxury of matchwinning bowlers of the calibre of Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas and Lasith Malinga all of whom have retired from Test cricket. However, he is confident with his new look bowling line-up, headed by Dilhara Fernando whose experience stretches to only 35 Tests and 90 wickets from a career spanning ten years, and believes team can match England, if not defeat them.

"We have to give the chance to youngsters and this is a good opportunity for them to prove how good they are at international cricket," he said. "As a captain I have a lot of confidence in my young bowlers that they can do a good job. I know the England batting line-up is very strong but I have faith with my fast bowlers and spinners that they can handle this batting line-up. I am sure these young fast bowlers will put their hands up and give their best to the team.

"We have only one experienced bowler in Dilhara but the others have the ability to deliver what they've got. With the help of fast bowling coach Champaka Ramanayake, and all the senior players who have played in England before, they can share their experience on how to adjust to the conditions in the early summer. This is a good challenge for me going with a set of young fast bowlers. As captain I have the fullest confidence that they can do a good job for Sri Lanka."

The bowlers picked to support Fernando are left-armer Chanaka Welegedara (six Tests, 12 wickets), Suranga Lakmal (two Tests, three wickets) and the uncapped pair of Nuwan Pradeep and Thisara Perera. Considering the career figures Sri Lanka's fast bowling looks pretty short of experience in comparison to the spin department. In Muralitharan's absence it will be handled by left-armer Rangana Herath (24 Tests, 78 wickets), Ajantha Mendis (15 Tests, 61 wickets) and Suraj Randiv (three Tests, 14 wickets).

Dilshan admitted that batting will be Sri Lanka's forte. "We have the same strong batting line-up we've had for the past four or five years in Test cricket. The only thing is the bowling unit is new and inexperienced. Our strength is batting but overall I am really happy with the 16-member squad. I have allrounders, spinners, fast bowlers and good batsmen. This team can turn out to be a good one in the future."

Dilshan's way of looking at everything positively is certain to rub off on the team. "I don't want to change my approach or attitude towards the game because I am captain. With my positive batting I have been very successful. I am not going to change too much from what I have been doing in the last three or four years. I have to adjust and take decisions in the middle which is the only change I foresee from what I have been doing. I am a positive character and I enjoy playing the game. I may sometimes take decisions which others might be surprised with. I think I can do a good job."

Already the responsibility of captaincy has brought a change in Dilshan. He has discarded his earring and done away with the tint in his hair. "As a captain I have to set an example for the youngsters. I have to maintain discipline both on and off the field. As captain I want to set a high standard on the field all the time. We are ambassadors of our country.

"The last few years we have played very good cricket, we have been runners up twice in the 50-over World Cup and once in the World Twenty20. We are a very consistent cricket team and I want to carry that forward by adding a few small things of my own. I need to discuss it with the new coach and coaching staff."

Dilshan's appointment as captain to succeed Kumar Sangakkara who stood down after the World Cup final defeat against India did come in for universal approval, but Dilshan isn't worried about winning any popularity contests. "If you take five people you can get five different views. Everyone can say different things about me but the Cricket Board and the selectors had the confidence to appoint me as captain," he said.

"As a cricketer it's a great achievement to captain your country. I think I am capable of leading this team and at the same time enjoy my captaincy. I am going to get 100 percent out of the players. As captain I may take surprise decisions for that's the kind of player I am. I am going with a positive frame of mind. I might turn out to be a different captain for Sri Lanka," said Dilshan.

Dilshan has still not celebrated his appointment as Sri Lanka captain, but wants to keep it until the end of the England tour. "I was a little bit excited when I first heard of my new appointment when I got a call from the cricket board. I was in India at that time and I spoke to my family and everyone was happy. I want to first finish the tour of England before celebrating the occasion." If Sri Lanka beat England he will have every right for a huge party.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    Dear Achintha Rupasinghe. I guess you have not watched england play any cricket over the last your so for you information the ICC ranking for the english bowling attack are: G Swan No 2, J Anderson No 3, S Broad No 10.

  • POSTED BY kalof123 on | May 10, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    yeah dilhara has no ball problems, But he is handy in test cricket, he is a strike bowler. and he is playing an international match after long time .so he will be fresh. however he is having the leading role, spin attack carry heavy responsiblity. so there wont be mutch problem for sri lanka.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | May 10, 2011, 3:09 GMT

    Nice to see Dilshan pushing for aggressive cricket. I'd much rather see that than a side which, let's face it, doesn't have much bowling trying to hang on for draws by batting for 2 days. Sri Lanka has a strong top order and those guys have to make runs for SL to have a chance. If England gets early wickets then SL are in trouble; however, if the top 4 can make runs quickly, their bowlers might be able to cause England some problems. England must be favorites, but I'm optimistic that we'll see some good cricket, weather permitting.

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    I'm doing my best to be happy for Tillekerate Dilshan and Sri Lanka, but its difficult to do so knowing that the bowling unit is led by Dilhara Fernando

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    I think this series is a cake walk for us. Considering swan n brod is their best bawlers :)

  • POSTED BY Advanced_Donkeys on | May 9, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    Dilhara fernando..the leading bowler..hah..hah..hah.. The no-ball machine is the leadingbowler for srilanka..i predict an inns victory by the English boys.

  • POSTED BY kalof123 on | May 9, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    come on dilshan, weldone, we are impressed with your mid set. yeah we need to win in England, we dont need negative cricket. we need no fear cricket. we need to be aggrasive like your comments, Hope you score at least 3 hundres so definatley we have chance, becoz dilshan is a match. lets prove to shane watson that you are good captain. we can celebrate your captaincy if we win the series there.

  • POSTED BY WPDDESILVA on | May 9, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    Dilshan is the right choice, No doubt. Angelo is too young to lead the team. May be after the next world cup. Hope fully they will give a chance to Suranga Pradeep as he is express pace and bowls just like Shaun Tait. He will be good in English Pitches. Chanaka Welagedara sucks, SL selectors are making a big mistake if they pick him for the first test. SL should go with 2 Seamers (Dilhara Fernando and Suranga Pradeep) and 2 spinners ( Mendis and Herath) 1 All rounder (Thisara Perera) and 6 Bats (Dilshan, Paranavithana, Sanga, Mahela, Samaraweera, Chandimal).

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    this sri lankan team is very good balance team, but near future sri lankan selectors mus t call on banuka rajapaksha & sachithra serasinghe . at the moment randiv is not doing well in IPL.

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    Dear Achintha Rupasinghe. I guess you have not watched england play any cricket over the last your so for you information the ICC ranking for the english bowling attack are: G Swan No 2, J Anderson No 3, S Broad No 10.

  • POSTED BY kalof123 on | May 10, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    yeah dilhara has no ball problems, But he is handy in test cricket, he is a strike bowler. and he is playing an international match after long time .so he will be fresh. however he is having the leading role, spin attack carry heavy responsiblity. so there wont be mutch problem for sri lanka.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | May 10, 2011, 3:09 GMT

    Nice to see Dilshan pushing for aggressive cricket. I'd much rather see that than a side which, let's face it, doesn't have much bowling trying to hang on for draws by batting for 2 days. Sri Lanka has a strong top order and those guys have to make runs for SL to have a chance. If England gets early wickets then SL are in trouble; however, if the top 4 can make runs quickly, their bowlers might be able to cause England some problems. England must be favorites, but I'm optimistic that we'll see some good cricket, weather permitting.

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    I'm doing my best to be happy for Tillekerate Dilshan and Sri Lanka, but its difficult to do so knowing that the bowling unit is led by Dilhara Fernando

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    I think this series is a cake walk for us. Considering swan n brod is their best bawlers :)

  • POSTED BY Advanced_Donkeys on | May 9, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    Dilhara fernando..the leading bowler..hah..hah..hah.. The no-ball machine is the leadingbowler for srilanka..i predict an inns victory by the English boys.

  • POSTED BY kalof123 on | May 9, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    come on dilshan, weldone, we are impressed with your mid set. yeah we need to win in England, we dont need negative cricket. we need no fear cricket. we need to be aggrasive like your comments, Hope you score at least 3 hundres so definatley we have chance, becoz dilshan is a match. lets prove to shane watson that you are good captain. we can celebrate your captaincy if we win the series there.

  • POSTED BY WPDDESILVA on | May 9, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    Dilshan is the right choice, No doubt. Angelo is too young to lead the team. May be after the next world cup. Hope fully they will give a chance to Suranga Pradeep as he is express pace and bowls just like Shaun Tait. He will be good in English Pitches. Chanaka Welagedara sucks, SL selectors are making a big mistake if they pick him for the first test. SL should go with 2 Seamers (Dilhara Fernando and Suranga Pradeep) and 2 spinners ( Mendis and Herath) 1 All rounder (Thisara Perera) and 6 Bats (Dilshan, Paranavithana, Sanga, Mahela, Samaraweera, Chandimal).

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    this sri lankan team is very good balance team, but near future sri lankan selectors mus t call on banuka rajapaksha & sachithra serasinghe . at the moment randiv is not doing well in IPL.

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed,we're screwed!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 9, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    I still do not know why we keep on making wrong choices here..why can't we just give Upul Thaarnga chance? he played well in WC..So r u people at SLC just goona leave him at home? Why can't we just include Maharoof? We need more reinforcements....our bowling is led by Dilhara..but where is Kulasekara? why do we take 03 wicketkeepers? It was hard couple of years agoa for Sri Lankan Cricket but we all go together and built a fort Sanga,Mahela,Murali,Malinga..we fought..and we are still keep fighting...please listen to what Srilnakan fans are saying? We got to re-build our fort...Strong batting...with Bowling firepower..sharp fielding...bring back the old war horses..Arvinda and the camp...We need our glory back..

  • POSTED BY denwarlo70 on | May 9, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    I have no confidence at all in this team heading to England but as a proud Sri Lankan, I wish my National Cricket Team all the very best. Arinda epa kollaney, gaemak deelama warella.

  • POSTED BY RameshSubramaniam on | May 8, 2011, 20:56 GMT

    I am a big fan of Dilshan and looking for a wonderful series. But as a fan of Srilankan cricket, I am wondering where is the Srilankan cricket heading into by replacing Sangakara with Dilshan who is older than Sangakara? I thought Sanga gave the captaincy to give chance to the youngster who can lead the world cup. I doubt can Dilshan be around in next world cup?

  • POSTED BY on | May 8, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    What I dislike most is the fact that Sri Lanka is ahs weakened a squad that just might have stood a chance in the first place. WHy is upul tharanga dropped after a brilliant world cup? Why was Kulasekera dropped, who is experienced and these conditions would have really suited him and he can bat a bit. What happened to Maharoof? Now that Malinga left, this pace attack is really weak.

  • POSTED BY avmd on | May 8, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Since when writing any negative but relavent to the topic comments regarding IPL is not allowed here? I wrote that IPL is not the best preparation for tests in England and my comments were not included, Indians are taking over, now cricinfo too ?

  • POSTED BY on | May 8, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    forget about Ashes.now we are to play in England.after that we are inviting you to come and play here.we dont have murali ,mali,vass but we have few uncapped players like Sachithra,Shaminda Eranga,etc... play them with list A match .he he surely they will give you unforgiven defeat .

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | May 8, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    In reality SL dont stand a chance in the early English summer and Eng are a really tough test team to beat at home. SA and India have done it once in 60 years and except for the great Aus team not many have beaten them. The conditions will be seam and swing and SL's seam attack in unknown and the spin wont play a part at that time of the year. SL do have 4 good batsman but dont them alone winning the series. Not really sure what to expect from Dilshan and he could do unconventional things which could be interesting or go horribly wrong.

  • POSTED BY on | May 8, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    @Srprev ,@hindh88 with all though respect we Sri Lanka fans are commenting on this articale cause this was one of the best statements which the Sri Lankan captian has made before the tour of England tour, he comments which such positive mind knowing the fatcts about the currnet squad we have...what you Indian fans only can come with your complaints and negative points which we SRL fans normalyy know.There is no complaint from our side where u cannot comment but don't just be" BIG HEADED" show bugs who just on goes with their so called Indian Cricket..we Sri Lankans are proude of what we have achived in Cricket so far..and we don't give a damm of what a "INDIAN FAN YAKS ABOUT" -PS Sorry did it hurt u?

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | May 8, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    This should be an interesting series. I am a neutral and a hater of test cricket YET I will continue to watch it ONLY because of Dilshan. He has had some success as the stand in ODI skipper of SL in the past but test cricket is a different cup of tea. England in England are tough to beat and you don't need anyone more than the Aussies to tell you that. Only India have beaten England while touring in the recent past (2007). The key is with the Sri Lankan batting. If the batsmen can score close to 400 runs in every game then England will sweat it out. Otherwise it's chalk and cheese really. Dilshan is an aggressive batsman and he will be aggressive in approach. It will be interesting to see the bowling combination he comes up with at the different venues. Good luck to SL and Eng.

  • POSTED BY on | May 8, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    Dinesh chandimul has been in exceptional form so he looks like he'll nail down either opener or number 6 for sri lanka. I think the 2 sides are very well balanced , both have at least 1 high quality spinner, both have solid batting line-up with good keeper batsman options, both teams lack a genuine allrounder, but the one thing that should seperate england is their pace bowling , which i feel is going to be more effective then SL fastman, but SL can turn to their spinners to bowl a lot of overs to combat this. Not sure who is going to feature at number 6 for england ( after collywobbles retirement) i think it will be a close series.

  • POSTED BY on | May 8, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    Firstly Srprev- Sri Lanka has won test matches in England. Even in last tour they won the third test to draw the series. There is no need to compare India against Sri Lanka. This article is about how Dishan as new captain looks forward to the coming series. Even in early summer seamer friendly conditions Sri Lankan batsmen have done well in England in the past and there is no reason why they cannot repeat that this time although on odd occasion they might struggle. As identified, bowling will be the problem for Sri Lanka. But they can make use of the fact that England batsmen have not much knowledge on unconventional bowlers like Nuwan Pradeep and Ajantha Mendis. It is also very important that Dilhara bowls to his potential as the most experienced paceman.

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | May 8, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    I dont see why indians and srilankans are quarrelling here. Both India and SL must play their heart out to win games especially tests in England. Both teams can do well but i think winning test series for both of them will be distant dream nevertheless although India won the WC and SL were runners up. England have pace battery to dismantle both line ups, india will rely on dravid,Laxy,Tendulkar and Khan, as SL will depend on Sanga, mahela, samaraweera. Thats the story will be the subcontinent story in England this summer. Broad,tremlett, anderson, finn, shahzad, Plunkett showing great commitment and English pace battery against Subcontinent batters lies the game.

  • POSTED BY on | May 8, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    Good luck Sri Lanka , because your definetly going to need it . The only way i can see you winning the series is if Englands batting collapses in 2 tests . Under flowers management , just cant see that happening . At home Englands strength is there pace bowling attack , i cant see Sri Lankas batting line up putting enough runs on the scoreboard . As a England fan , i wish you all the best

  • POSTED BY on | May 8, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    Eng won the Ashes Test series against Aussies at their home recently. It is very difficult for new visiting captain to manage a single win against them. All the Best ENG.

  • POSTED BY MeowCat on | May 8, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    funny faizalasehwag@ since in CWC Sri lanka murdered the English

  • POSTED BY srprev on | May 8, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    my dear Mr.manjithakumara do you know currently India is the No1 test team in the world and India is the World champions of One day cricket.. then why the hell we have to feel soo called Jealous about SRILANKAN team which hasn't won a series or even a test match in England in recent Past...

    All the comments below by fellow guys have come on with respect to the team selected for the series.. Is there any rule that no one can comment on other foreign team?

  • POSTED BY Hindh on | May 8, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    @randikayya If u feel happy by quoting indian cricket of 60 years which was a different era it does not matters .But what matters is india is the world champion now. And india will champions for next 4 years u can whine all the while. SL test record wud be dismal if u take out wins against ban and zim.against regular test nations they have won just 38 and lost about 70. that tells the story.

  • POSTED BY erangadi on | May 8, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    When we consider fast bowling line up of Sri Lanka, Dilhara will have to show his hidden talent even he has not identified yet....he has phase & a good slow bowl...However, result will be depend on how spinners will do against England....England was not good against spin bowl attack recent fast.....@ Indians who had made negative comments, even India did not have a good fast bowler for last 15 years ...even Zaheer Khan took a long time to become an attacking bowlers...all others just came & went off...no difference with Sri Lanka.....even no match winning spinner even today....

  • POSTED BY kalpz_10 on | May 8, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    Only time will whether Dilshan is up to the mark as Sri Lankan captain. But his aggressive mind set will be an asset to the Lankan team as they always play an attacking brand of cricket...

  • POSTED BY randika_ayya on | May 8, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    To all Indian here: India took 20 years since inception to win a single game. It took them nearly 60 years to be in reckoning with others. Look at the progress SL have made in a relatively short time and one can realize the reasons for their jealousy! Mind you own matters fellas. Nuff said

  • POSTED BY on | May 8, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    Sl will loose fare and square.............

  • POSTED BY on | May 8, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    Seeing that Tillakaratne Dilshan is leaving early to go captain Sri lanka against England.This Franchise player is the only hope that yall will have to counter attack tendulkar Mumbai Eleven inorder to win that tournament.Whichever Cricket team is prepare to pay me some money will be the lucky winner.Simple left me replace dilshan in the eleven.

  • POSTED BY on | May 8, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    Excellent attitude Dilshan...if you have this gut feel and attitude...you can do what ever you target.Make Sri lanka No 1 Test Team.Take a leaf out of dhoni, express your style and make little things that will turn out great and memorable. We will back you as Sri lankans and support as long as we see you play with a country before self mindset. All the Best!

  • POSTED BY Lord.emsworth on | May 8, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    Great cricketer Dilshan but sorry Dilly, you have been landed with a puny bowling attack. Dilhara never caught fire despite playing for such a long time and gets carted often enough. Welegedera and the rest may beat the bat a few times but will fare even worse than Dilhara. Ajantha Mendis a one time wonder? Herath is steady at the most, while Randiv has still to prove himself. SL should try to convince Vaas to make a come back. He is in the UK (Northants) and taking wickets and amongst the runs.If Mathews is fit enough to bat include him as a batsmen alone. That Tharanga is kicked out is unforgiveable. He has done brilliantly in the UK.

  • POSTED BY manjithakumara on | May 8, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    Good Luck Dilshan and Don't mind what these jealous Indian fans are Saying.

  • POSTED BY xylo on | May 8, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    good luck Dilshan. As for Dilhara Fernando, just tell him that the last time a bowler bowled no-balls in England, he got into so much of trouble.... that should make him get his act together. ;-)

  • POSTED BY on | May 8, 2011, 2:45 GMT

    In terms of captaincy, an aggressive guy like dilshan may do better compared to sangakkara whom I always felt was less compared to mahela. Bowling is in-experienced but looks promising. I'm looking forward to see Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal in action. Specially pradeep who is a raw talent who is the fastest bowler in Sri Lanka at the moment who goes at 150

  • POSTED BY Rage468 on | May 8, 2011, 2:23 GMT

    england will definately lose the series.....

  • POSTED BY South_Indian on | May 8, 2011, 2:04 GMT

    The problems for SL not able to win test matches abroad has always stemmed from within their own ranks. You see they have some good talent in Welegedera (left arm bowler who can bowl really fast), Mathews and T Perera, but they are not given regular chances. Till this date, its always been the case of Murali and Vaas, with other bowlers only there to support them. So when other bowlers dont get wickets, they are dropped from the squad and sometimes after just one bad match because SL think they need only Murali and Vaas. Then how do you create a team for future? Its always been the case of winning today rather than planning for the future, unfortunately its been like that with SLC.

  • POSTED BY layya on | May 8, 2011, 2:03 GMT

    won't be easy for Sri Lanka without some special efforts to compete with Eng in their own backyard.but SL consistently produce extraordinary players overtime way ahead of all other cricket playing nations.One goes and new one emerge.first murali, then magic from mendis, by the time he is revealed its maali.when maali is gone new one will emerge.we just have to wait and see.that could be Pradeep this time around.he is the next slingar..

  • POSTED BY on | May 8, 2011, 2:02 GMT

    Dilshan wont have a match winning team & it looks like there won't b any unity in the team....

  • POSTED BY on | May 8, 2011, 0:54 GMT

    no chance..your team has no batsmen with the technique to play in english conditions...

  • POSTED BY on | May 8, 2011, 0:32 GMT

    @ faizalsehwag,,

    ha ha, I will hold you to that prediction,,,, Just because we dont have Murali & Malinga, dont think the rest cant perform,,, Yes Murali's absence is big void to fill, but I have faith in Mendis & Randiv to do that ( both of them will love the extra bounce in the English pitches) ,,, & watch out for the new kid Nuwan Pradeep,, he is not a full blown slinger like Mali,, but he is every bit unorthodox like Mali and even Faster!!!!! My own personal prediction 1 all in tests, 3/2 in ODI's in favour of Lanka!!!

  • POSTED BY Cannuck on | May 7, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    No doubt the SL bowling line up is depleted with no Malinga & Murali. There are new kids & Dilhara is the most experienced?? That's not good news as he is not consistent, although fast. I think with this inexperienced unit, captaincy is going to play a major role. How you handle them, changes etc. & frankly Dilshan is NOT the man. The key man here is Mahela, who can has shown that he can take an ordinary team like KOCHI & win due to his great captaincy, which is far superior technically than Sanga. But both of these guys would be a great support to Dilshan, IF he decides to use them & depend on them a lot more. Here in lies the problem. Not all Captains are willing to show that they need help. Egos do clash & MJ & Sanga are not 2 guys who like to rock the boat by imposing their ideas on Dilly. When Sanga Captained, MJ freely got involved as they are best buds, have same chemistry & similar thinking. But I have a feeling with Dilly they will offer their help when needed. Good luck SL!

  • POSTED BY on | May 7, 2011, 23:16 GMT

    Test cricket is the real cricket teams should considered that!

  • POSTED BY on | May 7, 2011, 22:32 GMT

    This series is gonna be one way traffic............eng all the way..... feeling sorry for lankans........but they don't have enough fire power to win in england ......

  • POSTED BY LALITHKURUWITA on | May 7, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    If SL can end up with 0-0 it will be a great great great result. Hope strong batting line up would help to achieve it. Remember Poms beat Aussies by Innings 3 times in Aussies back yard few months ago. Also this is an opportunity for new bowlers to shine and SL board to decide future bowling combination. GOOD LUCK TO SL LIONS.

  • POSTED BY nlambda on | May 7, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    I expect SL to get thrashed in the tests w/o Murali and Malinga. SL will really struggle in test matches w/o Murali. The defeat in the 3rd test against India was a pointer to the future - no way SL would have lost with 260 to defend on a day 5 pitch with Murali playing. And when Malinga also goes missing... At this point I would rank SL lower than Ind, SA, Aus, Eng, Pak.

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | May 7, 2011, 21:46 GMT

    The rain has come at just the right time - we've had a weekend of thunderstorms over here, freshening up the pitches that have been a bit tired the last couple of weeks. I don't live too far across the border from Cardiff, where the first test is, and it's been hammering it down. That's better news for England, but there's plenty of time for the weather to perk up again. There's a lot of pessimism it seems among Sri Lankan fans on here. I think England will win the series, but I don't think it will be a whitewash. England always have at least one decent collapse in them a summer, and I can see us folding against Randiv or Mendis more than I can against Harbhajan funnily enough. I'm going for 2-0 or 2-1.

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | May 7, 2011, 21:17 GMT

    Sri Lanka finally gets a series abroad and its with a inexperienced bowling line up.... i think their batting will be average as of england, but their bowling will hurt them unless some magic can be performed by one or two of them..... kind of sad since after losing to india, they are getting more popular in the world and getting more abroad series which will not stay unless they actually win some of those series... hope they can somehow beat england

  • POSTED BY Cric_Wizard on | May 7, 2011, 20:34 GMT

    Sri Lanka shouldnt be underestimated...they may seem like underdogs going into it, but they have a solid team. England are unstoppable in home conditions on a GOOD day, but its not often that those come around for them....But I agree bowling will be a concern for SL, hopefully someone can step up..

  • POSTED BY Herath-UK on | May 7, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    Come on Dilly,we're waiting for you.I would agree batting will be SL's forte though do not get flustered by the hackneyed english conditions;see how two SL discards,Mahroof and Vass making a load of runs including centuries for their respective counties in the current weather. What SL needs is a positive attitude which you have shown already. Appointing Stuart Law as an interin coach is another good move by SLC as he will be very determined with his past experience in playing for three counties,to win the series to secure a permanent appointment over other candidates who have more credentials than him.After the end of the last Test series with 1-1,SL has taken a liking to England with a record 5-0 win in the ODIs and approaching the final in T20 in England. Come on Lions! Ranil Herath, Kent

  • POSTED BY CricSamraat on | May 7, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    Dilshan - You are the new navigator of SriLankan squad. DELIVER NOW!!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 7, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    England have the stronger bowling line up by far, and will obviously thrive on the home conditions. After a convincing win against Australia they will start favourites, a very tough task for Sri Lanka this summer ahead.

  • POSTED BY on | May 7, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    Lanka have potential to defeat england at their home. They have solid batting line to compete with any good bowling attack. It'll be good competition b/w dilshan,mahela,sanga VS jimmy,tremlett. Lanka have talent in bowling but lacks experience. It'll be important for dilhara to fire.

  • POSTED BY on | May 7, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    @deepfreezed it is better than Indian line up i thought absence of STR will make it vaunerable and even malis,muralis retired players came up from the bottom to replace them watch out nuwan pradeep he s the second slinger after malinga and i am not surprised if he take 4-5 wickets time will tell..

  • POSTED BY inshaflive on | May 7, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    many r criticizinbg ur captainship...i thnk u will deliver it for them...cmon dilly make the lions proud.."bleed dark blue"

  • POSTED BY sanzo5 on | May 7, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    WATCH OUR FOR PRADEEP ENGLAND TEAM.. ITS ANOTHER SLINGA ON THE ROAD... HE IS FAST...

  • POSTED BY pakwellwisher on | May 7, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    Sri Lanka has a pretty good chance of rolling over England and win comprehensively.

  • POSTED BY faizalsehwag on | May 7, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    SERIES RESULT ........... TEST ENG 3 AND SRL 0 OR ENG 2 SRL 0......ONE DAY 4-1 OR 5-0........... SRILANKA WILL BE CATS IN ENGLAND INSTEAD OF LIONS(AS THEY ARE ACTING) SRILANKANS CANNOT WIN ABROAD LIKE IND,AUST,SA ......REMEMBER MY WORDS...

  • POSTED BY KP_84 on | May 7, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    If you're a betting man, you'd say England 3 - 0. Even though batting is Sri Lanka's strong point, they have had a weak middle order line-up for years now. They are very reliant on Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Samaraweera and Dilshan. Of these players, Samaraweera, Dilshan and Jayawardene have rarely done well outside the subcontinent. Furthermore, the cloudy, cool early English summer conditions will favour England's swing bowlers. Win the toss and bowl, and England could effectively win the match on the first morning.

  • POSTED BY MeowCat on | May 7, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    he's old and in Ipl he was terrible.

    I have no idea why sanga resigned.

  • POSTED BY on | May 7, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    Although Sri Lanka are a good test side i don't think they have the necessary experience in their bowling line-up to defeat England in their own conditions.Earlier even if they didn't have a quality fast bowler they always had Muralidaran who was their major weapon as far as taking wickets are concerned but he is not there anymore.Their batting line-up also is not too experienced apart from ofcourse Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.This will be a major test for Dilshan not only as a captain but also as a batsman.The conditions in England at this time of the year will test him especially with the likes of James Anderson and Chris Tremlett in top notch form!

  • POSTED BY Deepfreezed on | May 7, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    I just hope they can save one match without losing by innings. All words aside, Sri Lanka is in deep trouble against Eng. I see nothing helping them to save the tests. Question is how badly do they lose?

    Dilshan call Sri Lankan batting as the strong point. What a laugh....

  • POSTED BY randika_ayya on | May 7, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    Good luck Dilly! Carry the lion flag with pride! The team will always give their best and I hope the old guns Sanga and Mahela will fire consistently as they have in the 2006 tour to lay a solid foundation!

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  • POSTED BY randika_ayya on | May 7, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    Good luck Dilly! Carry the lion flag with pride! The team will always give their best and I hope the old guns Sanga and Mahela will fire consistently as they have in the 2006 tour to lay a solid foundation!

  • POSTED BY Deepfreezed on | May 7, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    I just hope they can save one match without losing by innings. All words aside, Sri Lanka is in deep trouble against Eng. I see nothing helping them to save the tests. Question is how badly do they lose?

    Dilshan call Sri Lankan batting as the strong point. What a laugh....

  • POSTED BY on | May 7, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    Although Sri Lanka are a good test side i don't think they have the necessary experience in their bowling line-up to defeat England in their own conditions.Earlier even if they didn't have a quality fast bowler they always had Muralidaran who was their major weapon as far as taking wickets are concerned but he is not there anymore.Their batting line-up also is not too experienced apart from ofcourse Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.This will be a major test for Dilshan not only as a captain but also as a batsman.The conditions in England at this time of the year will test him especially with the likes of James Anderson and Chris Tremlett in top notch form!

  • POSTED BY MeowCat on | May 7, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    he's old and in Ipl he was terrible.

    I have no idea why sanga resigned.

  • POSTED BY KP_84 on | May 7, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    If you're a betting man, you'd say England 3 - 0. Even though batting is Sri Lanka's strong point, they have had a weak middle order line-up for years now. They are very reliant on Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Samaraweera and Dilshan. Of these players, Samaraweera, Dilshan and Jayawardene have rarely done well outside the subcontinent. Furthermore, the cloudy, cool early English summer conditions will favour England's swing bowlers. Win the toss and bowl, and England could effectively win the match on the first morning.

  • POSTED BY faizalsehwag on | May 7, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    SERIES RESULT ........... TEST ENG 3 AND SRL 0 OR ENG 2 SRL 0......ONE DAY 4-1 OR 5-0........... SRILANKA WILL BE CATS IN ENGLAND INSTEAD OF LIONS(AS THEY ARE ACTING) SRILANKANS CANNOT WIN ABROAD LIKE IND,AUST,SA ......REMEMBER MY WORDS...

  • POSTED BY pakwellwisher on | May 7, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    Sri Lanka has a pretty good chance of rolling over England and win comprehensively.

  • POSTED BY sanzo5 on | May 7, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    WATCH OUR FOR PRADEEP ENGLAND TEAM.. ITS ANOTHER SLINGA ON THE ROAD... HE IS FAST...

  • POSTED BY inshaflive on | May 7, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    many r criticizinbg ur captainship...i thnk u will deliver it for them...cmon dilly make the lions proud.."bleed dark blue"

  • POSTED BY on | May 7, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    @deepfreezed it is better than Indian line up i thought absence of STR will make it vaunerable and even malis,muralis retired players came up from the bottom to replace them watch out nuwan pradeep he s the second slinger after malinga and i am not surprised if he take 4-5 wickets time will tell..