Sandwiched in between a five match ODI series and a three test series comes a solitary T20 International in Colombo
Sri Lanka thrashed a much changed England side for a consolation victory in the ODI series, which they lost 3-1 in a rain affected series comprised mostly of shortened matches.
Whilst not quite as dominant as their ODI team, this is a shorter format in which the variance of single game results is far larger, England are still a solid T20 team. This summer they beat Australia in a one off T20 match and narrowly lost a three match series at home to India 2-1
Much like their ODI team the side is built on big hitters, batting deep with all rounders and proficient death bowlers. With conditions unlikely, in such a short format, to favour the Sri Lankan spinners too much they will be deserved favourites for this match
Ambidextrous spin-bowling allrounder Kamindu Mendis may have a chance to showcase his unique skills at the senior international level for the first time, after being picked in Sri Lanka’s squad for the one-off T20 against England.
Thisara Perera who led Sri Lanka’s limited-overs teams in fits and starts towards the end of last year, has been named captain, in the continued absence of Angelo Mathews in limited-overs cricket. Test and ODI captain Dinesh Chandimal also finds a place in the 15-man squad.
Kamindu, 20, has played only a handful of senior matches so far, but has been more-or-less fast-tracked through the system. Though his talents with the ball have been much talked about – Kamindu bowls both right-arm offbreaks and left-arm orthodox – it is his batting that is his main strength. He hit 61 off 72 balls against England in the warm-up match preceding the ODI series. Kamindu had also captained the Sri Lanka Under-19 side as recently as January this year.
Meanwhile, Kusal Mendis has been retained despite an awful run of ODI form, while Kusal Perera has been named even though he was made unavailable for the ongoing ODI series with a quad strain. Expectedly, Malinga returns to the T20 squad after a hiatus of more than a year, and has Dushmantha Chameera, Isuru Udana and Nuwan Pradeep for company on the fast-bowling front. The spin contingent comprises of only Akila Dananjaya and left-arm wristspinner Lakshan Sandakan
The Sri Lanka squad is 15 strong and the team has few recent selections to helpus pick in sub markets
At the prevailing prices, Sri Lanka 13/8 England 1/2 with SkyBet the value is Sri Lanka. Not the better team but in the format in a single game anything can happen.