England v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, Old Trafford May 27, 2014

England chase response to Durham drubbing


Match facts

Wednesday, May 28
Start time 1400 local (1300 GMT)

Big Picture

Peter Moores' honeymoon period lasted all of one match and after Sunday's inexplicable annihilation at Chester-le-Street, England are back to square one in their quest to win back hearts and minds of the British public. Being slaughtered on a torrid tour in Australia or in alien conditions in Asia can be explained away but the Durham drubbing was a case of seeing is believing for England supporters.

There was no Johnson, no Ajmal, no other mystical beast of terror, England were simply done at their own game and the criticisms of the winter returned, perhaps most concerning that of bowling too short. Nuwan Kulasekara utilised conditions far better than James Anderson - the player brought back to England's ODI team to swing the new ball and take wickets with all the cards in his favour. Anderson needs a response on his home ground.

But of course it was England's batting, losing all 10 for just 80, that shocked most as no answer was found to the high-class swing bowling of Kulasekara, who removed the top three. England need to prove it was just an aberration. And they should be confident in doing so after a smart showing in the first rubber at The Oval, where Malinga and co. were easily dealt with, save Sachithra Senanayake, in a performance that was supposed to point the way to the future.

Sri Lanka will be delighted with their retort to defeat, their first in 11 matches. As a complete one-day unit they are in far better shape than England and at Durham proved that they can play in English conditions. The batting effort should be a fillip for the rest of the tour; they built a solid total without major contributions from Kumar Sangakkara or Mahela Jayawardene. Tillakaratne Dilshan showed the responsibility the twilight of his career must provide and Ashan Priyanjan's late burst perhaps showed what lies ahead.

Form guide

England: LWWWW (last five matches, most recent first)
Sri Lanka: WLWWW

In the spotlight

The boy wonder, Joe Root, has seen his stock fall since last summer. Dropped for the final Ashes Test, he has managed one century and one fifty in his last 16 ODI innings, while a broken thumb ruled him out of the World T20. A shift at the top of the order could leave Root vulnerable at No. 4 and he needs runs to convince he is worth his place.

Vice-captain he may be but Lahiru Thirimanne must be under pressure after two failures against the new ball, with both dismissals to Anderson. You can tack on a single-figure score in Dublin to that run too. Thirimanne needs a score to ensure he keeps Kusal Perera out of the side or doesn't end up being relegated down the order.

Teams news

There is a good chance Alastair Cook will be fit enough to return, so Michael Carberry is likely to make way. England could bring in Alex Hales to partner Cook and move Ian Bell to No. 3, which could see Gary Ballance moved to No. 4 and Root dropped.

England (probable): 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Gary Ballance, 4 Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, 6 Ravi Bopara, 7 Jos Buttler (wk), 8 Chris Jordan, 9 James Tredwell, 10 James Anderson, 11 Harry Gurney

Sri Lanka's success with the swinging ball and bowler-friendly conditions likely at Old Trafford should see them retain the same attack. They could change the top order to take Thirimanne out of the firing line and bring in Kusal. Rangana Herath has arrived and is available for selection.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Lahiru Thirimanne, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Dinesh Chandimal, 6 Angelo Mathews (capt), 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Sachithra Senanayake, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Dhammika Prasad

Pitch and conditions

Old Trafford has produced a quick wicket for the last two ODIs - last September's fixture against Australia proved the beginning of Mitchell Johnson's comeback. The weather forecast is no good with plenty of rain expected.

Stats and trivia

  • The fixture between these sides at Old Trafford in 2011 produced an exciting match which England edged by 16 runs. Of England's attack that day, only James Anderson and Tim Bresnan are in the current squad.

  • Sri Lanka have only played five ODIs at Old Trafford, including beating India at the 1979 World Cup. They have beaten England twice here, in 2002 and 2006.

  • England had a miserable record in ODIs at Old Trafford at the turn of the century, losing five straight completed matches from 2001 to 2006. They bounced back to win four on the spin until losing to Australia last September.


    "Certainly from a bowling unit point of view there's some new guys there that i'm getting used to playing with and talking to. It's quite exciting."
    James Anderson is encouraged by England's new attack.

    "We played some positive cricket, and I personally believe that is the way to go against the English team."
    Angelo Mathews identifies the game plan.

    Follow Alex Winter on Twitter @winter_cricket

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Raj on May 28, 2014, 13:11 GMT

    Srilanka is one of the teams whose team selections are not purely based on talent. When all rounders comes into the team, they are very much under used, always tried to use them as one dimensional players.

    I don't recall any medium or fast bowlers in SL setup have ever been or tried to use as true all rounders. Other teams used, Australia, India. Example Watson, Kapil Dev.

    When a bowler emerge as a very good batsman, SL never use them to their advantage. E:g, Chaminda Vas, later part of his career he became a very good solid batsman. Now, Nuwan Kulasekara, he has a potential to be a good batsman and to perform under pressure. But they are sending him as a slogger. Tissara Perera's talent is very much wasted. It is not about giving chance to players who have been failing over and over, it is about giving chance to performers and winning matches.

    Proven batsman and a great opener who have scored centuries in England warming up seats while Thirimane and Kushal keep failing as openers

  • Paulo on May 28, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    Good Carberry out. Now send him back to Hampshire. Would have liked to have seen Hales get a game, especially with the likelihood of a shortened game.

    Though looking at the weather forecast there won't be much of a game today. Well at least they've done the toss.

  • Dummy4 on May 28, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    Further to my earlier comment, that is nice to see my suggested team has been selected to play for this match. good luck guys...

  • ESPN on May 28, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    I stay 15 km frm the stadium in Manchester, it's v gloomy n cold.. Heavy rain expected

  • David on May 28, 2014, 11:37 GMT

    England are only going to start having sustained success again once they drop the following: Moores, Downton, Flower, Whitaker, Cook (as captain) etc ect

  • Dummy4 on May 28, 2014, 11:28 GMT

    I doubt a ball will be bowled today. Rain rain rain.

  • Dummy4 on May 28, 2014, 11:02 GMT

    Only change sri Lanka need is to DROPP non performing Mahela and include any youngster to the team.

  • Dummy4 on May 28, 2014, 10:29 GMT

    Chandimal should be given proper chance to bat in top order, last two matches he sent lower order ,he has given no time to settle.In last match he came as a no 7 batsman when only 3 overs were left.even he got 14 only 9 balls using. So I hope he will bat in top order, people who are criticising him did not watch the match only looked at the score card.

  • Dummy4 on May 28, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    Weather forecast in Manchester is not looking good. It's seem to be some distraction to the match by rain and Sri Lankans has to come against chilly weather (only 12°C through out the day) too. If they can come out victorious in a situation like this it will be marvellous. My SL team for today's match; 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Lahiru Thirimanne, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Dinesh Chandimal, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Prianjan, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Sachithra Senanayake, 10 Rangana Herath, 11 Lasith Malinga. SL will be better off leaving Kusal Perera for this match too and can bring him back on the 31st (Lords) as weather is going to be nice and sunny. Best of luck for the both teams.

  • Kanishka on May 28, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    If Chandimal is in the team he should bat up the order not at no. 7. Maybe he can open with Dilshan especially if the game is curtailed and SL is chasing. Thisara P. and Herath should also be in the side instead of Thirimanne and Prasad

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