All the previews for Cardiff indicated a weather-affected game on an executive's pitch. Rain means cloud however, which means swing and potentially an under-prepared pitch. Not least, England are better than competent at exploiting local conditions. Likewise, Sri Lanka have established a reputation for winning at home that inflates their rating. By the numbers, the true margin ought to be about 160, but that has several caveats.
England's rating is inflated by their thrashing of Australia, and could be anywhere from 1300 to 1140. I suspect closer to the latter, as Australia were truly terrible by summer's end, but we'll have to wait until the India series to see how much England's careful planning and intelligent cricket contributed to that.
Sri Lanka meanwhile have been moving backwards of late, as you'd expect with the retirement of Muralitharan, though weather played its part, they were not well placed in their games with a poor West Indies side regardless. With their bowling attack further weakened by the retirement of Malinga and injury worries it is unlikely they'll pose a threat to England with the ball, though it would be no surprise to see a low scoring series early in the summer. Their best hope is, like India, to use the strength of their batting lineup to draw games where they lack enetration, and win those they do. Anything less than a 2-0 or 2-1 victory to England would be a surprise however.
Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don't play each other.
Idle Summers 27th May, 2011 00:28:00 [#]