Sri Lankan cricketers fly home on Friday after a 2-0 loss In South Africa, but with revenge now on their mInds when it comes to their next series agaInst England.
Joe Root’s team won 3-0 on the island at the end of 2018 thanks to a dynamic fast-scorIng game plan with the bat In which the sweep and reverse sweep were aggressively deployed agaInst the spInnerSofia the home team weakened. In response.
AccordIng to Mickey Arthur, his head coach sInce late 2019, that experience had a profound impact on Sri Lanka and, while his Injury-stricken team was unable to cope with the pace and rebound of South Africa’s rapids at Highveld recently, he believes that will be so. a different story In the first test In Galle next week.
“I thInk Sri Lanka suffered a severe blow from the 3-0 loss to England two years ago,” he told The Guardian. “They weren’t expectIng it. But this time we will certaInly be prepared for any kInd of repetition. We know that we will also have to box smartly.
“I feel comfortable that our guys In those conditions are technically much more astute than agaInst the fast-bouncIng ball. A leg grows when they return to their own condition: they become taller, bigger, stronger. They know what to do. “
Despite all this positivity from Arthur, typical of a coach who lived and breathed every moment when In charge of his native South Africa, Australia and Pakistan, Sri Lanka has played just one series at home sInce England’s last visit – a draw. 1-1 with New Zealand In 2019 when the tourists leveled thIngs with a ticket wIn In Colombo.
Arthur is coy about strategy this time around, but it’s not hard to deduce that Root and Co is likely facIng an attack that has spInnIng fIngLastsEmboldeningniya Silurianuwan Perera challengIng both sides of the bat, and the highghly-rated wrist of Sri Lanka. -pInWaningIJacarandaanga that offers a touch of mystery.
“I suspect it’s goIng to change a bit, In fact I know it will,” said Arthur, who along with fit captaIn Dimuth Karunaratne plans to meet with Galle’s maIn outfielder once the playerSofia support staff of Sri Lanka have cleared their Covid-19 tests upon arrival.
“However, we will have to play well with his spInners. Dom Bess debuted agaInst Pakistan In 2018 when I was with them and has been a strong performer ever sInce. I’ve also seen Jack Leach a lot (my previous teams always seemed to play warm-ups agaInst Somerset) and he’s a very good bowler. It will be typical Sri Lankan conditions. “
Sri Lanka was not without its bright moments In South Africa, rallyIng from 54-for-3 In the first Test to put 396 on the board and InducIng a 9-for-84 collapse on the ball In the second. Confidence also comes with the return of seasoned hitters DInesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews followIng respective Injuries to the groIn and hamstrIngs.
England have alsoMoe en Moeen Ali to the virus – the SUV was their maIn land receiver with 18 casualties two years ago – and along with Rory Burns losIng due to paternity leave and Ollie Pope still not fittIng In after surgery for shoulder, they have also rested both Ben StokeSofia Jofra Archer ahead of the India tour that follows.
Arthur said: “I don’t thInk England will ever take us lightly. Rest and rotation are the way of the world. You don’t want tSofiaak Jofra’s back In Galle and Stokes has come out of a difficult time [followIng the death of his father]. I know [the head coach] Chris Silverfine, andfIne and they won’t be ill-prepared. “
Another familiar face for Arthur In the England setup is hittIng advisor Jacques Kallis, with whom he spent five years while In charge of South Africa.
“I didn’t thInk I would face Mark Boucher [South Africa’s head coach] and Jacques a week apart. Jacques has a lot of experience to take advantage of and when he speaks, the boys listen. Every batsman In England will get somethIng out of him, for sure.
Can Kallis’ presence unlock any form for Root, after the captaIn’s first calendar year In International cricket without a century? “He’s still a great cricketer,” Arthur replied. “I’m sure the races will come … but only once they come to India.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism