Winner takes all as a topsy-turvy series draws to a close.
It’s hard to see England making any changes from the team that won so handsomely last time out. Questions linger about the balance of the batting line-up, Broad’s form and Dernbach’s quality but in all likelihood we should see the same again from the hosts.
Sri Lanka may be forced into a change as gangly bowler Suranga Lakmal picked up a minor side strain in the previous match, his most likely replacement being Perera, although we could see the away side introduce a second spinner as England have struggled when the pace has been taken off the ball.
A cloudy morning followed by a sunny afternoon, England may well try and exploit the conditions and bowl first given the chance.
The Sri Lankan top order vs Anderson & Bresnan. In the two matches which England have won in the series, the balance has been shifted in their favour early on by the opening pair of bowlers making rapid inroads. Tillakaratne Dilshan has had a barren series by his standards and will want to rectify it at his final opportunity, while Jayawardene has looked imperious for the visitors. This is the first international match to be played at Old Trafford since the square was turned 90 degrees so no one is quite sure how the pitch will play out, but if it is flat and slow, as has been suggested in some quarters, then England’s bowlers will face a real test of their ability to prevent a Sri Lankan run fest.