A solid bowler and exceptional batsman, Mathews has prospered since being handed the Test captaincy. As well as leading the team with aplomb, he has finally begun to realise his vast potential with the bat, epitomised by his Test average rising beyond 45.
A regular fixture in Sri Lanka’s limited-overs XIs, Thirimanne may well vie with Karunaratne for a spot alongside Silva at the top of the Test order. He possesses a better five-day record than his rival in a similar number of games and, crucially, has experience in English conditions having featured in the series three years ago.
Silva is a watchful batsman who has thus far made the most of his second chance in Test cricket. Selected for three games in 2011, he was handed a recall after a two-year exile towards the end of last year and has not looked back. Silva – operating as an opener – has made a host of useful contributions in the ensuing five games, including a fine 139 versus Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka’s other opener in their most recent Test series, Karunaratne is someone England may look to target following his modest start to the premier form. While his first-class record indicates that he can improve on a Test average of 30, the 26-year-old is yet to reach three figures despite holding 11 caps.
Arguably the best batsman in world cricket, Sangakkara is proving a ‘fine wine’ as he continues to get better with age. A stunning 2014 thus far, featuring double- and triple-centuries and a match-winning contribution in the World Twenty20 final, will not have escaped England’s attention.
While Sangakkara has enjoyed much of the attention in recent years, it is Jayawardene who has so often proved a thorn in England’s side. A class act whose method of caressing the ball to boundaries around the world has been one of cricket’s great sights, the diminutive batsman needs little introduction.
Recently replaced as Sri Lanka’s Twenty20 captain, Chandimal – an attacking batsman who offers a wicketkeeping option – will be aiming to rediscover his best form in the Investec Test series.
Jayawardene, who is back in the fold having been forced to fly home from the series in Bangladesh due to family reasons, has been Sri Lanka’s first-choice Test gloveman for much of the last eight years. Chandimal took the reins in his absence for the two games against the Tigers, yet Jayawardene reclaimed his place at Lord's only to suffer a finger injury that ruled him out of the Headingley Test.
An orthodox left-arm spinner, Herath has flourished since the retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan. With the ability to snare scalps, bowl long spells and strangle opposition batsmen, England know how dangerous the 36-year-old can be following his 19 wickets in two Tests against them in his homeland in 2011.
Perera's international career had been restricted to just a handful of limited-overs appearances since making his debut in 2007 against England. But having not played for Sri Lanka since 2011, the 31-year-old came out of the wilderness earlier this year. He showed his all-round capabilities by following up a score of 95 on his Test bow with 10 wickets in his next two matches.
A medium-pacer, Eranga, who took wickets in his opening over on debut in all three formats, has battled his way through injury to keep his place in Sri Lanka's squad.
Kulasekara is an effective seamer who has the ability to trouble any batsman in the world. He is also capable of producing lower-order runs.
The injury-plagued left-armer was not in Sri Lanka’s original tour squad, but an injury to Suranga Lakmal put him in line for his first Test since 2012.
Another left out of the original party, Pradeep was included for the Test rubber that he went into with a modest format record.
A seamer with an effective yorker, Prasad’s involvement in the international game has been limited by injuries.
A middle-order batsman, Vithanage made his case for a regular spot in the XI during the recent rubber in Bangladesh, striking an aggressive 103 not out in the opening Test of two. Having featured in the NatWest International T20, he was added to the Test party for the second match when Prasanna Jayawardene was forced to go home.