Sri Lanka vs England 2018: 5 players battles to watch out for
The last time England travelled to Sri Lanka things were very different. Alastair Cook was still England’s ODI skipper and that series proved to be his last in limited-overs cricket. That series was also the last time Sri Lanka beat a higher ranked ODI side in a bilateral ODI series.
A lot has changed since then. England have become a dominating limited-overs side and enter the series as the No. 1 ODI team. While Sri Lanka have been dealing with quite a few issues, none bigger than their white-ball form. They have won just 10 out of their last 41 ODIs and they recently crashed out of the Asia Cup after losing to Afghanistan and Bangladesh in the group stage.
However, England will face a tough challenge as spin is expected to dominate the series. They have struggled against spin in the past and Kuldeep Yadav exposed that weakness further earlier in July this year.
Hence, in what is expected to be a fascinating series, let’s take a quick look at the top five player battles to watch out for in the upcoming 5-match ODI series.
#5 Chris Woakes vs Niroshan Dickwella
Niroshan Dickwella is one Sri Lankan batsman who has constantly got starts in ODI cricket this year. However, he has failed to kick on and get a big score.
On the other hand, Chris Woakes has been one of England’s most consistent bowlers in white-ball cricket over the last couple of years. He has taken 15 wickets in 9 ODIs this year and has performed with the bat as well.
Woakes vs Dickwella will be one of the contests to watch out for. Dickwella loves going after the bowlers for the word go and Woakes has a nice habit of picking up early wickets. Also, in 2018, barring one, all of Dickwella’s dismissals have been against the quicker men. Hence, Woakes along with his opening new-ball partner Mark Wood will look to provide early breakthroughs while Sri Lanka will want the wicket-keeper batsman to convert his starts.