|Sri Lanka||+200 at William Hill||Place Bet|
|England||+275 at William Hill||Place Bet|
|Draw||+110 at William Hill||Place Bet|
The first match of this series was also the last for Rangana Herath, who waved goodbye to international cricket after 93 Tests and 433 wickets.
His departure from the game leaves the hosts in something of a leadership crisis now that Dinesh Chandimal, the team captain, has been ruled out of the Kandy clash with a groin problem.
Charith Asalanka has joined the squad as batting cover, while Malinda Pushpakumara is expected to replace Herath in the Lankan bowling unit.
Suranga Lakmal will skipper the side in Chandimal’s absence.
More problems lie ahead with the news that Akila Dananjaya was reported for a suspect action in the first Test.
The offspinner has until November 25 to undergo ICC testing, so he remains eligible to play in Pallekelle.
While the Lankans look to fill their XI, England’s problem is putting all their pieces in the right order.
A debut century from Ben Foakes seems to have sorted the wicketkeeping issue for now, even though Jonny Bairstow is a chance to return from injury.
England coach Trevor Bayliss floated the idea of picking Bairstow as a specialist batsman at number three, where Moeen Ali made no impact in Colombo.
He also nominated Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler as candidates for the troublesome slot at first drop.
“In the Galle Test, if we had bowled first and Moeen had bowled 40 overs, Buttler was going to bat at number three,” Bayliss told reporters on Sunday.
“Jonny Bairstow is an option and Ben Stokes as well. We feel, in England, that Stokes has as good a technique as anyone else to bat number three.
“So we’ll sit down with Buttler and Stokes. They are quite capable of batting there.”
England played three spinners as they romped to a 211-run win in the series opener, but Stuart Broad is on standby should another seam option be required.
Best bets for Moeen Ali
|Man of the match||–||+800||+800|
|Top England bowler||+333.33||–||+250|
|Top England batsman||+900||–||+550|
|To score 100||–||+900||–|
Ali’s batting might be under scrutiny, but his impact with the ball is hard to fault.
The bearded allrounder finished with eight wickets in Colombo, due in no small part to some questionable decision-making from the Sri Lankan bats.
But Ali fits the mould for these conditions: an accurate, uncomplicated spinner that lets the pitch do the work while testing the batsman’s concentration.
Like Herath, who had enormous success at home with his left-arm finger spin, the Worcestershire star is well capable of catching players out with the odd worldy in among the stump-to-stump darts.
Top wicket-taker is always a decent shout for Ali in Asia, while he may also be a more likely candidate for top runscorer if he slides down the order as expected.
Sri Lanka vs. England betting tips
It is impossible to overstate just how much Sri Lanka will miss Herath the man, let alone Herath the player.
With Chandimal out injured, there is a massive hole in the team’s leadership just when they need calm heads to show the way forward.
England are rightly jubilant after a big win, but let’s not forget it was their lower order that made most of the runs in the first innings of the opening Test.
Nevertheless, the visitors should have enough individual quality to seal the series in Kandy.
England to win – +110 at William Hill
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