Sri Lanka v England: Only T20I Preview

Cricket ball sits on pitch

Sri Lanka will hope that a change of format brings a change of fortune against England, after being well beaten in the ODI series.

The hosts did win the final ODI of the series, but went down 1-3 in a series marred by rain. Sri Lanka will be reasonably confident that they can be competitive against and England team that hasn't always adapted well to the shortest format.

Sri Lanka v England
Saturday, 27 October
R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium

To Win Match
Sri Lanka 31/20
Tie 35/1
England 52/100

Sri Lanka
The headline selection calls for Sri Lanka were the recall of paceman Lasith Malinga and a maiden call-up for 20-year-old ambidextrous bowler Kamindu Mendis. The squad will be lead by all-rounder Thisara Perera.

Sri Lanka will, as always, have plenty of options with the ball, having named a number of all-rounders in the group. Mystery spinner Akila Dananjaya is shaping up to be the key man for the hosts' bowling attack and he has also shown potential to contribute with the willow.

The Premadasa Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for Sri Lanka in T20Is. In 19 matches at the venue, the hosts have pulled off just four victories. They did, however, win their last T20I in Khettarama against the Proteas.

There is every chance that a thunderstorm could interrupt play on Saturday in the same way the ODI series suffered continual delays and even abandonments.

England lost Jonny Bairstow to a football injury during the ODI series, which will likely allow Alex Hales to come back into the England XI for this match. Hales could open with either regular international partner Jason Roy or Jos Buttler, who has often been promoted to the role. Hales could also be asked to bat at three.

All told, there are an incredible eight seamers in the England squad, though five of those are all-rounders. Liam Plunkett is likely to lead the pace attack as he tries to regain match fitness after some time on the sidelines.

England's spin options could be limited to the usual suspects, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, but Joe Denly provides an interesting option to skipper Eoin Morgan. Morgan might have some trouble wedging Denly into a batting line-up where places are highly sought after, though.

For many of England's white-ball players, this will be the final chance to throw their hat into the World Cup ring this year, with the next scheduled matches in the Caribbean in early 2019.

Verdict: Sri Lanka 31/20
The game is likely to mean more to Sri Lanka than the tourists, some of who might already be thinking of their holiday destination.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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