Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

England 'happy favourites' against Sri Lanka: Buttler

England 'happy favourites' against Sri Lanka: Buttler

The visitors, put into bat after Sri Lanka's new captain Dinesh Chandimal won the toss, breezed to 92 for 2 in 15 overs before the heavens opened. You've got a bit of a target on your back. "They took two wickets, and me and Root had just started to get something going, but I don't think I could predict what would have happened from there", he added.

Willey, who has been part of England's ODI team as they reached number one in the world, is the only notable absentee in a strong limited overs touring party to the subcontinent.

Since then, there is a massive turn around in the ODI side of England as they are at the top of the table for the rankings of ODI teams.

England's abundance of seam bowling options has been highlighted by the options taken to Sri Lanka, with newcomer Stone joining Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett, Tom Curran and Sam Curran.

Captain Angelo Mathews has been replaced by Dinesh Chandimal for the hosts, who were disappointing in the recent Asia Cup. Against Australia at Trent Bridge in June, they notched up a 50-over world record score of 481 as Alex Hales blasted 147 and Jonny Bairstow 139. "We will let players adjust to the situations".

The three Tests, starting in Galle on Nov 6, will likely be a severe Test for an England side captained by Joe Root who have been all-conquering at home but fragile overseas in the past few years. The English team is touring Sri Lanka for a 5 ODIs, 1 T20I and 3 Test series.

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Chandimal missed the Asia Cup and the preceding ODI series against South Africa due to injury and suspension but struck 77 in a practice match against England in Colombo on Friday.

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 wicket-keeper/batsman added however: "We're very aware of Sri Lanka's qualities in these conditions".

Whoever gets the nod, England will be confident of getting off a good start as they look to secure a ninth successive bilateral one-day series.

The reality is that the elements - and only cricket could arrange a tour to Sri Lanka in the monsoon season - could provide a bigger danger than the home side to England's chances of starting this tour with a victory. Last time they were in Sri Lanka to play a one-day series things were far less rosy than they are now.

Root accumulated quickly, while captain Eoin Morgan hit one four and a six before the players left the field with rain looming.

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