Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

England 'happy favourites' against Sri Lanka, Buttler says

England all-rounder Moeen Ali is expected to play a big part in the tour to Sri Lanka England all-rounder Moeen Ali is expected to play a big part in the tour to Sri Lanka
Sidney Guerrero | 13 October, 2018, 14:14

"I think the guys enjoy the pressure of being the number one side and people wanting to beat us", said Buttler. Then, as now, it was to take place in conditions very different from those here in Sri Lanka: Australia in 2015; England and Wales next year. The umpires played it really well and gave it plenty of time to get the covers on but when they were taking the water away and the covers off there were about three or four really muddy patches.

"Actually, to be honest, we all know England is the number one side in the world at the moment". You've got a bit of a target on your back. "With the potential, with this World Cup or the next one, we need to put ourselves in the best position in order to be contenders", he told Sky Sports. Morgan and Joe Root then helped England reach 91/2 before rain halted play.

The hosts are still reeling from the axing of captain Angelo Mathews after a dismal run of 30 losses in their last 40 ODIs including defeats to Bangladesh and Afghanistan in last month's Asia Cup. He has impressed with the ball, especially in the warm-up game he played, he had an extra yard on the other players and coming in to fill Liam Plunkett's boots at the moment, there is no reason he can't do that.

'When you look at how England struggled during the last World Cup, the same thing is happening to us at the moment, ' said Chandimal. They got all the experience and talent and we have to compete with them.

S African apartheid-era foreign minister Pik Botha dies
He began his diplomatic career in the South African mission in Stockholm in 1953 and turned to politics in the 1970s. The 1980s saw tough challenges as global opposition to the apartheid regime grew.

Wood is 15/4 to be England's leading wicket-taker in the series, but after conceding that the roles will be reversed for the seamers and spinners on this trip, he is some way behind the fore-most of those spinning options, Adil Rashid (3/1). Both teams will hope for better weather in Dambulla for the second game on Saturday.

The three-match series will end with a farewell to spin legend Rangana Herath, 40 - the most successful left-arm bowler in Test history with 430 wickets - who will retire after the final match in Colombo.

The three Tests, starting in Galle on Nov 6, will likely be a severe Test for an England side captained by Joe Root who have been all-conquering at home but fragile overseas in the past few years. Last time they were in Sri Lanka to play a one-day series things were far less rosy than they are now.

Dinesh Chandimal, who has been handed over the reigns will surely slot in the middle-order, while Niroshan Dickwella is likely to replace Kusal Mendis in the top-order.

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