alastair cook
Alastair Cook needs just 36 runs to become the first English cricketer to score 10,000 runs in test cricketGetty

England host Sri Lanka in the first Investec test match at Headingley, Leeds on 19 May (Thursday). This is the first test of the three-match series.

Where to watch live

Match starts at 11am BST. Live TV coverage is available on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports 2 HD. Click here for the live streaming link.

Overview

The Three Lions have had an eventful time of late in the shorter format of the game, reaching the final of the ICC T20 World Cup and entertaining fans around the world with their new aggressive brand of cricket.

The test series will see them compete on home soil for the first time since last summer's Ashes. England will be looking for revenge for the 2014 series which they lost 1-0, when James Anderson fell to the penultimate ball in the third test.

Skipper Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Anderson and Stuart Broad remain the key players. However, the side have to sort out their opening batting woes, with Alex Hales being given one more chance to prove himself. James Taylor's medical condition has led them to select uncapped James Vince who is expected to make his debut. England, who are currently in the fourth place in the test rankings, go into this game as favourites.

sri lanka cricket
Sri Lanka won their maiden test series on English soil the last time they visited the country in 2014Getty

Sri Lanka have fond memories of visiting England, clinching their maiden series victory on English soil the last time they were here in 2014. Things have changed since then. The retirements of batting stalwarts Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene are a big loss for the team.

While skipper Angelo Mathews can be relied upon, Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne will have to step up, especially with the conditions expected to favour the bowlers.

Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya recently said Sri Lanka have the best bowling attack. Seamer Dhammika Prasad is unavailable due to injury, while both Suranga Lakmal and Shaminda Eranga lack consistency. The onus will be on veteran Rangana Herath to lead the attack, but the conditions in England do not offer bite to spinners.

Prediction

England to win

Betting Odds (betfair)

  • England to win: 4/7
  • Draw: 9/5
  • Sri Lanka to win:10

Team News

England

Squad: Alastair Cook (c), Alex Hales, Nick Compton, Joe Root, James Vince, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Steve Finn, Jake Ball.

Sri Lanka

Squad: Angelo Mathews (c), Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Dhammika Prasad, Dilruwan Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Dushmantha Chameera, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Milinda Siriwardana, Niroshan Dickwella, Nuwan Pradeep, Rangana Herath, Sharminda Eranga, Suranga Lakmal.