England who arrives in South Africa with little joy and now they will face a tough opponent like Sri Lanka to start with. However before landing in South Africa they somehow manages to save their pride by beating Australia in the last One day International.
They have denied a 7-0 whitewash from Australia but as each game of ODI series passed away their batsman seems to lose their self confidence and believes which is the main worrying factor for England. If not then do you think that a team needing 177 runs to win a game on good batting wicket will loose six wickets (from 122/1 to 161/6) in the process?
Sri Lankan teams on the other hand flying high with confidence after beating one of the tournament favourites by 55 runs in their first game. Now one more win for them will secure their berth in the ICC Champions Trophy 2009 Semi Final.
Sri Lanka has players who can turn the game by their own. Their bowling looks more professional and solid than England teams. When it comes to batting they have T.Dilshan, Jayasurya, Sangakara and Jayawardne in their rank.
England on the other hand looking really a team which has no clue whatsoever. Absence of K.Pietersen andA.Flintoff left big hole in the middle order which needs to be filled quickly otherwise they have big problem on their hand.
Strange results are possible in 50-over cricket as we have seen in last 30 year or so, that’s why many people say Cricket is an unpredictable game until last ball is bowled.
Watch out for
James (Jimmy) Anderson: A player who got noticed by world cricket when he got chance to play for England in 2003 world cup and now he has another chance to show why he is rated so high by England Cricket experts. He knows he will get lot of assistant from the wicket in South Africa he just need to maintain the good line and length and wicket will fall in his bag by own.
Ajantha Mendis and L.Malinga: Both bowlers have unorthodox bowling action and it will be interesting to see how England batsman tackles these two bowlers. A.Mendis who named as mystery spinners after making a sensation debut against India is yet to seen by England batsman so we are going to witness another interesting battle against English batsman and his mystery carom ball.
Pitch & Condition
By watching the game against West Indies and Pakistan it’s has been confirmed that New Wanderers Stadium at Johannesburg has ample support for the fast bowlers than the one at Super Sports Park, Centurion. However rain is expected to play spoil spots in the game against England and Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is unlikely to change their winning XI unless they have different ideas to give Tushara a go by resting Muralitharan after watching the game between Pakistan and West Indies.
England is likely to go with same playing XI that has beaten Australia in the last ODI to save their pride.
Likely Playing XI for both Teams (Match is Schedule to begin at 18:00 PM India Time)
Sri Lanka Squad: Sanath Jayasuriya, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (Captain/WK), Mahela Jayawardene, Thilina Kandamby, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis
England Squad: Andrew Strauss (Captain), Joe Denly, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior (WK), Eoin Morgan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, G.Onions, James Anderson.
Stats & Trivia
Both teams have managed to won only one game at this venue before they meet with each other. Sri Lanka who played four games but manage to won a single game. In their last outing at this venue they have been beaten comprehensively by the Indians in 2003 world cup.
S.Jayasurya 28 hundreds is far more than what all England squad total century by their individual players accumulate.