England v Sri Lanka - Fifth One Day International Cricket Preview

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Published: 03/06/2014

The one day series between England and Sri Lanka has been a particularly entertaining one, with the fortunes of the two sides fluctuating rapidly throughout. At times England have looked what I believe them to be an extremely moderate ODI international side. And at others Sri Lanka have appeared to be the ruthless and top quality limited overs side that most consider them. Itís not for nothing that they won the recent World T20 tournament, and figures such as Sangakarra, Jayawardene and Malinga will be legends in the history of Sri Lankan cricket. Itís not hard to say why they were tough to beat when Muttiah Muralitharan was part of their line-up as well.

Yet despite this, roles have also reversed emphatically during the series at times. On occasion, England have shown that this young side has a lot of potential, and some of the individual performances from the English side have been very impressive. Jimmy Anderson has bowled as well as ever with the new ball, Chris Jordanís displays mean he looks a certainty for the test side, while Jos Buttler played one of the best English ODI innings of all-time in a losing cause at Lordís.

It is perhaps appropriate then in what has been an entertaining series that it will come down to the final match of the encounter. And the nature of the way the two teams have played means that this fifth and deciding ODI will be incredibly hard to call.

Possibly one of the most important elements to consider in the run up to this match is the conditions. These are always of critical importance in any cricket match, of course, but I always feel that England are extremely hard to beat in early English season conditions. Overcast, chilly, gloomy weather is something that we English are extremely accustomed to, and I never feel that other nations are able to show their best when the weather is like this. It also enables Englandís bowlers, and Anderson in particular, to nip the ball around, which of course is particularly to their liking and suits their style of play.

So the fact that there is a gloom expected to descend over Edgbaston for this match will work in Englandís favour. It should mean that they can keep Sri Lanka down to a manageable total. But can their batsmen deliver the runs required to win? This is certainly where their weakness has been in recent matches, and question marks remain over the top order that has been fielded for this Sri Lanka series. Are Bell, Cook and Root really dynamic enough to carry the attack to bowlers in contemporary ODI cricket? Debatable, but for the time being they are the men in possession.

The key performer for Sri Lanka is often the unique bowler Lasith Malinga, and I expect him to be at his best for this one as well. It could come down to a straight bowl off between him and Englandís star man James Anderson, but despite the fact that Iím a big fan of Anderson Iím going to tip Malinga and Sri Lanka to win.

Tip: Sri Lanka to win

Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (03/06/2014) but are subject to change.

03/06/2014     © Frixo 2017

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