England v Sri Lanka: Hosts out to replicate Test success in ODIs
By Sam Drury
Last Updated: 21/06/16 1:21pm
England take on Sri Lanka in the first of five ODIs at Trent Bridge on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports 2, hoping to replicate their Test series success.
Eoin Morgan's side have received much praise for their performances in limited-overs cricket since their disastrous World Cup campaign last year but still head into the series sixth, a place behind Sri Lanka, in the ICC's ODI rankings.
It is a fact not lost on the England skipper and he insisted that his side are still very much a work in progress.
"Where we sit in the ICC rankings, we're actually below Sri Lanka and that's a reflection of our performances over the last number of years," said Morgan.
"We're still at the very beginning of building for what will hopefully be a very successful campaign in the 2019 World Cup, we play on home soil.
"It's something that we've earmarked our preparation for, it was part and parcel of selecting a completely new squad this time last year and starting something to turn around our white-ball cricket."
The five ODIs and the T20I all count towards the Super Series with England leading 10-2 after the Tests.
England will be without Ben Stokes for the series as he continues his recovery from the knee injury that ruled him out of the final two Tests.
That could provide an opportunity for Chris Woakes, who replaced Stokes in the five-day format, to come into the side. Reece Topley is the other notable absentee from England's last ODI series against South Africa, the left-arm seamer is out with a back injury.
In his absence Chris Jordan, David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Steven Finn and Woakes provide the seam options with Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid the spinners, while on the batting front, the in-form Jonny Bairstow will hope to slot into the top order.
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Sri Lanka paceman Shaminda Eranga will miss the limited-overs leg of the tour having been suspended from bowling due to an illegal action, just hours after being admitted to hospital.
"He had an elevated heartbeat and it was quite shocking," said captain Angelo Mathews. "We rushed him to the hospital and the latest news from the doctors is that he is undergoing some tests and we hope to hear very soon about his condition but hopefully he is doing well.
"Once again, another unfortunate decision with his action proved to be illegal so he's got to go back, work with the fast bowling coaches and come back strong."
For all that England have been praised for their upturn in form and the aggressive style of cricket they have played since the World Cup, Morgan's side have a mixed ODI record in the past year.
After a thrilling 3-2 series win over New Zealand, they lost to Australia by the same score line - albeit after fighting back from 2-0 down to draw level at 2-2.
That was followed by a dominant display to beat Pakistan 3-1 in the UAE during the autumn but, in their most recent ODI series, they let a two-game lead slip against South Africa, eventually falling to a 3-2 defeat.
It is a similar story for Sri Lanka. Mathews' team suffered a 3-2 series loss to Pakistan on home soil last July but showed what they are capable of in their next three ODIs, beating the West Indies in each of them.
While they were well beaten by New Zealand over the winter, Sri Lanka will be encouraged by back-to-back wins over Ireland and also emerged victorious in the last ODI series between the sides in 2014.
Watch the first ODI of the five-match series between England and Sri Lanka, live on Sky Sports 2 from 1.30pm on Tuesday. Or watch for £6.99 without a contract, on NOW TV.