Struggling Sri Lanka will be facing another tough test when they will face England in the first match of the five-ODI series in Dambulla on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka will be under pressure to produce a better show than they did in their last 50-over assignment in the recently concluded Asia Cup, where they came home without winning a single match in the tournament. After such a horrendous show, veteran all-rounder Angelo Mathews was stripped off from the captaincy and was replaced by Dinesh Chandimal.
In the batting department, the team will be dependent on captain Chandimal and veteran opener Upul Tharanga to do the bulk of the scoring, whereas wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera will be hoping to provide the x-factor during the innings with his attacking display. Veteran all-rounder Thisara Perera will have a dual role where he will be expected to provide a big finish at the end of the innings with the bat, and will also be looking to take wickets with the ball as well.
In the bowling department, the focus will be on veteran pacer Lasith Malinga to show his class with the ball in the later stages of the innings, whereas off-spinner Akila Dananjaya will lead the spin attack.
Teams will compete in the first ODI of the five-match series on Wednesday
For England, this will be another opportunity for them to show that they are the best in the world.
In the batting department, the responsibility will be shared captain Eoin Morgan, Test captain Joe Root, and Jonny Bairstow to provide stability, whereas the likes vice-captain Jos Buttler and all-rounder Ben Stokes will be tasked to provide a big finish to the innings. In the bowling department, Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett will be leading the pace attack, whereas Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid will share the spin department.
Dambulla pitch is expected to be a good one for batting and also provide some assistance to the pacers as well.