Sri Lanka v England: first Check, day one – stay!

Shouldn’t you be asleep? I’m glad you’re not; it’s good to have the corporate. Now, listen. All being effectively, England will play 17 Checks this 12 months. That’s not nice information for Jimmy Anderson’s rectus femoris, or any of his different muscle groups, or any of the opposite quick bowlers’ muscle groups, however it’s excellent news for locked-down sports activities followers. Even at 3.29am, Check cricket is a vaccine for the soul.

Yep, England are about to begin their two-Check collection in Sri Lanka, the one initially scheduled for final March, a extra harmless time once we thought awkward elbow bumps may hold Covid at bay. Each video games will probably be performed at Galle, so for the following 10 days you need to have just one Byrds music in your unconscious. Galle is probably the most spin-friendly pitch in world cricket, the scene of a many a low-scoring dogfight down the years, and native specialists count on extra of the identical.

England received in Galle 18 months in the past en path to a 3-0 collection victory, a terrific consequence for which they deserved extra credit score. That was then and that is now. For quite a lot of causes, lots of the stars of that collection – Ben Foakes, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Keaton Jennings, Adil Rashid – received’t be taking part in this time. Rory Burns and Jofra Archer are additionally lacking.

However England have improved within the final 12 months, and Joe Root’s thrilling younger aspect are aiming for a fourth consecutive collection win. The final England workforce to do this had been Andrew Strauss’s world-beaters a decade in the past.

There are such a lot of variables that every one outcomes are doable, from 2-0 Sri Lanka to 2-0 England. I used to be going to say I can’t wait to seek out out the consequence, however that’s not likely true. Check cricket is the game with the bottom GI, one that provides us time to benefit from the delicate momentum shifts, contemplate the various subplots and infrequently shout OH FFS! just a little too loudly at 4.24am when England lose their third wicket.

See, the thoughts is racing they usually haven’t even bowled a ball. Check cricket is again. Life feels a peedie bit higher already.

The match begins at 10am native time, 4.30am GMT.

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