Leeds, Jun 20: Sri Lanka are hanging in around the middle of the table as of now, but won’t be there for long unless they rack up some wins, starting with the match against England here on Friday.
This is the ultimate David v Goliath face-off at this ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. England are the world’s top-ranked ODI side. They are the strongest contenders to lift the trophy and have already taken firm steps towards making the final four.
Sri Lanka are a struggling one-day side. They have a lone win from five matches.
But two of those produced no result, giving them a point from each, as a result of which they are still hanging in there, around the mid-table.
England will again be without Jason Roy for this clash as he continues to recover from the hamstring tear he suffered against West Indies. But England have such depth in resources, and have so much going right for them that they can look past the Roy injury and still come out and dominate. Doing so could give them yet another win, and a win will take them one step closer to the semi-finals.
As for Sri Lanka, they face an uphill battle, but have enough games left to try and make something out of this campaign. Dimuth Karunaratne, their captain, has excelled with the bat so far, but can he inspire the rest of the team with those performances? Whatever may be needed to make that happen, though, needs to come soon.
England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay. (UNI)