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. He is also Sri Lanka’s one-day international skipper.
Widely regarded as one of the most-feared limited-overs bowlers in the world, Malinga has recently taken on the added responsibility of captaining Sri Lanka in Twenty20 internationals. With his unusual, slingy action, Malinga has the pace and variations to puzzle the very best.
An aggressive left-handed batsman whose style bears a striking resemblance to Sanath Jayasuriya’s, Perera appears to be settling into the international arena. Boasting a combined 45 limited-overs appearances for Sri Lanka as he heads into the England games, he will be hoping to break into the Test XI.
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 will 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.
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.
Now a specialist one-day dasher at the top of the order having retired from the longest format, the inventive Dilshan is a man to be feared. The 37-year-old is in the twilight of his career, yet England may be glad they will not have to worry about him in the Test series.
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 deposed as Sri Lanka’s Twenty20 captain, Chandimal – an attacking batsman who offers a wicketkeeping option – will be aiming to rediscover his best form early in the tour.
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 appears likely to reclaim his place in the XI.
An emerging batsman who played a role in Sri Lanka’s Asia Cup win, Priyanjan appears to have cemented his spot in Sri Lanka’s ODI line-up with a series of solid showings in that tournament.
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 encounter of two.
Chaturanga de Silva
A left-arm-spinning all-rounder, de Silva is raw in international cricket having played a mere five one-day internationals going into the tour.
Prasanna, a spinning all-rounder, is relatively new to international cricket. However, the leg-break bowler has excelled in English conditions in the past, taking six wickets while opening the bowling against England Lions in 2011, a performance which helped him earn his senior debut against Australia.
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.
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.
Despite impressing in first-class cricket in Sri Lanka, Senanayake has never really set the world alight at international level. Primarily a spinner, he also has the capabilities of a useful lower-order batsman.
Mystery spinner Mendis broke onto the international scene with an array of variations in his armoury. However, he has struggled to assert himself on the Test arena since and has enjoyed far more success in the shorter forms of the game when batsmen have little time to adjust.
A powerful all-rounder, Perera has the ability to clear the ropes in the latter overs and can swing the ball, making him a useful member of Sri Lanka's limited-overs sides.
Kulasekara is an effective seamer who has the ability to trouble any batsman in the world, particularly in limited-overs cricket. He is also capable of producing lower-order runs.
Lakmal, a tall, pacy bowler, will want to improve on his workmanlike performances in the last two series against England.
A seamer with an effective yorker, Prasad’s involvement in the international game has been limited by injuries.
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.