Rejigged tour can help Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 00:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka may have their best chance of winning a Test series in England for many years. A schedule more sympathetic to their needs, an opposition in transitional mode and confidence gained from success in Bangladesh has given Sri Lanka an optimism not always shared by some of their predecessors. The English leg of their tour begins on Tuesday. Sri Lanka will take on an Essex side including Alastair Cook in a 50-over game in Chelmsford, with further warm-up matches scheduled against Kent and Sussex ahead of the international fixtures which start in a week. But while Sri Lanka’s record in England is not encouraging – they have not won a Test in England since 2006 and have never won a series of more than one match in the country – circumstances are a bit different this time. On both their 2006 and 2011 tours Sri Lanka played the Test section of the tour ahead of the limited-overs section. This time, however, they will have had a far greater chance to acclimatise to conditions. They will have been in Ireland or England for more than a month before the first Test and will have the opportunity to play their stronger suit – the limited-overs games – ahead of the Test series. They also find an opposition lacking some of the pillars of its success in recent years – the likes of Andy Flower, Graeme Swann, Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott – and having just enjoyed a memorable double-success in Bangladesh, where they followed victory in the Asia Cup by winning the World T20. “We have started training a bit earlier than usual because we know the English conditions are not going to be easy for us,” Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka captain, said on Monday. “If we can adapt ourselves as soon as possible, I am pretty sure the team will come good. The conditions and the weather are the main challenge we face. “We are not trying to be complacent against an England team having made all of those decisions. Yes, they might be missing star players like Kevin Pietersen, but they still have enough potential to beat any team on any day, especially playing under English conditions. They will be very hard to beat. Go hard at them “You know what happened in Bangladesh: they beat us quite easily in the sub-continent conditions, so you cannot be complacent and just have to go hard at them.” “The confidence levels are very high,” the coach, Marvan Atapattu agreed. “This team comes with confidence and success.”

 Sri Lanka ODI squad for England tour 2014

Sri Lanka Cricket said yesterday at a Selection Committee meeting held, the following ODI squad was selected for the tour of England 2014. 1.Angelo Mathews (Captain) 2.Lahiru Thirimanne (V.Capt) 3.T.M Dilshan 4. Kusal Janith Perera 5. Kumar Sangakkara 6. Mahela Jayawardene 7.Dinesh Chandimal 8.Ashan Priyanjana 9.Sachithra Senanayake 10. Ajantha Mendis 11.Chathuranga De Silva 12.Lasith Malinga 13.Nuwan Kulasekara 14.Thisara Perera 15.Suranga Lakmal
  Certainly if the batsmen play as straight as the tour management did when deflecting questions about Paul Farbrace’s departure, they should fare well. Mathews did not believe the suggestion that Farbrace, who resigned the Sri Lankan coaching role to take the assistant coach’s job with England just weeks before the tour, had any team secrets to impart and dismissed the idea that any of his squad resented the decision. “We respect his decision,” Mathews said. “He is a good coach and was part of our success. He was with us for a short period of time, not a very long period of time, but in those few months, he was pretty good. Everyone has his own choices. He has made his choice and we wish him all the very best. “When it comes to an international cricket team, there are no secrets. You have so many videos of all the players, of the support staff as well. We had guys like Ajantha Mendis and Lasith Malinga come into the team, but you cannot really hide them from playing international cricket. “Everyone knows a little bit about the opposition, so I don’t really think he has all the inside information.” But Sri Lanka hope that the appointment of Chris Adams, the former Surrey coach, might provide an insight into England’s players and tactics. Adams joined up with the team on Monday and will spend the rest of the tour with them. Kumar Sangakkara will also join up with the squad on Wednesday or Thursday, having completed his short stint with Durham. “Chris Adams is to give me the information I need to know, about venues and players, during this tour,” Atapattu explained. “We will try to pick his brains to improve our game and lend our support to the players. Yes, we will try to get inside information from him.” Sri Lanka’s record in English conditions probably still leaves them as underdogs going into the Test series. But Peter Moores and Co face a far from straightforward test at the start of England’s new era.

 England recalls Carberry for Sri Lanka One-Day series

Reuters: England have recalled batsman Michael Carberry for the first three games of the five-match one-day international series against Sri Lanka this month and he is also in line to make his Twenty20 debut. Carberry, 33, was overlooked for England’s limited-overs matches against Australia and West Indies this year having played all five Ashes tests. The Hampshire opener, who has played in five ODIs, was named alongside Yorkshire all-rounder Tim Bresnan in the 14-man squad for the first three matches starting at the Oval on May 22. He was also included in the 13-man squad for the T20 international at The Oval on May 20, with Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer Harry Gurney the only other player uncapped at T20 level. “Michael deserves his chance. He was very close to a place in the Twenty20 squad for the World Cup. He has been a consistent performer for Hampshire in Twenty20 cricket and one-day cricket in the last few years,” national selector James Whitaker told Sky Sports. Eoin Morgan will captain the T20 team against the world champions in the absence of Stuart Broad, who is undergoing rehabilitation following a knee injury. Batsman Ian Bell, who has not played in the shortest form of the game for England since 2011, was named in the T20 squad. “With Stuart currently unavailable we have chosen Eoin to lead the side and I would like to wish him and the rest of the squad all the very best,” Whitaker said in a statement. “We are entering an important period of 50-over cricket with a World Cup less than nine months away and this series against a skilful Sri Lankan side offers a chance to regain some momentum and for players to demonstrate the skill and passion we will need if we are to be serious contenders next year in Australia and New Zealand.” Twenty20 squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Jos Buttler, Michael Carberry, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Joe Root, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes One-day international squad: Alastair Cook (captain), James Anderson, Gary Balance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Jos Buttler, Michael Carberry, Harry Gurney, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes.