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ICC World Cup 2019 | England Have Played Spin Better Than Asian Countries: Karunaratne

AFP |June 21, 2019, 4:06 AM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | England Have Played Spin Better Than Asian Countries: Karunaratne

Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne says Sri Lanka will have to think "out of the box" as they try to tame England's marauding batsmen in their must-win World Cup match against the hosts.

The 1996 champions must win all four of their remaining games to have a realistic chance of making the semi-finals after winning just one of their five matches so far in the round-robin stage, with two washouts.

The problem for Sri Lanka is that they still have to face favourites England and Virat Kohli's India.

Eoin Morgan's England are next in line on Friday, fresh from their dismantling of Afghanistan, who were on the receiving end of 25 sixes in England's total of 397-6 on Tuesday.

Morgan hit a record 17 sixes in his 148 in Manchester, but Karunaratne said Sri Lanka had a plan for each batsman to put the brakes on England at Headingley.

"If we don't have good pace, we have to think out of the box so I think that is what we need," Karunaratne said on Thursday, without expanding on the details of his approach.

"We have played in a home series against them, so we have a couple of ideas and we need to work on those things in the middle," he added.

England have posted more than 300 in four of their five matches, with two scores of 350-plus coming against Asian sides Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The pre-tournament favourites suffered a shock loss to Pakistan but still managed to post 334 during the game in Nottingham.

Karunaratne believes the English batsmen have played spin better even than their Asian counterparts.

"I think England is the best batting line-up against the spinners in the world, so I think if you take the Asian countries, England are playing better than them, so that is why we need to think about that, check the grounds and what are the combinations we have going through for England game.

"Are we playing two spinners? Or are we going with the extra batsman or fast bowlers? Those are the things we are discussing now. The only thing is they are a good side against the spinners so far."

Karunaratne said the batting unit will have to take more responsibility if they want to challenge England.

"The batting line-up, you know, actually, the middle part, they need to take some responsibilities to know if they have scored more than 300, you have to definitely go for that. So those are the key things we discussed before the match and we were trying to do them."

Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
IND
9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
2
AUS
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
3
ENG
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
4
NZ
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
5
PAK
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
6
SL
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
7
SA
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
8
BAN
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9
WI
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
10
AFG
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more