PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka, Nov 14 (Reuters) - England captain Joe Root won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to bat in the second test against Sri Lanka at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
England, chasing a first overseas test series win since prevailing 2-1 in South Africa in early 2016, fielded the same side who beat the hosts by 211 runs in Galle, but have shuffled the batting lineup with Ben Stokes elevated to number three.
“It’s a big opportunity for us and I suppose the danger is for us to start thinking about that now,” Root said at toss, refusing to entertain any premature thoughts of a series win.
Sri Lanka were forced into a couple of changes, having lost veteran spinner Rangana Herath to retirement and skipper Dinesh Chandimal to a groin injury.
Malinda Pushpakumara and Roshen Silva were brought in as they battle to stay alive in the three-test series.
“In this match we need to minimise the mistakes,” makeshift captain Suranga Lakmal said, admitting he too would have preferred to bat on a track likely to assist the spinners.
Sri Lanka retained spinner Akila Dananjaya, who has been reported for a suspect bowling action.
Colombo hosts the final test from Nov. 23.
England: Rory Burns, Keaton Jennings, Ben Stokes, Joe Root (captain), Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Ben Foakes (wicketkeeper), Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Jack Leach, James Anderson.
Sri Lanka: Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wicketkeeper), Dhananjaya de Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal (captain), Akila Dananjaya, Malinda Pushpakumara. (Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O’Brien)