NOTE: All stats updated till June 28, 2021
After a disappointing T20 International (T20I) series, Sri Lanka take on world champions England in the first One-Day International (ODI) at the Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street. With Kusal Medis and Danushka Gunathilaka suspended for breaching the bio-secure bubble, Sri Lanka will have to look at other options to fill in their slots in the top-order. England, on the other hand, do not have the services of Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer through injuries, while Ben Stokes is currently seeking match-fitness by participating in the T20 Blast for Durham.
When you talk about head-to-head, both England and Sri Lanka are currently tied at 36 wins apiece, however, in the last five matches, England have a slender 3-2 lead. But, Sri Lanka have won the last two matches, one of which was in the 2019 World Cup at Headingley.
Overall: Matches 75 | England 36 | Sri Lanka 36 | Tie/NR 3
Last five matches: England 3 | Sri Lanka 2
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms, we have come up with one team.
Ground details and team combination
In the three matches that have taken place at Chester-le-Street since 2019, it is the fast bowlers who have well and truly dominated and have done so at an average of 35.1 and strike-rate of 39.2. For the spinners, the corresponding numbers are 71.6 and 79.2 respectively.
However, in the ongoing T20 Vitality Blast, it is the spinners who have ruled the roost, picking up a wicket every 25.6, 20.6 deliveries apart, compared to the pacers who have a bowling average of 33.33 and strike once every 22.6 balls. The pacers have however picked up 59% of the wickets while the spinners have struck 41% of the times.
Hence, a balance between pacers and spinners seems to be the way to go when it comes to picking your side, at least based on the latest data on offer.
There could be a few interesting match-ups.
Jason Roy clearly does not like to face Akila Dananjaya. The England opener has been dismissed by Dananjaya all three times the two have come up against each other. In fact, the spinner has bamboozled Roy to an extent where the England batsman has scored just 18 runs at an average of six and strike-rate of just 85.7. It won’t be surprising if we see Dananjaya introduced into the attack in the first 10 overs to counter Roy.
Hard-hitting Sri Lankan all-rounder Dasun Shanaka could be quite a handful in the middle and the death overs. However, the right-handed batsman has struggled against England’s premier spinner Adil Rashid who has dismissed him thrice in five innings. With Rashid being among the best spinners in the world, his contest against Shanaka could be a mouth-watering one.
Jonny Bairstow had a magnificent tour of India recently, where he finished as the leading run-getter in the three-match series, scoring 219 runs at 73 with a whooping strike-rate of 120.33. Since 2020, Bairstow has scored 565 runs at an impressive 51.36 from 11 ODI innings, which includes three fifties and a couple of tons. Baistow is also a safe wicketkeeper and could fetch you some extra points with his dismissals behind the wickets.
Our Criclytics player projections predict Bairstow could score 48-72 runs in this match.
Adil Rashid has been one of England’s most consistent bowlers in the recent past. He has been pivotal in getting the breakthroughs especially in the middle stages, which has often derailed the batting. Rashid’s 11 wickets between overs 11-40 is the most for an England bowler. He has gone wicketless just once in his last 10 ODIs and on four of those occasions, he has picked up more than a wicket. The leg-spinner also has a decent record against Sri Lanka, against whom he has picked up 14 wickets at 29.42 and we could very well see him improve his numbers against this depleted Sri Lankan batting line-up.
Our Criclytics player projections predict Rashid could pick up 0-1 wickets in this match.
Kusal Perera never really got going in the T20I series, but in the absence of three of his important batsmen, he might have to step up his game a notch. In the ODI format, he comes into this match at the back of an impressive century against Bangladesh. In ODIs since 2020, Perera has slammed 250 runs at 41.67 and will look to improve his relatively poor form – 252 runs at 16.80 – against England.
Our Criclytics player projections predict Perera could score 52-78 runs in this match.
Dushmantha Chameera was perhaps the only bright light to emerge out of the T20I series against England, finishing with six wickets overall, and picking up career-best 4 for 17 in the final match in Southampton. He has been a standout bowler for Sri Lanka, especially in the last five ODIs, where he has picked up 11 wickets at 18.6, with best bowling figures of 5 for 16. The fast bowler will be eager to have a crack at the opposition especially after rounding off the T20I series so well.
Our Criclytics player projections predict Bairstow could pick up 3-4 wickets in this match.