Confident England take on tricky Lanka

Confident England take on tricky Lanka

Andrew Strauss' England team have set their sights on deposing India as the World number one side after successful Ashes defence this year. India will play four Tests in England after the Sri Lanka tour.

For their part, Lanka have not played a Test outside the Asian sub-continent in more than three years. Adjusting to early season English pitches will provide a thorough examination of their batsmen's technique and bowlers' discipline.

However, Sri Lanka's more pressing issue is finding a way to overcome the loss of off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who played his final Test in July.

Early indications are not promising as the Sri Lankans have drawn four Tests and lost one since Muralitharan's retirement. Sri Lanka's last Test in England, at Trent Bridge in 2006, was a comprehensive 134-run victory which enabled them to draw the three-match series, thanks to Muralitharan's eight for 70 in the second innings.

They have also lost fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who has retired from Test cricket because of knee problems, and have a new captain in dashing opener Tillakaratne Dilshan who replaces Kumar Sangakkara.  Australian Stuart Law has been installed as interim coach after his compatriot Trevor Bayliss resigned.

England have no such concerns. Strauss and team director Andy Flower share a cohesive, efficient and successful partnership at the helm of the team. 

The only change for this week's match is Eoin Morgan's inclusion at number six for the now retired Paul Collingwood. Morgan has already played six Tests and his 193 against the Sri Lankans for England Lions last week confirmed his place ahead of Ravi Bopara.
Chris Tremlett is likely to join James Anderson, Broad and off-spinner Graeme Swann in a four-man attack.

The Test is the second to be played at Sophia Gardens.