One-off T20I: England aim for revival, Sri Lanka at momentum
Dinesh Chandimal's 80 in the fifth ODI was an audacious innings. @AFP

Eoin Morgan’s England emerged victors 3-1 in the five-match ODI series versus Sri Lanka and now face the hosts in the one-off Twenty20 international in Colombo ahead of the Tests.

Morgan was critical in his assessment of England’s record 219-run loss in the dead rubber fifth ODI, terming his team’s performance as “extremely poor”. Such is the focus with which England view ODIs in the lead-up to next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup at home, the coach Trevor Bayliss has said that strugglers will not make the cut. Trust England to treat this one-off T20I with utmost seriousness.

Having defied the monsoon season to claim a ninth successive bilateral ODI series win, Morgan’s team once again faces the prospect of a wet affair, with more rain forecast for Saturday. They have not played T20I since July 8, when they lost to India by seven wicket, and are ranked fourth.

Sri Lanka, ranked ninth in T20Is, have won four of seven T20Is this year. In their last match, versus South Africa in August, they ended a run of three successive losses by winning by three wickets. They will hope that Kusal Mendis’ return to form and a bold, watch-winning innings from skipper Dinesh Chandimal has sparked a revival of limited-overs form.

Date: October 27

Venue: R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Time: 07:00pm IST

Weather: Scattered thunderstorms

Team News

Sri Lanka 

Lasith Malinga is in line to play his first T20I since September 2017, while Niroshan Dickwella could slot in for his first game in the format since February given the vacancy created by Angelo Mathews’ axing. With Kusal Perera fit again, he and Dickwella may form the opening act with Kusal Mendis, who returned to form in the last ODI, dropping down to No 3.

Kusal Mendis returned to form in the last ODI.
Kusal Mendis returned to form in the last ODI. @Getty

Probable XI: 1 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 2 Kusal Perera, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (capt), 5 Dhananjaya de Silva, 6 Dasun Shanaka, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Akila Dananjaya, 9 Isuru Udana, 10 Lakshan Sandakan, 11 Lasith Malinga

England

With Jonny Bairstow out injured, Moeen Ali looks the man to slot into the lower middle order. David Willey’s absence due to a back injury opens up a slot for Ollie Stone to make his debut.

Probable XI: 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jos Buttler (wk), 3 Joe Root, 4 Alex Hales, 5 Eoin Morgan (capt), 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Jordan, 9 Liam Plunkett, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Ollie Stone.

Statistics

– Sri Lanka have lost 15 of their 19 T20Is played at the R Premadasa Stadium.

– Kusal Perera, in 35 T20Is, is Sri Lanka’s fifth most successful batsman with 1023 runs.

– Thisara Perera has hit the most sixes for Sri Lanka in T20Is, 40, followed by Kusal Perera’s 38.

– Jordan has taken 10 wickets in four T20Is versus Sri Lanka, the most by an England bowler.

Chris Jordan is England's most successful bowler versus Sri Lanka
Chris Jordan is England’s most successful bowler versus Sri Lanka. @AFP

Quotes

“We will break it down and find an answer because otherwise we’re just papering over the cracks which is not what we want to do.” – Morgan after the fifth ODI loss

“We know that when you have a player like that, he can get into form very quickly. We know how good a batsman he is. Kusal Mendis is our future. He took that responsibility on and played well for the team.” – Chandimal on why Sri Lanka refused to drop Mendis