Sri Lanka in England 2011 May 10, 2011

Adjusting to conditions crucial - Atapattu

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Sri Lanka's batting coach Marvan Atapattu has said that the side will have to adjust to the Test format and the English conditions if they are to challenge England this summer.

"The biggest challenge is to adjust to English conditions," he said prior to the team's departure for the two-month tour. "We are playing a Test series after a gap of a few months [Sri Lanka's last Test was in the rain-affected series against West Indies in November-December 2010]. Winning the Test series in England is our aim.

"A [Test] win will make it easier for our preparation work for the one-day and T20 games [that follow]."

The squad left without newly appointed captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, and former captains Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, as the players are on IPL duty. While Dilshan will join the squad ahead of their first practice game - against Middlesex between May 14 and 16 - the other two seniors will join the squad along with Dilhara Fernando, Thisara Perera and Suraj Randiv, in time for the second practice game on May 18.

Another notable absence in the squad leaving for England was Muttiah Muralitharan, who retired from international cricket at the end of the World Cup. While Sri Lanka are yet to win a Test series in England, Muralitharan has featured in some of their better performances there, picking up 16 wickets to help them win a one-off Test at The Oval in 1998, and eight wickets to win a Test at Trent Bridge in 2006 to draw a series.

Downplaying Muralitharan's absence, Atapattu said the tour provided a chance for fringe players like Farveez Maharoof and Kaushal Silva - who have been brought in for the first practice game as cover for the absent players - to prove their credentials.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on May 13, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    I fear for Sri Lanka in the tests. Their batting is strong and will score runs but where are 20 wickets coming from? If they cant bowl England out they simply cannot win and I'm not sure they can do that if the pitches are good. And it can hardly be good preperation to arrive straight from the IPL to a test match in England? 2 or even 3 nil seem far more likely than a SL win. Which is a shame because Sri Lanka with proper preperation and a couple of the old guard bowling would make for some excellent cricket.

    In the ODIs I think Sri Lanka are clear favourites because they bat much better at the top. Frankly they were the best side at the world cup until they lost in the final. (watch the boards exlode after that) And I expect England to blood several new players in their usual farce with throwing out half the side after a world cup and not taking every series really seriously. (which is why they will never win the world cup)

  • schathuranga on May 13, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    We r sri lankan never insult to others.we show our proud by activities. all the best sri lanka...!!!

  • faizalsehwag on May 13, 2011, 5:15 GMT

    @RANURA: IDIA BECAME NO 1 TEST TEAM AND 2ND IN ODI..... W BECAME NO 1 AFTER BEATING AUS,SA AND ALL FROM THEIR HOME GROUNDS....ALSO NOT LIKE YOUR LANKA..LANKANS CAN PERFORM BETTER ONLY WHEN THEY PLAYED AT COLOMBO OR SSC WITH THOER OWN CROWDS.. OUTSIDE THEY MIGHT CAN WIN AGAINST BANGLADESH...SRILANKA HAS TO HARD WORK A LOT TO REACH NO1 ALSO REQUIRED FEW WORLD CLASS PLAYERS IN THE TEAM..JUST WITH SANGA AND JAYAWARDEBE U CANNOT WIN OVER OTHER TOP RANKED TEAMS....ABOUT DILSHAN!! HE CAN PLAY ONLY IN COLOMBO WITH HOME GOUNDS... ABROAD AGAINST TEST NATION TEAM HE IS BIG BIG ZERO...WE EXAMPLE JUST TWO MONTHS BK IN WORLD CUP TOOOO..SO MY OPINION IS SRILANKA BECAME WEAK NOW W/O MURALI AND MALLINGA..ENG CAN EASILY WIN IN THIS SERIES ALSO COMPLETELY ONESIDES MATCHES....IN ONEDAYMATCH THEY CAN EXPECT ONE SINGLE WIN IF ENG MAKES MISTAKES......

  • on May 13, 2011, 1:43 GMT

    faizalsehwag..you are saying too much..We are lions always whether we win or lose ... We love our nation... you ,,,,,, JAYA WEVA

  • Ranura on May 13, 2011, 1:32 GMT

    @ faizalsehwag: wt a poor guy dis is? India cant win abroad series so he thinks sri lanka also cant. u just watch dis series

  • ZishanMohd on May 12, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    well...who do you think is going to win this series? I personaly think sri lanka to be in a better position than england!

  • faizalsehwag on May 12, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    LANKANS ARE DREAMING TOOOOOOO MUCH.!!!!1 WIN AGAINST ENGLAND FROM THEIR HOME GOUNDS!!!!!! THEY CAN WIN AGAINST ENG FROM COLOMBO OR SSC...BUT NOT IN ABROAD..!!!!TEST SERIES W/O MURALI ND MALLINGA.. HOOOOO SOOO HORRIBLE IT WILL BE.... THE SERIES COMPLETELY WILL BE ONE SIDES MATCHES FAVOURS FOR ENG.......LIONS WILL BE PUSSY CATS HEREATER....

  • on May 12, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    I know our sri lanka team will win serice. If win dilshan is a hisry make caption.

  • on May 12, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    SL can easilly win both TESTs & ODIs

    be it soccer or cricket..England is LARGELY overrated

  • on May 12, 2011, 3:23 GMT

    Do you know what the hardest thing about being a England cricket supporter is? Not the fact that we make some of the biggest mistakes in cricket history, but the fact that even when we are doing well, and looking strong, other cricketing fans seem to still beat on us. England won 2 consecutive Ashes series with ease; we won the T20 world cup thrashing every opposition all except West Indies near the beginning. I don't know what it is about the Sri Lankan supporters, is it the whole commonwealth thing? Sri Lanka is a fantastic team, but it is about time the Sri Lankan fans realised that without Murali, there is no Sri Lankan dominance. England will destroy you in the Test matches, and, after all, thats all that really matters in cricket - Test matches.

  • on May 13, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    I fear for Sri Lanka in the tests. Their batting is strong and will score runs but where are 20 wickets coming from? If they cant bowl England out they simply cannot win and I'm not sure they can do that if the pitches are good. And it can hardly be good preperation to arrive straight from the IPL to a test match in England? 2 or even 3 nil seem far more likely than a SL win. Which is a shame because Sri Lanka with proper preperation and a couple of the old guard bowling would make for some excellent cricket.

    In the ODIs I think Sri Lanka are clear favourites because they bat much better at the top. Frankly they were the best side at the world cup until they lost in the final. (watch the boards exlode after that) And I expect England to blood several new players in their usual farce with throwing out half the side after a world cup and not taking every series really seriously. (which is why they will never win the world cup)

  • schathuranga on May 13, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    We r sri lankan never insult to others.we show our proud by activities. all the best sri lanka...!!!

  • faizalsehwag on May 13, 2011, 5:15 GMT

    @RANURA: IDIA BECAME NO 1 TEST TEAM AND 2ND IN ODI..... W BECAME NO 1 AFTER BEATING AUS,SA AND ALL FROM THEIR HOME GROUNDS....ALSO NOT LIKE YOUR LANKA..LANKANS CAN PERFORM BETTER ONLY WHEN THEY PLAYED AT COLOMBO OR SSC WITH THOER OWN CROWDS.. OUTSIDE THEY MIGHT CAN WIN AGAINST BANGLADESH...SRILANKA HAS TO HARD WORK A LOT TO REACH NO1 ALSO REQUIRED FEW WORLD CLASS PLAYERS IN THE TEAM..JUST WITH SANGA AND JAYAWARDEBE U CANNOT WIN OVER OTHER TOP RANKED TEAMS....ABOUT DILSHAN!! HE CAN PLAY ONLY IN COLOMBO WITH HOME GOUNDS... ABROAD AGAINST TEST NATION TEAM HE IS BIG BIG ZERO...WE EXAMPLE JUST TWO MONTHS BK IN WORLD CUP TOOOO..SO MY OPINION IS SRILANKA BECAME WEAK NOW W/O MURALI AND MALLINGA..ENG CAN EASILY WIN IN THIS SERIES ALSO COMPLETELY ONESIDES MATCHES....IN ONEDAYMATCH THEY CAN EXPECT ONE SINGLE WIN IF ENG MAKES MISTAKES......

  • on May 13, 2011, 1:43 GMT

    faizalsehwag..you are saying too much..We are lions always whether we win or lose ... We love our nation... you ,,,,,, JAYA WEVA

  • Ranura on May 13, 2011, 1:32 GMT

    @ faizalsehwag: wt a poor guy dis is? India cant win abroad series so he thinks sri lanka also cant. u just watch dis series

  • ZishanMohd on May 12, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    well...who do you think is going to win this series? I personaly think sri lanka to be in a better position than england!

  • faizalsehwag on May 12, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    LANKANS ARE DREAMING TOOOOOOO MUCH.!!!!1 WIN AGAINST ENGLAND FROM THEIR HOME GOUNDS!!!!!! THEY CAN WIN AGAINST ENG FROM COLOMBO OR SSC...BUT NOT IN ABROAD..!!!!TEST SERIES W/O MURALI ND MALLINGA.. HOOOOO SOOO HORRIBLE IT WILL BE.... THE SERIES COMPLETELY WILL BE ONE SIDES MATCHES FAVOURS FOR ENG.......LIONS WILL BE PUSSY CATS HEREATER....

  • on May 12, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    I know our sri lanka team will win serice. If win dilshan is a hisry make caption.

  • on May 12, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    SL can easilly win both TESTs & ODIs

    be it soccer or cricket..England is LARGELY overrated

  • on May 12, 2011, 3:23 GMT

    Do you know what the hardest thing about being a England cricket supporter is? Not the fact that we make some of the biggest mistakes in cricket history, but the fact that even when we are doing well, and looking strong, other cricketing fans seem to still beat on us. England won 2 consecutive Ashes series with ease; we won the T20 world cup thrashing every opposition all except West Indies near the beginning. I don't know what it is about the Sri Lankan supporters, is it the whole commonwealth thing? Sri Lanka is a fantastic team, but it is about time the Sri Lankan fans realised that without Murali, there is no Sri Lankan dominance. England will destroy you in the Test matches, and, after all, thats all that really matters in cricket - Test matches.

  • wignarajah on May 11, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    i wish the team lanka good luck its a new team new captain show your colours boys

  • SDHM on May 11, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    Yasas17 - England most certainly weren't a better side in 2006. No Vaughan, no Jones, Trescothick struggling, Flintoff carrying injuries and Pietersen carrying the batting. We threw a lot of inexperienced bowlers into that ODI series; the likes of Plunkett, Mahmood and Bresnan (a much improved cricketer now) were offered to Jayasuriya on a plate. Despite a poor World Cup, England have actually considerably improved in ODIs in the last couple of years - we've only lost the two series after the Ashes, when in all honesty we'd probably taken our eyes off the ball. Australia and Pakistan have been beaten at home, and South Africa have been away. And with all this talk of the 5-0, I know it wasn't a whitewash, but are Sri Lankans conveniently forgetting that we beat them in their own backyard in the ODIs when we last toured there?

    All that said, looking forward to the series. England should win the tests, SL the ODIs, and that's how I predict it going. Who knows, though?

  • on May 11, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    One point @ Cricketing staff- I will not get that much worried even though we do noit have our spin wizard "MM" he was a legond in our Cricketing histry and he will be always..but we need to move on...Sri Lanka will always provide wonderfull players for the game and that's how the game has developed so far!! We need bring a a test series win againts the Englishman and we have another chance now!! I would like to see if SLC will use the experiance of players like Maharoof and Vass since they are playing for the English counties alredy...We Sri LAnkan fans wann request SLC to get the right players -please for god sake!! don't re-peat the past mistakes again nd again!! -This is a time where Cricketing brains like Arvinada's hep needs the most....Good luck Lions..We wait to see you doing well..Bring back the glory...We love u as always...

  • on May 11, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    @ Tricstar -I belive u must have got your facts right since u r only assuming that English team is back on full strenth at home..any team is better when they play in their own back yard...but for the Lanksns this is a test...I will not be too sure of commenting the percentage of WIN/LOSS but I belive England will be re-building their team after a bad WC nad with 03 newly appointed captians they need to fins their rythem....Sri Lankans I belive know's wht lies a head...English conditions will be tough...New captian leading from the front and some exiting players in the squad they will have to jell and fins the right players who can beat the Englishman on their own solie......Sri lankas need to get their basics right..

  • on May 11, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    C`Indians Last time we toured there ,TESTs - 1-1,ODIs 5-0 ,T20 1-0 SO Why Indians are so worried ?this is our series,so mind your own business

  • Devapriya on May 11, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    Come on, Cricinfo staff, You say 'Muralitharan has featured in some of their better performances there'. What an understatement. The high flying England team of 1998 (having just beaten SA in tests) was brought crashing down to earth when thrashed by 10 wickets in the only test 'granted' to the 'minnows' SL! The loss was further made worse by the negative bowling tactics adapted by Captain Alec Stewert trying to stop SL getting the 20 runs needed to win. 2006 win at Trent Bridge was equally one sided - despite the help some England batsmen got from umpires. That will not be happening this time around with DRS. While not as confidence as some I think SL should do well - in ODI too with Malinga back.

  • yasask on May 11, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    not being rude or anything to the english fans but do you guys remember the 5-0 series loss in england to the lankans back in 06? the english team was stronger back then, boasting fantastic players compared to the measly ones they have now. and what about the world cup quarters loss...i believe it was a...um... 10 WICKET WIN!! no matter what the conditions are like, the lankans will always dominate overrated test teams like england. and odis and t20...i think we all know whos better :)

    go lanka !!

  • on May 11, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    wish the sri lanka team all the very best on their tour of England with a newly appointed captain.

  • on May 11, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    England have a fantastic line-up. Their batting is very strong at the top and their bowlers are fast and swing the ball very well - especially Jimmy Anderson. And with Broad back in the side they have their strike bowler. After dominating Australia in 2 consecutive Ashes series, I don't see how Sri Lanka, especially with a team that has little experience in English conditions, can possibly beat England. But who knows, England have crumbled in similar situations before, so it isn't 100% that they won't do it again. Granted, Sri Lanka has fantastic talent, but I highly doubt they will win the series. GO ENGLAND!

  • sanath007 on May 11, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    all the best for our team. i think if we can compete and play hard graphed cricket we can get a win out of the 3 tests...that would be great as its the first without murali

  • on May 11, 2011, 1:53 GMT

    Who cares about India and Sehwag? This is Sri Lanka Vs England! The chances of Sri Lanka pulling off a test series win is pretty low.. But I'm pretty sure they'll put up a better fight in the one dayers with Lasith Malinga playing. I wish we could see a replay of the 5-0 whitewash of 2006! =) All the best guys!

  • Sinhaya on May 11, 2011, 0:36 GMT

    @Trickstar Have you forgotten that Sri Lanka have won 2 tests before in England? Also, forgot how we beat England 5-0 in the ODIs in 2006! If Pakistan won one test last year against England with their brittle batting lineup and lost the ODIs 3-2 when players were replaced after spot fixing scandal, I think we should do better than them. Also, Pakistan lost 2 of the ODIs narrowly with all their problems. I think Sri Lanka is in good shape. Dinesh Chandimal will definitely do well.

  • Cpt.Meanster on May 10, 2011, 23:57 GMT

    @gottalovetheraindance: Well the Gods will cry over England once the world champions 'teach' the poms what it takes to be world champions. FYI, Sehwag will recover just in time for the England series hence his absence from the rest of the IPL and the downtrodden tour to WI (with all respect to the caribbean). I hope SL does well in England. It isn't hard to tour England compared to Australia or SA BUT to be any team in their own backyard it takes a lot of hard work. Good luck to SL.

  • nikhilpuri on May 10, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    Sehwag will be back for the England series - he's out for 6-8 weeks and the England series doesn't begin until July 21st, which is more than 10 weeks away. Plenty of time to recover for that. The West Indies series we will be fine for - they are pushovers anyway although Edwards, Taylor and Roach will be an interesting attack to watch for the Windies after a long time

  • on May 10, 2011, 21:04 GMT

    I'M WAINTING TOO WATCH NEW SRILNAKANS TEAM

  • Trickstar on May 10, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    @Sinhaya I think your overestimating Sri Lanka in the tests and underestimating England in ODi's in their own back yard. England have only lost 1 series which was after the Ashes in 2009 in nearly 3 years, just because they didn't perform to their potential in the WC, won't matter, when they are back to full strength and at home. In tests, imo England will win 2-0, with one being a rain effected draw. I just don't see, the bowling or the batting being good enough, in English condition and will be heavily reliant on their big 2 players and even they're not coming over to get used to the wickets . The bowling is especially weak and inexperienced and England's bowlers will be too much, for the Sri Lankans.

  • gottalovetheraindance on May 10, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    the gods surely are smiling on England this summer. 3 tests against Sri Lanka without Murali Vaas & Malinga & mayb no Sehwag for the series vs India

  • randika_ayya on May 10, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    Wish you and the lads all the best Marvie.. Its wonderful to see former greats such as yourself getting involved with the game in SL. Feel for Hathuru though, he deserved his spot for the work he's done. Good luck also to other local coaches travelling, Champaka with the pacies and Ruwan the fielding coach.

  • Sinhaya on May 10, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    I think Sri Lanka will do reasonably well. Yes the bowling is below par, but batting is in good shape. I think 1-1 test series result is most likely and ODIs Sri Lanka may win 4-1 as England are not a good ODI team.

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  • Sinhaya on May 10, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    I think Sri Lanka will do reasonably well. Yes the bowling is below par, but batting is in good shape. I think 1-1 test series result is most likely and ODIs Sri Lanka may win 4-1 as England are not a good ODI team.

  • randika_ayya on May 10, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    Wish you and the lads all the best Marvie.. Its wonderful to see former greats such as yourself getting involved with the game in SL. Feel for Hathuru though, he deserved his spot for the work he's done. Good luck also to other local coaches travelling, Champaka with the pacies and Ruwan the fielding coach.

  • gottalovetheraindance on May 10, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    the gods surely are smiling on England this summer. 3 tests against Sri Lanka without Murali Vaas & Malinga & mayb no Sehwag for the series vs India

  • Trickstar on May 10, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    @Sinhaya I think your overestimating Sri Lanka in the tests and underestimating England in ODi's in their own back yard. England have only lost 1 series which was after the Ashes in 2009 in nearly 3 years, just because they didn't perform to their potential in the WC, won't matter, when they are back to full strength and at home. In tests, imo England will win 2-0, with one being a rain effected draw. I just don't see, the bowling or the batting being good enough, in English condition and will be heavily reliant on their big 2 players and even they're not coming over to get used to the wickets . The bowling is especially weak and inexperienced and England's bowlers will be too much, for the Sri Lankans.

  • on May 10, 2011, 21:04 GMT

    I'M WAINTING TOO WATCH NEW SRILNAKANS TEAM

  • nikhilpuri on May 10, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    Sehwag will be back for the England series - he's out for 6-8 weeks and the England series doesn't begin until July 21st, which is more than 10 weeks away. Plenty of time to recover for that. The West Indies series we will be fine for - they are pushovers anyway although Edwards, Taylor and Roach will be an interesting attack to watch for the Windies after a long time

  • Cpt.Meanster on May 10, 2011, 23:57 GMT

    @gottalovetheraindance: Well the Gods will cry over England once the world champions 'teach' the poms what it takes to be world champions. FYI, Sehwag will recover just in time for the England series hence his absence from the rest of the IPL and the downtrodden tour to WI (with all respect to the caribbean). I hope SL does well in England. It isn't hard to tour England compared to Australia or SA BUT to be any team in their own backyard it takes a lot of hard work. Good luck to SL.

  • Sinhaya on May 11, 2011, 0:36 GMT

    @Trickstar Have you forgotten that Sri Lanka have won 2 tests before in England? Also, forgot how we beat England 5-0 in the ODIs in 2006! If Pakistan won one test last year against England with their brittle batting lineup and lost the ODIs 3-2 when players were replaced after spot fixing scandal, I think we should do better than them. Also, Pakistan lost 2 of the ODIs narrowly with all their problems. I think Sri Lanka is in good shape. Dinesh Chandimal will definitely do well.

  • on May 11, 2011, 1:53 GMT

    Who cares about India and Sehwag? This is Sri Lanka Vs England! The chances of Sri Lanka pulling off a test series win is pretty low.. But I'm pretty sure they'll put up a better fight in the one dayers with Lasith Malinga playing. I wish we could see a replay of the 5-0 whitewash of 2006! =) All the best guys!

  • sanath007 on May 11, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    all the best for our team. i think if we can compete and play hard graphed cricket we can get a win out of the 3 tests...that would be great as its the first without murali