England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Lord's June 2, 2011

A huge test of Sri Lanka's resolve

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Match Facts

June 3-7, Lord's
Start time 11.00am (1000GMT)

The Big Picture

Conjuring victories out of nowhere is the hallmark of an outstanding cricket team and England is certainly one of those. Their thrilling effort to bowl out Sri Lanka for 82 in 24.4 overs on the final afternoon in Cardiff secured their fifth innings victory in seven Tests. Regardless of the frailties in Sri Lanka's batting, it was a mind-boggling performance from Chris Tremlett, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad.

It has set them up perfectly for the season and they will enter the second Test at Lord's with confidence soaring, especially as they started Cardiff with a hint of early-season rustiness to let Sri Lanka battle their way to 400. Then, though, things started slotting into place with a double-hundred from Jonathan Trott, another century for Alastair Cook and an effortless ton from Ian Bell.

The challenge now will be to refocus their energies and start afresh, but with the leadership of Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower that shouldn't be a problem. They see every success as just another stepping stone towards an ultimate goal. They will enjoy turning up at Lord's, too, because it's a ground where England have a strong recent record with three consecutive victories and no defeat since 2005.

The pitch is also likely to suit them with more pace than Cardiff which will benefit their batsmen and their three-pronged pace attack, that's set to be England's tallest ever with Steven Finn favourite to replace the injured James Anderson. It all adds up to a monumental task facing Sri Lanka if they want to regain pride. They've never won at Lord's, although on the last two visits have secured creditable draws, particularly in 2006 when they batted more than two days to save the game.

Although it was their batting which crumbled on Monday, it's the bowling that requires the most work because there will be no way back into the series if they can't take 20 wickets. They didn't even look like taking 10 in Cardiff and at 1-0 down there is no point being anything less than attacking in their mindset from here. That, though, is easier said than done when you've just been humbled for 82. The next five days will show us what this Sri Lankan team is really made of.

Form guide

(Most recent first)

England WWWLW
Sri Lanka LDDDL

Watch out for...

Kevin Pietersen made the headlines and filled reams of newsprint in the first Test and he only made 3. His dismissal, lbw to left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, meant his mindset and form were once again being dissected. The pre-series bravado will count for nothing unless he starts scoring big runs consistently. Everyone from the coach to the captain to his team-mates are fully behind him, yet at some point time will run out. He averages 62.71 in Tests at Lord's, but Herath is already loosening up.

Mahela Jayawardene has a terrific record at Lord's with a hundred in each of his previous Test visits to the ground. Sri Lanka desperately need their senior middle-order batsman to fire and Jayawardene had a poor game in Cardiff with scores of 4 and 15, edging twice to first slip. However, he has the technique to withstand England's tall pace attack, and the home side will know they have suffered many long hours in the field at his hands before.

Team news

The one decision for England to make is whether Finn or Jade Dernbach replaces Anderson. All the indications are that it will be Finn even though Dernbach's fuller length and swing would complement the attack nicely. However, Lord's is Finn's home ground and in two Tests here he has 13 wickets.

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 Steven Finn

It was a positive move by Sri Lanka to promote Prasanna Jayawardene to No. 6, and it worked in the first innings at Cardiff when he made an excellent 112. But will they be spooked by how the match end? The temptation will be to play an extra batsman, but somehow they need to find wicket-taking bowlers. The return of Dilhara Fernando will be a bonus and Chanaka Welegedara, the left-arm seamer, should play to add variation.

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

The good news after the often dreary weather in Cardiff is that the forecast for London is excellent over the next four or five days. Temperatures are set to hit the mid-20s and no rain is forecast. Interestingly, the Lord's pitch had a distinct tinge of green in the lead up to the game but most of that is expected to disappear by the first morning.

Stats and trivia

  • In the 2006 meeting between these two teams at Lord's, Sri Lanka batted for 199 overs to save the match and Andrew Flintoff bowled 51 of them.

  • Jonathan Trott, who scored 203 in Cardiff, also likes batting at Lord's. Last season he hit 226 and 36 not out against Bangladesh followed by 184 against Pakistan.

  • In 1984, Duleep Mendis, currently the selector in tour with Sri Lanka, hit 111 and 94 in the country's first Test at Lord's.

For a full stats preview click here.

Quotes

"I don't think any of us want to take our foot off the pedal now. We've got some early momentum in this series. We've got to push on and keep challenging ourselves to get better and better."
Andrew Strauss

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 3, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    Go Poms Go...Make it a clean sweep

  • ajayrcs on June 3, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    English are on roll ! I think this English team will be another Heroic era similar to Australia and West Indies era. And when we talk about India they are about to see the dawn after Sachin retirement.

  • SDHM on June 3, 2011, 9:47 GMT

    KavumPerethaya - the 2006 was actually drawn 1-1...

  • on June 3, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    @Kamal Mustafa - I'm sure that Barmy Army first needs to learn to spell trailer correctly and use comma correctly. Regarding the cricket, we'll see who prevails. As far as facts go, both the sides are very good. Team India have been doing very well for past four years and the English side is looking more settled than it ever did. Let's hope that it would be a good contest

  • on June 3, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    Surely sri lanka are smart enough to include the extra batsman (dinesh chandimul) there batting line up was too short. An extra bowler is doing nothing, mendis hardly bowled, dilshan bowled 16 overs, herath can bowl all day, then dilhara and welegedera should be given a chance. Sri lanka simply wont win (or draw) going in with 5 batsman + Keeper who bats decent but isn't good enough to be at 6. Mahela and sanga seem out of form , so play 6 batsman + keeper, or let chandimul keep and include Thirimanne or kaushal silva as 7th batsman to further strenghten batting. I doubt prassana will be dropped after his hundred, but there is better options out there who will score more runs. England team looks settled, i feel finn will play , but i think dernbach would be more dangerous looking at how he troubled sri lanka in warm up game.

  • nwsk on June 3, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    I THINK TODAY DINESH . SURAJ. WELAGEDRA & DILHRA SHOULD BE PALYED. THISARA, LAKMAL. RANGAN . & MAHARUF ALSO CAN DROP ALSO?

  • Faizal23 on June 3, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    hello SL frnds PLZ dont blame IPL Thilan came to form while playing IPL. If u people doest want ur palyers in IPL ask ur SLC to not give them NOC.But u know they are getting paid 5% of value of palyers................... so dont blame IPL............ got it all the best SL team.........

  • hawkeye30 on June 3, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    Whats the whole fuss about. SL will play good cricket in the following games.. this is not a series which includes india.. would be best if the thoughts are kept for the indian series.. and who ever thinks the next few games are like practice games for england- this statement shows ur IQ level!! Grow up!

  • RecordHunter on June 3, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    I prefer Mendis in place of Maharoof in this testmatch, though both are not in good form.thereby we get 3 Fast bowlers (Dilhara, Welgedara and Thisara) and 3 Spinners (Herath,Mendis,Dilshan)

    In the long term SL should get a batting Allrounder at the 6th slot, who can bowl spin (Jeevan Menids/ Janaka Gunarathne).

  • on June 3, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    Tell those Indians,,,,U are not coming to play on dead wickets,,,,Barmy Army will show rather will put U in misery,,,,and Lankans U have just seen a trailor,,,movie has to start,,,U will never recover from this onslaught,,,off U go lankans....

  • on June 3, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    Go Poms Go...Make it a clean sweep

  • ajayrcs on June 3, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    English are on roll ! I think this English team will be another Heroic era similar to Australia and West Indies era. And when we talk about India they are about to see the dawn after Sachin retirement.

  • SDHM on June 3, 2011, 9:47 GMT

    KavumPerethaya - the 2006 was actually drawn 1-1...

  • on June 3, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    @Kamal Mustafa - I'm sure that Barmy Army first needs to learn to spell trailer correctly and use comma correctly. Regarding the cricket, we'll see who prevails. As far as facts go, both the sides are very good. Team India have been doing very well for past four years and the English side is looking more settled than it ever did. Let's hope that it would be a good contest

  • on June 3, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    Surely sri lanka are smart enough to include the extra batsman (dinesh chandimul) there batting line up was too short. An extra bowler is doing nothing, mendis hardly bowled, dilshan bowled 16 overs, herath can bowl all day, then dilhara and welegedera should be given a chance. Sri lanka simply wont win (or draw) going in with 5 batsman + Keeper who bats decent but isn't good enough to be at 6. Mahela and sanga seem out of form , so play 6 batsman + keeper, or let chandimul keep and include Thirimanne or kaushal silva as 7th batsman to further strenghten batting. I doubt prassana will be dropped after his hundred, but there is better options out there who will score more runs. England team looks settled, i feel finn will play , but i think dernbach would be more dangerous looking at how he troubled sri lanka in warm up game.

  • nwsk on June 3, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    I THINK TODAY DINESH . SURAJ. WELAGEDRA & DILHRA SHOULD BE PALYED. THISARA, LAKMAL. RANGAN . & MAHARUF ALSO CAN DROP ALSO?

  • Faizal23 on June 3, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    hello SL frnds PLZ dont blame IPL Thilan came to form while playing IPL. If u people doest want ur palyers in IPL ask ur SLC to not give them NOC.But u know they are getting paid 5% of value of palyers................... so dont blame IPL............ got it all the best SL team.........

  • hawkeye30 on June 3, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    Whats the whole fuss about. SL will play good cricket in the following games.. this is not a series which includes india.. would be best if the thoughts are kept for the indian series.. and who ever thinks the next few games are like practice games for england- this statement shows ur IQ level!! Grow up!

  • RecordHunter on June 3, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    I prefer Mendis in place of Maharoof in this testmatch, though both are not in good form.thereby we get 3 Fast bowlers (Dilhara, Welgedara and Thisara) and 3 Spinners (Herath,Mendis,Dilshan)

    In the long term SL should get a batting Allrounder at the 6th slot, who can bowl spin (Jeevan Menids/ Janaka Gunarathne).

  • on June 3, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    Tell those Indians,,,,U are not coming to play on dead wickets,,,,Barmy Army will show rather will put U in misery,,,,and Lankans U have just seen a trailor,,,movie has to start,,,U will never recover from this onslaught,,,off U go lankans....

  • on June 3, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    this is simply practice game for England. they will play real game against World champion INDIA

  • on June 3, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    It is ridiculous state that Thilan is useless for test cricket. He is one of the best 11 test batsmen in the world along with Sanga and Mahela. That was why he scored a half century in the first innings in Cardiff. Welegedara must play along with Randiv as he batted well on a green top when Prasanna and Dinesh failed. If 100% fit, Dilhara must be included. Selection must be done basing on the latest form. SL must not repeat the mistakes of the 1st test and must be capable to avoid and evade the bouncers. Wickets shall not be thrown away as SL did in the first test and try to avoid batting on the last day. A DRAW will be a great victory. For that SL have to score over 600.

  • darkknight1072 on June 3, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    Looking the way SL is paying at the moment, i am very skeptical about its performance in Lords. Win is impossible due to lack of quality bowlers and draw seems difficult. Too much IPL made batsmen deskilled for tests. Good luck to Sl anyway.

  • on June 3, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    Peterson is out of sorts and seems to be the only weak link in the England side. Has been given enough chances for his past perforamnces,high time for him to score...

  • WaldermaltCricketer on June 3, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    If SL wants at least this game to be drawn they have to do big changes in their side. Firstly they have to concern about Thilan Samaraweera. He is a very good Test player.But he has no skill to play on fast tracks like in ENG. He is very effective in test matches played in Sri Lanka specialty in SSC, Colombo. He can manage in Galle, PSS & other Sri Lanakan grounds & even in Pakisthan. But he can't even hold the bat when he's playing in Countries like ENG,AUS.. So what SLC should do is drop Thilan who is useless in ENG & give a chance to new comer like Dinesh Chandimal. Remember what Thilan did to the team in World Cup. He is totally not suitable for ODIs & he performed poorly in the field also. Same thing will happen in this test series also if he is given a chance. In the bowling brigade Ajantha Mendis & Thisara Perera should be dropped & Welagedara & Dilahara Fernando shoul be included. If they do so, they will be able not to WIN..but to avoid losing..

  • jpaul211 on June 3, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    Undoubtedly SL is missing Murali and Malinga. Its baptism by fire for youngsters.

  • on June 3, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    come on lions we can do this.!!!!!!!!Lions are lions where ever they are !!!!!

  • skepticaloptimist on June 3, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    @voma - My point is not to put down the English side. If you read my comments on other articles, you'll come to know that I admire this team's never-die spirit. They are, as a matter of fact, turning up to be a very good side, or one may say, they already have. I just wanted to get across a simple point: like every team, Sri Lankan team can also have bad days, but that's no reason to compare them to Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Of course, they need improvement in all departments, but it will only come along as time passes. Even the great Shane Warne had to take a beating in a few test matches, before he started to reveal his magic. The best practice is match practice. I'm sure they'll learn from their mistakes and give a fight to the in-form English side.

  • mathewjohn2176 on June 3, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    @voma,england dismissed west indies for 46 way back in 2004 mate..but the form england fell for just 51 to west indies in kensington in the year 2009,just 2 years ago..so any team can go through lowest score once a while..just dont write off srilanka yet..

  • 9ST9 on June 3, 2011, 4:10 GMT

    @valavan - you forgot that SL won in 2006 mate. If you state facts make sure you get them correct.

  • 9ST9 on June 3, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    In such situations one can only feel frustration at the authorities for forcing a quality bowler like vaas to retire. Also Lasith Malinga's inspired-by-greed decision to retire tests ensure that SL are a match winning bowler short. He was the key strike bowler in SL's last test win against India.one cannot blame the IPL because they simply are pursuing their own interests and so is Malinga. But it's time cricket boards had the back bone to get rid of ipl windows, and make sure players are committed full time to their country. Maybe all these T20 leagues should be an event that involves retired greats like gilchrist etc who can earn their pension through it.

  • mysay on June 3, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    Phermon, What on earth are you on about??? Akila's comment is justifiable as he's obviously looking at the complete test and not the first few days when SL batted, in which it was one sided as England batting and bolwing ran havoc against the Sri Lankans. Keyboard cricketer seems to have more sence than you mate. Again Prognostic Talents, do you call "Hope" a prognostic talent??? Wake up man.

  • on June 3, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    Wait wait india is come to rock in England.......

  • on June 3, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    come on Sri lanka ......Lords is the place to do it .....we all know whan we hurt badly how we can come back.........Dilshan , you have have a power.in your hand and bihind you .....Sanga , Mahela .Tilan, Prsanna , .....what els you miss ?

    Show it up .....cheers

  • allblue on June 3, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    The three County matches at Lords this season have all started with a green tinge to the wicket, and despite dry conditions it has remained throughout. So expect a bit of seam movement here, but it remains a good batting track with decent pace and bounce, so the bowling has to be accurate otherwise it will be punished. Clear skies overhead at Lords usually means not much conventional swing, and the lush outfield doesn't give much assistance at reversing it. By the fourth and fifth days there will probably be some grip for the spinners as well. So going on what we've seen so far this season it is a very good cricket wicket where good bowling will be rewarded but there are big runs there for quality batsmen.

  • on June 3, 2011, 2:53 GMT

    As Mr. Roy Dias told yesterday, SL must have 7 batsmen, including the keeper, and 4 bowlers. Thisara Perera must be dropped and Randiv must be included for his batting alone as he batted well and became the top scorer (76 n.o.) against British Lions, in the 1st innings, on a green, grassy pitch. That is the talent he performed, under pressure.

  • on June 3, 2011, 2:27 GMT

    take inspiration form india we went into south africa w/o practice, played on bad pitch on first day we lsot that match but we did fight there in 2nd innigs dragged the match till last day in 2nd match we won in 3rd we were more dominant if it wasnt for kallis we would ve won! sri lanka can do it! all the best

  • phermon on June 3, 2011, 1:30 GMT

    Akila Silva - you weren't serious, were you about the one-sided game? At the end of the second "day", the headlines were screaming about Sri Lanka being in control! It is amazing how many cricket followers have prognostic talents. So much hollow verbiage about what will happen in the future. OK so it was alright for Glenn McGrath and Sharne Warne to make strong predictions, but they expected to be part of making the future happen. But you keyboard cricketers are not in that position - so why not focus on commenting on the article and the series

  • on June 3, 2011, 1:02 GMT

    wait england......ur dady india s coming.....

  • landl47 on June 3, 2011, 0:48 GMT

    Perhaps cranaweera could give an example of England looking very different, very quickly in the last two years? That would be the two years in which they have played 7 test series, won 6 of them and tied the other (in South Africa) before winning the first test here. I don't see much under-achieving there.

  • on June 2, 2011, 23:57 GMT

    @Valavan, regarding the SL-ENG series of 2001... that was a stollen series if there ever could be one... actually let me add SA-ENG series of 1998 to that too... as for exeptional English bowling, there was some of it but the blame is squarely on Sri Lanka... there is no excuse for folding in 24 overs in such good conditions against a 3-man attack... it was a mental gaffe that has cost them dearly. Sri Lanka is a world no.4-5ish team but they will struggle without Murali to build on their progress; actually the 2006-season was probably one of Sri Lanka's best but even at that time there was a lack of vision to where the Test side could have gone. That set aside, it's a three-way race to No.1, unfortunately only England and India have the opportunity this year... I still favour South Africa as the best team (especially when playing oversees as to their record of not losing an Away Series since 2006? Any team to beat that?).

  • KingOwl on June 2, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    Valavan: England in SL since 1995 - won 2 lost 3 SL in England since 1995 - won 2 lost 4 (including Cardiff)

  • on June 2, 2011, 20:20 GMT

    In reality England fluked a win from a stuck on draw thanks to some good bowling by Tremlett and shocking shot selection by the SL lower middle order. However I also think it showed that England are a better side. Bowlers win matches and England have a better bowling attack. Tremlett might be one of those guys who is only around for two or three years at the top but he just looks right as a bowler. I'd prefer 5 against India though with Onions coming back in. That attack would certainly only be challanged by South Africa.

    A lot of people are underestimating Englands batting.Its also very impressive at the moment. The doubt to my mind is for guys like Cook and Bell is it good form or a true reflection of their ability? I fear its the latter. They score runs and big ones but somehow dont seem anything like as fearsome as other countries.

  • voma on June 2, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    Karn , listen mate i take your point. Perhaps im being a bit harsh on Sri Lankas bowlers . Erm but your Knowledge on Englands past is debatable , we have beaten Australia 3 out of the last 4 series . England have defeated poor old West Indies heavily to . We bowled them out for 46 at lords a few years ago ! . With dominic cork . heh heh .

  • S.N.Singh on June 2, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    HERE AGAIN THE "COACH". WHY ON EARTH THE COACH ADVISED SRI-LANKA TO BAT ON A DAY WHICH WAS ALMOST LOST BY RAIN ? IN ENGLAND YOU DO NOT DO ANYTHING LIKE THAT ? THIS I BLAME THE COACH. ENGLAND WOULD NOT HAVE SURVIVE THAT DAY AND THE GAME WOULD HAVE TURN INTO A GAME. UNTIL SRI LANKA MESSED UP IN 25 OVERS ? IN ENGLAND, IF THIS IS THERE PATTERN OF PLAYING CRICKET IN ENGLAND THE NEXT GAME WILL HAVE NO INTEREST ? SO LONG SRI -LANKA. S.N.SINGH

  • InnocentGuy on June 2, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    The average height of the English bowling attack (should Finn play) will be just short of 6'5" and not 6'6". Of course, if you consider only seam bowling, then yeah it's more than 6'6". Remarkable. Suddenly England bowlers seem like they can actually bowl! :) But yeah, they are playing brilliantly.

  • on June 2, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    all i hope is that it turns out into a good game of cricket instead of the one-sided affair at cardiff and what is predicted for lords...sl fan.

  • Finn92 on June 2, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    I'd put money on a Jayawardene hundred for this match, though I hope not being an England fan. KP definitley needs runs, Dernbach has to play to add variety, you can't get away with playing 3 bowlers who are essentially the same!

  • on June 2, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    SL fans be positive. I can see some Sri Lankans have made negative comments. Mates we can't do anything if we start saying "we can't do that." Be optimistic in all your works not pessimistic. SL LIONS will definitely roar in Lord's.

  • InsideHedge on June 2, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    Too much talking from so-called experts, most of whom can't even remember the last series between the two countries. Let the action begin. For once, there will no late starts. The mercury is forecast to rise to a whopping 25 degrees. That's celsius for my American friends. Enjoy it while it lasts, Lords spectators, because it gets cold again on the weekend. Welcome to England!

  • Valavan on June 2, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    @cranaweera, you seem a sour grape guy, not a single team will declare in 92 leading and knowing the fact somehow match will draw. Strauss only wanted to pick few wickets to gather momentum to the 2nd test, but excpetional english bowling forced SL to submission rather than poor display. look at some of catching, that shows the commitment.Did ever SL win when condition was alien to them???? Think before you write. SL is yet to win a test in either SA or Aus, and won the one off test in England way back in 1997, when Arjuna lead the side. With all power packed line up , SL lost 2 - 0 in 2002 in England, also loosing the home series in 2001. England looks in much better shape now after 1991.

  • skepticaloptimist on June 2, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    How much do we see this jibber-jabber. Can't people just wait for India to play England before making absurd claims. "England are destined ..." Yes, they have done well. So have India. So have Sri Lanka. @voma - Dude, now you have troubles watching and understanding cricket, so I recommend you to sort them out first. The English team were bowled-out for even-worse 51 against WI a few years ago. Surely, the people's memory is short. They can only see what happened last week and mostly tend to forget what happened a fortnight ago.

  • voma on June 2, 2011, 17:37 GMT

    Spelele , there are plenty of good young English batsmen about at the moment . But as England are playing so well at the moment , why change a winning side . And Kevin Pieterson could walk into S Africas team tomorrow .

  • Sameer_cricfan on June 2, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    As an England fan too I can see some genuine mistakes made by SL 1)Not picking Kulasekara for the tour 2)Picking 2 mediocre allrounders in Test XI 3)Playing 6 batsmen 4)Asking Lakmal to lead the attack in his 4th Test 5)Mahela and Sanga's extended IPL and THE BIGGEST 6)Appointing Dilshan as captain. Hope SL mates will approve these.

  • on June 2, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    It is a make or break occasion for Sri Lankans. The batsmen should do their bats do the talking and bowlers should look for wickets instead of bowling negative line and length. Dilhara is the key for making early inroads. Regardless of possible playing XI named here I am sure Ajantha Mendis will play at Lords as the second spinner. He had problems gripping the ball with cold fingers are Cardiff. All the best for a superlative performance.

  • voma on June 2, 2011, 16:38 GMT

    I hope Sri Lanka can bounce back from the humilating defeat in cardiff . Im not sure if England are back to there superb form after retaining the Ashes , i think there is some improvement still to be made . The biggest problem Sri Lanka have is they have no bowlers , they are probably on a par with Bangladesh or Zimbabwe now .

  • amir-test-cricket on June 2, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    hoping for a bowlers dominant test match (pace) ...

  • Lord.emsworth on June 2, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    England will be hard to rub now that they are in the driving seat. If SL's Mahaela J and Sangakarra fail again they should single handedly be big men and offer their places to the likes of Chandimal and some of the wonderful batsmen in the youth team that had a successful Australian tour( Rajapakse etc). Stuart Law is just being super faithful to the SL selectors when he puts the thumbs down for a late Vaas inclusion. The guy took 10 wickets in his last county match just a few days ago!

  • mohsin9975 on June 2, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    This squad of england is destined to b no1 for next 2-3 years once they claim it frm the indians later this year.India dont hav the bowling depth nd variety that is so important to win tests even odi nd t20s. India become helpless nd toothless the moment zaheer gets injured.Harbhajan has no new tricks to trouble batsmen even on indian pitches. The other indian fast bowlers r still in their infancy. Once our legendary batsmen retire, england will b at the top for some time to come. Indian cricfan

  • SahanJayasuriya on June 2, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    I think sri lanka has a chance to win this match. Because sl have 2 good seamers & 2 excellent spinners. And the pitch is a good track

  • WPDDESILVA on June 2, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    Don't see Sri Lanka taking 20 wickets let alone 10 to be honest. They need to find bowlers who are crafty and clever as Vaas / Malinga. England will win it but won't be easy. Sad Sri Lanka!

  • KingOwl on June 2, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    With all due respect, I really don't think that England are an outstanding team. Sure they won this match out of nowhere. But it was all due to SL being poor in the second inning, not England being great. It takes very little for England to lose their self-belief. When things are not going their way, they look very different, very quickly. That is NOT the sign of a great team. I have great respect for English players, and their captain. I think fans the world over have respect for English players, unlike for Australians. But as far as cricketing success goes, I think England will be under-achievers. They will always struggle to win in conditions that are alien to them.

  • Test_Cricket_Best_Cricket on June 2, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    With all due respect to Dilhara Fernando, He s no Wasim Akram who would come in and bowl out Eng twice.. SL has to field 5 bowlers and fight it out when they bat if they want to have any realistic chance of coming back in this series..

  • Spelele on June 2, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    Kp shud just retire as he is useless. Get in another talented batsman in the mix (or are there any in Egland at the moment?. I doubt it. Then hunt down Ten Doschate, or something! just get this foolish bigmouth out of the team.

  • imi905 on June 2, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    If the English curators prepare supporting wickets to their bowlers, I do not think Sri Lanka could recover from it. They don't have the skills, techniques and mental temperament to play in English conditions. Thanks for playing on dead subcontinent wickets!!! England have two extraordinary players, Trott and Swann. Nobody knows what to about them. I see complete English bowlers dominance, unless they commit "harikari" by preparing DEAD wickets!

  • jk.jeetukakwani on June 2, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    it will be like a defeat if england cant go 2-0 after this test....and on the other hand if lankan can manage a draw than it will be like a win for them..

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  • jk.jeetukakwani on June 2, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    it will be like a defeat if england cant go 2-0 after this test....and on the other hand if lankan can manage a draw than it will be like a win for them..

  • imi905 on June 2, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    If the English curators prepare supporting wickets to their bowlers, I do not think Sri Lanka could recover from it. They don't have the skills, techniques and mental temperament to play in English conditions. Thanks for playing on dead subcontinent wickets!!! England have two extraordinary players, Trott and Swann. Nobody knows what to about them. I see complete English bowlers dominance, unless they commit "harikari" by preparing DEAD wickets!

  • Spelele on June 2, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    Kp shud just retire as he is useless. Get in another talented batsman in the mix (or are there any in Egland at the moment?. I doubt it. Then hunt down Ten Doschate, or something! just get this foolish bigmouth out of the team.

  • Test_Cricket_Best_Cricket on June 2, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    With all due respect to Dilhara Fernando, He s no Wasim Akram who would come in and bowl out Eng twice.. SL has to field 5 bowlers and fight it out when they bat if they want to have any realistic chance of coming back in this series..

  • KingOwl on June 2, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    With all due respect, I really don't think that England are an outstanding team. Sure they won this match out of nowhere. But it was all due to SL being poor in the second inning, not England being great. It takes very little for England to lose their self-belief. When things are not going their way, they look very different, very quickly. That is NOT the sign of a great team. I have great respect for English players, and their captain. I think fans the world over have respect for English players, unlike for Australians. But as far as cricketing success goes, I think England will be under-achievers. They will always struggle to win in conditions that are alien to them.

  • WPDDESILVA on June 2, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    Don't see Sri Lanka taking 20 wickets let alone 10 to be honest. They need to find bowlers who are crafty and clever as Vaas / Malinga. England will win it but won't be easy. Sad Sri Lanka!

  • SahanJayasuriya on June 2, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    I think sri lanka has a chance to win this match. Because sl have 2 good seamers & 2 excellent spinners. And the pitch is a good track

  • mohsin9975 on June 2, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    This squad of england is destined to b no1 for next 2-3 years once they claim it frm the indians later this year.India dont hav the bowling depth nd variety that is so important to win tests even odi nd t20s. India become helpless nd toothless the moment zaheer gets injured.Harbhajan has no new tricks to trouble batsmen even on indian pitches. The other indian fast bowlers r still in their infancy. Once our legendary batsmen retire, england will b at the top for some time to come. Indian cricfan

  • Lord.emsworth on June 2, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    England will be hard to rub now that they are in the driving seat. If SL's Mahaela J and Sangakarra fail again they should single handedly be big men and offer their places to the likes of Chandimal and some of the wonderful batsmen in the youth team that had a successful Australian tour( Rajapakse etc). Stuart Law is just being super faithful to the SL selectors when he puts the thumbs down for a late Vaas inclusion. The guy took 10 wickets in his last county match just a few days ago!

  • amir-test-cricket on June 2, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    hoping for a bowlers dominant test match (pace) ...