Preview: Sri Lanka v England

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Alastair Cook???s side slipped 2-0 down in the seven-match series following defeats in Colombo by 26 runs and eight wickets respectively.

But the tourists will be hoping that different scenery ??? and the absence of veteran Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene ??? will bring about a change of fortunes.

The third ODI will be played at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota, a venue England have yet to experience in any form of cricket.

Jayawardene, meanwhile, who scored 55 in the first ODI and 77 not out in the second, has not travelled with his team-mates for Wednesday???s game due to personal reasons.

England seamer Chris Woakes is recovering from a stomach bug and could keep his place, while fellow paceman Ben Stokes is pushing for a recall after sitting out Saturday???s second encounter.

Steven Finn should retain his spot in the attack and is confident the visitors can collect just their second win in 11 ODIs if they maintain their ???aggression??? with the bat and ???adapt??? with the ball.

Front up

He said: “To have two defeats and to lose in the manner we did in the last game was far from ideal, but the first game was a good marker for us about how we want to go about things with the bat.

“The aggression we showed should give us confidence going through the rest of the series and if we can bat the way we did in the first ODI, that is a great template for us.

???As bowlers, and as a team, we need to adapt to conditions better. We also need to front up and get out there and face everything that is put in front of us.???

Sports pundit Sir Ian Botham ??? who called for Alastair Cook to be dropped in the aftermath of England???s comprehensive defeat on Saturday ??? wants the tourists to alter their team and bring in Nottinghamshire batsmen Alex Hales and James Taylor.

Botham said: “Hales scored a hundred against Sri Lanka not long ago so I would put him at the top of the order. I would also bring in Taylor for, I???m afraid, Ian Bell because I just think we need to liven it up, get some new ideas, some new ways of playing.???

Sri Lanka have named Ashan Priyanjan as cover for Jayawardene but Thilina Kandamby seems most likely to replace the hosts’ absent No 4, who will retire after the 2015 World Cup.

Sri Lanka middle order batsman Lahiru Thirimanne added: “Mahela is normally our backbone ??? he strengthens our middle order ??? but this is a good challenge for young players and a good opportunity for them to show what they are capable of.

???I think it’s a must-win game to put us right on course to take the series. Confidence levels are really high after the last match.”

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