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|Dhananjaya de Silva||21||44||0||1||47.73|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||12.1||2||41||0||3.37|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||14||47||0||0||29.79|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||3.0||0||18||0||6.00|
Despite having a lot of success in the two shorter formats of the game, England's fate in the upcoming test series against Sri Lanka is far from certain considering how potent Sri Lankans have been against non-Asian sides at home. The three-match series is scheduled to begin with the first matching scheduled for 6th November at Galle.
England did exceedingly well in their last test series, against India, at home, but this is going to be an altogether different challenge. In recent years, it's been extremely rare for a home team to lose a test series. In addition to that, Sri Lanka haven't lost a home test series against a non-Asian side since 2014. Home advantage is definitely going to play a vital role and it's certainly not going to be a walk in the park for the visitors. Regardlessly, this hugely anticipated test series will certainly be a treat to watch for cricket fans across the globe.
At least in the shorter formats of the game, the hosts have still not recovered from the voids created by the retirement of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara and soon Rangana Herath will join the list of the former players. The most experienced player of the current Sri Lankan squad will be retiring after the opening test at Galle. The 40-year old spinner has 430 wickets to his name and his performance will hold the key for Sri Lankan fortunes in the first test.
After missing out in the white-ball version of the game, Angelo Mathews returns to competitive cricket and his experience could come in handy. The likes of Niroshan Dickwell, Dinesh Chandimal, and Kusal Mendis usually thrive on home soil in the longer format of the game and they all will be itching to score big after failing to perform in the colored clothing.
In addition to Herath's experience and accuracy, Akila Dananjaya's deception and Lakshan Sandakan's flare can trouble the English batsmen. Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal are likely to shoulder the load of the pace department. Considering that the surface is likely to assist spinners, the seamers are only going to ball in short bursts.
Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis , Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath.
The retirement of Alastair Cook has rendered English top-order a little fragile considering that we might well see two newcomers open the innings for England in the conditions conducive for spin bowling.
Joe Root began well in the ODI series, but slowly lost his touch and was found wanting towards the end of the limited-overs leg of the tour. The challenging conditions of Sri Lanka and a trial by spin will be an opportunity for him to prove his mettle with the bat. Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler delivered some notable performances against India earlier in the year and their performance might well govern how England fare in the opening test.
Considering how vital Sam Curran was in their last test series, it is highly unlikely that he will be dropped in the opening test. With conditions likely to help spinners, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid are both sure starters in the first match and we might well see Stuart Broad sitting out in the first match with Curran, Anderson, and Stokes chipping in to take pace bowling responsibility. Along with Rashid and Moeen, Jack Leach could be included to bolster their bowling attack as indicated by Trevor Bayliss in the pre-match conference.
This is a big tour for England and Joe Root as their team has a lot of questions to answer. They've lost eight out of their last ten away matches and haven't won any. They'll be keen to improve this statistic and will need every member of their team to contribute well considering the big home-advantage Sri Lankans have.
KK Jennings, Rory Burns, Moeen Ali, JE Root, BA Stokes, Jos Buttler, Ben Foakes, Sam Curran, AU Rashid, Jack Leach, James Anderson.
Batting fourth has been and will be a challenge at the surface of Galle and the team winning the toss will be looking to bat first and put a big score on the board.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Rain is expected to play a part on every day of this test match and there are likely to be many interruptions over the course of the match. It's going to be a typical Galle surface where the first two days will be the easiest days to bat. Spinners will be in the game from day one and we expect them to do the bulk of the bowling. The team batting first will be looking to score at least 350 in the first innings and chasing in the fourth innings will be tough.
England are placed three places ahead of Sri Lanka, at third, in the ICC Test Cricket Rankings, but the rankings do not really tell the complete story of how they've fared. While they've been terrific at home, their record away from home has been dismal, to say the least. Sri Lankans, on the other hand, have had a pretty poor time in limited-overs cricket of late. Their spinners, however, have done pretty well in the last couple of years in the red-ball cricket and will present a big challenge for the visitors. Unless rain plays spoil-sport, it's going to be an intriguing game of test cricket.
The venue, history, and surface all favor the home team, but the talented English side cannot be ruled out considering the way they performed against India. Galle is a fortress for Sri Lanka and with tailor-made conditions for their team, they are more likely to emerge victorious and start the series on a winning note.
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