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World Cup 2019, England vs Sri Lanka: Who will be the Fantasy X-factor in today's game

  • England would be looking to keep the winning momentum going when they lock horns with Sri Lanka.
Modified 21 Jun 2019, 10:48 IST

Eoin Morgan , Fantasy X-factor for today
Eoin Morgan , Fantasy X-factor for today's game

The writing was on the wall when Afghanistan were bowling first against the England team. After Jonny Bairstow setup a perfect platform, it was then the show of Joe Root and Eoin Morgan that shook Afghanistan and in particular, Rashid Khan who conceded the most runs by a bowler in World cup history- 110 runs in nine overs.

It's the way England have revolutionized their ODI game which is the most heartening and visible aspect of their transformation to becoming the No.1 side in the 50-over format. The manner in which all their batsmen beat down oppositions is what makes them look scary.

England's only weak link coming into the World Cup was the lack of a quality fast bowler who can hold one end up in the death overs. With the inclusion of Jofra Archer, the missing link in their quest to complete dominance seems to have been achieved.

And when the talk comes to the now famed English batting lineup, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow or Jos Buttler get more air time and get analyzed far more than one batsman- Eoin Morgan. The England captain's power hitting, especially at the end of an innings, is second to none.

He quietly slips under the radar and allows the other hard hitters present in the side to hog the limelight. But undoubtedly, after his mind-boggling display of clean hitting against a pretty effective Afghanistan bowling attack, Eoin Morgan is the Fantasy factor for today's game.

Sri Lanka would hope that they bat first and can put up a dominating score that can challenge England. If they end up on the wrong side of the coin toss against England on a fresh deck at Headingley, then there's going to be lot of leather hunting for them.

Apart from a Lasith Mainga who can cause problems with his smart use of variations and the yorkers, Sri Lanka don't have quality in the bowling attack. The other seamers are pretty much of the same breed- Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal and Thisara Perera.

Sri Lanka usually have effective spinners in their team but their World Cup squad is barren when it comes to quality spin bowling options.

Apart from the part-time bowling of Dhananjaya De Silva, who has managed to pick up few wickets, no one else has evoked much confidence.


Sri Lanka would be up against a strong and ruthless England side who will not step down on intensity one bit.

It will be an uphill task for them to stop this English batting lineup and especially Eoin Morgan, after him hitting 17 sixes in his previous innings. He would be certainly itching to deposit a few more into the stands today.

Also read – World cup most wickets

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Published 21 Jun 2019, 10:26 IST
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