After beginning their tour of England with an impressive win in the only T20 international at The Oval on Tuesday, Sri Lanka will look to make it two wins out of two when they face England in the first of the five-match ODI series.
Where to Watch Live:
The first ODI is scheduled for a 1 pm BST (5.30 pm IST, 8 am ET) start with live coverage on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2 in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Catch the action live on TV on Sky Sports 2 in the UK, while viewers can also live stream the action HERE. Viewers in the US can watch the game on ESPN 3 while the action can also be live streamed HERE. Watch the match in Sri Lanka on CSN with the live streaming option HERE, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can view the match on SuperSport and live online HERE.
Lasith Malinga paved the way for a win over England with a brilliant performance with the ball on Tuesday, after Thisara Perera's blitz had given the Lankans plenty of runs to play with.
England did decently well to try ad chase the target of over 180 down, but Malinga's final over skills came to the fore in some style to shut the hosts out and with it ensure Peter Moores would not begin his second stint as coach at home with a win.
With a different captain – Eoin Morgan skippered the T20 international – in Alastair Cook, the man given the mantle of creating a new winning era for England, the home side will look to find that winning groove which has been missing ever since the Ashes debacle.
"I think getting going are the right words," said Cook, who will be keen for a positive result after being criticised along with the ECB hierarchy for the manner in which the Kevin Pietersen saga was handled.
"Since Australia, it's been a long time -- and we just want to get out there and play some cricket, and start whatever's going to happen, the journey of the next year or so."
England have been playing plenty of cricket, but that 'W' just hasn't been evident enough, with the World T20 embarrassment only adding to the heavy defeats suffered in Australia.
The Moores era is seen as a fresh start, even if it might be without their best batsman; and to show the right decision has been made, wins will be imperative, while this ODI series will also go a long way in deciding the shape of the England team for the World Cup in Australia next year.
"No-one's got a divine right to win a game of cricket," Cook said. "Sri Lanka are an incredibly dangerous side so we've got to play some good aggressive cricket. We are going to leave it all out there and we are desperate for a good performance. But that doesn't guarantee anything. The fresh start and stuff is brilliant but it's all now down to playing some good cricket."
Sri Lanka are on a roll at the moment, clinching the World T20 while also taking the Asia Cup title. The Angelo Mathews-led side have not lost a single ODI in 2014, and they will not want to start on Thursday at The Oval.
"The T20 win was a morale-booster," said coach Marvan Atapattu, who took over after Paul Farbrace decided to become Moores' assistant despite leading Sri Lanka to the World T20 title. "We always had confidence coming from a World Cup victory. We needed that win to tell ourselves that we are good enough to compete against these guys on their home soil.
"We believe if we play our best cricket, we can put any team under pressure. From England's point of view, they have gone through a couple of shaky series and have a new management and a couple of new players. But we are most concerned with how we perform in English conditions to meet the challenge."