Sri Lanka in England 2014 June 17, 2014

Bad news to ponder as Sri Lanka head north

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Sri Lanka will take heart from the draw at Lord's, Angelo Mathews said at the end of the match. But as the team heads to chilly, unfamiliar Headingley they have enough bad news to temper their mood.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Prasanna Jayawardene's finger injury is more serious than first believed, and he will be unavailable. Meanwhile, Suranga Lakmal's hamstring tear continues to keep him out of the side, even though it was expected to have healed in time for the second Test. It is something of a Sri Lankan trait to be optimistic, but sunny diagnoses have worked against them here. Perhaps Sri Lanka would do well to pick up another team doctor in Yorkshire.

The injuries open up selection quandaries for Mathews and Sri Lanka, but their options will be weighed against their intentions for the match. Sri Lanka have a shot at glory in Leeds. If they win the Test, they will have won their first ever Test series in England (not including the one-off result at the Oval in 1998). But Mathews has so far been unmoved by shots at glory in Tests. The fear of losing has had more influence on Sri Lanka's long-format cricket in recent years.

A loss at Headingley will not have quite undone Sri Lanka's work in the limited-overs series, but it might dampen the tour, and reinforce the notion they remain long-format lightweights. A drawn series, meanwhile, would suit Sri Lanka fine.

England had the better of the running at Lord's and may again at Headingley, but details are eroded more quickly in the public memory than the scoreline. During the first Test Mahela Jayawardene also hinted at the team's frustration of having only two Tests in England, while India, who have a poorer recent record in the country, get five. Sri Lanka partly have their own board to blame for the scheduling, but nevertheless, a squared series might be an effective means of highlighting injustices in the Test calendar.

But Sri Lanka will also know a draw at Headingley is far from a foregone thing. Of the 14 most recent Tests there, stretching back to 1997, 13 games have yielded results. Of those 13, the teams have been separated by an innings five times. Only on two occasions has a game been decided by a slimmer margin than five wickets or 100 runs. These numbers - and a cloudy forecast - suggest Sri Lanka might do well to adopt all-out aggression, because a draw seems even less likely than a victory.

Sri Lanka's fast bowlers are now accustomed to vitriol from outspoken former players, whenever they tour overseas, but Shaminda Eranga's fourth day spell at Lord's was perhaps the best of the match until James Anderson's reverse-swing laced burst on Monday. Having regained his line and rhythm after a wayward first innings, Eranga will again be tasked with leading the pace attack. Which quick men he should have in support, is what Sri Lanka must ponder.

Nuwan Pradeep was penetrative on the first day at Lord's and despite a familiar dip in speed in the second innings, he remained economical enough to warrant selection in Leeds. But Nuwan Kulasekara's place in the side will be under more intense scrutiny.

There is no doubt Kulasekara can move the ball further than his teammates, but he does so at such a gentle pace, he posed few troubles for a green England top order. He would, on the surface, appear the safe choice for Sri Lanka. If the conditions do not allow for movement, he is supposed to be the man to lock up one end. Though he travelled at 4.33 runs an over in the second innings, Mathews spoke highly of his efforts after the match.

"Nuwan Kulasekara bowled pretty well, along with Eranga," he said. "They were hitting the right lines and lengths and bowling with a lot of pace. That was encouraging."

Dhammika Prasad, who bowls with considerably better pace than Kulasekara, and also had a successful outing in Northampton, may be in prime contention to make the XI on Friday. Sri Lanka's worry with Prasad, is that he is something of a wild card: intense and intimidating on some days, but fodder for good players of pace on others. With an unpredictable Pradeep already in the attack, Prasad may seem a risky choice. Sri Lanka also have left-armer Chanaka Welegedara in their ranks, but it is unclear whether he has regained full pace following a spate of lengthy injuries.

There are also vulnerabilities in the batting that must be addressed, but given the men on tour, Sri Lanka almost have no option than to go with the expected top seven. Dimuth Karunaratne keeps getting in and getting out. Lahiru Thirimanne combusts every time James Anderson lines him up. And though Dinesh Chandimal - who will likely take the gloves - still averages over 50 in Tests, his horror run in limited-overs cricket will take some getting over.

Headingley, with its reputation for cloudy days and vicious swing, seems an unlikely place for a Sri Lanka win. If the visitors are to give themselves some chance, they cannot afford to tactical missteps before the match has even begun.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 19, 2014, 15:37 GMT

    England are taking the momentum to be honest to tomorrow's game , this is the start of the summer,so obviously they wouldn't want to lose there first game thats why they went for the safe option and gave us to bat the next day and still nearly closed out a win.SL top order is doing a pretty good job,but the lower order needs to chip in a lot more! Heavens sake bring in Prasad! and drop kulasekera, and also chandimal has done well away from SL so i hope he does well tomorrow and he may give prasanna a run for his money in a place in the side which is good! Personally i think england have a very good chance of winning at Headingley,but cricket is a funny game so you never know best of luck to the SL team!

  • Wristcutter on June 19, 2014, 13:42 GMT

    PJ's brisk keeping will be missed by SL but I think this is a blessing in disguise. Apparently, Chandimal is a better bat. If Sri Lanka need to win this game, they need to go at England all guns blazing. I'd have normally liked SL to have a 5 bowler attack at Leeds with Herath, Welegedara, Prasad, Eranga and Pradeep. But coz the batting looks fragile, it's best Welegedara doesn't play. And keeping in mind that almost all recent SL victories in any format had been BOWLING VICTORIES [T20 WC, Asia Cup, that famous Test Win against PAK in UAE, 2/3 ODI wins against England], Im going to pick, 1. Dimuth K [looked fluent at Lords] 2. Kaushal Silva 3. Sanga 4. Mahela 5. Angelo 6. Chandimal 7. Kithuruwan Vthanage/Dilruwan Perera [latter if there's some spin on the track] 8. Dhammika Prasad 9. Herath 10. Shaminda Eranga 11. Nuwan Pradeep

  • landl47 on June 18, 2014, 22:20 GMT

    The fact is that at Lord's at the end of every day England was in control. Sri Lanka had a few good sessions, but by the close of play each day England was back in the driver's seat. That was on a slow, easy pitch, quite well suited to the Sri Lankans. They barely hung on for a draw.

    If the Headingly wicket is a little faster and firmer and if the conditions favour swing and seam bowling, SL is going to be hoping for rain to cut down the playing time. Sanga, Mahela and Mathews are excellent batsmen, but the rest will struggle. The SL seamers are good, hard-working cricketers, but not as experienced as the England seamers. Herath is by far the best spinner and the one advantage SL has over England, but his effectiveness will be limited by the conditions.

    Unless it rains a lot, England must be strong favourites to take this match.

  • on June 18, 2014, 18:56 GMT

    My Sri lankan 11 for next match 1.Thirimanna 2. Silva 3. Sangakkara 4. Mahela 5. Chandimal 6. Mathews 7. Kithruwan. 8. Herath 9. Welagedara 10. Eranga 11. Pradeep

  • ksquared on June 18, 2014, 18:54 GMT

    @ Prabhakar Muthukrishnan ur right but it's the same with every international side playing away from home in alien conditions there are no international sides with a great allround bowling attack the last one was probably the English attack a couple of years ago with Anderson,Broad, Swann etc. Pakistan maybe the closest but they are highly unpredictable.

  • Ups1 on June 18, 2014, 18:05 GMT

    Mathews really said this? "Nuwan Kulasekara bowled pretty well, along with Eranga," "They were hitting the right lines and lengths and bowling with a lot of pace. That was encouraging." He's either been misquoted or he should've gone to specsavers because there's no way that the word 'pace' should be associated with Kulasekera, unless the words 'lack of' are in the same sentence.

    Maybe he meant Nuwan Pradeep, not Nuwan Kulasekera.

    If SL don't want to win then go for the defensive option and pick Kulasekara. By doing so, they'll be making the loss far more likely in my opinion. It's not like Kula is economical in away Tests either. Passenger! Besides, you don't pick one of your 4-man attack based on economy. He needs to have the ability to take wickets. If Kula with his 8 /9 Tests abroad for only 4 wickets at a ridiculous average & strike rate is what they want to go ahead with, instead of playing Prasad, then so be it. They don't deserve to win. It'll be a decision made out of fear.

  • on June 18, 2014, 17:56 GMT

    Whatever combination they may try the Sri Lankans cannot win outside the subcontinent because of their weak bowling attack. Without a quality spinner like Grame Swann, the English side's bowling too looks weak. However, if the conditions were to favor swing and seam, then the Sri Lankans had it.

  • on June 18, 2014, 16:23 GMT

    Chandimal should open with Kausal, Kithruwan should bat at no 7 and Kula out prasad or chamara bring... then we balance...ha ha lets spoil the english soup at Headingle...

  • chandimasl on June 18, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    Before any team changes i think our coaches should change the mind set of the players, specially the senior players not to be negative and defend. But to go attack and win. Last match was played with so negative approach by our players.

  • Lalindra2012 on June 18, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    My team for Headigley Test

    Kaushal Silva (Wk) Dimuth Karunaratne Mahela Jayawardene Kumar Sangakkara Angelo Mathews (c) Lahiru Thirimanne/Kithruwan Vithanage Rangana Herath Shaminda Eranga Chanaka Welagedara Suranga Lakmal(Subject to fitness)/Dilruwan Perera Dammika Prasad/Nuwan Pradeep

  • on June 19, 2014, 15:37 GMT

    England are taking the momentum to be honest to tomorrow's game , this is the start of the summer,so obviously they wouldn't want to lose there first game thats why they went for the safe option and gave us to bat the next day and still nearly closed out a win.SL top order is doing a pretty good job,but the lower order needs to chip in a lot more! Heavens sake bring in Prasad! and drop kulasekera, and also chandimal has done well away from SL so i hope he does well tomorrow and he may give prasanna a run for his money in a place in the side which is good! Personally i think england have a very good chance of winning at Headingley,but cricket is a funny game so you never know best of luck to the SL team!

  • Wristcutter on June 19, 2014, 13:42 GMT

    PJ's brisk keeping will be missed by SL but I think this is a blessing in disguise. Apparently, Chandimal is a better bat. If Sri Lanka need to win this game, they need to go at England all guns blazing. I'd have normally liked SL to have a 5 bowler attack at Leeds with Herath, Welegedara, Prasad, Eranga and Pradeep. But coz the batting looks fragile, it's best Welegedara doesn't play. And keeping in mind that almost all recent SL victories in any format had been BOWLING VICTORIES [T20 WC, Asia Cup, that famous Test Win against PAK in UAE, 2/3 ODI wins against England], Im going to pick, 1. Dimuth K [looked fluent at Lords] 2. Kaushal Silva 3. Sanga 4. Mahela 5. Angelo 6. Chandimal 7. Kithuruwan Vthanage/Dilruwan Perera [latter if there's some spin on the track] 8. Dhammika Prasad 9. Herath 10. Shaminda Eranga 11. Nuwan Pradeep

  • landl47 on June 18, 2014, 22:20 GMT

    The fact is that at Lord's at the end of every day England was in control. Sri Lanka had a few good sessions, but by the close of play each day England was back in the driver's seat. That was on a slow, easy pitch, quite well suited to the Sri Lankans. They barely hung on for a draw.

    If the Headingly wicket is a little faster and firmer and if the conditions favour swing and seam bowling, SL is going to be hoping for rain to cut down the playing time. Sanga, Mahela and Mathews are excellent batsmen, but the rest will struggle. The SL seamers are good, hard-working cricketers, but not as experienced as the England seamers. Herath is by far the best spinner and the one advantage SL has over England, but his effectiveness will be limited by the conditions.

    Unless it rains a lot, England must be strong favourites to take this match.

  • on June 18, 2014, 18:56 GMT

    My Sri lankan 11 for next match 1.Thirimanna 2. Silva 3. Sangakkara 4. Mahela 5. Chandimal 6. Mathews 7. Kithruwan. 8. Herath 9. Welagedara 10. Eranga 11. Pradeep

  • ksquared on June 18, 2014, 18:54 GMT

    @ Prabhakar Muthukrishnan ur right but it's the same with every international side playing away from home in alien conditions there are no international sides with a great allround bowling attack the last one was probably the English attack a couple of years ago with Anderson,Broad, Swann etc. Pakistan maybe the closest but they are highly unpredictable.

  • Ups1 on June 18, 2014, 18:05 GMT

    Mathews really said this? "Nuwan Kulasekara bowled pretty well, along with Eranga," "They were hitting the right lines and lengths and bowling with a lot of pace. That was encouraging." He's either been misquoted or he should've gone to specsavers because there's no way that the word 'pace' should be associated with Kulasekera, unless the words 'lack of' are in the same sentence.

    Maybe he meant Nuwan Pradeep, not Nuwan Kulasekera.

    If SL don't want to win then go for the defensive option and pick Kulasekara. By doing so, they'll be making the loss far more likely in my opinion. It's not like Kula is economical in away Tests either. Passenger! Besides, you don't pick one of your 4-man attack based on economy. He needs to have the ability to take wickets. If Kula with his 8 /9 Tests abroad for only 4 wickets at a ridiculous average & strike rate is what they want to go ahead with, instead of playing Prasad, then so be it. They don't deserve to win. It'll be a decision made out of fear.

  • on June 18, 2014, 17:56 GMT

    Whatever combination they may try the Sri Lankans cannot win outside the subcontinent because of their weak bowling attack. Without a quality spinner like Grame Swann, the English side's bowling too looks weak. However, if the conditions were to favor swing and seam, then the Sri Lankans had it.

  • on June 18, 2014, 16:23 GMT

    Chandimal should open with Kausal, Kithruwan should bat at no 7 and Kula out prasad or chamara bring... then we balance...ha ha lets spoil the english soup at Headingle...

  • chandimasl on June 18, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    Before any team changes i think our coaches should change the mind set of the players, specially the senior players not to be negative and defend. But to go attack and win. Last match was played with so negative approach by our players.

  • Lalindra2012 on June 18, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    My team for Headigley Test

    Kaushal Silva (Wk) Dimuth Karunaratne Mahela Jayawardene Kumar Sangakkara Angelo Mathews (c) Lahiru Thirimanne/Kithruwan Vithanage Rangana Herath Shaminda Eranga Chanaka Welagedara Suranga Lakmal(Subject to fitness)/Dilruwan Perera Dammika Prasad/Nuwan Pradeep

  • Maqsood_aalam on June 18, 2014, 14:30 GMT

    Anybody won't surprise if poms win by inning margin. Luck can't be guaranteed twice in succession. Much improved performance by home side after poor ashes in Australia.

  • on June 18, 2014, 14:29 GMT

    Look first of all the prediction I have made become reality. So read this, I want SL to play two spinners and 3 seamers. So kula and Eranga can keep their place. Herath with mendis if Senanayake unavailable. Now openers, sliva must open with Chamdima because he had more experience in english conditions than vitanage. One of them should take gloves if not Silva. If vitanage or Chamdimal don't play then we can plays one genuine batsmen at n.o 6 as Mathews at n.o 5. Kula is slow too so I think playing prasad waist of time. Important point is SL must play two genuine spinners.

  • SLMaster on June 18, 2014, 14:26 GMT

    If pitch swings I think SL should go with same team except Chandimal taking the gloves. Kulesakara is very handy in swinging conditions.

  • on June 18, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    Well Sir Jayawardane should stop talking about other teams' in such forums....that is really unnecessary for a player of his stature.....He is not even the captain of the team....It doesnt mean that a team which fails in a tour should be banned from further touring.....doesnt sound logical....

  • nickexplore on June 18, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    Expect the selectors to spring a surprise by playing Vithanage for Thirimanne or Karunaratne. Vithanage wouldn't have been selected to the squad to replace PJ otherwise. Hope he plays for Thirimanne and that Karunaratne gets one more chance to forge a big opening partnership with Silva. Seven batsmen now that Chandimal takes PJs place, should be enough armoury for SL, with 4 specialist bowlers.

  • Yevghenny on June 18, 2014, 13:12 GMT

    if the sun is out, Headingley can be very helpful to the batsmen. I thought Sri Lanka were excellent with the ball 2nd innings at Lords, maintaining pressure on the batsmen which Cook tried to tell us was the batsmen forcing the issue. If the sri lankans can maintain that performance it could be very interesting, although they wil notl be as effective as Anderson in swinging conditions

  • on June 18, 2014, 12:36 GMT

    The main difference between the two teams is lower order batting. England Nos. 8 to 11 are miles ahead of SL counterparts. However, nothing can be done about it by picking within this squad. English batsmen have played Kulasekara type gentle medium swing/seam bowlers plenty at county level. So Kula can only be any kind of threat with the new ball only. Considering that and his present batting form at No. 8 is it worthwhile retaining him? Yet the only available option to replace him, Prasad can be wayward and if so can go for lot of runs. The top half Nos. 1 to 7 needs to compensate for deficiencies of lower half by scoring heavily. With Thirmanne becoming a walking wicket, Dimuth extremely unreliable, Mahela not at his best a heavy burden is imposed on Kaushal (one of unsung heroes at Lords), Sanga and Mathews. Lets hope Chandimal with time on his side to build an innings at test level will succeed. Mathews should seriously consider batting at No. 5 since he is not doing much bowling.

  • on June 18, 2014, 11:47 GMT

    I think Sri Lanka slips fielded too deep on the first day. Kula would have picked up at least 1 or 2 wickets more and in quicker time. The extra wicket would have stopped England getting any where near 575....possibly only 400. Also the way the DRS is used does not make sense to me for borderline decisions. I know that the DRS can be used in a better and more certain way.....hopefully that might happen in the future. I am surprised that they don't have statistical data based on various training data sets that can vastly improve HawkEye decisions to levels that are much more accurate than they are at the moment.

  • on June 18, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    I feel India and Sri lanka are two very similar teams in tests .Their pace bowling is not potent enough to take 20 wickets and they have decent young batsmen .Both teams have very poor tails but also need 5 bowlers .Angelo mathews should evolve into a 5 th bowler who can take 2-3 wickets per match and keep run flow down .He has done this very well in the shorter formats where Kulasekra Malinga Perera and Mathews form a very potent seam bowling attack.Otherwise they should give Perera a go in Tests as that would even strengthen a rather hopeless tail.Sri Lanka cannot win with 4 bowlers but best of luck to them.

  • ITJOBSUCKS on June 18, 2014, 10:20 GMT

    Lot of Srilankan's are bringing weather into picture even though first test was played in bright sunshine for most of the days & flat pitch to boot!!! I don't know what srilankans are complaining about!!!

  • nickexplore on June 18, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    Agree with @ Lahiru Gamage (the same right arm fast-medium that plays for Chilaw & SL A?), that it's hard to win a Test match with 3 and a 1/2 bowlers. The loss of Lakmal is a big one for SL, so would like to see Prasad for Kulasekara at Headingly. The batting will be bolstered by the return of Chandimal behind the stumps. And exciting lefthander Kithuruwan Vithanage may well come in for Karunaratne or Thirimanne.

  • Prabhash1985 on June 18, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    It would be nice if England stops playing off the field drama.

  • on June 18, 2014, 8:47 GMT

    Sri lanka will play against the English 11 plus the weather. Tendency for More catches to be be grassed. Headdingly is very much different from Lords. Its a huge challenge. A draw will be a win.

  • on June 18, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    Mathews was a 'negative captain' when SL lost to Pak in UAE in Jan. But he has learned lessons from that. I don't agree with the notion that Mathews did negative at Lord's. He won the toss and batted SECOND because it is both Kaushal's and Dimuth's first tour in England and the pitch was green so he would have definitely thought not to risk 2 early wickets that would put burden on Sanga who had not performed well in England before and also the fact that Mahela is not in his best form (Recall what hap on the boxing day test in AUS). So it was a conscious decision against the gut feeling (Don't forget this is his first test in ENG). Also in the ENG second inning, he attacked ENG tried his best. And on day 5, we saw number of occasions balls hit batsmen. Clear indication of uneven bounce. So batsmen had to play careful cricket. So Mathews is not a negative captain he is a good learning captain. Field setting and bawling changes still not crafty enough. But he will learn. He is cool as ice

  • Blade-Runner on June 18, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    @Darkmanx12155 ; Cook is one the most defensive captains going around. Mathews is a far better captain than negative-minded Cook. First Cook n co. batted the opposition out (Target -390/90 overs). Then put 5-6 fielders around the batsmen like they was defending a target less than 200. He never opened up a section to lure batsmen to play shots, to create any opportunities. For Sri Lanka (or any other team in that case), it was never a realistic target. So, Mathews did everything not to lose the match. Mathews is a captain who leads from the front unlike Cook.

  • on June 18, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    I think Thirimanna should himself accept the fact that he cannot play a long innings in England under English conditions when the opposition bowls Anderson. It is no reason to be ashamed of. It is a fact. Stats heavily support this premise. Also Kulasekara should not be featured as his gentle military medium pace is not going to SL cause anyway. On his day he could be devastating. But it is the exception and not the rule. Send Mathenws ahead and forget about consolidating the latter half of the batting. At present when Mathews comes it is too late as our tail is far from presenting any opposition to English bowlers. May be Mahela must swap places with Mathews. This is not the time to think of vice captaincy or seniority, but try and go all out to, fist save the match and/or to win it. At the moment, winning seems less likely and would be a huge bonus if achieved. But we would do very well to stave off Egnlishmen and com home with wins in T20, ODI and a nil all in tests.

  • Darkmanx12155 on June 18, 2014, 5:22 GMT

    @ Kevum. Spot on. Dimuth opening for SL means SL start with 0/1. Thirimanne in the team means SL are as good as 0/2 considering Jimmi andy's sparkling form.

    Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug.. REALLY? I think even cook is more positive than Mathews. You need to play for a win. not for a draw from day 1 of a test match! you go for a draw ONLY if you're forced with your back against the wall, NOT if you walk backwards blindly and force yourself against the wall!!!

  • on June 18, 2014, 5:19 GMT

    Kulasekera should be the first person to be in the team. The ball will swing at Headingly and who better to do that. Nuwan and Eranga did very well for SL and have to be included. Herath is a must and we only need to replace Prassanna who got injured. Lahiru must not open the batting. He has not proved that he is the person to face the new ball in conditions that are alien to SL in England. SL have won the T20 & the ODI series and must be positive with the last remaining test match. SL did very well at Lords despite tricks from England to claim wickets knowing full well the batsman were not out. I refer to Herath and Nuwan appeals. "Spirit of the Game"?????

  • on June 18, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    Kithruwan, Chandimal and Welagedara should be in for respectively Dimuth, Prasanna and Kulasekara. Dimuth is vulnerable to seam and swing bowling more than Kithruwan who is a more attacking batsman. Why not give him a chance? He is keen. He is more fearless. and He is in form. Well... it might work. Prasanna is already out and Chandimal bats well when he is doing keeping role. So hope he can break the jinx with given keeping opportunity and given lay-off for conditioning his mind to become 'the Chandimal we saw 18 months before'. Kula got variations but without pace English batsmen can track them. Welagedara is also of Kulasekara's mould but he got little pace more than kula and he is alien to English as less footage available on him. But we know that he can do the tricks that Kula does.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on June 18, 2014, 4:57 GMT

    Don't forget, England are a very ordinary side with a lot of new players and players out of form. I wouldn't write off Sri Lanka at all, they have some legends in the side in good form and Matthews is an excellent captain.

  • THEBEAST7 on June 18, 2014, 4:43 GMT

    If the pitch favors fast bowling, keep dimuth. Dont risk Kithruwan.

  • THEBEAST7 on June 18, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    Kaushal, Kithruwan, Sanga, Mahela, Matthews, Thirimmana, Chandimal, Prasad or Welagedara, Nuwan Pradeep, Eranga, Herath should do the trick. But one thing for sure. If Anji, Sanga and Mahela play negative cricket like they have been doing for the past few test matches, SL will go down with a bang in three days. Sad to say this but Iv never seen a worst test captain than Matthews for SL. even Hashan Thilekarathne was better than Matthews. When will he learn to attack????

  • on June 18, 2014, 4:33 GMT

    In this tour many unlikely things have happened. Poms expected to repeat what they did in Bangladesh in T 20 format but lost that. Then in very helpful conditions for them they thought of winning the ODI series and lost that too. There is no guarantee that they will not lose in Leeds.

  • on June 18, 2014, 4:09 GMT

    Welagedare should play in next game. Welagedara is a better bowler than prasad and I don't except kula for test matches he's not quick enough , pace can trick english players and they hesitate for spin . my team Frank, kaushal, sanga. mahela, mathews, kithruwan, welagedara, eranga, (pradeep/dilruwan), herath.

  • Damian123 on June 18, 2014, 3:50 GMT

    @Kavun: Mahela, Dimuth (not to mention Prasanna) had a shocker of a match. REALLY!!! From where/whom did you learn your cricket? Which match did you watch?

  • on June 18, 2014, 3:44 GMT

    Prasanna Jayawardene's injury is a blessing in disguise to Sri Lanka. Chandimal's batting will strengthen the Sri lankan late middle order, since none of them were able to reach the double figures in both innings including the wicket keeper Prasanna Jayawardene in the first test.

    If Sri lanka is going to play four front line bowlers in this match with Mathews as the fifth option, they should either select Prasad who is up with the English bowlers in speed or with Welegedera who will add variation to the Sri Lankan attacks. Although Kulasekera is a good bowler in shorter formats of the game, he looks pedestrian in the longer format due to the lack of pace. You can't expect to win matches, specially in foreign conditions with three and half wicket taking options in your team. Good luck to Sri Lanka..

  • on June 18, 2014, 3:16 GMT

    if Prassanna is not playing Lahiru should move to the opening slot with Dimuth giving way and Chandimal to keep and bat at 6 with Dilruwan coming as the spinning all rounder. Kula might have to be replaced by Prasad as prasad can bat a bit as well.

  • rezmata on June 18, 2014, 3:03 GMT

    Kithruwan Vithanage called up for Prasanna. So Im guessing Kithruwan will open in place of Dinuk.

  • nickexplore on June 18, 2014, 2:22 GMT

    Prasanna Jayawardene's injury is a blessing in disguise for Sri Lanka, with Chandimal taking the gloves and giving the side the extra batsman. It is also a great opportunity for Chandimal to show the selectors he deserves a place in the team. Prasad too deserves his chance, especially as Kulasekara under-performed with ball and bat at Lord's. Let's hope Mathews wins the toss again and bats first, then Herath can show just how good he is bowling in the 4th innings.

  • on June 18, 2014, 1:19 GMT

    My team. kaushal, dimuth, sanga, mahela, thirimanne, mathews, chandimal, welagedara, eranga , herath, kulsekara/dilruwan perera.

  • ChandraPrince on June 18, 2014, 1:10 GMT

    Why say the obvious? Replace Prasanna with Chandma- that would certainly be an improvement. I can't stand his loud chatter behind the wicket! I was pretty happy with the Sri Lanka's pace attack in the first test. Don't try to fix things that aren't broken. Sri Lanka must be determined to do better. Good luck...

  • Rizwanodayar on June 18, 2014, 1:10 GMT

    Sri Lanka should go in to the match with mind set of winning it, and team selection should reflect it. They are only playing with four bowlers, there for they should good with three genuine face bowlers, predeep and Eranga bowled well at Lords but Kulasakara onlly effective when the bowl is new and in condition is seem-er friendly, and I believe it is not good enough for a five day test. Prasad may be a good attacking option. Dimuth was given extended run, he sofa fails to produce a long inning, can experiment with kithruwan as opener he might give positive star and put England bowlers on back foot. Angelo should bit more innovative in the field look for taking wicket and cut down easy singles even in the expense of giving away few boundaries. Go and preform well we have excellent opportunity to have first serious win in England as we have two batting star they have non.

  • on June 18, 2014, 0:54 GMT

    This is England's way of ensuring that they win the series. They will have everything their side when they play at Headingly. Wish it gets reversed this time around. SL have the skills to get England in trouble. But they will struggle to put up a good winnable total. That is going to be the key. If they score 325 plus in their first innings, they can put pressure on England. Sorry Sanga and Mahela have to score one more time. That's their only chance.

  • on June 17, 2014, 23:47 GMT

    It's seems to be all odds against Sri lanka. With Suranga not recovered their best result would be a draw. That seems to be out of the card with the history of the ground. if we can come up with a draw that would be the best tour we can hope for considering all options. How ever with the form and commitment of our players in this tour that could be a reality.

  • Charindra on June 17, 2014, 22:42 GMT

    My XI - Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sanga, Mahela, Mathews, Thirimanne, Chandimal, Herath, Welagedera / Prasad, Eranga, Pradeep.

    Best of luck SL!!

  • KingOwl on June 17, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    I really think that selection is not that complicated. Replace Prasanna with Chandimal. That may in fact be a good thing. Dimuth has to be persisted with for a while longer, at least. He is not out of form. He just needs to go on to get a big score. There is no way to drop Lahiru, although he is clearly struggling. On the bowling side - wait to see the square and then decide based on seam/hit the deck needs. Nuwan certainly is not great with the red ball. Lakmal not being available is certainly a big loss. But Prasanna's unavailability need not be. But I agree that SL need to go in with the aim of winning. Going for a draw will make sure that we lose.

  • StoneRose on June 17, 2014, 20:08 GMT

    "Chilly"? Can I just say it was warm in Leeds today and forecast 18 degrees plus for the Test...I wouldn't describe that as chilly! Headingley has been far from a seamers' paradise in recent times, just ask KP, Joe Root...and Anil Kumble.

  • on June 17, 2014, 19:29 GMT

    1998 is a official result

  • Kavum on June 17, 2014, 19:06 GMT

    Kula, bless, is not an asset to the side in tests. Vass who bowled as slowly in his later years, could move the ball both ways and had most of the tricks of the trade. Kula's ability to get the ball to move away from the RHB or into the LHB is questionable at best. SL is in a real quandary as Dhammika Prasad is an unpredictable scattergun and Welagedera is short on fitness and form. Any thought of playing 2 spinners is futile given the venue. End result - 3 day test victory for ole England if SL bat first; 4 days if they bat second. Mahela, Dimuth and Thirimanne (not to mention Prasanna) had a shocker of a match and Chandi may be the best WK batting option. Is Thisara Perera in this squad? Why not give him a go? He can't do any worse than Kula.

  • glen1 on June 17, 2014, 18:41 GMT

    It is hard for touring teams to sustain energy for five tests. Broad and Anderson will be unplayable at Headingly, as the weather changes quite often and assists swing, with the ball looping around in the air. It would have been better if the second test were elsewhere.

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  • glen1 on June 17, 2014, 18:41 GMT

    It is hard for touring teams to sustain energy for five tests. Broad and Anderson will be unplayable at Headingly, as the weather changes quite often and assists swing, with the ball looping around in the air. It would have been better if the second test were elsewhere.

  • Kavum on June 17, 2014, 19:06 GMT

    Kula, bless, is not an asset to the side in tests. Vass who bowled as slowly in his later years, could move the ball both ways and had most of the tricks of the trade. Kula's ability to get the ball to move away from the RHB or into the LHB is questionable at best. SL is in a real quandary as Dhammika Prasad is an unpredictable scattergun and Welagedera is short on fitness and form. Any thought of playing 2 spinners is futile given the venue. End result - 3 day test victory for ole England if SL bat first; 4 days if they bat second. Mahela, Dimuth and Thirimanne (not to mention Prasanna) had a shocker of a match and Chandi may be the best WK batting option. Is Thisara Perera in this squad? Why not give him a go? He can't do any worse than Kula.

  • on June 17, 2014, 19:29 GMT

    1998 is a official result

  • StoneRose on June 17, 2014, 20:08 GMT

    "Chilly"? Can I just say it was warm in Leeds today and forecast 18 degrees plus for the Test...I wouldn't describe that as chilly! Headingley has been far from a seamers' paradise in recent times, just ask KP, Joe Root...and Anil Kumble.

  • KingOwl on June 17, 2014, 21:03 GMT

    I really think that selection is not that complicated. Replace Prasanna with Chandimal. That may in fact be a good thing. Dimuth has to be persisted with for a while longer, at least. He is not out of form. He just needs to go on to get a big score. There is no way to drop Lahiru, although he is clearly struggling. On the bowling side - wait to see the square and then decide based on seam/hit the deck needs. Nuwan certainly is not great with the red ball. Lakmal not being available is certainly a big loss. But Prasanna's unavailability need not be. But I agree that SL need to go in with the aim of winning. Going for a draw will make sure that we lose.

  • Charindra on June 17, 2014, 22:42 GMT

    My XI - Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sanga, Mahela, Mathews, Thirimanne, Chandimal, Herath, Welagedera / Prasad, Eranga, Pradeep.

    Best of luck SL!!

  • on June 17, 2014, 23:47 GMT

    It's seems to be all odds against Sri lanka. With Suranga not recovered their best result would be a draw. That seems to be out of the card with the history of the ground. if we can come up with a draw that would be the best tour we can hope for considering all options. How ever with the form and commitment of our players in this tour that could be a reality.

  • on June 18, 2014, 0:54 GMT

    This is England's way of ensuring that they win the series. They will have everything their side when they play at Headingly. Wish it gets reversed this time around. SL have the skills to get England in trouble. But they will struggle to put up a good winnable total. That is going to be the key. If they score 325 plus in their first innings, they can put pressure on England. Sorry Sanga and Mahela have to score one more time. That's their only chance.

  • Rizwanodayar on June 18, 2014, 1:10 GMT

    Sri Lanka should go in to the match with mind set of winning it, and team selection should reflect it. They are only playing with four bowlers, there for they should good with three genuine face bowlers, predeep and Eranga bowled well at Lords but Kulasakara onlly effective when the bowl is new and in condition is seem-er friendly, and I believe it is not good enough for a five day test. Prasad may be a good attacking option. Dimuth was given extended run, he sofa fails to produce a long inning, can experiment with kithruwan as opener he might give positive star and put England bowlers on back foot. Angelo should bit more innovative in the field look for taking wicket and cut down easy singles even in the expense of giving away few boundaries. Go and preform well we have excellent opportunity to have first serious win in England as we have two batting star they have non.

  • ChandraPrince on June 18, 2014, 1:10 GMT

    Why say the obvious? Replace Prasanna with Chandma- that would certainly be an improvement. I can't stand his loud chatter behind the wicket! I was pretty happy with the Sri Lanka's pace attack in the first test. Don't try to fix things that aren't broken. Sri Lanka must be determined to do better. Good luck...