England will look clean sweep the series against Sri Lanka at Lords
Winning the two out of three tests, England has already won the series and has made the perfect start to its international summer against Sri Lanka in the Investec Series. England will take on Sri Lanka today at Lords in the third and final test aiming to clean sweep the series by 3-0.
Earlier, England has secured an innings and 88-run victory in the first Test at Headlingley. Sri Lankan Batsman showed courage against English Paceman in the second Test but by nine wickets in Chester-le-Street, Durham.
One thing England will need to keep in mind that they can’t afford complacency as it want to a whitewash at Lord’s in the third and final Test. Though Sri Lanka have nothing to gain but can use the experience it gained from previous two tests and a good performance in this test will help them in the one day internationals.
England have a habit of losing late on in a series. They lost the second test in the West Indies along with New Zealand last year and they finished the series as 1-1 which could have gone in England’s favour. The team also won the ashes series before the fifth test against Australia but when the series ended it was 3-2.
England’s batting coach Mark Ramprakash said that the side was conscious of its habit of slipping up late on, but hoped the occasion of a Test at Lords would help every England player raise his game.
England has been phenomenal in every aspect of game. Alastair Cook became the first English batsman to cross the 10,000-run mark in the second test at Durham. James Anderson and Moeen Ali stood out good with bowl and bat respectively. Anderson finished the match with figures 8 for 94 and Ali has scored an unbeaten ton of 155 in the first innings.
Batsman Nick Compton will be under pressure since he has cleared before the second test that he will need to score runs to secure his place. He scored nine runs in the first innings in Durham and was 22 not out in the second innings.
Steven Finn’s form remains a headache for England– he has picked up just four wickets in two Tests at 34.50. There are indication that he may be replaced by Jake Ball who has not made his debut in the international cricket till now but the team appears ready to retain the Middlesex quick.
For Sri Lanka, the depth in batting is missing post retirements of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. However, the batting was mature in the second innings in Durham and this will act as a positive approach for the side. Sri Lanka became the first team to be to be dismissed for under 120 in three successive Test innings after New Zealand. Sri Lanka put 475 on the scoreboard in the second innings of the second Test. Wicket keeper batsman Dinesh Chandimal scored a brilliant ton of 126, while the Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews also worked his way into form with a fluent 80.
Pacer Saminda Eranga was reported for a suspect bowling action during the second Durham Test and has undergone tests at the England and Wales Cricket Board’s training centre. Although Eranga is likely to play the third test at Lords. Chaminda Bandara, 29-year-old left-arm pacer, can debut in international cricket in the absence of the injured Dhammika Prasad and Dushmantha Chameera.
Possible Playing XI
England: Alastair Cook (capt), Nick Compton, Alex Hales, Joe Root, James Vince, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Steven Finn, Jake Ball.
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Kusal Perera (wk), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Rangana Herath, Chaminda Bandara, Niroshan Dickwella, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kaushal Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Shaminda Eranga, Dasun Shanaka, Milinda Siriwardana.