England Lions v Sri Lankans, Tour match, Derby May 18, 2011

Sri Lanka face tough warm-up

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Sri Lanka will step up their preparations for the first Test against England when they face a strong Lions side at Derby. It's a sign of the depth in English cricket that a formidable second team can be drawn up and they should give the tourists a good idea of their readiness for Cardiff.

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, along with the other three players who spent an extra week at the IPL, have arrived so the visitors are now at full strength. Facing the likes of Steven Finn, Ajmal Shahzad and Graham Onions, who has made an impressive return to action after a career-threatening back injury, will be a good test of adjustment for them on a Derby pitch that often offers help to the pace bowlers.

Regardless of their form, however, Jayawardene and Sangakkara will line up in the Test side alongside Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitana and Thilan Samaraweera. This match will help Stuart Law, Sri Lanka's interim coach, and the selectors decide who will be the final specialist batsman - presuming that is the balance they opt for.

Against Middlesex, at Uxbridge, they went for two spinners on a flat surface but the Test attack may only include one slow bowler. Suraj Randiv, the tall offspinner, will be given a chance to press his claim after Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis did the job in the opening match. Herath's useful batting could edge the stakes in his favour.

That leaves the quick bowling. Dilhara Fernando is pencilled in with the new ball and Chandaka Welegedara took five wickets in the match against Middlesex. The one to watch, after a hint from Law, is Nuwan Pradeep who has been called a slightly less slingy Lasith Malinga. England's analysts, one of who was at Uxbridge, will no doubt be compiling a library of footage ahead of the Test series.

The England selectors will also be watching closely. There is a long season ahead and a pool of reserve talent will come in handy. At least one of the Lions will be appearing in Cardiff with a replacement needed for Paul Collingwood at No. 6, while there is also a pace-bowling vacancy due to Tim Bresnan's torn calf.

The contest between Ravi Bopara and Eoin Morgan has been billed as a shootout for the batting slot, ahead of the squad announcement on Sunday morning, but this England set-up doesn't operate in that way. They'll know who they want in the Test team. The smart money is on Bopara and plenty of things favour him. He has overcome a tricky start to the season to score 408 Championship runs with two hundreds and chip in with nine wickets for Essex, while twice turning down IPL advances.

Morgan has spent the last six weeks in India with limited success for Kolkata Knight Riders, hitting one fifty in 12 innings. He returned to the UK on Saturday and was at Uxbridge the following day netting against his Middlesex team-mates (and Angus Fraser). He'll cling to the knowledge that he was England's most recent stand-by batsman in Australia, but it's more than four months since their last Test match in Sydney and things change.

Meanwhile, a replacement for Bresnan is tough to call, but the selectors are likely to want a like-for-like option who can swing the ball so Shahzad, who played one Test against Bangladesh last year, is a strong candidate. Finn played three Ashes games but with Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett there are already two tall quicks available.

Beyond the immediate battles there is further interest from the Lions line up. James Taylor, the Leicestershire batsman, has another chance to impress, as does James Hildreth who will captain the side. One of those is likely to be in contention when England's one-day squad is selected in late June. That might also apply to Samit Patel, who has been given another chance after some harsh reminders about his fitness requirements during the winter.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | May 19, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    i think both IND/SL will provide poor summer challenges to us

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | May 19, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    England lions will probably beat Sri Lanka ENG 2-0 SL..in tests ENG 4-1 SL..odis

    neither is India good enough to beat England,

    ENG 2-0 IND..in tests...or probably 2-1...as India might win the dead rubber, ENG 3-2 IND..in odis..

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | May 19, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    Quite honestly - much as I like and respect Sri Lankas attitude and spirit, and without seeking to offend; I can't see them bowling England out twice in a Test. Only rain will stop England winning the 3 Test series 3-0. I can see Sri Lanka losing this game against a fairly tasty England Lions side too. The only encouragement I can give SL fans is that this spring in England has been a drought - the pitches ought to be bone dry and quite hard - so good for batting which is Sri Lankas strong suit. I don't think it will matter though; Englands bowlers will prove too strong. See you in Cardiff....

  • POSTED BY sehwaguparcut on | May 19, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    @CRICSL despite your animosity ... as an Indian fan I am rooting for SL in the upcoming series ... ha ha

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    3-0 Serie for SL and ODI 5-0 for SL

  • POSTED BY Srini_Indian on | May 19, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    Well, things are looking rather ominous for SL. The pitch is like a graze field, apart from Bopara and Morgan none of the batsmen are international or ex-international players but still they are making a light work on SL attack. Their experienced bowler D.Fernando going at over 5 an over. Testing times ahead for SL i think.

  • POSTED BY Srini_Indian on | May 19, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    I predict a 1-1 draw in ENG-SL series and a 2-1 or 3-1 win for India against England.

  • POSTED BY Srini_Indian on | May 19, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    @CRICSL: Since your from Asia, you should support India to beat England dude. I am an Indian, i back SL to win the test series or at least draw the series. Why are you so hateful on India? Is it because we have beaten you in WC finals? India were victorious when we were in England last time in 2007 as a 6th ranked team in the world. We have drawn the series against SA 3 months ago which is the toughest place for India to play because of the bounce. Swing is not new for India and Indians are very good swingers of the ball, thats why we have won more tests against England in England than we lost in last decade. It was like 1-1 in 2002, 1-0 in 2007. But its disappointing as an ASIAN, your backing England.

  • POSTED BY Srini_Indian on | May 19, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    @Blake Houston: What a joke, Swann better than Harbhajan? I agree Harbhajan is not as good as he was during 2001-2006, but Swann is relatively untested. How many test matches did he play against India and Sri Lanka? Warne and Murali had no clue against India. Warne admitted that too. Harbhajan has played nearly 100 test matches. How many has Swann played? You look the average of Swann after the completion of English Summer. Sachin and co will have no problems in facing Swann. I know Swann is good to bowling lefties. I ll bet you he ll face torrid time against Gautam Gambhir. Even Hussey smacked him at will in OZ. Zaheer is top class against left handers. Greame Smith has no clue to him and he even dismissed Sanga quite a few times in helpless conditions. I promise you Strauss and Cook average against India this summer would be less than 30.

  • POSTED BY kevinpp on | May 19, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    I predict England 2-0. I would have said 3-0 but putting some faith in sanga n mahela to draw one test.

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | May 19, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    i think both IND/SL will provide poor summer challenges to us

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | May 19, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    England lions will probably beat Sri Lanka ENG 2-0 SL..in tests ENG 4-1 SL..odis

    neither is India good enough to beat England,

    ENG 2-0 IND..in tests...or probably 2-1...as India might win the dead rubber, ENG 3-2 IND..in odis..

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | May 19, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    Quite honestly - much as I like and respect Sri Lankas attitude and spirit, and without seeking to offend; I can't see them bowling England out twice in a Test. Only rain will stop England winning the 3 Test series 3-0. I can see Sri Lanka losing this game against a fairly tasty England Lions side too. The only encouragement I can give SL fans is that this spring in England has been a drought - the pitches ought to be bone dry and quite hard - so good for batting which is Sri Lankas strong suit. I don't think it will matter though; Englands bowlers will prove too strong. See you in Cardiff....

  • POSTED BY sehwaguparcut on | May 19, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    @CRICSL despite your animosity ... as an Indian fan I am rooting for SL in the upcoming series ... ha ha

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    3-0 Serie for SL and ODI 5-0 for SL

  • POSTED BY Srini_Indian on | May 19, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    Well, things are looking rather ominous for SL. The pitch is like a graze field, apart from Bopara and Morgan none of the batsmen are international or ex-international players but still they are making a light work on SL attack. Their experienced bowler D.Fernando going at over 5 an over. Testing times ahead for SL i think.

  • POSTED BY Srini_Indian on | May 19, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    I predict a 1-1 draw in ENG-SL series and a 2-1 or 3-1 win for India against England.

  • POSTED BY Srini_Indian on | May 19, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    @CRICSL: Since your from Asia, you should support India to beat England dude. I am an Indian, i back SL to win the test series or at least draw the series. Why are you so hateful on India? Is it because we have beaten you in WC finals? India were victorious when we were in England last time in 2007 as a 6th ranked team in the world. We have drawn the series against SA 3 months ago which is the toughest place for India to play because of the bounce. Swing is not new for India and Indians are very good swingers of the ball, thats why we have won more tests against England in England than we lost in last decade. It was like 1-1 in 2002, 1-0 in 2007. But its disappointing as an ASIAN, your backing England.

  • POSTED BY Srini_Indian on | May 19, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    @Blake Houston: What a joke, Swann better than Harbhajan? I agree Harbhajan is not as good as he was during 2001-2006, but Swann is relatively untested. How many test matches did he play against India and Sri Lanka? Warne and Murali had no clue against India. Warne admitted that too. Harbhajan has played nearly 100 test matches. How many has Swann played? You look the average of Swann after the completion of English Summer. Sachin and co will have no problems in facing Swann. I know Swann is good to bowling lefties. I ll bet you he ll face torrid time against Gautam Gambhir. Even Hussey smacked him at will in OZ. Zaheer is top class against left handers. Greame Smith has no clue to him and he even dismissed Sanga quite a few times in helpless conditions. I promise you Strauss and Cook average against India this summer would be less than 30.

  • POSTED BY kevinpp on | May 19, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    I predict England 2-0. I would have said 3-0 but putting some faith in sanga n mahela to draw one test.

  • POSTED BY kevinpp on | May 19, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    i always dreamed of a pinch hitter in SL ODI but never happened, finally found Tisara perera but he's brainless swinger. So i think test cricket will improve his temperament. Would love to see Mathews and Thissara in ODI squad.

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 11:43 GMT

    Again even though i am a Sri Lankan i am amazed at the way our fans are wrting Enlgnad off. The only reason ic an think of is that they watch way more ODI's than test matches, actually a lot of SL supportes have no interest in tests. so maybe they are judging Egnland on their one day credentials. Anybody who watched the Ashes series will know that england are a force to be reconed with specially in tests. their pace bowling attack is head and shoulders above the SL attack and to say Swann is just good is an insult. even if he were jsut good that make s the SL attack jsut avarage. if in doubt check his stats against India, they are way better than any of the SL spinners. The fact that the matches are in England makes the english attack even more dangerous. even the best batting in the world cant win a test match without taking 20 wickets. How competitive SL is going to be depends on how well the pace bowlers do but we are definitely not the favourties. I hope our bowlers step up.

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    England's strength in the bowling department could be the deciding factor in this series.

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    how can you rate harbajhan ahead of swann? swann takes his wickets at 6 less runs per wicket then harbhajan does. Randiv hasnt been tested much in test cricket, and tho i rate mendis very highly, he is a lot better in ODI cricket only, his test record is solid but not as good as swanns. also swann better then saeed ajmal too, tho they are close. i think ajmal is better then harbajhan. To the important thing now!! bopara failed vs sri lanka in warm up game so james taylor and eoin morgan need 100's to pip bopara for the the test number 6!!! go go go

  • POSTED BY MeSL on | May 19, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    Hey people, just chill. There's such an interesting match, particularly, one great test series going on England with Sri Lanka, and all we do is fight against each other's nations. Can we all just sit back, relax and watch the game. Don't be those typical people who tries to prove points on history. If not what we all will get is a huge torn history book to brag. I guess that little excitement coming from cheering for your teams and shouting in excitement will be greater than bragging and boasting. I thought cricket is a game to unite nations. Cricket as one. Just enjoy! Time will provide answers and proofs.

  • POSTED BY mysay on | May 19, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    I would like to address Stormy 16. I will admit that Swann is a good spinner, not the best by a long shot, but I repeat a GOOD spinner. However Swann has performed well mainly against nations that do not play spin very well. As for your batsmen Cook, Strauss and a few others are in good knick, but in all fairness they have not played against quality spinners. They won the Ashes and to do it against Australia in Australia is indeed no easy task, however you should admit that English & the Australians are fairly used to each other, therefore there is nothing out of the ordinary when you play each other, but come a sub continent nation, it's a different ball game altogether. Murali is out, but this time you will face Suraj, Mendis and maybe Herath, good turners of the ball and I would say much better than Swann as their primary wickets are Indians, Pakistanis Bangladeshi's all quality batsmen against spin bowling.

  • POSTED BY CRICSL on | May 19, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    @natmastak_so_called- Just want to know, why the series result is 1-1. It should have been 3-0 for INDIA. According to Indians SL is a weak team playing at home against weak teams. Then why INDIA lost one test and drew the other one?? Isn't INDIA also a much weaker team then??? I just don't understand the logic. LOL

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    Best of luck for SL. Hope Malinga will back in team soon.

  • POSTED BY LALITHKURUWITA on | May 19, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    This is the battle between SL batting Vs Eng bowling. If Eng bowls well the series will be 3-0 to ENG. If SL bats well then series will be 0-0 drawn. SL bowling is weak and only thing that SL can do is to bat very well and make the series draw. Sl does not have bowlers to take 20 wickets. Lalith Kuruwita

  • POSTED BY LALITHKURUWITA on | May 19, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    Are there any protest happening outside the ground by LTTE supporters because LTTE marfia was eradicated from SL exactly 2 years ago on 19-05-11

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | May 19, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    @ Manesha: Swan is #2 in the test rankings and has been up there for a while and well ahead of both Harbajan and Vittori. Not sure what more is required for him to be ranked one of the best if not the best spinner in the game currently (test - the version we are commenting on!). Also not sure what else you are attempting to say but I am sure based on your cricket knowledge it makes perfect sense.

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    ROFL...Swarn is not even among the top 5 spinners..are these Englishmen Mad ? he is just an average spinner..Randiv,Ajma,Harbajan,Mendis are far more superior.. (I remember once these english people compared a guy called Monty Panasar with Murali & Warne !..lol) Broad is a good pacer,Anderson is decent in English conditions..others English pacers are all average ! KP is the only world class batsman in England(he too failed to get bat on ball last time he toured SL).Trott & Strauss are good for TESTs(like Samaraweera..,but still nort Mahela/Sanga class) Ian Bell(even he said he would love to bat like Mahela & Sanga recently !),Morgan,Bopara,Luke Right, & other left hand opener(their odi) captain all are average..ACCEPT the TRUTH ! England have a chance here & that is only because of the conditions ! & England is not good enough to give at least a fight for SL anywhere in the world except at their home during early summer !

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    There will be no fight with British Lions. But SL have to play quality cricket on a typical English pitch. That is what matters. Not the history. The application of one day and IPL techniques will be disastrous for Sri Lanka. Let us pray that SL will accustomed to English conditions, soon. In fact, it must be a miracle with the help of SL administrators.

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | May 19, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    @cricsl : first of all,India's last tour to lanka finished in a draw 1-1 series.and you must have also daydreamt about south africa giving whitewash to Ind a while ago.In your world ,2011 world champions must also be lankans.All the best though for upcoming series.

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    Sri Lankan have very good batting attack this time.Cardiff conditions is very friendly with SLankans during May-June. If Mahela-Sanga combination or Dilshan-Parana combination work well,any opposition team will be suffered. Most indian commentators mentioned about weakness in SL bowling attack.But in first game against Middlesex, at Uxbridge do you see how impressive the SL bowling were at one stage.

    No malinga No Murali, that does not mean there is no any other options.

  • POSTED BY MENDIS_Forever on | May 19, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    Mr.Maglashan seems to be underestimating Srilanka alot.just wait...

  • POSTED BY schathuranga on | May 19, 2011, 7:47 GMT

    Son sandeep sri lankans never afraid to any country,like u. as a example when malinga bowls all the indians are sweating...he..he

  • POSTED BY Rizwanshafy on | May 19, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    Come on guys .....it's pointless by arguing who's superior.... lets have an ethical game..... :)

  • POSTED BY mjeewana on | May 19, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    If you say SL win over weaker teams at home that mean you agree that ENG is also a weaker team because they lost to SL by 10 wkt in WC 2011.Also i can remember that SL won a ODI series 5-0 at ENG including a 280+ opening wicket partnership when ENG have scored 300+ runs in that ODI.

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    @stormy16 - As per your comments - Swan is the best spin bowler right now? in which format? ha..ha..ha..u got to be joiking? so mutch for your cricket knowledge...and u mean English team is the best? again? what a joke? did u know that SRL team is one of the best countries who plays spin better than the English? I don't say that SRL always play weaker teams...well then u have to complain ICC for giving us such a year planner...well ...England and Auss also dosn't like to come to SRL ...and that's why there are lotof English tami's are there? so far Andrew strauss is the only player who is in form..and England is now under presure to level the series even??

  • POSTED BY CRICSL on | May 19, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    I'm looking forward to ENG Vs IND test series and enjoy INDIANS get white washed by ENG.

  • POSTED BY sehwaguparcut on | May 19, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    Sri Lanka has better depth be it batting or bowling, I cant fathom why some people think England will give SL a tough test

  • POSTED BY sehwaguparcut on | May 19, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    I think the Lankans are absolute favorites here. They should win the test series handsomely.

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    @Sathish Kumar -Like the way u bring out your comments but it's not logical...Sri lanka has a better home record yes..and they have beaten the teams who are given test status ..well sorry for those weaker teams..they have to learn more...and we learn from them as well..and you have to update your self as there are more lankan players who are playing county than Indian player's ..ha..ha...it's more than for us..and the currnet Sri lankan team is confident on playing these soils...at lest we have upcoming bowler's who are taking the side from Vas and Murali..but I heard that Indain selectors still go back behind Ganguly to play???they are so cowerds?

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | May 19, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    Some of you have lost the plot I am afraid and I must say Eng are the stronger side by a long shot on all fronts including spin (lets face it Swan is one if not the best spinenr in the world right now) and SL will have to play out of their skins to draw the series!!I see constant remarks on how SL play weaker teams at home all the time which is true but dont tell Sri Lanka that we already know this. Wish the stronger teams gave us the opportunity and SL will only be too happy. When last did SA or Eng tour SL and when last did SL tour SA or Aus? Not much SL can do other than play who ever wants to play them. its not like SL pick and choose who they want to play - hey if that was the case it would be India/Eng/Aus/SA every time - quality cricket and better money...

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    I expect the England Lions to give Sri Lanka a tough test without doubt especially at this time of the year. I feel sorry for the Sri Lankans who haven't had much time to prepare for such an important test series. As far as the no.6 slot for England is concerned, I would go with Ravi Bopara who has not only been scoring loads of runs for Essex but also taking wickets at crucial times. Eoin Morgan hasn't beein in great form of late and going to play in the IPL instead of turning out for Middlesex has affected his England test chances.

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 5:16 GMT

    hhaha eng will surely get a thrashing frm lankans for sure...

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    Man to man SL is FAR superior..its all about getting used to conditions..& that is not easy

  • POSTED BY CRICSL on | May 19, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    @Sathish Kumar- I just noticed what you mentioned (For a team that only plays at home against weaker teams) so you mean to say India also a very weak team? They toured SL and got beaten so in your point of view INDIA also a weaker team. What a justifying comment made by an Indian fan about INDIAN team. LOL

  • POSTED BY CricSamraat on | May 19, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Derby may receive a royal kick in the guts from Sri Lanka. Derby, Watch out!!! ENGLAND is next in the firing line !!!!!

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | May 19, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    I wish the Sri Lankan supporters were more realistic. England, though not the No 1 team as somone has erroneously mentioned, is a very good team. They have thrashed Australia in the last Ashes in Australia and have the bowling to hammer the Sri Lankans as well because they play them in the early part of the season. We all know how difficult it is for visiting teams to adjust to the early summer conditions. In the past, the ECB used to give them a long schedule of playing the counties before the Tests. That was when cricket was a metaphor for fairness and making everything equal. I am afraid that is not the case now. Sri Lanka will struggle. Of that there is no doubt. England have some really good pace bowlers who will do very well in their conditions. Sri Lanka does not have any fast bowling worth the name. Their spin could have done well if the conditions had been in their favour meaning warmer. I wish the Sri Lankans the very best of luck nevertheless.

  • POSTED BY schathuranga on | May 19, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    We already given the answer without mahela/sanga/mathews/suraj/dilhara/malinga/vaas/murali. who can breach sri lanaka cricket ???? lions rorrrrr....

  • POSTED BY on | May 19, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    For all those people who made comments, lets wait till the bat and the ball does the talking...

  • POSTED BY Kavum on | May 18, 2011, 20:16 GMT

    IPL has ruined the preparation that Sri Lanka could have engaged in for an important tour. They are an aperitif for the Pommies before the Bharat Giants roll all over their ex-colonial masters, i.e. cannon fodder before the crack troops enter the field. SL has very little chance unless their batsmen fire. And fire big. Sanga, Mahela and Dilshan have to come to the party and let those tracer bullets fly like Ravi's commentarial excrecences. Thereafter, SL will have to depend on Dilhara NB Fernando and the rest for salvation or survival. May the 330,000,000 deities help the islanders!

  • POSTED BY on | May 18, 2011, 20:01 GMT

    I expect the lions to give Sri Lankans the fright of their lives! Nothing like Derby in May!!

  • POSTED BY sherquan on | May 18, 2011, 19:11 GMT

    i am a windies cricket fan but for some reason i just love Sri lanka and India cricket.the series like someone said is dependent on the overhead atmosphere.The thing is England are familiar to those conditions but then again if the Sri lankans apply themselves they should give a good account of themselves.I predict a very tight series giving England the slight advantage.

  • POSTED BY on | May 18, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    For a team that only plays at home against weaker teams, its a good learning platform. SL has some very promising youngsters. They will learn the English conditions. Without Murali and Vaas, It will be a great surprise if SL put up some show with bowling. Batting will revolve around Sanga and Mahela.

  • POSTED BY on | May 18, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    @ranga_s,,,Funny.... how people are easily cowed by indian fans!!! Atleast we have something to brag about!!! run run......

  • POSTED BY Jharsha09 on | May 18, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    Ya Indians, please stay out! This is between Sri Lanka and England, and we don't need your egotistical comments!

  • POSTED BY ranga_s on | May 18, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    Number one side or not England will be one hell of a team in Summer conditions.....whatever people say about SL bowling, Eng will need to do one awesome display of cricket to beat SL...I still don't know why people say Sri Lanka has a weak bowling unit....Compared to what they had it may be weak...but in modern day cricket they are a very good bowling unit...Untested for sure but doesn't lack quality....There are few class talents in there....Sri Lanka will depend heavily on their 1st innings batting....if they can score over 500 runs on good batting conditions and over 350 runs on somewhat testing conditions, get England a target of around 300 to chase or keep them selves a target of 275-300 to chase...SL will clich this series...but all said I'm SL hence look forward to see my country winning... So England fans may have different opinions...waited for years to watch this kinda tour...finally its here...so excited to watch this....good luck SL... And Strauss too......

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | May 18, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    @cranaweera It's hard to tell if your being serious or not, but saying things like 'If it is warm and sunny, SL will beat the living daylights out of England' I mean, what cricket do you watch and what planet do you watch from , we are talking about SL here, not the 80's Windies team. England are a far better team now, than when SL last toured and SL are a far worse team, than when they were last there. If it wasn't for Murali playing when they last toured, they would have struggled big time, he was the sole reason the games were competitive and now he's gone. I've heard of, home side bias but in what world is, 'Man to man, SL is a far superior team', every one of England's bowlers is better than SL and the only 2 players that would make the England team, are the 2 obvious ones, Sang & Jaya. I'd even rather have England's Lions attack than SL's.

  • POSTED BY nishardfazna on | May 18, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    sri lankan selectors should consider about farveez maharoof for the ODI'S IN ENGLAND. MAHAROOF IS A VERY GOOD BATSMAN.HE CAN BAT UNDER PRESSURE VERY WELL

  • POSTED BY nishardfazna on | May 18, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    sri lankan have a very good batting order. but in the past they struggle to the english conditions. chandimal and tirimanna are very good selection

  • POSTED BY gottalovetheraindance on | May 18, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    Anderson , Finn, Broad, Onions, Tremlett, Swann, Strauss , Cook, Trott, Petersen, Bell, Morgan & Prior for final 13 man squad. in sri lanka west Indies batmen managed this sri lankan bowling attack so there is no need to play 4 bowlers to strengthen batting. Sri lankan batting is strong so pick 5 bowlers 4 pacers & Swann Broad & Swann are strong enough batsmen. to give sri lanka a fair challenge.

  • POSTED BY pradeep_dealwis on | May 18, 2011, 16:51 GMT

    ENG is the better Test side, definitely in these conditions (but by no means the best in the world, as Law said), but SL probably has a slightly better batting line-up. The ODIs should be interesting as well, and SL is the better side there.But all the focus should be on Tests and winning them now, and Dilshan has a lot to prove! Interesting series ahead.

  • POSTED BY Charindra on | May 18, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    Well, the England Lions aren't as tough as Andrew makes them sound. SL should walk this. And all the critics of Sanga and Mahela, they've done so much for SL. Wait till the end of the series, and if they haven't performed, then complain. Till then please be quiet.

  • POSTED BY on | May 18, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    As an England supporter, I hope we will have the bowling and fielding resources to contain Sri Lanka's batting - but I'm not confident of that!

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | May 18, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Everything will depend on the weather. If it is warm and sunny, SL will beat the living daylights out of England. If it is the typical miserable early season weather, SL will struggle. Man to man, SL is a far superior team. The challenge for SL does not come form the England 11, rather from the weather.

  • POSTED BY on | May 18, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    SL can match England only if they select the right combination depending on the types of pitch in this early summer, where the climate would be on the cooler side! Expect some exciting and positive cricket from the Lankan. Good Luck Sri Lanka!!!

  • POSTED BY sanath007 on | May 18, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    i think SL can give england a run for their money, england seems over confident...and SL bowlers can surprise, the batting is very steady but Mathews will be missed badly

  • POSTED BY ranga_s on | May 18, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    cricket lovers, English fans and SL fans.....say what ever you want to say soon....before long Indians will come and ruin this blog bragging India is the best and Sachin is the greatest....So if u have any idea to convey...now is the time....

  • POSTED BY irfans1 on | May 18, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    Sanga & Jay , open your eyes and get ready for English summer, won't be easy going here just like time wasting IPL in India.

  • POSTED BY CRICSL on | May 18, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    England is a better side no doubt, But I'm sure Sri Lankan will give them no easy wins, I can see test series result will be 1-1 and one day goes in favor of SL 3-2.

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  • POSTED BY CRICSL on | May 18, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    England is a better side no doubt, But I'm sure Sri Lankan will give them no easy wins, I can see test series result will be 1-1 and one day goes in favor of SL 3-2.

  • POSTED BY irfans1 on | May 18, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    Sanga & Jay , open your eyes and get ready for English summer, won't be easy going here just like time wasting IPL in India.

  • POSTED BY ranga_s on | May 18, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    cricket lovers, English fans and SL fans.....say what ever you want to say soon....before long Indians will come and ruin this blog bragging India is the best and Sachin is the greatest....So if u have any idea to convey...now is the time....

  • POSTED BY sanath007 on | May 18, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    i think SL can give england a run for their money, england seems over confident...and SL bowlers can surprise, the batting is very steady but Mathews will be missed badly

  • POSTED BY on | May 18, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    SL can match England only if they select the right combination depending on the types of pitch in this early summer, where the climate would be on the cooler side! Expect some exciting and positive cricket from the Lankan. Good Luck Sri Lanka!!!

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | May 18, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Everything will depend on the weather. If it is warm and sunny, SL will beat the living daylights out of England. If it is the typical miserable early season weather, SL will struggle. Man to man, SL is a far superior team. The challenge for SL does not come form the England 11, rather from the weather.

  • POSTED BY on | May 18, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    As an England supporter, I hope we will have the bowling and fielding resources to contain Sri Lanka's batting - but I'm not confident of that!

  • POSTED BY Charindra on | May 18, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    Well, the England Lions aren't as tough as Andrew makes them sound. SL should walk this. And all the critics of Sanga and Mahela, they've done so much for SL. Wait till the end of the series, and if they haven't performed, then complain. Till then please be quiet.

  • POSTED BY pradeep_dealwis on | May 18, 2011, 16:51 GMT

    ENG is the better Test side, definitely in these conditions (but by no means the best in the world, as Law said), but SL probably has a slightly better batting line-up. The ODIs should be interesting as well, and SL is the better side there.But all the focus should be on Tests and winning them now, and Dilshan has a lot to prove! Interesting series ahead.

  • POSTED BY gottalovetheraindance on | May 18, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    Anderson , Finn, Broad, Onions, Tremlett, Swann, Strauss , Cook, Trott, Petersen, Bell, Morgan & Prior for final 13 man squad. in sri lanka west Indies batmen managed this sri lankan bowling attack so there is no need to play 4 bowlers to strengthen batting. Sri lankan batting is strong so pick 5 bowlers 4 pacers & Swann Broad & Swann are strong enough batsmen. to give sri lanka a fair challenge.