Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and chose to bat in the third one-day international against Bangladesh at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Wednesday.
The hosts will be looking to sweep the series after winning the first two matches by 91 runs and seven wickets respectively.
Sri Lanka made four changes from Sunday’s match, bringing in Dasun Shanaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Kasun Rajitha and Wanindu Hasaranga for Lahiru Thirimanne, Akila Dananjaya, Nuwan Pradeep and Isuru Udana.
Bangladesh made two changes with Rubel Hossain and Anamul Haque coming in for Mustafizur Rahman and Mosaddek Hossain in their bid for a consolation win.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Shehan Jayasuriya, Kasun Rajitha, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal (capt), Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Anamul Haque, Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain
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Less than 48 hours remain for the Ashes series between England and Australia to get underway at Edgbaston with the two old foes set to battle it out once again for the historic urn.
The Ashes have become a permanent fixture in the cricket calendar and developed into the fiercest red-ball rivalry in international cricket.
As England and Australia prepare for the first Test which begins at Edgbaston on August 1, we look at some of the numbers behind the historic series.
33 – It is the number of Ashes series won by Australia compared to the 32 for England. The Aussies inched ahead in the rivalry with their 4-0 triumph Down Under in 2017-18.
5 – Only five of the 70 Ashes series conducted since 1882 have ended in a draw.
2001 – The last time Australia captured an Ashes series on England soil. Steve Waugh and his Aussie side then prevailed by 4-1 over an English side led by Nasser Hussain.
2 – The lowest margin of victory in any Ashes Test so far. It happened in the 2005 series in England where the hosts won the second Test at Edgbaston by just two runs before recapturing the urn with a dramatic 2-1 win.
195 – Is the number of Ashes wickets picked up Australia leg-spin legend Shane Warne. It is the most by any bowler in the history of the series.
5028 – The number of Ashes runs scored by Sir Don Bradman. It is the most by any batsman in Ashes history and came in 37 matches at an astounding average of nearly 90.
19 – Is the highest number of wickets picked up by a bowler in a single Ashes Test. It was achieved by Jim Laker in the 1956 series in England at Old Trafford. Laker picked up nine wickets in the first innings before becoming the first bowler in the world to claim all 10 wickets in the second innings.
8 – The number of Ashes tons scored by Australia’s Steve Smith. It is the most by any active batsman among the two teams and sixth in the all-time list.
36 – The lowest innings total in Ashes history. It was achieved by Australia all the way back in 1902 at Birmingham. The match still ended in a draw with rain playing spoilsport for England.
903 – Is the highest total in Ashes history. The score was registered by England in 1938 at the Oval in London.
8 – The number of Ashes ducks registered by England pace veteran James Anderson. It is the most by any player currently active in international cricket.
1972 – The last time an Ashes series ended in a draw. The series finished at 2-2 with England retaining the urn as holders.
3 – The number of times a team has been whitewashed 5-0 in the Ashes. England have been on the receiving end on all three occasions with the most recent of them coming in 2013-14.
The oldest cricket rivalry in the world is set to be renewed as arch-rivals England and Australia prepare to lock horns in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston.
Coming in the backdrop of England’s maiden World Cup triumph, the series is set to bring the focus back to red-ball cricket and marks the beginning of the inaugural World Test Championship.
With two evenly stacked teams on show, the Ashes 2019 promises to be a thriller and the result could come down to the finest of margins.
Here, we look at three key individual battles that could have a large bearing on the fate of the Edgbaston Test.
Roy v Pattinson
It will be only the second Test appearance for Jason Roy with the England opener finally being given the vote of confidence for a red-ball international career. His debut Test knock against Ireland ended on just five but the right-hander was able to make amends in the second innings with a counter-attacking 72.
However, it will be a whole different ball game for Roy against a formidable Aussie pace attack which includes a certain James Pattinson. The fellow 29-year-old has played just 17 Tests for Australia in an international career which started in 2011 after suffering horrible luck with a spat of injuries.
Back in the squad after more than three years out with injury, Pattinson has left Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle behind in the pecking order and is set to partner Pat Cummins with the new-ball.
Pattinson’s talent has never been in question and he can be a monster of a pacer when fully fit. He is bound to give Roy a tough examination at Lord’s and could give the visitors the upper hand with early inroads.
Root v Cummins
With England’s top-order woes refusing to die down any time soon, the important of Joe Root to the side has only increased drastically and the skipper is now set to promote himself to No3 in the order.
It is very likely that Root will find himself early at the crease and the right-hander will have to navigate the threat posed by Australia’s pace spearhead Pat Cummins.
While Root has been one of the top Test batsmen for many years, Cummins has scripted a remarkable comeback since getting over his injuries. The Aussie enters the series as the No1 ranked Test bowler in the world and he will have fond memories of the last time he faced England in the Ashes.
In the 2017-18 series Down Under, Cummins finished as the leading wicket-taker with his 23 scalps leading the hosts’ charge to a 4-0 triumph. His battle against Root could be the most vital one of the upcoming series and whoever comes out on top could hand their respective side a massive advantage.
Anderson v Smith
While Cummins is the No1 ranked bowler, it is England veteran James Anderson who will command the most respect among bowlers from both sides and for good reason.
Having just turned 37 on Tuesday, Anderson is just one spot behind Cummins in the rankings and he has already cemented his legacy as an all-time great after overtaking Glenn McGrath as the leading Test wicket-taker among fast bowlers.
There is no sight as menacing for batsmen than to see Anderson steaming in under overcast English conditions with a Duke ball in hand and the veteran holds the key to England’s hopes with the ball.
While it was Anderson’s battle with Virat Kohli that enthralled spectators in the English summer of last year, it will be the seamer’s tussle with Steve Smith which could be the box-office draw of this series.
Making his Test return after serving his ball-tampering suspension, Smith will be Australia’s linchpin with the bat and dismissing him early will be crucial for the hosts. That won’t be easy, however, with England being the right-hander’s favourite opposition in Test cricket.
With eight Ashes tons and a batting average of more than 56 previously against England, Smith will be keen to establish his credentials as the No1 Test batsman in the world once again.