Sri Lanka will face England in the first T20I of the three-match series in Cardiff on Wednesday. The series then moves on a day later when the sides face each other at Cardiff again before travelling to Southampton on June 26th.
The home team will come into the contest as firm favourites despite winning just two of their last five matches in the shortest format of the game.
The management will be hoping that the players will live up to the expectations and produce a match-winning display in the first game of the series.
On the other hand, the visitors will be coming into this match low on confidence, especially after recent failures in white-ball cricket.
The most concerning thing for coach Mickey Arthur will be the form of Sri Lanka in T20Is where in the last two years, they have only managed to win on five occasions in 17 outings.
Therefore, he and his staff will be hoping that the players will turn it around, that too against one of the best teams in this format.
In the recent five meetings between the teams, it is England who have a significant edge over the Sri Lankans where they have managed to win on four occasions with just one defeat.
England vs Sri Lanka T20 Series
Cardiff and Southampton, UK
Live on Sky Sports Cricket
England Team News
Despite suffering a defeat in the last T20I series against India, England are unlikely to make too many changes in the starting XI and will stick to the tried and trusted players.
However, the absence of star all-rounder Ben Stokes—who has been ruled out of the series after fracturing his finger during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021—and star pacer Jofra Archer—who will miss the series in order to recover from an injury—the home team might find it hard to get the better of the opposition.
In the batting department, the management will be banking on the likes of captain Eoin Morgan, wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler, explosive opening batsman Jason Roy and left-hander Dawid Malan to score the bulk of the runs.
On the bowling front, the onus will be on the likes of pacers Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Mark Wood and the leggie Adil Rashid to produce timely breakthroughs.
Sri Lanka Team News
Sri Lanka have arrived in England with a very young squad and therefore, the management will be hoping the experienced players put their hand up and produce the goods for the team.
In the batting department, the Islanders will be relying on the likes of captain Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Mendis and all-rounders Wanindu Hasaranga, Dasun Shanaka to score the bulk of the runs and give the bowlers something to bowl with.
On the bowling front, the onus will be on the pacers Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep along with the spin duo of Lakshan Sandakan and Akila Dananjaya to try and halt England’s dangerous batting line-up.
With 295 runs in four innings scored in Vitality T20 Blast competition, Jonny Bairstow has shown exceptional form with the bat. He will be hoping to continue his rich vein of form with the bat in the upcoming three-match series against Sri Lanka.
All-rounder Chris Woakes will be looking to deliver his absolute with the ball against England. The 32-year old was rested for the Test series against New Zealand. He will be keen to deliver the goods with the new-ball in this series opener.
Best Odds and Betting Tips
Both teams are playing in the format after a while and it will be interesting to see how both will cope in Cardiff on Wednesday. The first match will be pivotal and whoever takes the lead will likely go onto win the series, if the weather holds up.
However, looking at the team’s combination on the paper, the prediction is for England to win the series 3-0 and head into the Pakistan series in good heart. The odds for that 5/4.
*Odds subject to change.