The third ODI, to be held today, is Sri Lanka’s only chance to remain in the contest for series victory. England, on the other hand, would want a lead of 2-0 and their skipper Eoin Morgan looks more competitive than ever. It has been a rain-driven series so far, with the first ODI being washed out and second lost 21 overs of play at the end. However, since the English bowlers had taken early Sri Lankan wickets, the result went England’s way. Thanks to the DLS method. Moreover, from the second ODI, the key to winning or at least taking an edge in rain-affected matches can be extrapolated.
There have been changes in both the teams, due to injuries and arrivals of cricketers, ahead of the third ODI game.
Changes in the England team
The left-arm spinner from Hampshire, Liam Dawson has been ruled out of the remainder of the Sri Lanka tour. He bagged one wicket and bowled six overs in the second ODI wherein he developed a right side strain. Kent batsman and occasional leg-break bowler Joe Denly has been called up into the ODI squad as Dawson’s replacement. He was already a part of the Test squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka(part of the same tour) that’s to be held next month. The last time Denly appeared in England’s ODI team was way back in 2009. Meanwhile, Liam Plunkett has arrived in Sri Lanka and would likely be playing the final two ODI games. With Plunkett and Denly arriving late for today’s game, England might replace Dawson with Mark Wood or Tom Curran.
Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan(captain), Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler(wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Olly Stone.
Changes in the Sri Lankan side
Kusal Perera’s absence is a big blow for Sri Lanka head of the game at Pallekele. Perera developed a hamstring injury during the previous game at Dambulla. Replacing him in the playing XI would be wicketkeeper-batsman/opener Sadeera Samarawickrama, who is already in the squad. The 23-year-old has played three ODIs for Sri Lanka, in 2017, not making much of an impact. He might be given the opener sport, with Dickwella moving down the order. The rest of the team remains unchanged.
Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella(wicketkeeper), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep.
3rd ODI (D/N) – Kandy: Wednesday, October 17, 2.30 pm Local Time at the Pallekele International Cricket Ground.