Sri Lanka hand Ramesh Mendis a debut and bat; England recall Anderson


All up hosts make three changes in bid to save series

Toss: Sri Lanka opt to bat vs England

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and chose to bat in the second Test in Galle. Chandimal said he expected the pitch for the second Test to be better for batting than the surface for the first game. In any case, teams almost uniformly choose to bat first at this venue, as the pitch tends to crumble rapidly late in the Test.

England had confirmed their one change to this XI, omitting Stuart Broad, who was their best seamer in the first match, for James Anderson, their most-successful bowler. Their attack also features Mark Wood and Sam Curran, in addition to spinners Jack Leach and Dom Bess.

Sri Lanka, meanwhile, made three changes – bringing in Oshada Fernando for the out-of-form Kusal Mendis, as senior seamer Suranga Lakmal also entered the XI missing the last three Tests due to injury. He took the place of legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga.

Ramesh Mendis, the offspinning allrounder, makes his debut for Sri Lanka, displacing seam-bowling allrounder Dasun Shanaka from the XI. Mendis, 25, averages 43.46 with the bat in first-class cricket, and has produced several good performances for Sri Lanka A.

Sri Lanka must win this match to draw the series.

Sri Lanka: 1 Lahiru Thirimanne, 2 Kusal Perera, 3 Oshada Fernando, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (capt.), 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 7 Ramesh Mendis, 8 Dilruwan Perera, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Lasith Embuldeniya, 11 Asitha Fernando

England: 1 Dom Sibley, 2 Zak Crawley, 3 Jonny Bairstow, 4 Joe Root (capt.), 5 Dan Lawrence, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Sam Curran, 8 Dom Bess, 9 Jack Leach, 10 James Anderson, 11 Mark Wood

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