Dom Sibley was delighted to steer England to victory in the second Test against Sri Lanka but will travel to India tomorrow "taking nothing for granted" about his selection for the opening Test there.
Sibley and his team-mates are today enjoying a bonus day off after their six-wicket win in Galle competed an excellent two-nil series win.
The match was very much in the balance when, chasing 164 on a turning pitch, they dipped to 89 for four, before the Warwickshire opener was joined at the crease by Jos Buttler. The pair took their side home with an unbroken stand of 75 in 18.3 overs.
Sibley finished unbeaten on 56 to add to his list of Test-shaping innings for his country. But while it was a welcome return to form for the Bear, his previous innings in the series having been four, two and nought, the 25-year-old knows he will have to fight to retain his place in India, especially with Rory Burns joining the squad.
“It was very pleasing to make a contribution and stay not out and help the lads to a series victory.Dom Sibley
“When the runs aren’t coming, you have to try to stay positive, and that’s easier said than done when you’ve scored six runs in three innings, but I just trusted all the work I have done on playing spin to come good.
“Before we came out here, I did a lot of work at Edgbaston and Loughborough. Thankfully it paid off and Jos came in and played a fantastic knock to see us home.
“It was a great win and I’m really looking forward to getting to India and challenging for a place in the first Test. Other guys are coming back into the squad, so I am taking absolutely nothing for granted.
“They are a really good side which has just beaten Australia away, so it will be a real test for us, but our record overseas at the moment is very strong so it should be a brilliant series.”
Another incentive for Sibley to shine in India landed this week with the news that England will play a Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston in June.
“It would be fantastic to play a Test at my home ground. Edgbaston is a great place to play any time but to play a Test there would be very special and hopefully by June there will be some spectators in.Dom Sibley
“I’ve just got to do my best in India to keep my place. It will be a really exciting series and it’s great to have plenty of Bears for company out here, Woakesy and Stoney in the squad and Jeets as spin-bowling coach.”
Bears legend Jeetan Patel’s work with the spinners was highly effective in Sri Lanka, judging from the fact that Dom Bess, Jack Leach and Joe Root took 24 wickets in the two-match series.
But what of the astute, enigmatic, teasing leg breaks of D.P.Sibley? Where were they? “I don’t think you’ll be seeing them any time soon,” he said. “In terms of bowling, I’m on a Sabbatical!”
Limited tickets left for 2023 Major Matches
Only limited tickets are left for our programme of Major Matches in 2023 – with the first four days of our Men’s Ashes Test now sold out.
Over 13,000 tickets have been sold for our Women’s Ashes IT20, while 95% of tickets have gone for our Men’s IT20 against New Zealand. Last few tickets are also left for Vitality Blast Finals Day.