England kick off their test series against Sri Lanka at the start of November with their test line up and status a far cry from the one-day side who are widely considered the best one-day side in the world now and are installed as the favourites for next year’s 50 over world cup. The England one day line up looks a well-oiled machine with the batting line up looking very settled with the nucleus of the top 7 having played together and been successful for some time and excellent players sitting on the bench waiting to come in. This is in stark contrast to the test line up, with the retirement of Alastair Cook leaving all top three places up for grabs and not one player having nailed down a top order place.
England equally have questions about the quality of their spin bowling in the 5-day format. Interestingly it’s the spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid who are likely to play in the first test who have recently been described as England’s “best bowlers” in one day cricket but have always struggled away from home in the longer format and couldn’t been be further away from their fine reputations for England in white ball cricket with the ball.
Sri Lanka themselves have been in disarray with poor results in all formats and the seemingly bizarre dismissal and dropping of their one-day captain and best player Angelo Mathews and has seen the team have 6 captains in a two-year period to really emphasise the problems and upheaval that has gone on.
England come into the series on the back of a 4-1 series win against the No 1 side in the world India. As has been the case for quite some years, home advantage has proved to be everything in Test cricket and winning away has proved to be a near impossible task for nearly every team. It’s this factor that make both sides hard to separate by the bookmakers going in the first test.
With lots of uncertainty on both sides and also the potential of weather intervening – it could well be a case of which team settles into the series best and taking information gleaned from the first test with regards to betting on the second and third tests of the three match series and having a better picture on team selection and conditions for the series.
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