AT A GLANCE
When? Wednesday, October 10th
Where? Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla
Weather? Cloudy weather but no rain forecast with temperatures of 25-27c expected and 75% humidity
What channel is it on? Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event
Where can I stream the match? The match can be streamed on the SkyGo app and Sky Sports website.
- Sri Lanka’s form in one-day internationals is a major concern for them as aside from a couple of tri-series tournaments, they have lost nine and drawn one of their last ten head-to-head series with their last victory coming against Ireland in 2016.
- The recent Asia Cup was particularly concerning for the team as they were comprehensively beaten by Bangladesh (137 runs) and Afghanistan (91 runs) and they failed to make it out of the group stage as they have been overtaken by both of those nations in recent times.
- They will surely cause England some problems with their spinners as Akila Dananjaya will be a threat and left-arm chinaman Lakshan Sandakan will take heart from the issues England faced from Kuldeep Yadav in the recent series against India, though they really do need their batsmen to step up and find some form.
- England open the tour to Sri Lanka with a one-day international and they will be hoping for more success than the last time they toured in 2014 where they lost 5-2 and that series proved the catalyst for a change in approach in this format.
- They had one warm-up match which they won comfortably but the second match was washed out so preparations have not been perfect for them but they will be motivated to prove the doubters wrong and show they can perform in these conditions and on these pitches.
- The biggest decision the England selectors have to make is whether they pick Liam Dawson as a third spin option alongside Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid with the Hampshire all-rounder offering more depth with the bat too, otherwise Joe Root will step up and be expected to bowl more overs.
This series between Sri Lanka and England kicks off with five one-day matches and these will surely be much closer matches due to the conditions than if this was being played in England where the hosts would be heavily favoured. Sri Lanka have been fragile in one-day matches in recent years with their batting especially letting them down badly. They do not possess much firepower and if Angelo Matthews or skipper Dinesh Chandimal do not score big, they are in trouble. Their bowlers will unquestionably cause England headaches at times, but their batting line-up just does not look capable of matching England’s big hitting. Unless two or three batsmen can fire, they need their bowlers to produce some magic. This may not be as high scoring as many of England’s one-day matches have been in England, but they should still have the quality to overcome the hosts comfortably.