Sri Lanka tour of England 2014 May 4, 2014

Adapting to conditions key- Mathews

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Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews believes that adapting to English conditions as quickly as possible will be his team's biggest challenge in their upcoming tour of England and Ireland. Sri Lanka will kick-start their campaign with two ODIs in Dublin against Ireland, before moving to England for a one-off Twenty20 international, five ODIs, and two Tests.

"As a player the main thing is to adapt to the conditions," Mathews said. "We have been playing a lot of cricket in the subcontinent and playing in England will be a great challenge for all us especially adapting to the conditions early. In the early summer, conditions can be wet and the ball can seam and swing a little bit. If we can adjust to the conditions as soon as possible and play our brand of cricket we can beat any team.

"Playing against Ireland will be good for us. They are a very good team and we can't be complacent against them. They know their conditions well and adapting to their conditions will be our biggest challenge. Whatever team that plays there knows that Ireland is very good at home. We look forward to a really good challenge from them and I am sure the boys are ready for it."

Mathews also said that he expected England to come hard at his team following a disappointing Ashes campaign in Australia, where they were trounced 5-0. Even history is against Sri Lanka, who haven't won a Test in England since 2006, when they emerged victorious from the Nottingham Test by 134 runs to tie the three-match series 1-1. The team last toured England for a Test series in 2011, where a batting collapse in the second innings of the first Test in Cardiff handed the hosts a 1-0 victory.

"England as a team are very hard to beat at home," he said. "They know their conditions and they play their best cricket at home. It's going to be a very big challenge for all of us and we are looking forward to it."

For Mathews who has been on three previous tours to England but only played in ODIs, this will be his first Test tour to the country. Sri Lanka will be playing Tests at Lord's and in Leeds. Sri Lanka have not won a bilateral ODI series outside the subcontinent since November 2010 when they beat Australia 2-1.On their last tour to England, in 2011, they lost the five-match ODI series 2-3.

"Playing at Lord's will be a special moment for me as well as the team. If we can win the series it will be a great effort by the whole team," he said. "But we are not looking too far ahead, but taking it one game at a time. We are playing against Ireland and then hoping to take that momentum to the England series and try and win against them in the ODIs and in the Tests."

Mathews has been captain of Sri Lanka for seven Tests and the added responsibility only brought out the best in his batting. He averages 80 in those Tests, which include three fifties and a career-best 157 not out. In ODIs too he has an impressive record as captain, scoring 794 runs at 44.11 from 32 matches with a strike-rate of 83. Mathews, however, credited only his team-mates for his good form.

"I am slowly getting comfortable because the team is responding really well. They are giving me their 100 percent and we are like a family. We help each other and we enjoy each other's success. That's the main thing.

"It's a team effort and we done pretty well in the recent past. I talk to all the senior guys and get their advice but I do it in my own style with the help of so many people.

Winning the Asia Cup was a key moment for Mathews as captain, particularly because of the burden of expectations thrust on Sri Lanka's shoulders. Prior to their World T20 triumph in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka had finished runners-up in four of the last six world events.

"It was one of the highlights of my career. That's a major trophy that I won with the help of the team," Mathews said. "We got pretty close in the past but we didn't win a major title before the Asia Cup. I am very happy the way we went about it. Winning the World T20 was also great achievement by the entire team."

To help Mathews achieve his goals, he has a new vice-captain, a new coach as well as a special consultant. Lahiru Thirimanne has taken over the role as Mathews' deputy from Dinesh Chandimal, and Marvan Atapattu has filled the void created by coach Paul Farbrace, who returned to England. Chris Adams, the former Surrey coach has been appointed to act as a consultant for the tour.

"Thiri is a great player and he has shown that in the past. He is one of those players who hasn't got the opportunity to bat at a permanent position for a long time and he has batted in various positions. If you take his record he has scored almost in every position. That shows the character of the player. He is a very cool and calm headed guy. I really look forward to him being my deputy and taking the team to attain greater heights.

"Marvan has played enough cricket and captained the country on so many occasions. He has sufficient experience as a coach. He was our batting coach and now he is turning up as head coach. He's shared his experience throughout and he's been great. I am pretty sure he will do a good job. It's about players responding to the challenge.

"We also hope to get the maximum out of Chris Adams. The thinking behind getting him was that he knows the English conditions and about the English team as well. We've done a little bit of analysing of the English team. We sort of know their players, but it's more about the conditions and how we use it properly. That was the main thinking behind appointing him."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • trueSLfan2010 on May 6, 2014, 23:39 GMT

    Two super guys in SL batting line up, Kusal Perera added another 4ball DUCK to his amazing record on fast tracks, accumulating 17 Runs from 6 ODI Innings. Kithuruwan Vithanage is the only other guy who survived under 5 balls on that lively Irish Spring deck!

  • dhanuhskaS on May 6, 2014, 20:46 GMT

    SL badly needs an experienced OPENER to stem the inning in upcoming ODI series & for the future, including WC. Wasting anymore time with a substandard guy, who was parachuted to the ODI side in 2013, at the expense of 8th highest all time Run-maker for SL, is a CRIME! Persisting with an unskilled, substandard opener like KUSAL would certainly cost heavily for SL, in the Eng series as well as 2015 WC! He has managed just 17 RUNS in SIX consecutive innings at an astonishing AVERAGE of 2.9 on lively Fast-decks! Whenever he appear in these conditions, the lacking skills are clearly visible! How on earth, a player like him GET REPEATEDLY SELECTED for 50 over games? IT is high time for Sanath to bring back SL's most experienced young 28yr opener Upul Tharanga, who has scored 13 CENTURIES + 28x50s all over the world in ODIs. This includes 2 CENTURIES vs Eng in England. This is Tharanga's Record in Eng: Batting Average 69.40 -S/R 84.42 - 5 Inning -347 Runs - 100sx2 + 50sx1 (HS 120).

  • RohanMarkJay on May 6, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    Good luck Sri Lanka. I firmly this is Sri Lanka's best chance to win a test series (More than one test match) in England. Make history by winning their first test series in England. It would be a fitting reward to complement Sri Lanka's historic T20 trophy and limited overs cricket prowess. Sri Lanka has a great chance this time as England team is still recovering from the ashes debacle against Australia in Oz. Although Matthews is correct when he says that England plays their best cricket in England.Even the bad England sides of the 1990s barring against Australia, Pakistan and losing a one off test against Sri Lanka in 1998 did quite well at home against other opposition. So Sri Lanka will need to play really good cricket.They should win this time if Sri Lanka's very good batsman make big scores even the early swing and seam conditions shouldn't be a problem to batsman of Sri Lanka's class Here's hoping Sri Lanka win the series to complement their T20 trophy.All the best Sri Lanka :)

  • on May 5, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    @asanka your team isn't balance! we can't play 3 front line bowlers and 2 part timers (mathews rarely bowl 10 overs in ODI's) and win a match! And you drop our best pace bowler and allrounder kulasekaara Sri lanka win matches by good bowling and good batting! Drop kithruwan and put kulasekara

  • on May 5, 2014, 15:29 GMT

    My Team : Kusal , Thirimanna, Chandimal, Vithanage, Matthews, Priyangan, N.Dickwalla, C de silva, Eranga, Sennayaka, Prasad.This is Super team this tourament. Very balance team. 2 seamers, 1 all rounder, 2 spinners .

  • Sinhaya on May 5, 2014, 13:15 GMT

    @Chris_P, yes I know how much you love test cricket as seen by your posts. We lack bowling strength to win test series especially overseas. But for a team which did not play test cricket for 9 months last year, many forecasted 2-0 for Pakistan in UAE but it was 1-1 in the end. Eranga has recently improved so lets see. English bowling will be testing so lets look forward to an exciting test series.

    @landl47, sorry I agree I was too optimistic on Kaushal Silva. But his twin fifties in the Dubai test must be noted. Kithuruwan Vithanage yes he only has played tests against Bangladesh. Angelo Mathews is improving fast as his test batting average shows. Sanga holds the key for tests. We must play Kusal Perera for tests indeed instead of Dimuth Karunaratne. Chandimal has some good scores in England and outside Asia but his recent form is a worry.

    As for England, Chris Woakes should play tests as a replacement for Kevin Pietersen.

  • Chris_P on May 5, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    @Sinhaya, Good points plus a much better set of expectations is very much the point of my post. Expect good showings, yes, but to expect test victories or series victories given recent away form leaves you very much up for disappointment. I still believe your bowling is very much the key factor on your performances over there & that concerns me as an observer. Your batting is close to top shelf, but they will be against a very talented bowling unit on familiar surfaces & with solid home form. I do enjoy test cricket so looking forward to the series.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on May 5, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    My Team: Upul, Kushal, Lahiru, Dinesh, Angelo, Kithuruwan, Sachitra, Chathuranga, Nuwan, , Dhammika, and Ajantha. This got 3 seamers, 2 officies 1 lefty, 1 leggi, and 9 batters. I am really looking forward to this team.

  • Rawanaa on May 5, 2014, 5:05 GMT

    Guys its new era with mathews & recently he shows us what he is capable of... wining asia cup & t20 world cup is past so hopefully we have to looking forward to prepare our resources to win world cup in 2015. This england tour is the foundation & my money is with mathews & co & we all know they are not going to disappointing us.. I'm pretty sure that lakmal, eranga, pradeep with herath can take 20 wickets & kaushal,sanga, mahela,thiri, mathews can do the rest to win test series.... with the recent form hell yeah we can beat them on their own backyard... good luck Srilanka... Go get them

  • landl47 on May 5, 2014, 3:29 GMT

    @Sinhaya: While I respect your opinion, I think to claim that Sri Lanka don't depend on Sanga and Mahela any more based on a few tests in the subcontinent/UAE against Bangladesh is stretching optimism to its utmost. Silva is nearly 28 and has only made runs in the subcontinent; he played one test in South Africa in 2011 and made 0 and 17. I haven't seen Vithanage, but he has only played 4 tests, all against Bangladesh in the subcontinent/UAE (has he played any cricket at all anywhere else?).

    There is little relationship between tests against Bangladesh seam bowling in subcontinental conditions and tests against England seam bowling in early summer in England.

    If they do well, then good for them. Don't count on it. If Sanga and Mahela don't do well, SL in my opinion is likely to lose the tests.

  • trueSLfan2010 on May 6, 2014, 23:39 GMT

    Two super guys in SL batting line up, Kusal Perera added another 4ball DUCK to his amazing record on fast tracks, accumulating 17 Runs from 6 ODI Innings. Kithuruwan Vithanage is the only other guy who survived under 5 balls on that lively Irish Spring deck!

  • dhanuhskaS on May 6, 2014, 20:46 GMT

    SL badly needs an experienced OPENER to stem the inning in upcoming ODI series & for the future, including WC. Wasting anymore time with a substandard guy, who was parachuted to the ODI side in 2013, at the expense of 8th highest all time Run-maker for SL, is a CRIME! Persisting with an unskilled, substandard opener like KUSAL would certainly cost heavily for SL, in the Eng series as well as 2015 WC! He has managed just 17 RUNS in SIX consecutive innings at an astonishing AVERAGE of 2.9 on lively Fast-decks! Whenever he appear in these conditions, the lacking skills are clearly visible! How on earth, a player like him GET REPEATEDLY SELECTED for 50 over games? IT is high time for Sanath to bring back SL's most experienced young 28yr opener Upul Tharanga, who has scored 13 CENTURIES + 28x50s all over the world in ODIs. This includes 2 CENTURIES vs Eng in England. This is Tharanga's Record in Eng: Batting Average 69.40 -S/R 84.42 - 5 Inning -347 Runs - 100sx2 + 50sx1 (HS 120).

  • RohanMarkJay on May 6, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    Good luck Sri Lanka. I firmly this is Sri Lanka's best chance to win a test series (More than one test match) in England. Make history by winning their first test series in England. It would be a fitting reward to complement Sri Lanka's historic T20 trophy and limited overs cricket prowess. Sri Lanka has a great chance this time as England team is still recovering from the ashes debacle against Australia in Oz. Although Matthews is correct when he says that England plays their best cricket in England.Even the bad England sides of the 1990s barring against Australia, Pakistan and losing a one off test against Sri Lanka in 1998 did quite well at home against other opposition. So Sri Lanka will need to play really good cricket.They should win this time if Sri Lanka's very good batsman make big scores even the early swing and seam conditions shouldn't be a problem to batsman of Sri Lanka's class Here's hoping Sri Lanka win the series to complement their T20 trophy.All the best Sri Lanka :)

  • on May 5, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    @asanka your team isn't balance! we can't play 3 front line bowlers and 2 part timers (mathews rarely bowl 10 overs in ODI's) and win a match! And you drop our best pace bowler and allrounder kulasekaara Sri lanka win matches by good bowling and good batting! Drop kithruwan and put kulasekara

  • on May 5, 2014, 15:29 GMT

    My Team : Kusal , Thirimanna, Chandimal, Vithanage, Matthews, Priyangan, N.Dickwalla, C de silva, Eranga, Sennayaka, Prasad.This is Super team this tourament. Very balance team. 2 seamers, 1 all rounder, 2 spinners .

  • Sinhaya on May 5, 2014, 13:15 GMT

    @Chris_P, yes I know how much you love test cricket as seen by your posts. We lack bowling strength to win test series especially overseas. But for a team which did not play test cricket for 9 months last year, many forecasted 2-0 for Pakistan in UAE but it was 1-1 in the end. Eranga has recently improved so lets see. English bowling will be testing so lets look forward to an exciting test series.

    @landl47, sorry I agree I was too optimistic on Kaushal Silva. But his twin fifties in the Dubai test must be noted. Kithuruwan Vithanage yes he only has played tests against Bangladesh. Angelo Mathews is improving fast as his test batting average shows. Sanga holds the key for tests. We must play Kusal Perera for tests indeed instead of Dimuth Karunaratne. Chandimal has some good scores in England and outside Asia but his recent form is a worry.

    As for England, Chris Woakes should play tests as a replacement for Kevin Pietersen.

  • Chris_P on May 5, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    @Sinhaya, Good points plus a much better set of expectations is very much the point of my post. Expect good showings, yes, but to expect test victories or series victories given recent away form leaves you very much up for disappointment. I still believe your bowling is very much the key factor on your performances over there & that concerns me as an observer. Your batting is close to top shelf, but they will be against a very talented bowling unit on familiar surfaces & with solid home form. I do enjoy test cricket so looking forward to the series.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on May 5, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    My Team: Upul, Kushal, Lahiru, Dinesh, Angelo, Kithuruwan, Sachitra, Chathuranga, Nuwan, , Dhammika, and Ajantha. This got 3 seamers, 2 officies 1 lefty, 1 leggi, and 9 batters. I am really looking forward to this team.

  • Rawanaa on May 5, 2014, 5:05 GMT

    Guys its new era with mathews & recently he shows us what he is capable of... wining asia cup & t20 world cup is past so hopefully we have to looking forward to prepare our resources to win world cup in 2015. This england tour is the foundation & my money is with mathews & co & we all know they are not going to disappointing us.. I'm pretty sure that lakmal, eranga, pradeep with herath can take 20 wickets & kaushal,sanga, mahela,thiri, mathews can do the rest to win test series.... with the recent form hell yeah we can beat them on their own backyard... good luck Srilanka... Go get them

  • landl47 on May 5, 2014, 3:29 GMT

    @Sinhaya: While I respect your opinion, I think to claim that Sri Lanka don't depend on Sanga and Mahela any more based on a few tests in the subcontinent/UAE against Bangladesh is stretching optimism to its utmost. Silva is nearly 28 and has only made runs in the subcontinent; he played one test in South Africa in 2011 and made 0 and 17. I haven't seen Vithanage, but he has only played 4 tests, all against Bangladesh in the subcontinent/UAE (has he played any cricket at all anywhere else?).

    There is little relationship between tests against Bangladesh seam bowling in subcontinental conditions and tests against England seam bowling in early summer in England.

    If they do well, then good for them. Don't count on it. If Sanga and Mahela don't do well, SL in my opinion is likely to lose the tests.

  • KingOwl on May 4, 2014, 22:21 GMT

    I think hiring Chris Adams is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to Frabrace leaving. I think that it will be a wasteful hire. But, I certainly hope that he can contribute.

  • on May 4, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    In my opinion regardless of test matches been played in early summer and England having two world class opening bowlers Anderson and Broad capable of exploiting favorable conditions, Sri Lanka start as favorites in the test series. England has lost the nucleus of the team Trott, Peterson and Swann after the trouncing received in the last Ashes Series. The two big guns Mahela and Sanga are in better frame of preparation this time compared to last tour in which both of them arrived late from IPL. The batting will have slightly more depth with Prasanna tipped to bat at No.7. In last tour he was batting at No. 6. Although he did extremely well I feel more comfortable to see Sri Lanka going in with the extra batsman. Rangana Herath is a more crafty bowler compared to last time and even on less helpful conditions has the potential to run through a side. The pace attack lacks experience but should do well judging by how they performed recently against Pakistan.

  • Mutukisna on May 4, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    I remember that Cardiff Test Match in 2011. The game was heading for a draw and Strauss declared more in hope than expectation. Anderson was unable to bowl and the three English bowlers, Tremlett, Swann and Broad bowled Sri Lanka out for 82, defeating Sri Lanka by an innings and 14 runs. It was an appalling display of batting and a dismal performance by Sri Lanka, when all they needed was to bat out the overs left in the day. It left SL fans distraught. A draw that day would have ensured a series draw too. I hope the Sri Lankan team learnt a lesson that day and will never repeat a performance like that one, whether in England or anywhere else for that matter.

  • on May 4, 2014, 14:50 GMT

    @Vinod I saw him against Pakistan in the UAE and he bowled reasonably well, but I wouldn't rate him as a top performer in tests. Do you really think he can win test matches for you against top sides? A match-winning bowler in the longer version has to be exceptional with the ball.

  • Sinhaya on May 4, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    @landl47, yes tests will be the toughest for Sri Lanka indeed. We have a very good ODI record in England. But having won 2 tests before gives us hope.

    One thing you are wrong. We dont depend on Sanga and Mahela any more. If you see our test performance in UAE and Bangladesh, Kaushal Silva and Kithuruwan Vithanage were great. Angelo Mathews has a very good test batting average so I hope you check their recent performances.

  • landl47 on May 4, 2014, 12:45 GMT

    Sri Lanka are a decent T20 and ODI side and I expect them to be very hard to beat in those formats, especially as England is searching for its best side at the moment. In tests, SL are still extremely dependent on Sanga and Mahela, now both in the twilight of their careers although playing well. England will be a very different side from 2011, with Strauss, Trott, KP and Swann gone (and don't forget that Tremlett was player of the series, but has never regained his form since then due to injury). However, England in early summer is a tough place for players not used to the conditions. I give an edge to Sri Lanka in the ODIs and an edge to England in the tests. The single T20, of course, is anyone's guess, as T20s always are.

  • on May 4, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    Experience is only a repetitive thing and is not a key to success, be it in cricket or any other including in management. Key to success is experience, skill and adptability. Players like Kapugedara and Maharoof had many openings but did not capitalize on those. Success in England will depend on how you build the team SWOT and the match SWOT and how you work on your mind moments, key to success in any area. Also as Mathews has said just because Poms lost to Aussies 5-0 that does not mean Lanka will have an easy time. One thing is to see how the humidity is because even in early part of summer humidity is quite low. How the team build the strategies for each match wil be key to success.

  • Sinhaya on May 4, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    @Chris_P, I know you are referring to our forgetful test tour of Australia in 2012-13. Yes Eranga did not play after the 1st test due to injury from what I recall. But if you look at his cricinfo profile and scroll down to check his recent performances, he was instrumental in our test triumph in Dubai and Dhaka. He also performed well in the Sharjah test which we lost. So he is improving fast under Vaas's guidance along with Lakmal and Pradeep who did not touch a cricket ball until he turned 20.

    He has not played much cricket lately due to an injury in Bangladesh so will be fresh for this tour. Our bowling attack does not have natural incision but is capable of winning test matches but not series.

    We have won 2 tests in England and that is something to feel upbeat about unlike our abysmal test record in Australia. Our preparation for England tour this time is far better than in 2011 when many were in IPL. By the time tests start, we have been there over a month and that will help.

  • on May 4, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    With the retirements of Mahela, Sanga, Dilly, Herath etc. coming near, SL need to bring back their experienced players like Maharoof, J Mendis, Thushara, Kapugedara etc.

  • Chris_P on May 4, 2014, 10:57 GMT

    @Vinod Villa Pudasun, I saw Eranga in Aust. 2 seasons ago & he didn't display any of the talents you write about & his FC record since then would confirm the same trend. I would suggest the bowling is the biggest hurdle to overcome in that England have shown they have few peers on seaming decks at home with only Sth Africa matching them there. The English side enjoy anything less than top shelf offerings so not sure why such optimism is shown, certainly from our pov, despite winning 5-0 here I would still think they would be slight favourites over there against Aus. Going there with expectations is one thing, going there expecting to win given history & form really only sets you up for disappointment.

  • on May 4, 2014, 10:42 GMT

    Also, positive intent and Captaincy. England will be on the drums, defensive and looking for momentum. You're (Angelo) Captaincy will make the biggest difference. Certainly don't want another debacle at Sharjah happening.

  • on May 4, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    @waseef I can gurantee you never watched shaminda eranga recently! He definitely can go trough in a batting line-up! he has pace,bounce,swing..!

  • on May 4, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    Hope you guys put up a great fight In Test Matches :) Good Luck to Our Boys !

  • on May 4, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    Sri Lanka are a decent side in Asian conditions, but history tells us that they struggle to win in seaming conditions. This will be a real test for the Lankans. Sanga has a poor record in England and that's a major concern since he's their premier batsman. Mahela's quite ordinary outside of SL. Dilshan has been out of form for a while and the rest are quite new to international cricket. The pace attack is rather weak and I honestly don't see guys like Lakmal, Kulasekara, Eranga, Prasad, etc. doing too much damage. Herath has been in fine form, but the conditions will not favor him. One good thing for SL, though, is the fact that England has been struggling a lot lately. They were thrashed in Australia and they will be without KP and Trott. It will be interesting to see how Cook and Bell lead the batting with the youngsters.

  • on May 4, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    @ Shiras Misbah, Sri Lanka vs England 2006: Test series Drawn 1-1, Twenty20 series Sri Lanka won 2-0, ODI series Sri Lanka won 5-0, I think Sri Lanka were fairly prepared for what England had to offer then!!!

  • rizwan1981 on May 4, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    Sidath Wettimuny played a lot of league cricket in England BEFORE he scored that 193 at Lord's - The Sri Lankan batsmen need a batting coach who is familiar with English conditions - Someone like Gooch , BOYCOTT ,Ramprakash or Barry Richards would have been better than Chris Adams

  • on May 4, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    It is a known factor conditions vary country to country region to region.Sidath,Duleep and Amal Silva amassed runs in Lords.The present generation of SL players definitely have the skills and talents to perform what their seniors had done.It is the mental part that matters most.Under the stewardship of Angelo and the counseling of big three in teasts, Maheala,Sanga and Rangana Sl is going to be a very formidable opponent to the English sida.

  • on May 4, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    Sri Lanka have an even chance of winning this series if the seamers restrict England to first innings scores of 250 and under and the main batsmen like Sanga come to the party. I can't see England putting up threatening scores but with Anderson and Broad operating in English conditions they should bowl well. But is that enough?

  • on May 4, 2014, 5:24 GMT

    Itz better we go with 3 frontline pacers and 2 spinners(what ever the conditions spinners will take England and Ireland wickets)! my team for Ireland kusal, niroshan/tharnga, chandimal, thirimanne, ashan, mathews, sikku, kula, sachii, eranga, lakmal

  • on May 4, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    i must say its the first time sri lankan team is fully prepared for a tour overseas. Wish them all the best.

  • vkumar_086. on May 4, 2014, 4:26 GMT

    Mathews is improving by the day. His batting average is rapidly rising. Hope he gets a test ton in England too as it will be better than his UAE test ton. He must bowl more in tests. He will be definitely the first player in ODIs to score 10000 runs without a century as he often comes down the order. He is a match winner too. He proved his worth by being the man of the series in the UAE tests against Pakistan.

    In ODIs, 250 plus totals will be defendable. In tests, we must bat first and target 350 plus and that means something fora our bowlers to defend as England batsman will feel the heat. No doubt England batting is the best in the world on paper when you look at Cook, Bell, Root, Stokes, Prior, Trott, KP etc as I cant fathom how they failed in Australia. Sri Lanka has all to play for as we have won 8 out of the last 11 ODIs against England in England. We won 5-0 in 2006. Sadly Angelo's rash shot in the 5th ODI in 2011 made us lose 2-3 when we should have won the ODIs 3-2 in 2011.

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  • vkumar_086. on May 4, 2014, 4:26 GMT

    Mathews is improving by the day. His batting average is rapidly rising. Hope he gets a test ton in England too as it will be better than his UAE test ton. He must bowl more in tests. He will be definitely the first player in ODIs to score 10000 runs without a century as he often comes down the order. He is a match winner too. He proved his worth by being the man of the series in the UAE tests against Pakistan.

    In ODIs, 250 plus totals will be defendable. In tests, we must bat first and target 350 plus and that means something fora our bowlers to defend as England batsman will feel the heat. No doubt England batting is the best in the world on paper when you look at Cook, Bell, Root, Stokes, Prior, Trott, KP etc as I cant fathom how they failed in Australia. Sri Lanka has all to play for as we have won 8 out of the last 11 ODIs against England in England. We won 5-0 in 2006. Sadly Angelo's rash shot in the 5th ODI in 2011 made us lose 2-3 when we should have won the ODIs 3-2 in 2011.

  • on May 4, 2014, 4:47 GMT

    i must say its the first time sri lankan team is fully prepared for a tour overseas. Wish them all the best.

  • on May 4, 2014, 5:24 GMT

    Itz better we go with 3 frontline pacers and 2 spinners(what ever the conditions spinners will take England and Ireland wickets)! my team for Ireland kusal, niroshan/tharnga, chandimal, thirimanne, ashan, mathews, sikku, kula, sachii, eranga, lakmal

  • on May 4, 2014, 5:49 GMT

    Sri Lanka have an even chance of winning this series if the seamers restrict England to first innings scores of 250 and under and the main batsmen like Sanga come to the party. I can't see England putting up threatening scores but with Anderson and Broad operating in English conditions they should bowl well. But is that enough?

  • on May 4, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    It is a known factor conditions vary country to country region to region.Sidath,Duleep and Amal Silva amassed runs in Lords.The present generation of SL players definitely have the skills and talents to perform what their seniors had done.It is the mental part that matters most.Under the stewardship of Angelo and the counseling of big three in teasts, Maheala,Sanga and Rangana Sl is going to be a very formidable opponent to the English sida.

  • rizwan1981 on May 4, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    Sidath Wettimuny played a lot of league cricket in England BEFORE he scored that 193 at Lord's - The Sri Lankan batsmen need a batting coach who is familiar with English conditions - Someone like Gooch , BOYCOTT ,Ramprakash or Barry Richards would have been better than Chris Adams

  • on May 4, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    @ Shiras Misbah, Sri Lanka vs England 2006: Test series Drawn 1-1, Twenty20 series Sri Lanka won 2-0, ODI series Sri Lanka won 5-0, I think Sri Lanka were fairly prepared for what England had to offer then!!!

  • on May 4, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    Sri Lanka are a decent side in Asian conditions, but history tells us that they struggle to win in seaming conditions. This will be a real test for the Lankans. Sanga has a poor record in England and that's a major concern since he's their premier batsman. Mahela's quite ordinary outside of SL. Dilshan has been out of form for a while and the rest are quite new to international cricket. The pace attack is rather weak and I honestly don't see guys like Lakmal, Kulasekara, Eranga, Prasad, etc. doing too much damage. Herath has been in fine form, but the conditions will not favor him. One good thing for SL, though, is the fact that England has been struggling a lot lately. They were thrashed in Australia and they will be without KP and Trott. It will be interesting to see how Cook and Bell lead the batting with the youngsters.

  • on May 4, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    Hope you guys put up a great fight In Test Matches :) Good Luck to Our Boys !

  • on May 4, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    @waseef I can gurantee you never watched shaminda eranga recently! He definitely can go trough in a batting line-up! he has pace,bounce,swing..!