Dambulla: After a rain washout in the series opener, both Sri Lanka and English will aim to grab early honours when they face each other in the second fixture of five-match ODI series at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla on Saturday.
Despite both the teams gearing up for the game, there is a chance of rain in Dambulla on Saturday as well, which is expected to halt the proceedings in between.
Following the washout in the first ODI on Wednesday after just 15 overs of play were possible, if the second ODI is curtailed on Saturday, then it will be played on the reserve day i.e. October 14, a luxury that was not available for the series opener.
England clearly showed that they are going to use this series as a preparation for their World Cup plans, and one might expect some twists and turns in their playing XI.
The first game saw two players, Olly Stone and Liam Dawson, making their way into England line-up, which clearly elaborates their strategy and are likely to play the same XI to give them a fair chance to prove their worth in the squad.
Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy will once again be looking to get England off to a solid start after passing 1,000 ODI runs together in the calendar year during their partnership of 49 in the opening game of the series. After getting starts, both threw away their wickets in space of five balls, which they will hope to rectify in the second encounter.
The Islanders are going through a transition phase and nobody is quite sure whether the dropping of Mathews and the interim appointment of Dinesh Chandimal as captain, will have a galvanising or demoralising effect on Sri Lanka.
However, given the fact that English man didn't get much game time to familiarize with conditions, there is an opportunity for the home team to catch them cold in the rest of the series.
Lasith Malinga made a rusty start to the series as he conceded more than seven runs an over with the new ball in first ODI. The veteran pacer would be expected to rectify it and provide early breakthroughs.
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (Capt and wk.), Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Malinga, Amila Aponso, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha
England: Eoin Morgan (Capt.), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Pitch and conditions
Rain, rain, and more rain -- that’s Dambulla at the moment. If it relents for long enough, there should be plenty of joy for the batsmen as well as the spinners, with even the fast bowlers getting a little bit of help in patches.
Stats and trivia
Saturday, 13 October 2018
Start time: 10.00am local (4:30 GMT)