Ahead of their upcoming Test series against England, we’ve picked out three exciting Sri Lanka players to watch.

After a 2-0 defeat in South Africa, the hosts will be hoping to bounce back against an England side who haven’t played in this format since a home series against Pakistan in August.

South Africa v Sri Lanka - Second Test Day 2
Dimuth Karunaratne will captain Sri Lanka against England. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka have injury concerns around key players such as Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva ahead of the series, but they have plenty of other talented operators who are capable of making an impact.

SL vs England: Three Sri Lanka players to watch

Kusal Perera

Perera has only faced England once before, scoring 42 in his solitary innings, and his Test average currently sits at a modest 31.61.

However, his stats have been trending upwards in recent years and his match-winning 153* against South Africa in Durban in 2019 is one of the best Test innings since the turn of the century.

Three Sri Lanka players to watch
Kusal Perera produced heroics against South Africa in 2019. (Photo by Steve Haag/Getty Images)

The 30-year-old left-hander comes into this series in good form after a pair of fifties against a strong Proteas attack and his aggressive approach to opening the batting will put an undercooked England attack under pressure early on.

Kusal Mendis

Top-order batsman Mendis is at the other end of the form scale.

The right-hander endured a nightmare tour of South Africa, making three consecutive ducks after a first innings score of 12 at Centurion.

However, only the legendary Mahela Jayawardene had scored more Test hundreds than Mendis’ (7) for Sri Lanka before the age of 26.

Three Sri Lanka players to watch
Kusal Mendis in action for Sri Lanka against England at Galle. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Three of his centuries have come on home soil and he knows what to expect against England, having faced them six times before in this format.

The 25-year-old is vulnerable early on but easy on the eye when he settles into a rhythm and he’ll be determined to prove his worth after his failures against the Proteas.

Wanindu Hasaranga

Hasaranga is the least experienced of our three players to watch, having only made his Test debut on Boxing Day.

However, the 23-year-old all-rounder showed plenty of potential in South Africa.

Three Sri Lanka players to watch
Wanindu Hasaranga is one of our three Sri Lanka players to watch vs England. (Photo by CHRISTIAAN KOTZE/AFP via Getty Images)

He took 4-171 and registered scores of 18 and 59 on debut, before making two further starts with the bat in Johannesburg.

He’s still learning his craft as a legspinner but has variations up his sleeve and is likely to receive much more assistance from the pitches in Sri Lanka, while his lower-order runs could prove vital.

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