England v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Cardiff May 25, 2011

England's new target, Sri Lanka's new era

58

Match Facts

May 26-30, Cardiff
Start time 11.00am (1000GMT)

The Big Picture

This series is being billed as the starter before the main course of England's season. India are the major drawcard of the summer, but Sri Lanka's visit promises much interest and intrigue. It pits a home side wanting to build on one of their finest triumphs in Australia against a visiting side trying to rebuild under a new captain and coach amid more political rumblings in Sri Lankan cricket.

A lot has happened since England celebrated in Sydney and even since Sri Lanka finished second in the World Cup. The hosts now have three captains for starters, but nine of the team that played in Sydney are set to line-up in this Test. Andrew Strauss has been very keen to stress how the Ashes success was just a stepping stone, albeit an historic one, in England's quest to be No. 1 in the world. That aim could be achieved by the end of the summer if they beat both Sri Lanka and India but it won't be an easy task.

Sri Lanka come here as significant underdogs, largely due to the loss of three match-winning bowlers in Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga. Yet England will underestimate them at their peril. They showed their fighting qualities with an impressive victory against the Lions after being forced to follow-on as Tillakaratne Dilshan, the new captain, led the way with 117 at better than a run-a-ball. Much will rest on the tone Dilshan sets as a captain and batsman.

However, with Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in the ranks runs shouldn't be in short supply and then it will be down to a new-look bowling attack. The loss of Nuwan Pradeep is a significant blow and they can't afford Dilhara Fernando to go lame as well. It's impossible to replace Murali, but in Rangana Herath they have a steady left-arm spinner who will no doubt target Kevin Pietersen.

Although Sri Lanka haven't won a series in England they have surprised the hosts more than once. Most famously there was 1998 at The Oval, but five years ago they also won at Trent Bridge to level the series. A shared contest this time would be a fine achievement for Dilshan and a major let-down for Strauss.

Form guide

(Most recent first)

England WWLWD
Sri Lanka DDDLD

Watch out for...

In the end Eoin Morgan made a case that was too good to ignore. His 193 against the Sri Lankans at Derby secured him a Test place that appeared to have slipped away after six weeks at the IPL. Now he has the chance to make the No. 6 berth his for the foreseeable future. He is the ideal counter-attacking player to have in the middle order; someone who scores at close to a run-a-ball and can shift momentum. However, his biggest challenge will come if (or when) he walks in with England wobbling. Barring his hundred against Pakistan at Trent Bridge last year he was vulnerable against the moving ball. One thing he doesn't lack, though, is confidence and that can carry you a long way.

Tillakaratne Dilshan won't do anything in half measures. He has shown his attacking mindset already on this tour both with the bat and in the field. Much like Virender Sehwag, one session of Dilshan blazing away can set the tone for a Test match. England's bowlers won't be allowed any leeway to find their feet. As a captain he isn't a long-term option, but is determined to do things his way and that will include thinking 'outside of the box'. Against the Lions he brought himself on to bowl with the new ball and made a breakthrough. Don't be surprised to see Herath in action as soon as Pietersen walks to the middle.

Team news

The only decision for the home side is the make-up of their pace attack and it seems likely that Steven Finn will miss out. Stuart Broad is fit again after his winter injuries although he looked a little short of rhythm in the County Championship. Morgan replaces Paul Collingwood in the middle order with Ian Bell set to move to No. 5. Pietersen and Jonathan Trott will be needed for some fill-in overs at various stages.

England (probable) 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Eoin Morgan, 7 Matt Prior (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Chris Tremlett, 11 James Anderson

Sri Lanka have been hit with injuries to their pace attack. Pradeep is out and there are concerns over Dilhara Fernando, who is set to share the new ball with Chanaka Welegedara. Dilshan confirmed they'd picked six batsmen and five bowlers, a hint that Farveez Maharoof could play while Rangana Herath is the one spinner in their 12.

Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), 2 Tharanga Paranavitana, 3 Kumar Sangakkara, 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Thilan Samaraweera, 6 Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), 7 Farveez Maharoof, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Rangana Herath, 10 Dilhara Fernando, 11 Chanaka Welegedara

Pitch and conditions

Domestic and international pitches are often two very different beasts at Cardiff. Alarms are sometimes raised by the amount of turn for Glamorgan matches, but the groundsman keeps things safe for the internationals. Stuart Law said the pitch "looked a belter" and two years ago Australia piled up 674 for 6. The forecast, however, isn't too promising with showers forecast for the opening day and further rain over the weekend.

Stats and trivia

  • Stuart Broad is currently sat on 99 Test wickets having collected just two scalps in his two Ashes Tests before injury.

  • The performance of Sri Lanka's bowlers in England since 2000 is better than only Zimbabwe

  • Thilan Samaraweera, overall Test average of 54.25, averages just 4.25 in England albeit from just two matches

For a full stats preview click here.

Quotes

"They have some high quality players, some of them we don't know much about but that does not mean they are not good bowlers, we expect a stern test."
Andrew Strauss may be looking forward to the Indian challenge later this summer, but that doesn't mean England will be taking Sri Lanka lightly

"We have a few youngsters who will get a chance and it will be good for their development in international cricket. We are looking forward to a new era for Sri Lankan cricket."
Tillakaratne Dilshan believes Sri Lanka have the talent to keep moving forward in the post-Murali era

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dhutugemunu on May 27, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    So where are the guys who were talking about replacing Prasanna Jayawardene, bringing Dinesh Chandimal in to the team? See Prasanna played a class inning to post a Good total on the board. He is the best keeper in Sri Lankan team. What else you can expect from him.

  • sammykent on May 26, 2011, 17:39 GMT

    England have upset their balance by choosing to have a four pronged bowling attack. Collingwood gave them a fifth genuine bowling option and a player that was expected to contribute overs. Using KP and Trott as bowlers is not wise and if the Sri Lankans can hang in there the England bowlers will get tired.

  • on May 26, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    This wicket will b dead soon, no real bounce. Good 2 hold tall Dilhara and Randev. But Chandimal should get a chance over Prassanna. I'm sure Mahela will miss few catches in this match as he did when Sana, Hashan captaining. He only supports Sanga. Dili needs to handle everything him self.

  • on May 26, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME, IVE BEEN WAITING WEEKS TO SEE DINESH CHANDIMUL PLAY HIS DEBUT TEST AND NOW DILSHAN WANTS 5 BOWLERS???? DILSHAN WAKE UP, u bowl offspin, samaraweera bowls offspin, you dont need another bowler, u need chandimul who avg 60 in state cricket at 75 strike rate and is class act and back up keeper (why chose prassana over chandimul?? chandimul scores twice as many runs!! and seems good keeper) This is ridiculous, maharoof has wasted his chanced avg 60 with ball in test cricket...thats not a bowler, most part timers are better then that. Before i predicted 1-1 result, now they play 5 bowlers AND INJURIES TO PRADEEP , and potential non-selection of chandimul and mendis, i reckon 2 or 3 nill to england. How can SL win with such short batting line up and no mystery spinner mendis?? (and no murali, and randiv out of form) This is disgraceful, chandimal better batsman then dilshan and para SL wake up and pick young, quality, performing and in- form talent like chandimul.

  • Bamber on May 26, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    Aaaah, deep sigh of relief - proper cricket's back at last! What a season in prospect. The quality of Dilshan, Sanga & Mahela and a new look bowling attack to be followed by possibly the finest batting lineup test cricket has ever seen with SRT etal. SL and India will find English conditions challenging but I've no doubt it will be an English summer to remember and I've got my fingers crossed for England hitting the No 1 spot although it sure won't be easy. You've gotta LOVE this wonderful game!

  • on May 26, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    I hope the weather is better in Wales than it is here in Newquay #wet&wild

  • on May 26, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    How many times we have seen the English media and fans drumming up England before the start of the season and then after one hickup the go all guns attacking the poor team. England is a over rated out fit, just bcos they beat Aus, at a time Aus was the weakest ever, their over arrogance in this tour will be their demise. SL on the other hand is rebuilding and they are fighters. Anderson, Broad, Swan has never done well against them. Swan is the most over rated bowler ever. I think SL and India will put him in his place this summer. Look forward for some cracking cricket.

  • on May 26, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    CHandimal should keep wicket as play as Batsman Wicketkeeper. Prassana is an utter failure as a bat and last tests he had erred as WK as well. Nandi Jasen

  • on May 26, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    SL must play with 6 recognized batsmen including Randiv and 4 bowlers. In addition, the wicketkeeper must be Chandimal as Prasanna also casual and drop catches. Maharoof must be considered after Wela, Thisara and Lakmal. For batting also, Maharoof would be a better option than Lakmal. Otherwise, it could be a procession at Cardiff.

  • jonesy2 on May 26, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    hahaha england think they can be the best in the world?? thats hilerious! im tipping a sri lanka series win 1-0

  • Dhutugemunu on May 27, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    So where are the guys who were talking about replacing Prasanna Jayawardene, bringing Dinesh Chandimal in to the team? See Prasanna played a class inning to post a Good total on the board. He is the best keeper in Sri Lankan team. What else you can expect from him.

  • sammykent on May 26, 2011, 17:39 GMT

    England have upset their balance by choosing to have a four pronged bowling attack. Collingwood gave them a fifth genuine bowling option and a player that was expected to contribute overs. Using KP and Trott as bowlers is not wise and if the Sri Lankans can hang in there the England bowlers will get tired.

  • on May 26, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    This wicket will b dead soon, no real bounce. Good 2 hold tall Dilhara and Randev. But Chandimal should get a chance over Prassanna. I'm sure Mahela will miss few catches in this match as he did when Sana, Hashan captaining. He only supports Sanga. Dili needs to handle everything him self.

  • on May 26, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME, IVE BEEN WAITING WEEKS TO SEE DINESH CHANDIMUL PLAY HIS DEBUT TEST AND NOW DILSHAN WANTS 5 BOWLERS???? DILSHAN WAKE UP, u bowl offspin, samaraweera bowls offspin, you dont need another bowler, u need chandimul who avg 60 in state cricket at 75 strike rate and is class act and back up keeper (why chose prassana over chandimul?? chandimul scores twice as many runs!! and seems good keeper) This is ridiculous, maharoof has wasted his chanced avg 60 with ball in test cricket...thats not a bowler, most part timers are better then that. Before i predicted 1-1 result, now they play 5 bowlers AND INJURIES TO PRADEEP , and potential non-selection of chandimul and mendis, i reckon 2 or 3 nill to england. How can SL win with such short batting line up and no mystery spinner mendis?? (and no murali, and randiv out of form) This is disgraceful, chandimal better batsman then dilshan and para SL wake up and pick young, quality, performing and in- form talent like chandimul.

  • Bamber on May 26, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    Aaaah, deep sigh of relief - proper cricket's back at last! What a season in prospect. The quality of Dilshan, Sanga & Mahela and a new look bowling attack to be followed by possibly the finest batting lineup test cricket has ever seen with SRT etal. SL and India will find English conditions challenging but I've no doubt it will be an English summer to remember and I've got my fingers crossed for England hitting the No 1 spot although it sure won't be easy. You've gotta LOVE this wonderful game!

  • on May 26, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    I hope the weather is better in Wales than it is here in Newquay #wet&wild

  • on May 26, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    How many times we have seen the English media and fans drumming up England before the start of the season and then after one hickup the go all guns attacking the poor team. England is a over rated out fit, just bcos they beat Aus, at a time Aus was the weakest ever, their over arrogance in this tour will be their demise. SL on the other hand is rebuilding and they are fighters. Anderson, Broad, Swan has never done well against them. Swan is the most over rated bowler ever. I think SL and India will put him in his place this summer. Look forward for some cracking cricket.

  • on May 26, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    CHandimal should keep wicket as play as Batsman Wicketkeeper. Prassana is an utter failure as a bat and last tests he had erred as WK as well. Nandi Jasen

  • on May 26, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    SL must play with 6 recognized batsmen including Randiv and 4 bowlers. In addition, the wicketkeeper must be Chandimal as Prasanna also casual and drop catches. Maharoof must be considered after Wela, Thisara and Lakmal. For batting also, Maharoof would be a better option than Lakmal. Otherwise, it could be a procession at Cardiff.

  • jonesy2 on May 26, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    hahaha england think they can be the best in the world?? thats hilerious! im tipping a sri lanka series win 1-0

  • D-Train on May 26, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    I'd rather see a heavily turning pitch than see a team make 6/674 resulting in a boring draw.

  • on May 26, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    ALL THE BEST FOR BOTH THE TEAMS....................

  • CricSoul on May 26, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    Looking fwd for a good test match

  • crickstats on May 26, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    I think the possible 12 SL is a batsman short, this is not ODI to hope that Maharoof or Herath to come come good, they should play Chandimal instead of Prasanna, and either Chandimal or Sanga to keep wickets

  • pathums on May 26, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    Why Prasanna as a WK???? if prasanna is WK he should be able to atleast score 30 -40 runs in a cruitial stages. then Chandimal is a better option he is a clever batsman rather than Prasanna and his keeping ability also commendable. We should treat Prasanna like Pakistan did for Kamran Akmal. If Chandimal in the starting 11 we can pose a big challenge for ENG.

  • on May 26, 2011, 4:30 GMT

    In fact, Thisara is better than Maharoof.

  • Aibak on May 26, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    SriLanka should win because England is getting proud after winning the ashes. their pride has been broken in ODIs in World Cup and it is time now that it should be broken in Tests as well.

  • schathuranga on May 26, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    We R Ready to take challenge,in Cricket Sri lanka is Specialize for that.We can beat any team,anywhere.litte can do alot.Go Sri lanka GO....Budu Saranai..Jesu Pihitai..Allah..Pihitai..For Our Sri lankan heroes.

  • on May 26, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    England will win, SriLanka's match winner isn't playing anymore, stats say it all...

  • Biggus on May 26, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    I will be watching this series with great interest, and it promises to be a real contest, but I think the Poms will be too strong at home. You never know though, I thought the recent Ashes would be close, so maybe my radar is a bit off. Either way, a real treat for cricket lovers. Gotta love a test series.

  • RohanMarkJay on May 26, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    Best of Luck to Sri lanka tomorrow.

  • on May 26, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    A draw will be a good result so that SL can try the last, after drawing the first 2, particularly after the injury problems. It is not easy to win a test without consolidating the position. SL must not throw away wickets by playing rash strokes, by hooking the bouncers, etc. Fully fit players must be considered. Then, they will get the opportunity to play in the last 2 tests. Chandimal must be the keeper as both of them scored 5 against BL and Prasanna also used to drop catches. The notable one was the simple one of Sachin by using one hand and paved an Indian victory. Chandimal is very young. Randiv must play as he played well against BL and was the top scorer, in the 1st innings, on a tough pitch as per Mahela. Lakmal is a better bowler than Maharoof considering the performances against 2nd string Middlesex which had only 10 players @ the beginning of the match. Considering his batting, both are at the same level or so.

  • jr1972 on May 26, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    England in May will be a difficult proposition for Sri Lanka who travel better than they did but even so. Looking forward to some good cricket. England's seam attack should be good enough particularly after a well earned rest.

  • on May 26, 2011, 3:10 GMT

    So let me get this correct, England is the "toughest deal on planet" in their own backyard some may like to add still the toughest deal... So they have nothing to fear or lose, being the no 1 team in the world ( notice as a courtesy I am removing "test team" as it will be shortly removed by the English press in any case) - in case somehow Sri Lanka manages to win then off course they become the UNDISPUTED CHAMPIONS of the world. Okay what about India - why the hell should we even talk about these IPL playing heathens after all who is a single cricketer worth mentioning in their team as compared to .... er ....well.... EION MORGAN or ANDREW STRAUSS

  • Baana on May 26, 2011, 3:08 GMT

    All the Best to England!!! SL will never win in Eng!!!!

  • KaZsa on May 26, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    Draw??? Are you kidding me??SL should go all guns blazing and should not settle for nothing more than victory in the series....It is gonna be a tough battle for sure...But the days Lankans played for draws are long gone....Only thing they will settle for will be VICTORY...

  • on May 26, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    Wish Sri lanka will do well with the ball and bat with the help of their new captain Dilshan assisted by Sanga and Mahela

  • on May 26, 2011, 2:58 GMT

    So here is the full English parade, walk right up to being the number 1 test team in the world. But wait - aren't England ALREADY the BEST TEST team in the world? The "toughest deal on the planet " - but that is not from English press I guess - these humble ENGLISH guys don't buy all the good things which press of other countries like to talk about them. So here it is solid like its people and its economy - a word written in stone..... so we shall see

  • on May 26, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    The Sri Lankan Team looks more like a One Day Team!!! Rather than a test team.

  • BeCalmAndSupportEngland on May 26, 2011, 1:08 GMT

    chandimal should play as the wicketkeeper.

  • on May 26, 2011, 0:51 GMT

    win or loos.....we are with srilankan team......like to see good cricket.....as Straass said...there looking forward ..Indian challenge......he think sri lanka is nithing for him........good luck mite.....dont foget what do you say.......we will see end of the 3 test......good luck srilanka ...

  • on May 25, 2011, 23:15 GMT

    Watson and Kallis are such useful cricketers, they are solid open batters yet can be called on as third and fourth change bowlers and be very effective too, and somehow i think England may be a bowler short in a tight spot

  • on May 25, 2011, 22:23 GMT

    Sri Lanka Gonna win ..... bcz we are the best Go Lionz .....

  • 5wombats on May 25, 2011, 21:37 GMT

    Well @Tigg; there's 2 of us and 63 of them.... But, as Han Solo once said; "never tell me the odds"!

  • KingOwl on May 25, 2011, 21:34 GMT

    Sanga should keep wickets. He is not as good as Prasanna, but he is as good as any other test wicket keeper. That will help the balance in the team - can play an extra batsman AND an extra bowler!

  • legstump2009 on May 25, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    For India, England are the starters before the mains in Australia.

  • givemefood on May 25, 2011, 21:17 GMT

    Well, let's see what the flat-track century-scorers do in England. Dilshan, Tharanna, Sanga, Samara... (I'll exclude the classy Jaya) try your run scoring streak in England. Instead of going for a draw like you always do, go for some kind of result. Good luck.

  • on May 25, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    Even though Vaas retired from Tests, I really hope he gets picked for the ODI's and T20. He's been in fine form for Northamptonshire. It will be a tight series, but losing Nuwan Pradeep can hurt SL alot

  • on May 25, 2011, 20:39 GMT

    SriLanka Will Win....................................

  • on May 25, 2011, 20:38 GMT

    If Sri Lanka survive the early morning sessions then I can see draws written all over this series, both sides bat down to 8 but not sure who's going to take the early 2 or 3 wickets needed to get into the meat of either side.

  • on May 25, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    WE BELIEVE!!!! Anyways,,Win or Lose..we love our Team.! that why we r different from other nations.:D

  • on May 25, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    For reasons peculiar to SL cricket, SL yet again have to depend mainly on luck. With the advent of money-spinning limited over tournaments, some players who could well have given a good run for their money against any test team take the easy option of declaring that they are not for 5 day games. Some Sri Lankan players are the worst offenders.EVEN after 1971, all lethal fast bowlers from every test playing country continued to play in test matches too, including SL. There were times when Lindwall and Miller wrecked havoc bowling over 25 overs each in a day. So did Larwood, Trueman, Bedser for England and of course you have the famous WI foursome after Hall and Griffiths. Some fast bowlers even played in tests where the duration was limitless. For all that, Malinga, who is SL's best bowler declares, 26 yrs of age, that 5 day games aren't for him,as he is too exhausted. And yet he plays for a month for MIndians. In tests too you don't bowl through out 5 days, and the bowling is shared.

  • 5wombats on May 25, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    Well - England brethern - here we go again! I'm confident about a series win for England. I like Sri Lanka as a people and country and you will find the wombats quite respectful of their approach to the game. On the other hand - regarding Englands next opponents....

  • stormy16 on May 25, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    SL in a corner with the bowling attack and my call is stack the team with their strenght which is batting. If SL want to go with 5/6 combo which is positive but my suggestion is that to pick the alrounders as bwolers - Maha, Perera and Randiv. Worth considering the weather and playing for a draw - yeah negative but if it works SL should take it. Eng have no real issues other than pitch up and not do anything stupid.

  • MeSL on May 25, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    Once in a while a great test series comes. Good Luck Sri Lanka! Give a good fight. Still hopeful about victory. Let's prove what is right. Whatever happens, won't blame our team on that. :) Go Sri Lanka! We are fighters, we've lot to prove. I'm positive about a very positive result. Go, go, go Sri Lanka!

  • surge_joe on May 25, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    They should play Randiv.. He can be the next great spinner for SL..

  • on May 25, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    All the best Rangana!! You have to show ur colours in fast pitches

  • on May 25, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    Prasanna should be dropped and Chandimal can keep WKTS,. and could be a more than a useful batsmen, with Maharoof in good touch SL can pile up a huge !st inning total and attack wit our spinners and hope Randeev and Herath will be in the line up.

  • Tigg on May 25, 2011, 16:30 GMT

    I'd go for Finns wicket taking prowess over Broad any day. With Prior playing we bat to avery high standard down to 7. Swann and the tail will be fine.

    Looking forward to a few Morgan/Prior partnerships as well. If those two get going they can knock up 150 a session.

  • on May 25, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    Sri Lanka is continuously ranked among top four test sides in the last few years, and this preview looks like andrew has totally written off the challenge....

  • on May 25, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    yeah right.......chandimal best batsman in lanka.....cuz he has a 1st class avg of 61.......all the hard work done by mahiya sanga samre dili is nt good nd out of all chandimal is best..........yes he hasnt had ny chances in test..and i agree he is by far the best "young" batsman.....but ny day i wl go wt prasanna jayawardena............he is the best wicketkeeper today......nd in a series like this we need a proper wicket keeper, u dnt wna put a guy who hasnt face bowlers like dilhara herath mendis nd others, nd PJ has a cool mind rather than a attacking mind of chnadimal which can make a huge diffrence..and chandimal only scored 5 runs in the 2nd warm up... ......let chandimal play in odi's or in 2nd test if PJ fails......

    MY XI IS dilshan,paranavitana,sanga,mahiya,samare,prasanna,maharoof,perera/randiv,welagedara,dilhara and herath.............

  • on May 25, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    If Sri Lanka intend to play 6-5 combination, there is no place for Prasanna. There is only 1 vacant batting spot and it has to go to only possible genuine batting option Chandimal. However, those who rate him as best SL batsman should realize playng first class cricket in Sri Lanka and playing international cricket with a debut match in England are two vastly different situations. He has already got a taste of what to expect having had a double failure in England Lions game. He could be a future No. 3 for Sri Lanka but should start at No. 6. Most of the batting greats at No. 3 in world cricket did that way like Sanga and Ponting. He is forced to keep wickets to provide the balance in the team but Sri Lanka should seriously look at a keeper who can bat in top order like Kaushal Silva for the future. Maharoof, Herath and Thisara should provide useful lower order runs and in the absence of a single bowler who can run through a side all 5 bowlers will have to chip in with few wickets.

  • on May 25, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Drop Prasanna. Let chandimal to prove him self. god he should play for srilanka 2 years ago.. still they nt giving him a chance.. he's srilanka's best batsman by far. :(

  • VipulPatki on May 25, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    Best of Luck to Sri Lankan players. I believe a strong show now would boost the confidence of Indian players as well. It's only the fans on this site bickering among themselves over non-existent issues.

  • on May 25, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    Draw...Are you kidding me...Lankans need to pull up their socks and win this series...Tough one...But they have enough fuel in the tank to give England what it takes....

  • shihan12 on May 25, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    So England only think about Indian tour?? what a joke thats mean Sri Lankans not a team who can give a fight. God bless England!!!!

  • on May 25, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    my 11 1 dilshan 2 paranawithana 3 sanga 4 mahela 5 chandimal (wk) 6 samaraweera 7 randiv 8 maharoof 9 herath 10 welagedara 11 dilhara

  • Vernacular_Press on May 25, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    Jayawardene must score.Does Prasanna Jayawardene deserve a place in the team?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Vernacular_Press on May 25, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    Jayawardene must score.Does Prasanna Jayawardene deserve a place in the team?

  • on May 25, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    my 11 1 dilshan 2 paranawithana 3 sanga 4 mahela 5 chandimal (wk) 6 samaraweera 7 randiv 8 maharoof 9 herath 10 welagedara 11 dilhara

  • shihan12 on May 25, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    So England only think about Indian tour?? what a joke thats mean Sri Lankans not a team who can give a fight. God bless England!!!!

  • on May 25, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    Draw...Are you kidding me...Lankans need to pull up their socks and win this series...Tough one...But they have enough fuel in the tank to give England what it takes....

  • VipulPatki on May 25, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    Best of Luck to Sri Lankan players. I believe a strong show now would boost the confidence of Indian players as well. It's only the fans on this site bickering among themselves over non-existent issues.

  • on May 25, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Drop Prasanna. Let chandimal to prove him self. god he should play for srilanka 2 years ago.. still they nt giving him a chance.. he's srilanka's best batsman by far. :(

  • on May 25, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    If Sri Lanka intend to play 6-5 combination, there is no place for Prasanna. There is only 1 vacant batting spot and it has to go to only possible genuine batting option Chandimal. However, those who rate him as best SL batsman should realize playng first class cricket in Sri Lanka and playing international cricket with a debut match in England are two vastly different situations. He has already got a taste of what to expect having had a double failure in England Lions game. He could be a future No. 3 for Sri Lanka but should start at No. 6. Most of the batting greats at No. 3 in world cricket did that way like Sanga and Ponting. He is forced to keep wickets to provide the balance in the team but Sri Lanka should seriously look at a keeper who can bat in top order like Kaushal Silva for the future. Maharoof, Herath and Thisara should provide useful lower order runs and in the absence of a single bowler who can run through a side all 5 bowlers will have to chip in with few wickets.

  • on May 25, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    yeah right.......chandimal best batsman in lanka.....cuz he has a 1st class avg of 61.......all the hard work done by mahiya sanga samre dili is nt good nd out of all chandimal is best..........yes he hasnt had ny chances in test..and i agree he is by far the best "young" batsman.....but ny day i wl go wt prasanna jayawardena............he is the best wicketkeeper today......nd in a series like this we need a proper wicket keeper, u dnt wna put a guy who hasnt face bowlers like dilhara herath mendis nd others, nd PJ has a cool mind rather than a attacking mind of chnadimal which can make a huge diffrence..and chandimal only scored 5 runs in the 2nd warm up... ......let chandimal play in odi's or in 2nd test if PJ fails......

    MY XI IS dilshan,paranavitana,sanga,mahiya,samare,prasanna,maharoof,perera/randiv,welagedara,dilhara and herath.............

  • on May 25, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    Sri Lanka is continuously ranked among top four test sides in the last few years, and this preview looks like andrew has totally written off the challenge....

  • Tigg on May 25, 2011, 16:30 GMT

    I'd go for Finns wicket taking prowess over Broad any day. With Prior playing we bat to avery high standard down to 7. Swann and the tail will be fine.

    Looking forward to a few Morgan/Prior partnerships as well. If those two get going they can knock up 150 a session.