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England Overwhelming Favourites
England shook off their Test series defeat to New Zealand with a convincing 3-0 series win over Sri Lanka, though in truth anything other than a whitewash would have been unacceptable against this struggling side.
Jos Buttler has been ruled out here with injury, while Jason Roy may also miss out which is an obvious blow to the batting order, though with Dawid Malan and Joe Root drafted into the ODI side, they should have enough about them to see this one through.
Sri Lanka have now lost 17 of their last 19 ODIs on foreign soil when excluding the World Cup, with those two exceptions coming against Scotland and Bangladesh, neither of whom are on the same level as this England side so we can’t see anything other than a home win here, and that near certainty is unfortunately reflected in the odds.
Jonny Bairstow Top England Batsman
The value looks to lie in the top batsman market for the hosts, and Jonny Bairstow looks the best bet here. Joe Root hasn’t hit an ODI half century in any of his last 10 internationals, while he also hasn’t featured for England in this format since September, while Dawid Malan is yet to play an ODI on home soil, so he looks a risky call in this format.
Bairstow has two centuries and another half in his last four ODI innings, and with Buttler and potentially Roy out of this match, he’ll be tasked with getting his side off to the best start, and we’ll back him to thrive under that pressure.