T20 World Cup: Confident England eye semis spot, Sri Lanka look for survival | Cricket News – Times of India
They are at two ends of the spectrum. England have been one of the stand-out teams of the T20 World Cup so far and a win against Sri Lanka on Monday will all but book them a spot in the semis.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are fighting to stay in contention. Two back-to-back losses against Australia and South Africa have left them on the brink and the 2014 champions know that it will be curtains for them if they go down to England.
Given the current form the two teams are in, it may not be an overstatement to call this game a bit of a mismatch. Still, we all know T20 is a flippant format and the form-book doesn’t always hold good.
TOI takes a look at the probable talking points of this Group 1 game…
Can Lanka bowlers come good on a helpful pitch?
Through the IPL, we have seen scores around 130-140 becoming tricky on the pitch. The ball stops, turns and at times it seems it doesn’t reach the batters. The inform England openers Jos Buttler and Jason Roy, along with middle-order stars Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone – all love the ball coming on to the bat. The Lankan bowlers, who are used to playing on slow tracks, should look to make the most of the conditions and make things as difficult as possible for the England batters. But then, champion teams know how to adapt and captain Eoin Morgan said on Saturday after their resounding win against Australia: “The challenge for us is adapting to conditions away from home, we did that really well in the first two games.”
Will Morgan promote himself?
England have had things so easy in the tournament so far that captain Morgan hardly had a bat. But we can well remember how he was struggling with his batting in the IPL playing for Kolkata Knight Riders. It will be imperative for the skipper to get back to some sort of form before the business end of the tournament.
For that, he needs to get a chance to bat a substantial amount of balls. The Lankan attack isn’t exactly threatening but it can provide Morgan a decent hit on a typical UAE pitch before England get down to face the bigger threats from the subcontinent.
Should England try out Wood?
Things have fallen into place beautifully for the England attack so far. But left-arm pacer Tymal Mills went for 45 against Australia on Saturday and it is his lack of pace and variety that can be targeted by batters if he misses the yorker by a whisker. With Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan essentially being medium-pacers who prefer bowling a fuller length, it won’t be a bad idea to try out somebody like Mark Wood, who can bowl the occasional back of the length delivery with subtle variations of pace, in place of Mills. While it adds to the variety, the option of pace (or the lack of it) isn’t always a bad idea on these pitches, as MS Dhoni showed with the use of Josh Hazlewood in the IPL.
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