The high-stakes encounter between England and Sri Lanka is set to take place on Thursday, 26 October, at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
England, teetering on the brink of elimination, will face a similarly beleaguered Sri Lanka in a must-win game to keep their semi-final hopes alive. Both teams are currently languishing at the bottom of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup standings, separated only by net run rate.
England’s campaign has been marred by poor form and injuries, with Reece Topley, their leading wicket-taker, ruled out due to a broken finger. A fourth defeat could potentially derail their title defence.
Sri Lanka, too, has been plagued by injuries, with key players like Wanindu Hasaranga and captain Dasun Shanaka ruled out. The latest blow comes in the form of emerging pacer Matheesha Pathirana’s confirmed absence. However, the inclusion of veteran Angelo Mathews could bolster their batting line-up.
With both teams facing a series of must-win games, time is of the essence to turn their fortunes around.
Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes, Brydon Carse, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes
Sri Lanka Squad:
Kusal Mendis (c), Kusal Perera, Pathum Nissanka, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Kumara, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka, Dushan Hemantha, Chamika Karunaratne
Players to Watch
England – Jos Buttler
England’s captain, Jos Buttler, will be under pressure to lead from the front as the team fights for survival. Despite his reputation as a destructive batter, Buttler has managed only 87 runs from four innings in this World Cup. His flexibility in the batting order could be crucial in guiding England to a much-needed victory.
Sri Lanka – Kasun Rajitha
Kasun Rajitha, the Sri Lankan pacer, made a strong comeback against the Netherlands after a disappointing start to the tournament. His early wickets and crucial death overs could pose a significant threat to England’s already vulnerable top order. Alongside Dilshan Madushanka, who has bagged 11 wickets so far, Rajitha forms a potent pace attack for Sri Lanka.