While Sri Lanka has started off well by winning the toss (luck that), deciding to field and snaffling early wickets, let me present the team I would have chosen in batting order: Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Chandimal. Matthews, Shanaka, Dickwella. Siriwardena, Herath, Chameera or Pradeep, Eranga or Lakmal,
Reasoning: Headingley in early summer is a bowler’s pitch and therefore four seam bowlers would be adequate. Given a lengthy tail, it seemed wise to shore up the batting. I have serious doubts about Tirimanne. Again,, though temperamentally a fighter, Siriwardena’s technique seems highly fallible for English conditions so his selection in my XI was with a question mark. Dickwella showed enterprise and fight in the early matches and though also likely to fall quickly at the start of his innings, his attacking spirit suggested selection ahead of both Tirimanne and Siriwardena. Tirimanne may be experienced and gritty, but his stickiness comes at a price: he scores at snail’s pace and encourages the fielding XI,while increasing pressure on the other batsmen.
I hope Tirimanne proves me wrong.