Sri Lanka v England – 1st Test preview

And we’re (nearly) off.

Well after a couple of months without being royally humiliated by spinners, England are off to Sri Lanka.

We get under way in Galle, where England’s record is frankly rather horrible, the best they ever get there is the worst of a rain-soaked draw. Put it this way, if it doesn’t tip it down midweek, history suggests England are doomed. With that cheerful thought in mind, here are a few points to whet the appetite for the frankly ungodly hour we’re getting underway tomorrow:

Number 6: This has all the fun hallmarks of an old fashioned England-on-tour-shambles: Samit or Ravi? As the Essex man has hurt his side and thus can’t bowl, it may well be Patel. As he has been one of the batsmen in ODIs who hasn’t immediately retreated into his shell when a spinner comes on, he might not be a dreadful option on the slow Sri Lankan pitches.

Ian Bell: Though his scores have been revolting this calendar year, we’re living in hope, however hopelessly directed. Anyway, if he does stuff it up, there’s always Matt Prior, who blazed away successfully in the recent war up. And Broad, And Swann. Put it this way, it could be worse, even with Ian Ronald’s woes taken into account.

Sri Lanka’s bowling: At the moment, we’d hesitate to call this an attack. These words may come back to haunt me, especially if the Galle pitch misbehaves like it did versus the Aussies, when it helped make Nathan Lyon look like a world beater. Bearing in mind the struggles England had on the Dubai shirtfronts, this could be messier than we currently expect.

The weather: It is going to be warm. And muggy. And generally not a lot like the first class cricket that’s about to get underway in England (on which, more later, eventually) Samit could meet Andy Flower’s performance targets by Thursday morning on the bleep test.

At least we aren’t the Aussies: Brett Lee at number five for the powerplay? Oh dear. (Ha ha ha, HA HA HA)

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1 Comment

  1. England have gone in with three spinners! Too bad SL aren’t batting last. Five and a half spinners, including Dilshan. I get the feeling there will be at least one batting collapse to spin.

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