The hosts Sri Lanka and the visitors England will meet for the second or final Test of the ongoing series from Friday (22nd January) at Galle International Stadium (Galle).
England claimed a seven-wicket victory in the first match of this Test series at Galle and they are currently leading this two-match Test series by 1-0 with the last Test to go.
Sri Lanka vs England, 2nd Test: Match Preview
The upcoming match will be the must-win game for the hosts Sri Lanka to only draw this home Test series. As it is the part of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship, this Test series is very important for the Islanders.
But as the team is unsettled and very much inexperienced, it will be tough for them to beat the stronger English Test side. Though Sri Lanka once again had a poor start in the previous Test, they didn’t give up easily and always tried to fight back.
While they started their second innings by trailing by 286 runs, Kusal Perera (62) and centurion Lahiru Thirimanne (111) put the 101-run opening partnership. Also, Angelo Mathews scored 71 runs and those knock helped the hosts to escape from an innings defeat.
Left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya (3/176 & 2/29) got a total of five wickets in the last Test while off-spinner Dilruwan Perera took four wickets (4/109) during England’s first innings. As a team, Sri Lanka need to make more improvement and that too in very little time.
Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne continue to miss the upcoming Test match due to an injury. So, Dinesh Chandimal will continue his leadership role in this Test series.
Dinesh Chandimal (C), Kusal Perera, Dushmantha Chameera, Niroshan Dickwella, Lasith Embuldeniya, Asitha Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Vishwa Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Angelo Mathews, Dilruwan Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Lakshan Sandakan, Roshen Silva
England started the new year in best way with the seven-wicket victory against the hosts Sri Lanka. Though they will secure this Test series with a draw in the upcoming Test, England will surely try their best to win this Test.
In the first Test of this series, skipper Joe Root scored a double-century to set the game for the visitors. Also, Dan Lawrence (73 & 21*) and Jonny Bairstow (47 & 35*) batted strongly in that Test. However, England still need to put stronger effort as a batting side.
Off-spinner Dom Bess (5/30 & 3/100) and left-arm spinner Jack Leach (1/55 & 5/122) both claimed a five-wicket haul in the last Test. Also, the experienced pacer Stuart Broad got three wickets in the first innings of that Test series opener. However, in the second Test, James Anderson is ready to replace Stuart Broad.
Joe Root (C), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood
Sri Lanka vs England, 2nd Test: Match Prediction
A draw will be enough for England to win this Test series, while Sri Lanka must have to win the upcoming match to only draw this Test series. While England are unbeaten against the Islanders in the last seven Tests (6 wins and 1 draw), it will be very tough for the inexperienced Sri Lankan Test side to change this latest system in very quick time.
So, the visitors England are clearly favourite for the second or final match of this Test series.