New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg – Friday, September 25, 2009 (D/N)
Arguably the best side in the competition take on the, arguably worst side in the competition(we can exclude West Indies as they have sent over their 2nd or 3rd choice team) in Johannesburg on Friday. The well polished all round side that is Sri Lanka take on an England side that looks totally clueless and out of its depth right down from the selection of the squad to the man who carries the drinks.
While Sri Lanka have an all round side full of class and experience, including calm batsmen under pressure, big hitting explosive batters, decent swing and seem bowlers and world class spinners to call on, England are a total shambles. The selectors by now probably don’t believe that they have sent their best players to South Africa, the ones they have sent are looking totally out of form.
At the moment England can’t bat, they are looking clumsy and careless in the field and even their bowling (the so-called strong part of their game) at times recently against Australia looked ill-disciplined, probably down to the amount of pressure being place on them by the underperforming batsmen. Having said all that England will probably go and pull off a remarkable win now(I wouldn’t put too much money on it though).
As daft as it sounds England can only really go one way in this competition, they surely can’t be any worse.
Sri Lanka will probably keep faith with the team that destroyed South Africa in their opener. England, who knows? They don’t have much spare in the cupboard batting wise. In the bowling department it remains to be seen as to who they leave out for Ryan Sidebottom, assuming he is coming back into the side as he is after all England’s most economical bowler and a good death bowler. Bearing this in mind they will probably leave him out and persist with leg-side wide Bresnan.
England – Andrew Strauss (C), Joe Denly, Ravi Bopara, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (WK), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan or Ryan Sidebottom, James Anderson.
Sri Lanka – Sanath Jayasuriya, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (C & WK), Mahela Jayawardene, Thilina Kandamby, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis.