England are happy being favourites against Sri Lanka: Jos Buttler

13 October, 2018, 20:31 | Author: Suzanne Horton
  • 5:56                                            Rob Key and Nasser Hussain think uncapped Warwickshire seamer Olly Stone can make an impact for England

England had reached 92 for 2 after being asked to bat, but a heavy storm swept in and despite the entire playing surface being covered, the umpires eventually deemed a wet outfield unsuitable for a shortened game.

"We like being favourites, it means we're doing something right". The English side has got a fair idea of the conditions as they won their first warm-up game, unfortunately, the second game was washed out due to rain. Last time they were in Sri Lanka to play a one-day series things were far less rosy than they are now.

England's turnaround since the 2015 World Cup has been tremendous.

However, despite their strong showings in recent times captain Eoin Morgan insisted that England were far from a finished product with the World Cup eight months down the line. The first two have retired, while Mathews has been dropped amid fitness concerns. The visitors enter the match as favourties with the hosts still reeling under the sacking of skipper Angelo Mathews following a dismal show at the 2018 Asia Cup.

Overall, Sri Lanka have lost their last five bilateral one-day series and nine of their last 11.

'We are trying to build a squad of 16 or 17 to win a World Cup, that's the objective, ' Morgan told Sky Sports.

Despite losing the old guard of Sangakkara, Dilshan and Jayawardene, Sri Lanka aren't massively inexperienced.

Yet even those advantages appear watered down for Sri Lanka.

The middle-order then boasts the likes of Alex Hales, Joe Root and Morgan.

Roy, Bairstow, Root, Morgan (capt), Stokes, Buttler (wkt), Moeen, Dawson, Woakes, Rashid, Stone.

However, with David Willey injured and Liam Plunkett missing the first three matches to get married, there are decisions to be made in the bowling unit. High-quality spin always has a chance of upsetting England (see Kuldeep Yadav's turn during the early part of India's recent tour) and Lasith Malinga has stalked back from the shadows, a ghost from Sri Lanka's formidable past. England would love him to return to his barnstorming best now.

For England, Olly Stone is in line to make it to the team as Eoin Morgan will be looking for a balanced side ahead of next years World Cup.

The players do not want to be away for Christmas, there was talk of a Boxing Day Test in Barbados at one point this summer, which pushes the West Indies tour into January leaving no more room in the schedule to play Sri Lanka. If not, one of Sam and Tom Curran could slot in. For them, that seems to be the best policy to employ.



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