Former Indian batter Aakash Chopra feels that the surface at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) might aid the Sri Lankan players in their final Super 12 contest against England on Saturday, November 5. The upcoming match is of a knock-out nature for Jos Buttler and Co. as they need to secure a win to qualify for the semi-finals.
This marks the penultimate match at the New South Wales venue since it is also scheduled to host one of the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup 2022.
So far, the SCG has been ideal for defending. It is also among the highest-scoring grounds across the tournament so far, with both centuries by Rilee Rossouw and Glenn Philipps also being recorded here.
Opining that the in-form Sri Lankan spinners might be able to make the most out of the wicket, Chopra said on his YouTube channel:
"The biggest issue for England is that the pitch might favor Sri Lanka. When it comes to Sri Lanka, they have 2 good bowlers, but the rest are not up to the mark. They drop a lot of catches, they have self-made problems. The Sri Lankan batting unit has not come together in this tournament."
Following Australia's slender win over Afghanistan at the Adelaide Oval on Friday, November 4, Sri Lanka have officially been eliminated from the competition.
They made their way to the Super 12 phase through the preliminary qualifying round. Heavy defeats against Australia and New Zealand in succession hampered their chances of making it to the final four.
"England will win this match" - Aakash Chopra backs Jos Buttler to lead the side to the semi-finals
Despite the surface being in favor of the Sri Lankan spinners, Chopra backed England to secure a win and eliminate Australia from the competition.
England stuttered midway through the tournament following a shock defeat against Ireland but recovered by registering a crucial win over New Zealand.
Making his predictions for the crucial and final Group 1 match of the tournament, Chopra said:
"Buttler and Livingstone to score more than 55 runs together. Wood and Curran can take more than four wickets together, one bowls express pace, and the other one bowls smartly. Theeksana and Hasaranga to take more than three wickets combined. England will win this match."
Much like Sri Lanka, England also have a three-pronged spin attack in the form of Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, and Liam Livingstone. However, too many options and resources being availed has also been a part of the problem for England at times.
Expecting England to come out and play a positive brand of cricket, Chopra said:
"England have way too many options at the moment, sometimes Dawid Malan does not get to bat, and sometimes Ben Stokes does not bat. They usually do well when they play a positive brand of cricket. Spinners will play a huge role for them. Leg-spinners have found success at the SCG."
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