ICC World Cup 2019, England vs Sri Lanka: Top five player battles – Eoin Morgan and Co face Lasith Malinga challenge
The ‘Three Lions’ have won four out of their five matches in the competition so far and their solitary loss came against Pakistan.Updated: Jun 21, 2019, 08:02 IST
England will look to continue their good form in the tournament and strengthen their position at the top half of the table when they take on Sri Lanka in a crunch ICC World Cup 2019 group stage match at Headingley in Leeds on Friday. ((ICC World Cup 2019: Full Coverage))
The ‘Three Lions’ have won four out of their five matches in the competition so far and their solitary loss came against Pakistan. As for Sri Lanka, they have won one, lost two and two matches were abandoned due to rain.
Let’s take a look at some important player battles that could decide the course of the match at the iconic venue –
Jonny Bairstow vs Nuwan Pradeep
Opener Jonny Bairstow has been responsible for giving good starts to England but against Sri Lanka, things could be tricky for him early on in the innings. Nuwan Pradeep is likely to share the new ball and he holds a decent record against Bairstow. Although the two have never faced each other in ODIs, Pradeep has dismissed Bairstow twice in Tests and once in T20Is and that will certainly play on the mind of the Englishman.
Joe Root vs Lasith Malinga
Top-order batsman Joe Root has been in good run-scoring form for England he will be eying another good outing with the blade against Sri Lanka. But things aren’t going to be easy for him against the Islanders as he will have to deal with the pace of Lasith Malinga who holds a good record against him. Malinga has conceded just 100 runs off 87 deliveries to Root and he has dismissed the right-hander twice.
Eoin Morgan vs Thisara Perera
Skipper Eoin Morgan struck a 71-ball 148 and scripted multiple records in England’s last match. Sri Lanka will be wary of him in the forthcoming clash and are likely to bring Thisara Perera into the attack whenever Morgan comes out to bat. Perera has bowled 34 deliveries to Morgan in the past and has conceded just 25 runs. More importantly, Perera has dismissed Morgan twice in ODIs.
Dimuth Karunaratne vs Jofra Archer
Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne has been leading Sri Lanka charge with the bat and if the ‘Islanders' are to get anything out of this match, he will have to score big. The mantle to get rid of the southpaw early on will fall to England’s pace spearhead Jofra Archer. The two haven’t faced each other in international cricket but expect sparks to fly when the two come face-to-face at Headingley.
Kusal Mendis vs Chris Woakes
Middle-order batsman Kusal Mendis has the ability to play big innings and if he gets going, expect Chris Woakes to come into the attack. The England pacer has a good record against Mendis and that could play on the mind of the batsman when the two face each other. Woakes has dismissed Mendis twice in Tests and once in ODIs and will certainly fancy his chances against him once again.