Sri Lanka vs England – 1st Test Match Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is Sri Lanka vs England taking place? Thursday, January 14th, 2021 – 04:30 (UK)

Where is Sri Lanka vs England taking place? Galle International Stadium

What is the expected weather for Sri Lanka vs England? 28-29c with a risk of thundery showers on Friday especially

What channel is Sri Lanka vs England on? The match will be televised live on Sky Sports Cricket (Sky channel 404)

Where can I stream Sri Lanka vs England? The match can be streamed live via SkyGo

Where can I get tickets for Sri Lanka vs England? This match will be played without spectators

LAST MEETING
England beat Sri Lanka by 42 runs

THE TEAM NEWS

SRI LANKA

  • Sri Lanka are coming a 2-0 series loss in South Africa as a series of injuries conspired to go against them and left them struggling to compete so they return home eager to bounce back but they will have benefitted from the Test match action after almost a year without playing the longest format of the game.
  • They had a variety of injuries affecting the likes of Dhananjaya de Silva, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha and Dinesh Chandimal and they will give all their players as long as possible to recover before naming their team.
  • After playing on pitches in South Africa that favoured pace bowlers more than spin, they will revert to playing with two front-line spinners in Lasith Embuldeniya and Wanindu Hasaranga while all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva will back them up if he is passed fit to give them three quality spin options.

ENGLAND

  • England were one team that continued to play Test cricket over the summer during the early stages of the pandemic as they welcome West Indies and Pakistan for three-matches series as they now kick off their winter tour with two Tests in Galle before moving on to face India.
  • With the tracks in Sri Lanka sure to favour spin bowling, Jack Leach will partner Dom Bess to lead their attack and it would be no surprise to see skipper Joe Root bowling more than usual with his off-spin.
  • With Ben Stokes rested for this series and Ollie Pope injured, Essex star Dan Lawrence is expected to make his Test debut coming in at number five and while the absence of that duo sees them weakened somewhat, they still possess plenty of quality and depth with the bat.

THE PREDICTION

Sri Lanka and England meet in a two-match Test series here in what should be a highly entertaining and hard-fought game between the two sides. England return to Test action and face a trial by spin but they will take heart from their performances the last time they toured Sri Lanka in November 2018 when they whitewashed the hosts 3-0. They may take a little time to adjust to the conditions and that will likely see the hosts be competitive here. Sri Lanka may have lost 2-0 in South Africa in their last series but there were incredibly unlucky with injuries and they have otherwise been playing and competing well in Test cricket in recent times. They will relish the conditions on home turf and if they can get a few of their players back fit again, expect them to pose the tourists plenty of problems in this opening Test. England’s ability to score runs quickly even in this format will give them the edge and while the hosts can cause a few problems and make it difficult for them, England’s overall quality should give them the edge in this opening Test.

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