England kick off their summer Test campaign against Sri Lanka today when they host their opponents at Lords in what is the first of two Test matches over the next few weeks.
The two sides met recently in one-day cricket where Sri Lanka prevailed 3-2 in a tight series over 50-overs to reward Betfair backers. The decider was marred with controversy as Jos Butler was given out at the non-strikers end after being stumped when out of his crease by bowler Sachithra Senanayake. The decision ultimately went to the visitors’ captain Angelo Mathews who chose to send the England batsman back to the pavilion.
The hosts will be hoping to use Paul Farbrace’s knowledge of Sri Lanka to their advantage as he was their head coach before moving to England to help assist Peter Moores.
It will be England’s first Test series since losing 5-0 to Australia in the Ashes during the winter. They were thoroughly outplayed by their old foes down under and will be looking to bounce back from that disappointment.
Last summer was a success for Alastair Cook‘s men though, as they defeated both New Zealand and Australia in front of their home crowd under conditions they were suited to. They start this latest series as the favourites with Betfair to come out on top once again.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, go into this series as one of the most in form Test nations as they have lost just once in their last seven. Their latest was in Bangladesh where they defeated their rivals 1-0 following two Test matches.
The last time these two nations met in the five-day format was in 2012 in which they drew 1-1 after games in Galle and Colombo. England won the second of those matches by eight wickets to tie the series.