‘England “very happy” being favourites in SL’

October 10, 2018

Jos Buttler says England is “very happy” being favourites for the one-day series in Sri Lanka but are aware that past tours have been “tricky”.

Speaking on the eve of the first match in Dambulla Buttler said “We’re very aware of Sri Lanka’s qualities in these conditions. They have some experienced players… It’s been tricky in the past for England sides to come here.”

He added being the number-one ranked one-day side ahead of next year’s World Cup on home soil brought its own pressures.

Buttler said the World Cup was in the back of everyone’s mind, but they were taking every series one at a time and hoped to build a core group of players for next year’s championship.

Underdogs Sri Lanka are still reeling from the axing of captain Angelo Mathews after a dismal run of 30 losses in their last 40 ODIs including defeats to Bangladesh and Afghanistan in last month’s Asia Cup.

Chandimal, who missed the Asia Cup and the preceding ODI series against South Africa due to injury and suspension, cautioned that home pitches had “a lot of spin”.

He said “They got all the experience and talent and we have to compete with them. When the situation comes we have some game plans which we will have to execute. In the last few days, we worked really hard on our fielding individually and as a group”.

The five-match one-day series is followed by three Tests in November.