Having comfortably won the T20 battle against Sri Lanka, England will hope to follow that up with success in their three-match ODI series, which starts on Tuesday.
As the hosts proved in the shortest format over the past week, England’s white-ball game is in tip-top shape and it’s little surprise to see Eoin Morgan’s men as short-price
1/10 favourites to win the opening one-dayer at Chester-le-Street.
Sri Lanka, who are ranked ninth in the world, will have to seriously raise their game or hope England have an off-day if they are to cause a big shock and win, at odds of
19/4, on Tuesday.
T20 World Cup on the Horizon
England are, of course, building up to the autumn T20 World Cup and following this Sri Lanka series they will likely face a stiffer one-day challenge when Pakistan arrive, but, for now, the focus is on maintaining momentum and building confidence by seeing off a limited Islanders outfit again.
The home side’s one-day plans were disrupted somewhat last week with the news that big-hitting Jos Buttler will miss the rest of the white-ball summer after he sustained a calf tear in Wednesday’s first T20I, but Dawid Malan – the No.1-ranked T20 batter – is a more than adequate replacement.
After he was added to the ODI squad, Malan will look to provide the runs needed to get the series up and running with a win at the Riverside and he’s decent value at
7/2 to be England’s top batsman.
Root Ready to Fire
Jonny Bairstow or Sam Billings will take the gloves in the 50-over format and there are other notable contenders to be England’s top runscorer on Tuesday, with many hoping a refreshed Joe Root returns to the international set-up primed to fire.
The Test skipper may have needed a bit of time back at Yorkshire after the disappointing 1-0 series defeat to New Zealand earlier in the month, but he looked in decent enough shape with 49 from 36 balls in a T20 against Derbyshire last week.
He is certainly backable at
3/1 to finish as England’s top runscorer in the first ODI.
England are without the injured Jofra Archer, Reece Topley and Saqib Mahmood, but have called-up left arm pacer George Garton, who will hope to make his full debut.
The hosts may be without some key bowlers, but should still have more than enough to keep Sri Lanka at bay and it’s no surprise to see leg-spinner Adil Rashid at
3/1 favourite to be top England bowler at Chester-le-Street.
Problems Pile up for Tourists
As for the tourists, they have plenty of problems going into the opener, with three players, vice-captain Kusal Mendis, wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka, having been suspended for breaching the bio-secure bubble protocols agreed between the ECB and SLC.
Batsman Avishka Fernando has been ruled out of the series due to quadriceps tear.
Those keen for a bit of value in the Sri Lankan batting market could opt for the
9/1 on offer for Dasun Shanaka to be their top runscorer after his impressive 50 in the opening T20, but the overall picture is pointing to a comfortable home win.
*All odds correct at time of writing