England v Sri Lanka, 1st Investec Test, Lord's

England tricky start to new era

The Preview by Alex Winter

June 11, 2014

Comments: 69 | Text size: A | A
Who'll get back into the rhythm of Test cricket first?

Match facts

Thursday, June 12, 2014
Start time 1100 local (1000 GMT)

Big Picture


Alastair Cook with his new opening partner Sam Robson, Lord's, June 11, 2014
Sam Robson is the latest man to try to forge an opening partnership with Alastair Cook © PA Photos
Enlarge

The talk of England's regeneration and a new era now has real credence. England's one-day side contained familiar personnel to those who competed over the winter but the Test side has gaping holes to fill; holes that were blown open by Australia and have plunged English cricket to its lowest ebb since 1999. England will hope that from their winter of discontent can be made a glorious summer.

An upturn in results and the appeal of performances are necessary for a variety of reasons but especially salient for Alastair Cook. He could not have anticipated having to lead such a rebuilding process when he marshalled a series win in India and an Ashes triumph but his captaincy will now come under more scrutiny than ever. Widely accepted as not being a natural leader of men, Cook could face louder questions over his suitability at the helm of the new era if his England do not produce results. Cook also needs to rediscover his form with the bat and has Sam Robson to forge a new opening partnership with - the fourth selection as opener since Andrew Strauss retired.

England's batting was on a steady decline before the blow out in Australia and building up big totals will be high on the priority list for Peter Moores. A vastly different batting line-up will play against Sri Lanka with novices Robson, Gary Ballance and Moeen Ali in the top six and Ian Bell moving up a place to No. 4.

There is less upheaval in the bowling attack that will still be led by James Anderson and Stuart Broad with Chris Jordan and Liam Plunkett adding the pace and aggression that England wanted from Steven Finn, Chris Tremlett and Boyd Rankin over the winter. Losing a matchwinning spinner in Graeme Swann is the one major concern but he didn't have a doosra; Moeen Ali purportedly does.

Asian opponents at home should be the plumb draw for the start of a new era but with the first Tests of the summer shifted back from May to June, the advantage has been eroded slightly. Sri Lanka are well settled in the UK, have confidence and form from their successful one-day series and are set to enjoy better weather over the next two weeks.

Sri Lanka will also have gained motivation from the animosity that brewed during the one-day series, chiefly by the mankading at Edgbaston, and will sense the chance of an upset against the new-look England. They certainly hold the edge in the spin department, Rangana Herath having ran through England on their last tour of Sri Lanka, and veterans are Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara hoping to guide their side to success on their final tour to the UK.

Form guide

England: LLLLL (most recent first)
Sri Lanka: DWLWD

In the spotlight

England have had an issue in replacing Andrew Strauss at the top of the order. Nick Compton, Joe Root and Michael Carberry have all had their chance but now Sam Robson has been picked to try and form a new partnership with Alastair Cook. Robson has been sounded out for some time as a Test opener but his early-season form hasn't been outstanding.

If Sri Lanka are to find success in the series, their bowling attack must deliver. Shaminda Eranga has made a handy start to his Test career, with 38 wickets in 11 Tests. His sharp seamers have showed much promise and he can solidify that potential into a strong performance against England, their green batting order will have plenty of problems.

Teams news

England are set to field three new caps with Robson becoming the latest opening partner for Cook, Moeen playing as a spinning allrounder and Jordan adding fire to the bowling attack. Their only decision is between Plunkett and Chris Woakes as the fourth seamer.

England: 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Sam Robson, 3 Gary Ballance, 4 Ian Bell, 5 Joe Root, 6 Moeen Ali, 7 Matt Prior (wkt), 8 Liam Plunkett/Chris Woakes, 9 Chris Jordan, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson

It is all change for Sri Lanka from the one-day series with five Test specialists flying over, including a new opening partnership. Prasanna Jayawardene - the third wicketkeeper in the squad - will take the gloves; Herath now becomes the frontline spinner in the side, Sri Lanka have the option to play two; Dhammika Prasad and Shaminda Eranga are seamers with a big role to play.

Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Kaushal Silva, 2 Dimuth Karunaratne, 3 Kumar Sangakkara, 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Lahiru Thirimanne, 6 Angelo Mathews (capt), 7 Prasanna Jayawardene (wkt), 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Dhammika Prasad, 10 Rangana Herath, 11 Shaminda Eranga

Pitch and conditions

Sri Lanka's prayers seem to have been answered with the weather forecast dry and sunny with warm temperatures and hot for the first two days. Lord's always produces an excellent wicket.

Stats and trivia

  • England have won 18, drawn three and lost three of their last 24 home Test series.

  • Of captains to lead their team in at least seven Tests in England, only Brian Close (six wins in seven) has a higher win percentage than Cook (five wins in seven).

  • Kumar Sangakkara averages 30.58 in England, his lowest in any country. He has one century in 18 innings in England.

  • The entire England squad have only scored 137 more runs than Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene combined

    Quotes

    "I think both sides will play a hard brand of cricket. We have a responsibility to play it the right way, as there will be a lot of people watching us, a lot of kids, but they want us to play it hard too."
    Alastair Cook on the anticipated atmosphere of the series.

    "We had to work really hard in the ODIs and fight against the weather. The start of the summer is going to be pretty difficult for any team playing in England.."
    Angelo Mathews on the challenge of the great British weather.

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (June 12, 2014, 9:51 GMT)

The English top six batting line up should be: Cook, Robson, Bell, Ballance, Moeen Ali, Root in that order(necessary to split Robson and Ballance and Bell must bat at No.3). Sri Lanka have done very well not to omit Kulasekara. He could be a real handful to all of the top order. Eranga is very good too though I don't know much about Nuwan Pradeep. And don't forget Rangana Herath. This inexperienced line up will struggle to pick up his variations. Sri Lanka won't get a better chance to beat England in England.

Posted by   on (June 12, 2014, 8:59 GMT)

2/1 on the draw looks a good bet to me.

Posted by   on (June 12, 2014, 8:59 GMT)

A disastrous collapse of the English side for sure!!

Posted by Thilanga22 on (June 12, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

One guy saying here Chandimal didn't perform in practice matches he might see only last practice match second innings he came as a opener and he couldn't score but same match 1st inning he scored even without half century he scored better than most of them in other practice matches.most of the time he came no 8 he doesn't get fair chance to bat like others .even Mahela and Sanga getting so many chances without performing also, so if u think about future of SL cricket guy like Chandimal, kithruwan, priyanjan, deserve more chances rather than keep seniors playing .when u evaluate player don't looking at the scorecard without considering way he play in the game and which position he batted.

Posted by   on (June 12, 2014, 8:24 GMT)

Sri Lanka has no chance winning this test, they will draw or lose. I can`t believe Prasanna Jayawardene playing this text match. This guy has absolutely destroy Sri Lanka winning chances in test cricket. Dilruwan has to play for Prasanna if Sri Lanka has a chance of winning this test. Please send Prasanna ,Welagedara and Nuwan Pradeep home in the next flight. Keep Chandimal as water boy, playing him means Sri Lanka not going anywhere. Looks like Herath going to bowl a lot of overs and fast bowling trio, God knows,! But they can swing the bowl and take wickets. Otherwise they can get Prior come into form before next Ashes test. Good luck selecting the Sri Lanka team to win the test match.

Posted by SriLankanYoungBlood on (June 12, 2014, 8:00 GMT)

Why kula instead of Welagedara or Nuwan Pradeep? Kula is good One Day bowler with good variation but not threatening test bowler who get wickets easily. But Welagedara Left arm quick bowlers who has great ability of seeming both ways. Pradeep is 140+ quick bowler who also ability to get wickets regularly. If we have 7 specialist batsmen do we need a another bowling all rounder?. Mind you Eranga and Prasad has ability to get odd 30-35 runs.

Posted by dns07 on (June 12, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

@ Prem2248 Dude the best decision Sanath and SLC made is to drop Chandimal, he may have done better in tests in the past, but that's past mate, what important is this guy's current form! he has given enough chances, he didn't make any count, this guy can't even score a half century in a practice match, we should drop him for a while, even he won't deserve any place in 2015 WC squad!! A guy who couldn't save his captaincy, his place in the team, and now can't give this man another pity chance when Sri Lanka at all important Lords!! Get some time and think about it!! Best thing happened to Sri Lanka Cricket is when Chandimal got that one match ban due to slow overrate in WorldT20!!!

Posted by   on (June 12, 2014, 7:44 GMT)

@darkmanx12155 I would have thought the first 11 would have won the t20 and one day series in that case. It would have been a good argument if the first 11 was performing. Judging from the selection blunders made by the England selectors, the second 11 maybe stronger sometimes.

Posted by markatnotts on (June 12, 2014, 7:40 GMT)

@JG2704 , I agree, there is far too much emotive talk on here about so called "unfair" conditions in England in May and June. The hard cold fact is pitches are fairly slow, with a lack of bounce and if it isn't cloudy they are very good batting conditions to not only make big totals but make them fairly quickly. Still the weather is a good get out clause in case things don't go SL's way and will be trotted out as an excuse regardless of the actual weather. Also if England win no doubt there will have been excessive seam movement on offer or the pitch will be extremely bouncy.

Posted by   on (June 12, 2014, 7:23 GMT)

SL has a gud chance of winning the series. They are on the up and up and they have got match winners in every department. Batting is full of match winners. Spin bowling department has shown that it has match winners and the pacers have shown that they can win matches in the previous series. I would expect contradicting statements to the same, but there is a reason why Sri Lanka is doing so good and these are the contributing factors. Mathews needs to play attacking cricket!!!!!

Posted by Mervo on (June 12, 2014, 7:19 GMT)

Jordan looks a decent player and I bet that the WI would like to have him back. I also wonder what happened to Ben Stokes? He was the new wunderkind.

Posted by Herath-UK on (June 12, 2014, 7:10 GMT)

Ct-- when Sri Lanka was given a chance to play in the summer in the past Jayasuriya ran amok scoring a double & Arvinda a century & a superb by Sri Lanka,if you can remember!We would love to see our batsmen with skill & flair do the same if parity is given.

Posted by CodandChips on (June 12, 2014, 7:10 GMT)

@JG2704 I agree it's ridiculous when people moan about conditions. Almost every team is dominant at home and terrible away. South Africa are the obvious exception, and hence why they are widely considered as the best team. When England teams suffer in the subcontinent year on year, we don't moan about the conditions, just our team's pathetic ability to deal with them. That's part of what made the 2012 win in India so special, because our batsmen were finally able to conquer the sub-continent.

Posted by Herath-UK on (June 12, 2014, 7:06 GMT)

@JG2704 well we didn't talk about cold right now isn't,it was about in the previous tours all in early May & in the ODI series just finished in the cold cold weather.There are two aspects to this ;of course home advantage should be preserved for all teams but then it should be accepted universally by all teams.The moment England go to Asia it is whinging about dust bowls & humidity no home advantage is talked about.Therefore others too have same right to project what tourists here suffer.The other aspect is the unjustice specially to the batsmen in the early teams when their stats are always compared with others who are touring in the summer.A good case is the media is going to the town with Sanga's low average which very unfair by him because he is doomed to play in much worse conditions than those who boast of high averages playing in the summer.Hopefully ECB will give a chance to Sri Lanka to play some series in the summer in future.To ct

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (June 12, 2014, 6:54 GMT)

Stop dreaming Sri Lankan fans. Even a second 11 english team will beat this SL unit in england. Sl does not have the fire power in their bowling attack to pick 20 wickets and certainly no any batsman to bat long innings. Sangakkara has never done well in england, Mahela is terribly out of form. Rest of the guys are alien to english conditions at the test level. It will be really nice if we can see full 5 days of cricket. I think it will be well over by the fourth day

Posted by THEBEAST7 on (June 12, 2014, 6:53 GMT)

1 Kaushal Silva, 2 Lahiru Thirimanne 3 Kumar Sangakkara, 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Mahela Jayawardene, 6 Angelo Mathews (capt), 7 Prasanna Jayawardene (wkt), 8 Nuwan Pradeep/Dilruwan Perera, 9 Dhammika Prasad, 10 Rangana Herath, 11 Shaminda Eranga

Posted by THEBEAST7 on (June 12, 2014, 6:50 GMT)

@ Prem2248 well said mate. SL has a long way to go in order to occupy one of the top 3 spots in world cricket in Tests. Selectors certainly does not seem to help either. Kaushal, Thirimmane and Chandimal seems to be really good batters but they need to be given a fair chance like what Mahela and Sanga got. It is high time for M & S to take a decision regarding their cricketing careers. They have done a lot to SLC. I dont want to see them going in the path of Arjuna, sanath, Vass etc. Chandima is a must for this tour and he needs to bat at 4. Sanga or Mahela should make the way for him to blossom in the future.

Posted by Chennai_Cricket on (June 12, 2014, 6:47 GMT)

Without mallinga srilanka looks like associate team.

Posted by THEBEAST7 on (June 12, 2014, 6:44 GMT)

@ Prem2248 well said mate.

Posted by THEBEAST7 on (June 12, 2014, 6:40 GMT)

Pradeep Abeygunawardhana U nailed it buddy!

Posted by JG2704 on (June 12, 2014, 6:15 GMT)

@Herath-UK on (June 11, 2014, 22:36 GMT) Is there any actual logic behind your post here? If you're saying that because it's cold in England in early summer well for one it's not actually cold in England right now so there goes that excuse and 2ndly even if it is/was colder do you think it's any easier for England touring some of the SC countries when it gets particularly hot? Each team has a certain advantage at home due to a greater familiarity of conditions and home support and that includes your beloved SL. The very best teams can win in all conditions. I've started to see alot of whingeing on here re conditions etc. If you're good enough to win in different conditions then fair play to you but please accept that if you lose it's because your team is not good enough in unfamiliar conditions rather than just blame the conditions as it's exactly the same - but for different reasons - when we tour the SC.

Posted by chandimasl on (June 12, 2014, 6:10 GMT)

I can not agree with the cricinfo SL team selection. Because Kulasekara and Dimuth do not deserve a place in the team if it is going to win this test by SL.Chandimal and Pradeep should be in the team.Because Pradeep has the pace. But if we continue with Kulasekara he will clearly struggle to take wickets in the 2nd Innings. It will be costly for the Lankans.

And also if Dimuth is selected ahead of Chandimal it can be another blunder. What is the proven factor to select Dimuth ahead of Chandimal. Send Prasanna as the opener it can be the best option.

If these selectors select the mentioned team in the Cricinfo, It will make much more easier for ENG to win this test.

Posted by Ravixavier on (June 12, 2014, 6:09 GMT)

Self belief is what drives the sri lankan team, fearless, spirited and attractive their brand of cricket will continue to surprise many nations across the globe in time to come....win or loose they shall grow from strength to strength towards the build up to the world cup next year...

Posted by Prem2248 on (June 12, 2014, 6:02 GMT)

starter that gives immense confidence to opposition bowlers; it's only in our Country one can find this kind of No 3 & 4s. No S'weera, no Chandimal for this match means the batting is very brittle, there's a tendency for us to sink to the bottom of the table (Test), if Kausal & Dimuth failed at the top. Both ODI & Test Cricket need quality players such as T'dulkars Dravids, S'weeras like batters but not the veterans we have at present at the top(Dropping of Chandimal would do an immense damage to his confidence).

Posted by Prem2248 on (June 12, 2014, 6:00 GMT)

The batting has always been very weak at Test level with 2 shaky, sticky footed aging batters batting at No 3 & 4 positions. There were times, these over-hypeds had failed (go pass 50) more than 25 -30 times at a stretch. S'ectors, local media and seniors despite their many failures are in the process of ruining the future of Slan Cricket. How can you drop a player like Chandimal?, who blossomed as a future star after a very successful school career and then scoring double 100, a 100 & 2 50s against SA'A' & India respectively. His confidence has been shattered, 1st for not picking for the WC 2011 and then sent him to bat everywhere in the batting order while reckless hitters have occupied most vital positions of the batting order. My earnest request to M'ela,S'kara & H'rath is to make way for players like AngeloPerera,RoshenSilva, NiroshanDickwella,MalindaPushpakumara Tharindu Khausal before they loose their interest of playing for the Country. No 3 cannot be given to a shaky 2bCNTD

Posted by AS7777 on (June 12, 2014, 5:44 GMT)

Everyone seems to underestimate SL fast bowlers. Eranga, Pradeep and Lakmal did perform really well when they last toured UAE and we must not forget that that's also on lifeless tracks. Lakmal is out but remaining bowlers more than enough to get England out.

Posted by   on (June 12, 2014, 5:39 GMT)

Only problem in Sri Lanka team is Dammika Prasad or Nuwan Pradeep. Pradeep may pick more wickets than Prasad. Welagedara also an experience test bowler who can pick early wickets. Anyway Sri Lanka should take 20 wickets to win this test match.

Posted by   on (June 12, 2014, 5:38 GMT)

Some people bat for Chandimal here. I would agree with them. He has scored 3 centuries and one half century during last 7 test matches after becoming vice captain. By appointing Thirimanna as vice captain, selectors have messed thing. Chandimal could have retained as vice caption in test and give a chance to become good test players. As a player, Chandimal seems not getting support from senior players and staff. During the past ODI series, two times, he came to crease when the others also struggling. When the team is good situation, he is holing and sent at lower down. In 2nd ODI, after the dilshan and sanga laid the foundation, Chandimal could have batted at number five and allowed to have some runs on his belt to boost his confidence. A sad situation for Chandimal . This match, he should play. Dimuth last 7 test 7 13 1 374 62* 31.16 736 50.81 0 2 0 45 2 Chandimal last 7 test 7 10 2 510 116* 63.75 845 60.35 3 1 1 43 6

Posted by   on (June 12, 2014, 5:28 GMT)

hope they will play welagedara and chandimal . i don't think kulasekara and dmuth can perfore in test.

Posted by THEBEAST7 on (June 12, 2014, 5:06 GMT)

Agreed # Jass Jayasinghe ..

Please dont play Dimuth. Go for Chandimal. He is a test player. Let Thirimanne open with Kaushal, Please pick Dilruwan. He can bowl and Bat. He can bowl longer spells and assist Herath in keeping the runs down. BUT will spinners be effective in green tops?

Posted by paapam on (June 12, 2014, 4:59 GMT)

Bat first and put up 400+ scores, that's what England must do. Swan will be missed but quickies can bowl out SL twice.

Posted by   on (June 12, 2014, 4:36 GMT)

I personally think that england will stuggle in this series

Posted by   on (June 12, 2014, 4:34 GMT)

my xi=kaushal silva,dimuth karunarathne,sanga,mahela,lahiru, angi,prasanna,ranga,chanaka,shaminda,dhammika

Posted by   on (June 12, 2014, 4:10 GMT)

Dimuth Karunaratne Why??? Chandimal got better technique and test record than him. we should play our best team Nuwan or Welagedara should include for Nuwan Kulasekara

Posted by   on (June 12, 2014, 3:09 GMT)

This Sri Lankan team is a good team and have good capability of defeating england in their soil. Bowling is the bit of lack compare to the england side. Fast bowlers needs to bowl really well and more patiently. Couldn't ask something more from herath in this soil. Fighting spirit will bring us to the victory in the series as well. Cook think they playing the "Hard Brand of Cricket". We will see in this series who playing the real spirit of cricket as gentlemen's

Posted by Htc-Android on (June 12, 2014, 2:59 GMT)

Kulasekera can swing the ball and bowl accurate line and length,but he doesn't have the pace to trouble the batsman. Also he is only good when the conditions favour him. Please dont pick him for Tests. Welegedara will be better choice here.

Posted by   on (June 12, 2014, 2:51 GMT)

the major problem for SL is the lack of good fast bowlers....so it does look hard for us to win a test match...anyway maybe we can draw the series if we bat well enough...

Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (June 12, 2014, 2:45 GMT)

@ SirViv1973, you are spot on mate! Stop dreaming Sri Lankan fans. Even a second 11 english team will beat this SL unit in england. Sl does not have the fire power in their bowling attack to pick 20 wickets and certainly no any batsman to bat long innings. Sangakkara has never done well in england, Mahela is terribly out of form. Rest of the guys are alien to english conditions at the test level. It will be really nice if we can see full 5 days of cricket. I think it will be well over by the fourth day.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (June 12, 2014, 2:22 GMT)

Ll need to win the Toss and bat fist. Then put on 450 or more and put Poms under pressure ike Black Caps have done in the first test gainst WI.. Otherwise there is no any chance for SL to even mae it a drawn tests as SLdoes not hav enough bowlers ho can tak 2 wickets within 5days. SL can do maximum is a drawnseries. My money is for Poms to win 2 nil easily.

Posted by MeijiMura on (June 12, 2014, 1:26 GMT)

If the weather forecast holds true and the first two days are sunny and warm and Sri Lanka win the toss and bat then England could be in all sorts of trouble given their inability to play quality spin on wearing pitches and the lack of overhead assistance for their best bowler. Anderson doesn't perform in such conditions, Broad has a suspect temperament when things don't go his way and beyond those two the bowling stocks are thin, especially with the absence of their best back-up bowler and all-rounder in Stokes and their best remaining spinner in Panesar. The batting looks threadbare too without their best two batsmen in Pietersen and Trott and the ongoing absence of Compton at the top of the order. England desperately need Cook and Bell to stand up to be counted if they are to win this Test, that along with winning the toss and batting first.

Posted by   on (June 12, 2014, 0:43 GMT)

I have to say, I think 'having a Doosra' is becoming dangerously overrated. Isn't being able to bowl one virtually worthless if the bowler isn't able disguise it when he delivers it? Moeen Ali's FC bowling average of 40+ makes me sceptical that he can do it.

Also, as an Australian observer, does England not know who their next best spinner is? Okay, we've had a similar problem but the selections have had a basis in (selective) logic - you gave Kerrigan one match, you've given Borthwick a match, Panesar got two (I think) and you put Tredwell in a squad and never played him, now they all seem to be out.

Posted by   on (June 11, 2014, 23:09 GMT)

I'm worried about Ballance coming in at 3, can't they get Root batting first wicket down?

Posted by   on (June 11, 2014, 23:08 GMT)

I think broad has to bat at 8... surely he's not a no 10.

Posted by   on (June 11, 2014, 22:52 GMT)

Sri Lanka has no chance winning this test, they will draw or lose. I can`t believe Prasanna Jayawardene playing this text match. This guy has absolutely destroy Sri Lanka winning chances in test cricket. Dilruwan has to play for Prasanna if Sri Lanka has a chance of winning this test. Please send Prasanna ,Welagedara and Nuwan Pradeep home in the next flight. Keep Chandimal as water boy, playing him means Sri Lanka not going anywhere. Looks like Herath going to bowl a lot of overs and fast bowling trio, God knows,! But they can swing the bowl and take wickets. Otherwise they can get Prior come into form before next Ashes test. Good luck selecting the Sri Lanka team to win the test match.

Posted by Herath-UK on (June 11, 2014, 22:36 GMT)

I wonder whether England can make a true assessment of themselves from the wins they get in the early summer.It is not a level playing field & very unfair to gloat over wins on early touring teams and can formulate easy wins in the Ashes or over SA if they schedule them too in early summer, if wins that all matter.Early touring teams are unfairly critisized by their losses here because no other country can threaten seriously England in early summer.We saw even English players warming their hands constantly in the one day games just finished so what about these tourists.Their hands & reflexes are slow (frozen!).It is a very good move by the ECB to move the Tests to the latter part & hopefully with the global weather change that is happening now there may be some light at the end of the tunnel for these damned early tourists!

Posted by   on (June 11, 2014, 22:22 GMT)

Sri Lanka has no chance winning this test, they will draw or lose. I can`t believe Prasanna Jayawardene playing this text match. This guy has absolutely destroy Sri Lanka winning chances in test cricket. Dilruwan has to play for Prasanna if Sri Lanka has a chance of winning this test. Please send Prasanna ,Welagedara and Nuwan Pradeep home in the next flight. Keep Chandimal as water boy, playing him means Sri Lanka not going anywhere. Looks like Herath going to bowl a lot of overs and fast bowling trio, God knows,! But they can swing the bowl and take wickets. Otherwise they can get Prior come into form before next Ashes test. Good luck selecting the Sri Lanka team to win the test match.

Posted by shillingsworth on (June 11, 2014, 21:49 GMT)

'Losing a matchwinning spinner in Graeme Swann is the one major concern but he didn't have a doosra; Moeen Ali purportedly does.' Swann was a proven test performer against all opposition in all conditions. Ali so far has only been a sporadic wicket taker in D2 cricket. Who cares who bowls the better doosra?

Posted by Cric-Aus-SL on (June 11, 2014, 21:40 GMT)

Where is chandimal? Why do they need a well-qualified wicket keeper in a seemer friendly pitch with mediocore seem bowlers? If they want to win/draw this series, they should play chandimal. This (very) specialist wicket keeper policy is irritating me a lot, they have three specialist wicket keepers (sanga, Kaushal and Chandimal) and yet they are going for a specialist one..

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (June 11, 2014, 21:27 GMT)

Lack of frontline spinner aside, this is pretty much the England team I was hoping for, with question marks over Plunkett and Woakes.

Root might very well open in County Cricket, but in tests he shouldn't open.

Posted by   on (June 11, 2014, 21:09 GMT)

"Robson has been sounded out for some time as a Test opener but his early-season form hasn't been outstanding"

He's hit 517 County Championship runs, averaging 51.70 with a ton and three half centuries. That's pretty good in my eyes.

Posted by DDCBW on (June 11, 2014, 20:48 GMT)

its so funny if you read this about this article its all about england and its look like only one team playing. What is this?

Posted by wapuser on (June 11, 2014, 20:46 GMT)

As long as cook is captain there is no england team.it is cook's friends team. Buttler must be in the test but cook thinks he is not ready. If buttler is not ready yet how come cook is ready. I think buttler stil not nice enough to cook. I think it is time to get a kitchen job to cook.it might go well his name as well. "Good cooking by cook"

Posted by JG2704 on (June 11, 2014, 20:01 GMT)

@CodandChips on (June 11, 2014, 16:38 GMT) Back to debating team selections again. I've always wanted Woakes in the side but I wonder (if the rest of the team is the same as suggested) I think Plunket is the more potent bowler. I've not followed Woakes so closely this season but last season he was used sparingly so I feel he is not a frontline bowler and I'd prefer 4 frontline bowlers whether it be 3 pacers and a spinner or 4 pacers

Posted by AlSmug on (June 11, 2014, 19:20 GMT)

@big maxy walker , no i very much doubt cook will , he was exposed in Australia has huge technical issues not to mention the pressure of captaining a team of nuffies, the axing of kp was ridiculous , England can not afford to have their best batsmen of the current era being spectator poor player management by englang tis great to see lol

Posted by   on (June 11, 2014, 19:09 GMT)

England Should have included Taylor as one of the batsman.,.he is a fine young talent....

Posted by Rawanaa on (June 11, 2014, 18:06 GMT)

Eranga will lead pace attack with Prasad & Pradeep.. Srilanka will badly miss Lakmal - Eranga combination.. If sanga can play a WK/ Batsman role it can make a way to Dilruwan.. Srilanka needs very attacking bowling line to take 20 wickets. Seems it is not like previous test series & Srilankan seamers would bring joy to the Srilankan camp. We badly need that mentality to approach to the 2015 WC.. Srilanka will be the lord in lords...

Posted by   on (June 11, 2014, 18:04 GMT)

whr is ben stokes y didnt england included him

Posted by   on (June 11, 2014, 18:04 GMT)

chandimal should be in the team

Posted by   on (June 11, 2014, 17:39 GMT)

The weather plays into Sri Lanka's hands...win the toss and bat for two days. England will be demoralised and succumb to the better quality spinners. It will be very hard for England to bat for long periods. Much will depend on captain Cook returning to form.

Posted by jerryman on (June 11, 2014, 17:24 GMT)

Hoping dilruwan plays instaed of karunaratne . he can bowl as well . Sl possibly will need a second part time spinner to assist Herath . Good luck lions , will need to be get ready for some short pitched bowling

Posted by nursery_ender on (June 11, 2014, 17:16 GMT)

Posted by siddhartha87 on (June 11, 2014, 15:47 GMT) Wait Moeen Ali is playing as main spinner!!!

For a Test at Lord's the role of 'spinner' is usually an honorary one.

Posted by Big_Maxy_Walker on (June 11, 2014, 16:39 GMT)

As an Aussie I always want to see a strong England for the Ashes battles. Good to see them get some younger guys in there, but also for Australia's sake good to see the back of KP. He is always a danger and I suspect had a lot more test runs in him. I don't get the inclusion of Plunkett and Jordan, 2 pace bowlers with at best average first class records. Finn has good figures and should have had first dibs on the third spot. Very risky having 2 unknowns, with a deteriorating Anderson. Broad is going to have to carry the bowlers again. No main spinner is interesting. A lot of part time stuff with Ali. And Matt Prior is a worry too, considering his terrible recent form. Will Cook ever be the dominant opener again after his terrible ashes? Will his drab captaincy ever improve? Robson and Balance are 2 excellent young batsmen. I can see them playing many tests. Joe Root has to finally get some aggression in his test innings and its to be determined if Ian Bell can regain form as well

Posted by CodandChips on (June 11, 2014, 16:38 GMT)

I also wonder what the batting order of the bowlers will be. Certainly up for debate. Woakes is the best bat but I doubt he'll play.So I'd go with Broad ahead of Plunkett, then Jordan then Anderson.

Posted by CodandChips on (June 11, 2014, 16:34 GMT)

And so it begins. I was wondering who would bat 3. I would have liked Bell to take responsibility. Root is an opener and batted 3 during the ashes, though not to great effect. Ali bats 3 for Worcestershire. But they've chosen Ballance, eventhough he bats 5 for Yorkshire.

Obviously we all had our picks. I preferred Lyth to Robson, but others had Carberry/Compton. Though had Lyth been picked we'd have never seen that amazing catch on Friday. People had Patel to Ali, whereas I'd have preferred a genuine spinner (Kerrigan). Though Ali's bowling has apparently improved a lot. Ironically Carberry, Lyth, Buttler, Patel all made ducks in their first championship innings since the squad was announced.

I assume England will go with Plunkett over Woakes. A shame for Woakes who hasn't played any cricket for a while, and still probably won't. This is the issue of having championship games starting on a Sunday and test matches starting on a Thursday. And I wonder if he'll be released for the Blast

Posted by razajawahiri on (June 11, 2014, 16:20 GMT)

bad luck of nick compton such a good opener.nice 2 see moen ali.

Posted by YsaKaru on (June 11, 2014, 16:18 GMT)

not sure about kulasekara...... Without new ball he's nothing..... Anyway GOOD LUCK LIONS!!!!!

Posted by SirViv1973 on (June 11, 2014, 16:14 GMT)

Despite the transitional state of the Eng team I still think it's a tough ask for the SRL to win the series. Outside of Sangakarra & the Jayawardene's SRL batsman have virtually no experience of Eng conditions, other than for ltd overs cricket. The biggest problem though for the tourists will be their seamers. SRL have traditionally strugged to produce quality seamers Chaminda Vaas is probably the only one of any note. I suspect Herath will be asked to do a lot of bowling on what are likley to be unresponsive surfaces, with the trio of seamers being rotated from the other end. Having said all that Eng will not want to be chasing challenging 4th inns totals on wareing pitches as Herath is a proven match winner when he gets some assistance from the wicket.

Posted by   on (June 11, 2014, 15:53 GMT)

had england gone in with a fresh side packed with hungry young players - buttler and mills for two, to add to robson and jordan and wioth stokes to come back - the subsequent defeat would not have been that disheartening. they would have had some experience of test cricket and could only get better. as it is, getting turned over by sri lanka (7-2 qgainst in the betting, grab it while you can) will just be a continuation of that pathetic winter tale of a tired and jaded england embarrassing itself. of course, i could be wrong.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (June 11, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

Wait Moeen Ali is playing as main spinner!!!

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England v Sri Lanka at Leeds - Jun 20-24, 2014
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