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Three Lions look poised to roar

Three Lions look poised to roar


Having not won a one-day international series on home soil since England last visited in 2014, Sri Lanka have it all to do when they take on the Three Lions in a five-match ODI contest.

Seven series have come and gone without the Islanders tasting success and that dismal run of form has included reverses at the hands of both Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

That record means there will be plenty of pressure on Dinesh Chandimal and his team when the first ODI takes place in Dambulla on Wednesday.

England to win 1st ODI @ 5/14

The tourists are rightly considered favourites to take the opener, not a great surprise given that they are the number one-ranked team in the world in this format.

Add in a disastrous recent Asia Cup campaign for Sri Lanka, which saw them humbled by both Bangladesh and Afghanistan, and it is hard to look past England in the match win market, with the hosts a very distant 37/20.

Top team batsman, Ben Stokes @ 27/4

A batting line-up full of ferocious firepower has been the backbone of England’s ODI revival since the last World Cup and, with the next tournament less than a year away, they are much fancied to be the team to beat, especially on home soil.

A top-order of Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Alex Hales et al usually give the middle-order the licence to go all-out on the attack when they come to the crease.

With that in mind, all-rounder Ben Stokes could be a man to watch, having been in decent form with three 50s in his last eight innings in ODIs.

With his seam bowling sometimes a decisive factor, Stokes at 10/1 to be man of the match is also something to consider.

Top team bowler, Adil Rashid @ 57/20

With a relatively inexperienced seam bowling line-up and conditions expected to favour the slower bowlers, England will be happy to have Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali in place to take on the spinning duties.

Leg-spinner Rashid has not gone wicketless in a one-day international in his last ten matches, during which time he has taken three wickets in a match three times and four against Australia at Trent Bridge last summer.

He should enjoy the pitches in Sri Lanka and if he is successful, then it is hard to see England failing to take the series overall.

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Adrian Mills Adrian has enjoyed a journalistic career spanning over three decades, with cricket his specialised topic. He also has a wealth of knowledge on football, golf and tennis and has the stats to back up his betting advice.