Sri Lanka is not an easy country to tour. In the past, this was so primarily on account of the conditions. Now, to add to that, they also have a solid team to boot. Given all that, this would not be the ideal place for England to be trying to bring about their ODI renaissance, especially when already 1-0 down in the series.
The Batting view
Several Englishmen could be pardoned for looking askance at Pietersen and his sleeping beauty act in the middle order over the past few ODI's and T20 games. A significant contribution from one of England's, and possibly one of the world's best batsmen has simply not been forthcoming. But England's weakness lies not in Pietersen's underperformance, but in the fact that the rest of the batsmen are not being able to make up for that.
England have a fairly solid team batting average at 32.12 (in fact, better than even Lanka at 29.67). The problem is that the number of batsmen in the batting line up contributing to this average is very low, with their batting hinging primarily on Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen in the middle order, and Ravi Bopara bringing up the rear. The rest of the batsmen have batting averages which are lower than the English team average. For England to pose a reasonable challenge, the rest of the batsmen will have to chip in with some serious contributions. Hope also rests on Alaistair Cook and Phil Mustard, the two batsmen who showed signs of good form and touch in the first ODI.
Sri Lanka will be looking to repeat what they did on Monday, i.e. gather contributions from all around the batting line up, with one of the top 3 - Jayasuriya, Sangakkara or Jayawardene - playing a flagship role and leading the hunt.
The Bowling view
A fact that might be worrying England a bit is that in the first ODI, they faced a batting collapse despite over-riding Sri Lanka's most economical bowler, Chaminda Vaas, and let the second change support bowler take the game away from them despite a solid start. This, however, is a problem that they are going to continually face, because Sri Lanka has several bowlers who are capable of putting in that one brilliant spell that can take the match away. So even if they weather the storm created by Vaas and celebrate the fact that Murali isn't playing, they still have to account for Fernando, Malinga, the in-form and confident Mahroof, followed by Lanka's real, core strength, their battery of slow, dead-wicket specialists.
The English bowling line up is not nearly as strong as the Lankan attack, conceding on an average 245 runs per innings as against the Lankan average of 226. This they can look to bring down if the top three bowlers, Anderson, Broad and Sidebottom can keep things a little tighter, each having conceded over 5.5 runs per over in their previous game. This economy rate, however, would be deemed worthy if it can be used to purchase some early top order wickets. While the rest of the batsmen have shown that they can bat, their mettle will be tested if England can get Jayasuriya and Jayawardene early and put the young guns under pressure.