England 'happy favourites' against Sri Lanka, Buttler says

Annette Crawford
October 13, 2018

That ended in heavy defeat and the sacking of Alastair Cook as captain on the eve of a World Cup in which their prehistoric white-ball game would unravel.

England wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler said that his team are relishing the pressure that comes along with being the number one ranked ODI side and despite being the "favourites", they wouldn't take Sri Lanka lightly ahead of the first ODI in Dambulla.

"We still have a long way to go", England's ODI captain Eoin Morgan said, with the World Cup just eight months away.

For Sri Lanka, they would like to put the forgetful Asia Cup campaign behind them and start afresh.

England have won only six of their 21 one-day internationals on the island, with a solitary series victory in 2007.

Stokes has not looked the same player since the ordeal of a court case last summer and he still has a disciplinary commission hearing hanging over him. Of their most recent 40 ODIs, they have lost 30, with five different captains taking charge.

Alex Hales, for one, misses out because England can not squeeze him into their line-up and Morgan knows he can not command a place for his captaincy alone.

"If I'm not supposed to be in the team, I'll be the first one to say it". If it means making a tough decision I'm capable of doing that.

"In the past, I've dropped myself to create opportunities for guys in order to see if they can play at worldwide level or give them an extra chance to prove themselves", he said.

Speaking to Sky Sports Cricket, he said: "When you drop yourself as captain it nearly sets that example, that nobody's place is cemented in this side".

A World Cup win is still a dream for the English men. "It's a team collective and everyone needs to buy into it". After a second consecutive abandonment, only the top four of Roy, Bairstow, Morgan and Root have had any competitive time in the middle. For this impressive leap England's skipper Eoin Morgan has played his role really well.

"If we can beat the No1 side in the world in this series that would be a great turning point going into the World Cup", he said.

Dinesh Chandimal, who has been handed over the reigns will surely slot in the middle-order, while Niroshan Dickwella is likely to replace Kusal Mendis in the top-order. "We have some mystery spinners as well", Chandimal said.

The pair did bring up a notable landmark during their 49-run opening stand, however, becoming the first England partnership to pass 1,000 ODI runs together in a calendar year in just their 18th innings.

Meanwhile, Alex Hales has agreed to play in the Bangladesh Premier League, two years after declining to tour the country with England on security grounds.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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