The first T20I between England and Sri Lanka is set to take place at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Wednesday.
England are back on the international circuit as they kickstart their white-ball summer with a bout of three T20Is against Sri Lanka. After a miserable Test series against New Zealand, the onus is on Eoin Morgan to lead his troops to a win and sustain the momentum heading towards the all-important ICC T20 World Cup later this year. A couple of new names have found a spot in the squad, with young George Garton in line to make an appearance in the series. However, all eyes will be on England's rampant batting unit with the likes of Jos Buttler and Jason Roy joining forces.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are in a rebuilding phase under new captain Kusal Perera. They have a young and talented team capable of giving any team a run for their money. While the likes of Pathum Nissanka and Dushmantha Chameera are expected to play a big role, all eyes will be on star all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga, whose leg-spin is the focal point in the Sri Lankan bowling unit. With depth and balance in abundance, Sri Lanka might fancy their chances ahead of this series.
England are the clear favorites heading into the game, given their match preparedness, thanks to the English T20 Blast 2021. But they cannot take the Sri Lankans for granted by any means. With either side looking to kickstart their preparations for the T20 World Cup with a win, we should be in for an absolute cracker at Sophia Gardens.
Squads to choose from
Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Kusal Perera (c), Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya De Silva, Oshada Fernando, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Ishan Jayaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Isuru Udana, Asitha Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Binura Fernando, Shiran Fernando, Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dananjaya, Praveen Jayawickrama
Predicted Playing XIs
Jos Buttler (wk), Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings/Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali and Mark Wood
Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera (c&wk), Avishka Fernando, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana, Dushmantha Chameera, Akila Dhananjaya and Asitha Fernando
Match: England vs Sri Lanka, 1st T20I
Date and Time: 23rd June 2021, at 10:30 PM IST
Venue: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
A relatively high-scoring game is on the cards at Sophia Gardens despite there being help on offer for the bowlers as well. The batsmen will look to attack from ball one, with there being little movement available with the new ball. However, the pitch should slow down as the match progresses, bringing the spinners into play. Both teams will ideally look to chase upon winning the toss, with 170 being a good total at this venue.
England vs Sri Lanka 1st T20 Dream11 Fantasy Suggestions
Fantasy Suggestion #1: Jonny Bairstow, Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Sam Curran, Wanindu Hasaranga, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan and Isuru Udana
Captain: Jonny Bairstow. Vice-Captain: Wanindu Hasaranga
Fantasy Suggestion #2: Jonny Bairstow, Kusal Perera, Pathum Nissanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dawid Malan, Jason Roy, Sam Curran, Wanindu Hasaranga, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood and Isuru Udana
Captain: Dawid Malan. Vice-Captain: Sam Curran