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Stuart Dalgleish 24th Jun 2011 - 20:03

Different personnel, same outcome

England v Sri Lanka Twenty20 - 14:30 live on Sky Sports 1

England's (8/11) captaincy gets passed on to Stuart Broad as the tall bowler leads out the team for the first time in this Twenty20 with Sri Lanka (11/10).

The tourists gave a resolute batting performance in the third Test to salvage a draw, but it was all too little too late as England deservedly claimed a series win.

Sri Lanka's response to their poor batting performances in the Tests is to call up the soon-to-be 42-year-old Sanath Jayasuriya (9/2 top SL bat), there's no doubting his class but it must be a concern that there's no promising players coming through in Sri Lanka.

The legendary opener last played over a year ago, but his six most recent T20 performances have yielded just 15 runs.

Bizarrely, he's just coming back for this match and the first ODI, so even if he scores well in both games Sri Lanka will have the same problem again in trying to find some stability at the top of their batting order.

They will hope to welcome back Test captain Tillakaratne Dilshan (11/4), he found form at Lord's with a sublime 193 but was then ruled out of the third Test, his limited overs form is fantastic and he'll really challenge the inexperienced England attack should he win his fitness battle.

Another leader in this Sri Lankan side, Kumar Sangakkara (10/3), also discovered his former glories with a gritty century at the Rose Bowl and this brittle batting line-up might not be as tough to push over all of a sudden.

We should have a set of closely fought limited overs games to look forward too.

England have made several changes from their five-day squad, with no fewer than six new faces coming into the squad for the first time this summer, while Steven Finn (4/1 top Eng bowler) and Jade Dernbach (5/1) will hope to get more of a chance in the one-day matches than they did in the Tests.

Finn seemed a strange choice to me considering he's not the most economical, but James Anderson and Chris Tremlett are immovable from the Test team at current so it's a chance for the Middlesex man to get some overs under his belt at least.

The selection that has got most people talking though is that of Samit Patel (8/1 top Eng bat, 5/1 bowler).

The Notts star has had his struggles with fitness over the years and was all set to head to the subcontinent for the recent World Cup, but he failed to get himself in shape and many thought that could be the end of the international road for the slow left-armer.

Patel has been in form this season, putting some decent totals on the board, while also picking up some wickets, if he can stay on top of his weight issues he'll be a useful option for England not just in these next few matches but in next year's World Twenty20.

One of the players that was vital in England's success at the last Twenty20 is Craig Kieswetter (7/2 top Eng bat), the wicketkeeper has replaced Matt Prior in the one-day squads and will hope to reward the selectors with some more decent scores at the top of the order.

I would imagine he'll open with Michael Lumb (7/2), as he did in the Caribbean, but Kevin Pietersen (7/2) filled that role with success in the World Cup so is another option should England need it.

Changing KP's position from the Test series could be dangerous though as he looked in top form towards the end of the series at his more familiar position of four.

England look to have a strong batting line-up, and that is where they need to make it count as their bowling department is weakened without Jimmy and Tremlett and is up against an improved Sri Lankan top order.

I think England will win but they'll need to be wary of Lasith Malinga (9/4), who'll be bowling in perfect conditions for his in-swinging yorkers.

Broad will hope to upstage 'the Slinga' though and we've got a special Match Winner offer that he either scores a 50 OR takes five wickets in the match at a tempting 10/1.

 

 
 
 

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