Ed Hawkins expects Stuart Broad's men to falter once more against turn when they face the hosts in Pallekelle tomorrow
"England, if you haven't heard, have a weakness against spin bowling."
Sri Lanka v England
Start time: 15.00
TV: live on Sky Sports 1
The hosts finally showed what they were all about with a clinical demolition of West Indies. They triumphed by nine wickets, proving that they have good plans and variations. Their bowling and field work was spot on as the restricted West Indies to 129, using three spinners and using the dangerous Lasith Malinga at first change. They also got the batting order spot on with Mahela Jayawardene moving up to open with Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Confidence would have been restored in the England camp following an impressive performance against New Zealand, who are awkward opponents. The key was discipline with the ball, in particular from Steve Finn, who recorded three wickets and best figures by an England player in this format. He is fast becoming their most important player.
However, England will be worried about the form of Craig Kieswetter, who has managed only 39 runs. They could drop him for Jonny Bairstow, who can keep wicket, thus opening up a spot for an extra batter.
Venue and conditions
Here are the first-innings scores so far in Pallekelle: 191/177/175/174/148/129. The odd ones out are the last two as bowlers dominated but there is a weight of evidence to retain faith that this is a good batting surface. If Sri Lanka bat first, we would expect 160 to be breached.
England, if you haven't heard, have a weakness against spin bowling and Sri Lanka should be capable of exploiting it. They are 1.738/11 and although a case, albeit a weak one, could be made for England at 2.35/4, the home side are the wager.
Even against New Zealand their frailty was exposed when Daniel Vettori and Nathan McCullum went for 5 and 5.50 an over respectively. Ajantha Mendis, the leading wicket-taker, Rangana Herath and Jeevan Mendis are each a major threat and could tie England in knots for a potentially crippling 12 overs.
Top Sri Lanka batsman
Sri Lanka dropped Dilshan Munaweera to pair Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan together and the batting looks all the better for it. Jayawardene responded with an unbeaten fifty while Kumar Sangakkara chipped in with 39. Jaywardene will be favourite at around 3.505/2.
Top England batsman
Laying Kieswetter would be a good start at around 5.004/1 while we also doubt Luke Wright's ability against the best bowlers, despite his blazing 76 against New Zealand. Bairstow and Jos Buttler are weak against spin so that leaves one from Alex Hales or Eoin Morgan.
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