After a 0-2 defeat in the ICC World Test Championship series against South Africa, Sri Lanka will host England in a 2-Test series at the Galle International Stadium. The first SL v ENG Test match will begin this Thursday, with the tour's final game scheduled for next week.
The England cricket team still has an outside chance of qualifying for the ICC World Test Championship final. Joe Root's men hold the fourth position on the standings. They will play two Tests in Galle this month and then visit India to battle the hosts in a 4-Test series.
The Galle International Stadium has played host to Test matches in the island nation since 1998. The home team has an excellent record in Tests at this venue as they have won 19 out of the 33 games.
The England cricket team has fond memories of playing at the Galle International Stadium. During their 2018 Sri Lankan tour, England had crushed the hosts by 211 runs on this ground. Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes won the Man of the Match award in that Test.
With Galle set to host another SL v ENG Test, here's a look at the Galle International Stadium's pitch report and weather conditions.
Galle International Stadium pitch report
The pitches in Sri Lanka have generally assisted the spin bowlers. The wicket at the Galle International Stadium is no different. In the previous SL v ENG Test on this ground, off-spinner Moeen Ali scalped eight wickets for the visitors. Unfortunately, Ali will miss the series owing to his positive COVID-19 test.
The batsmen need to take their time to settle in the middle before dominating the opposition bowlers at the Galle International Stadium. Sri Lankan off-break bowler Dilruwan Perera has picked up 52 wickets in eight Tests on this ground. Meanwhile, home captain Dimuth Karunaratne slammed a century against New Zealand in the previous Test at the Galle International Stadium.
Galle International Stadium weather conditions
The weather report hints there could be rainfall on the first three days of the first SL v ENG Test. Thus, a stalemate seems likely in the first Test at the Galle International Stadium.
There are predictions for thunderstorms on the first and the second day of the second Test match. Many rain interruptions are expected during this SL v ENG series.