England have won five Test matches in a row at Chester-le-Street going into the second Test against Sri Lanka, which is scheduled to start from Friday. It will be hard to contemplate Sri Lanka bouncing back in this match in Durham.
Sri Lanka have moved to Durham from Headingley with a depleted squad, as their fastest bowler in the attack Dushmantha Chameera has been ruled out of the remainder of the tour because of an injury.
England too have their own concerns. Ben Stokes, also injured, has been replaced by Chris Woakes for the Chester-le-Street match. The crowd would have loved to have witnessed their home boy Stokes perform, but it was not to be.
England will also be worrying about Nick Compton's form. In the last six Test innings, he has managed to score 66 runs in total. There are two ducks present in those six innings as well.
Compton has admitted that he will be playing to save his career, as there are a number of talented batsmen waiting in queue to replace him.
"You've got to score runs. It all comes down to weight of runs and performance. I've just got to do it better. We can talk beyond that about certain things but, fundamentally, if I do my job as well as I can and score the runs I know I can, I can contribute to this England team," Compton was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo ahead of the second Test match between England and Sri Lanka in Durham.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka are unlikely to make many changes to their playing XI apart from the one that has been forced by injury. Suranga Lakmal is likely to replace Chameera in the team. Lahiru Thirimanne's form will also be a point of concern for the Lankans. In that case, skipper Angelo Mathews can consider Milinda Siriwardana in his place.
Mathews is confident that they have found the right combination. He is hopeful that his boys will put up a better show against England in Durham.
"We have more clarity on the batting approach, and also we've found the right balance. It's just that when you play more games, you tend to learn more. Batting is also an art, and Test cricket is an art. It is a test of skill and temperament," Mathews told Cricinfo.
"It can't be an excuse because we are all international players and we've played enough cricket now to understand what roles we have to play in the team in the batting line-up."
The conditions are going to be extremely difficult for the visiting team as it has been really cold in Durham. Also, the bowlers have ruled the roost here. Stuart Broad, especially, will have happy memories here, when he starred in the 2013 Ashes series.
Expected playing XI: England (confirmed): Alastair Cook (C), Alex Hales, Nick Compton, Joe Root, James Vince, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, James Anderson.
Sri Lanka (probable): Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Angelo Mathews (C), Milinda Siriwardana, Dasun Shanaka, Rangana Herath, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal.
Where to watch live:
The first day of the second Test match between England and Sri Lanka in Durham is scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m. local time (10:00 a.m GMT, 15:30 p.m. IST and 6:00 a.m. EST). Live coverage of England vs Sri Lanka second Test match in India and the Indian subcontinent will be on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD 1. The live streaming option will be available on Starsports.com.
UK viewers can tune into Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports HD 2 to watch England vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Day 1 live. Watch Sky Sports will stream the match live in UK as well.
Audience in the US can switch to ESPN3 for the live coverage of England vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Day 1 and stream the same on Watch ESPN.
FoxSports will broadcast England vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test match live in Australia. Fans of the game can also livestream the match on Foxtel Play.
Sky Sport 3 and Sky Sport HD 3 will telecast England vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Day 1 Live in New Zealand. The live streaming option will be available on SkyTV.