The opening ODI played out for Sri Lanka just as it was expected. The islanders struggled with the bat, with their conquerors being the English pace duo of Chris Woakes and David Willey. Kusal Perera’s team lost seven wickets to the two pacers, with Woakes picking up four and Willey three. Together, they wrecked the entire Sri Lankan batting unit.
The Sri Lankans piled more misery on themselves by losing two wickets via run-outs as well. Much of their 185 runs came off the bat of captain Perera, who scored 73 and Wanindu Hasaranga, who contributed a 54. Apart from those two, only Chamika Karunaratne got into double figures.
It’s unwise to make changes based on the evidence of just a single match or defeat but Sri Lanka’s batting woes have been going for a while now. They have a talent problem, which means there are no guarantees that the newcomers would do any better than the incumbents. All they can do is play the series out, gather the positives, if any, and build upon them.
For England, one blemish on their performance was that they lost five wickets in their run chase. In fact, they were 80-4 at one point, and another wicket then could have really made things interesting.
Another slight cause of concern could be the performance of Adil Rashid and Sam Curran, each of whom leaked 45 runs in six and 7.3 overs respectively.
Those are not alarming figures and the pair could bounce back and play a starring role in just the next game.
Liam Livingstone and Sam Billings, the pair that is in the side because of injuries to regulars, also failed to capitalize on the opportunity, scoring just nine and three respectively. The pair has limited chances, meaning they must deliver in the next game.