Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath deserves to be remembered as one of the greats… but England are here at the right time and they can win this series
- England begin their three-match Test series against Sri Lanka on Tuesday
- There is turmoil around Sri Lankan cricket, including corruption allegations
- It will be tough for an unprepared England but they are here at the right time
- This will be Sri Lanka star Rangana Herath’s Test finale and he is an all-time great
England begin their three match Test series against Sri Lanka this week, aiming to end a long winless run away from home.
There is turmoil around Sri Lankan cricket, including corruption allegations, but it will be tough for an England side lacking in-depth preparation.
Sportsmail’s DAVID LLOYD takes us through his own perspective on the upcoming series…
Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath will retire from Test cricket after the upcoming clash with England
This is the final Test for Rangana Herath, the premier spinner in world cricket, with 400-plus wickets.
Herath is an absolute throwback. He’s a chubby fella who just bowls orthodox left-arm spin with a lovely action and no mystery. He deserves to be remembered as one of the all-time greats.
Take a new spin
Because of Herath’s swansong, this Galle pitch will turn. England’s three spinners all have to play.
England shouldn’t be afraid to do things differently and that might mean opening the bowling with a spinner. Herath has done it for Sri Lanka.
I really like the thought of Curran playing, too. Get young Sam in the team!
As it is Herath’s swansong, the groundskeepers will make sure the Galle pitch will turn for him
Sorry for poor Joe
Spare a thought for Joe Denly if he doesn’t play. At 32, he was pencilled in here for the first Test.
Then in a couple of knockabout matches he’s had a hard time and it could now be taken away in a flash.
Dress it up any way you like but what England have had here is no preparation for a Test series.
Joe Denly seen in action during a practice match between the Sri Lanka Board XI and England
Broad brush off
Jos Buttler has sore hands and, with Jonny Bairstow injured, that puts Ben Foakes right in the frame to keep wicket.
That might allow Sam Curran to bat at No 8, with Adil Rashid at No 9, Jack Leach at 10 and Jimmy Anderson at 11. That would mean Stuart Broad misses out but I don’t think he’s expecting to play.
Declining England fast bowler Stuart Broad could be dropped for the first time in six years
Time to take advantage
Make no mistake, it’s going to be tough for England but they are here at the right time.
There is turmoil around Sri Lankan cricket, with all the corruption allegations flying around, and England have to make the most of that and do their job. They’ve had no preparation but they can win this series.
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