GALLE: Sri Lanka decided to bat first after winning the toss in the second test against England on Friday as the home side made three changes to the team that lost the first test by seven wickets.
Batsman Kusal Mendis and all-rounders Dasun Shanaka and Wanindu Hasaranga were dropped. Seam bowler Suranga Lakmal and No. 3 batsman Oshada Fernando are making a comeback to the Sri Lanka side, while offspinner Ramesh Mendis is making his debut.
England made one change, bringing in James Anderson for Stuart Broad.
England is in fourth spot on the ICC Test Championship standings, behind India, New Zealand and Australia. The final will be played in June and, to remain in calculations, England needs to win the second test against Sri Lanka and then travel to India and win that four-test series, too.
The visitors haven't lost a series in Sri Lanka since 2007, having generally countered spin bowling well to find success.
Lineups: Sri Lanka: Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Oshada Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Ramesh Mendis, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Asitha Fernando, and Suranga Lakmal.
England: Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root (captain), Daniel Lawrence, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Jack Leach, Dom Bess, Mark Wood and James Anderson
(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)