The Preview: Sri Lanka hopes for turnaround; England aim to continue domination

Posted: Friday, June 3, 2011 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , ,

Pietersen on the verge of big runs
Unlike the media, Andy Flower isn't too concerned regarding their star batsman's form. For my take on it, read on...

Sri Lanka's confidence has sunk to its lowest in a long time, with their bowlers being written off before the start of the tour and their batting having collapsed for 82. Tilakratne Dilshan wants his team to forget about this match while Jayawardene only wants to forget Day 5. Fair enough. While Suranga Lakmal and Thisara Perera are not established, with only a few Tests under their belt, Maharoof has a bowling average of 62 and a batting average of 19.10. Mendis was regarded as the new sensation of Sri Lankan cricket, but has averaged over 38 on each year, except his first year in cricket. In all of his Test career, he has struggled everywhere except while bowling in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Sri Lankans are masters, but only at home as Herath too, averages over 45 on foreign soil.

After a successful start to their summer, the English don't have much to worry about. Their only concern is the injury to the leader of the attack, James Anderson. In the 2nd innings at Cardiff, England had to bowl without him, but Swann and Tremlett's 4 wickets each, followed by Stuart Broad's wrapping up of the tail, didn't let England miss him. In a perfect world, any two of the three paceman - Finn, Dernbach and Onions would be brought in and Broad would be out. Nevertheless, Surrey's 25-year-old Jade Dernback has been called up as cover for Anderson in the twelve man squad but it's Steven Finn who is expected to take his place. I love Finn but Dernbach sounds like an exciting prospect. Though Lord's being Finn's home ground, he holds an advantage over Dernbach.

For Sri Lanka, it would be obvious to attack, there is no way they are coming back in the series without triumphing at Lord's. After being bundled out for 82, it would take nothing less than a satisfying victory to gain momentum. England will look to push Sri Lanka down further below. If England go for Finn, they will have a pace attack, Sri Lankans will 'look up to' as Finn, standing at 6'7", will add to Stuart Broad, 6'6" and the giant Chris Tremlett, 6'8". They will be among the tallest of all time. Strauss indicated Dernbach's inclusion is not out of the question as he will bring variety. Among these bowlers, Stuart Broad has played the most number of matches, 35. But, considering his performance at Cardiff, Tremlett, will lead the attack, despite having played fewer Test matches than even Finn.

Kevin Pietersen's form has been cited as another issue by the media, but England don't have to do too much in that case, as the man knows what he has to do. It should be kept in mind that the Ashes down under was a successful tour for him. Although left arm spinners have been troubling him but even though they have taken his wickets, he has shown he can smack them around as well. All great batsmen face such challenges and I'm sure he'll overcome this hindrance the way he has tackled others throughout his career. The good thing is that the coach and captain are behind him.

The show begins at 10:00 GMT, June 3 live from Lord's, London. Watch out!


  1. Anonymous says:

    [i]"he has shown he can smack them around as well"[/i]

    his 99 in Bangladesh last year was a masterclass.