Sri Lanka impressed with the ball as they bowled out South Africa for just 73 to win the first Test by a whopping 278 runs on Saturday.
At Galle, off-spinner Dilruwan Perera delivered a career-best of 6-32 in the second innings as South Africa were all out in 28.5 overs on day three.
The visitors were set a target of 352 runs after the hosts were all out for 190 in their second innings but the South Africans saw only three of their batsmen reach double figures as Sri Lanka’s spinners ran riot.
Their second innings total meant it was their lowest since being bowled out for 79 against India in 2015 and their lowest since readmission.
Speaking after the match, Perera was pleased to have come out on top. “Every spinner likes to bowl in Galle. I get a lot of drift here,” he said. “It’s very easy to bowl with Herath at the other end. South Africa have struggled in the past against off-spinners. Rangana created pressure from one end, and I got the wickets.”
India will look to seal a series win when they take on hosts England in the second ODI at Lord’s on Saturday. Virat Kohli’s men lead the three-match series 1-0 after their commanding eight wicket win in Trent Bridge.
With a series win on the line, the men in blue are expected to field their strongest line-up once again. This will mean that Dinesh Karthik will continue to miss out with Suresh Raina set to retain his place in the middle-order.
While no changes are expected in India’s batting and all-round departments, the question mark leading into Saturday’s game will be the fitness of pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The pacer sat out the first ODI due to a stiff lower back with Siddarth Kaul sharing the new-ball attack with Umesh Yadav.
With the all-important five-match Test series set to follow the ODIs, Kohli might be tempted to rest Bhuvneshwar, especially after Jasprit Bumrah’s injury blow.
As such, Kaul could keep his place in the playing XI after a decent showing in Trent Bridge.
For the hosts, Alex Hales has been ruled out for the remainder of the series due to a side strain which in effect will make the selection task much easier for skipper Eoin Morgan. With Hales out, England are set to repeat their batting order in Nottingham with Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Morgan and Jos Buttler set to make up the middle-order while Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow continue to open the innings.
It will be in the bowling department that Morgan could consider a change with his pacers going wicketless in the first ODI. Mark Wood was highly expensive and the hosts could turn to either Jake Ball or Sam Curran to freshen things up.
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Sam Curran.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Joe Root might have seen himself dropped for the final T20 between England and India but the top-order batsman has now reportedly sealed a deal to sign with Big Bash League (BBL) outfit Sydney Thunder.
According to a report by the Telegraph, the England Test skipper will undertake a maiden stint in Australia’s T20 league with his signing set to be announced next month. Root will be joined by his England team-mate Jos Buttler who has been with the Thunder since 2017.
The BBL is expected to get underway this December with the schedule set to be announced next week.
Root, who has spoken about his need for playing T20 cricket, went unsold during the IPL auction earlier this year despite throwing his hat in the ring for the first time.
After being dropped for Ben Stokes in the deciding T20 at Bristol, Root had spoken about his lack of opportunities in the format.
“Until there’s a really good block for me to go and play T20 cricket somewhere in a domestic tournament, it’s going to be hard to get a string of games to put that case across,” he said.
“I’m fully confident in the ability I have in that format.
“I can perform in T20 cricket. I don’t see it as a closed door for me, but I have to make sure, in the limited opportunities I have, to keep performing.”
The 27-year-old has played 28 T20Is for England and has scored 787 runs at an average of 35.77 and a strike-rate of over 128. Most importantly, Root has played only 11 T20Is since the final of the World Twenty20 in 2016.