England can take an unassailable lead if they win the 2nd Test © Getty Images
England can take an unassailable lead if they win the 2nd Test © Getty Images

A young Sri Lanka team will go out to save their faces and series in the 2nd Test against England at Chester-le-street. Having won the first Test by an inning and 88 runs, the hosts will look to seal the deal in this game and avenge their 2014 series defeat. Both the teams are coming into this game having lost key players. For England, Ben Stokes has been ruled out, and will play no further in the Test matches. Chris Woakes gets a call as his replacement. As for the visitors, Dushmantha Chameera injury has not only ruled him out of this tour, but also for upcoming series’ against Australia as well. He is likely to replaced by Suranga Lakmal. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: England vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test at Chester-le-street

The first Test saw a brilliant all-round performance from the host team. Batting first, England managed to post 298 in bowling friendly conditions. The star of the show was Jonny Bairstow, who scored a magnificent 140 to rescue his side from a precarious situation. He was duly supported by Alex Hales, who scored 86. In their reply, the young Lankan batting unit were bowled out for a mere 91, thanks to a fifer from James Anderson — who also got past Kapil Dev’s 438 wickets haul in Test’s — and Stuart Broad, who managed to scalp four wickets. ALSO READ: Compton: Even ENG batsmen will struggle vs Anderson, Broad

Having enforced the follow-on, England again battered the Lankan batting unit, thanks to another fifer for Anderson. Barring a fighting half-century from Kusal Mendis, the visitors failed to deal with the English seamers, before getting bowled out for 119.

The injury to Chameera is a big blow to Sri Lanka, who are already without Dhammika Prasad, due to injury woes. Despite a good showing on debut from Dasun Shanaka, the two quick’s will be sorely missed in this match. Apart from Lakmal’s entry into the team, no changes will be expected from the visitors. They would hope their batting shines if they are to stand any chance of getting back in the series. ALSO READ: Dushmanta Chameera ruled out of England tour

England will be expected to make a solitary change for this game, with Woakes coming for the injured Stokes. Skipper Alastair Cook will not be looking to make any major change from the team which comprehensively beat SL in the first Test. The only chink in the armor in the win was the lack of runs in top order. The likes of James Vince, Joe Root, Nick Compton and skipper Cook failed. If their batting clicks, there will be no stopping them considering the quality in their bowling ranks. ALSO READ: Stokes ruled out of Test series against Sri Lanka

This match will also be a special occasion for Cook, who needs 20 more runs to become the youngest player to reach the 10,000 run-mark. He only managed to 16 in the first Test. If he does reach the landmark, he will have beaten the Little Master Sachin Tendulkar to the feat.

The 2nd Test will be determined by the batting display of Sri Lanka. If their batters succeed and get runs on the board, England can be put under pressure. If the batting fails, look out for another game to end before Day 5. But on the first look, the English side looks way superior and is hands down favorite to seal the series by winning this game against Sri Lanka, who have been hit hard by injuries.

SQUADS:

England: Alastair Cook (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jake Ball, Stuart Broad, Nick Compton, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Chris Woakes, James Vince

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (c), Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Pradeep, Rangana Herath, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Dilruwan Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Dasun Shanaka, Kaushal Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne

(R Narayan is a reporter with CricketCountry, and is an ardent cricket and football enthusiast (big Manchester United fan). Having followed cricket since 2003, he likes high scoring matches as well as good fast bowling. His Twitter handle is @RNarayan24nov)