England v Sri Lanka: Hosts answer questions, but problems remain – Agnew


England v Sri Lanka: Hosts answer questions, but problems remain – Agnew

In early season conditions and playing at the standard they have been, England were always likely to overwhelm Sri Lanka.

Indeed, if Alastair Cook’s men had recorded anything less than their 2-0 series win, then some questions might have been asked.

As it is, that final scoreline was the right outcome for the cricket that has been played.

However, great credit must be given to Sri Lanka for the way they have improved as the three Tests progressed.

After a horrific start in difficult conditions at Headingley they showed that, with the right attitude and the willingness to learn, you can get to the standard required.

The best example of this was the way openers Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne played on the fourth evening of the final Test at Lord’s. With James Anderson and Stuart Broad roaring in, they knuckled down to get through to the close. It was excellent batting.

In the end, the rain spoiled what could have been an intriguing final day.I’m not sure Sri Lanka would have chased their target of 362, but they might have shown some spirit in pursuit of a consolation win.

Overall, it was a pretty good series for England. Some questions were answered, while others remain.

Curtains for Compton?

I would be very surprised if Nick Compton, who averaged 12.75, is picked again.

He’s worked very hard and done a lot of the right things in terms of preparation, but you have to get the runs. It just didn’t happen for him.

The selection process has to have an integrity and you can’t keep going back to someone if they are not performing. Maybe a batsman with a career average of 50 would be given more time, but Compton doesn’t have that sort of credit in the bank.

The one slight doubt is that we can’t say what might happen between now and the first Test against Pakistan. Compton might get a stack of runs for Middlesex and Scott Borthwick, the man who seems to have earned an opportunity, might struggle for Durham.

Another man who has not taken his chance in the England top order is James Vince, but he will probably be given the Pakistan series to prove he is good enough.

Still, that might not be at number five, with the possibility of him moving to three depending on what happens to Compton.

Taking all of this into account, it is quite dangerous to try to select the team for the first Test against Pakistan at Lord’s on 14 July.

Source: BBC NEWS

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