LONDON: England have discovered that ODI cricket is becoming a jungle where only the sharpest, most ruthless and tactically astute survive, so their venture into Sri Lanka’s deep south for the third match of the series at Hambantota seems symbolic. Here, the verdant landscape conceals various exotic species; we will have to wait until Wednesday to see if that includes 11 winning Englishmen.
Alastair Cook has already led his men deep into the undergrowth as he attempts to uncover the lost temple concealing a global 50-over trophy. England have never won one and their preparations for the World Cup do not currently suggest they have brought the right maps with them this time either. Victory in a live ODI would do for a start, something they haven’t managed since May when they took at 2-1 lead in the home series against Sri Lanka. Already trailing 2-0, the tour is in danger of disappearing up the local equivalent of the Swanee. Having made the trek down from Colombo in time to practise at the ground – one where they have never played before – they dispatched James Tredwell, donning his metaphorical pith helmet, to present a stoic assessment of the situation.
“I guess the hope is that we can start again,” he said. “The games come thick and fast on these tours, so it is sometimes hard to do that, but a change of scenery might bring a change of luck.” Agencies
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