England are in action today in their first Test Match of the 2016 summer. Alastair Cook and his team take on Sri Lanka at Headingley and will be hoping to secure a series victory against the subcontinent heavyweights. Sri Lanka will field a relatively inexperienced side but they do have fond memories of Headingley, where two years ago they secured a series victory in a remarkable last-over Test win. Last man James Anderson was caught at leg gully off Eranga from the penultimate ball of the final day.
[quote cite=”Alastair Cook, Captain of England”]Sri Lanka have got a history of punching above their weight and are really, really competitive no matter what’s gone on before.[/quote]
England are currently fourth in the ICC Test Rankings with Sri Lanka occupying the seventh spot. England will once again be looking to Joe Root who has become a run machine in Test cricket with an average of 54.93 in 72 innings. Root is currently the second best Test batsman in the ICC rankings and no doubt will be looking to overtake Steve Smith as the best batsman in the world. England will be confident going into the summer as the home conditions will favour the strong bowling attack which includes James Anderson and the number one Test bowler Stuart Broad. James Vince, the 25-year-old Hampshire captain will make his debut at number five following James Taylor’s retirement with a heart problem.
Sri Lanka rebuilding for the future
Gone are the days when the Sri Lankan team fielded names such as Jayasurija, Dilshan, Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Muralitharan and Malinga which every cricketing nation feared. Sri Lanka is now rebuilding following the retirement of batsmen Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara and will be looking to their young stars to develop into future world-class International players.
[quote cite=”Angelo Mathews, Captain of Sri Lanka”]We’ve got a fearless set of players who are willing to take the English on.[/quote]
In Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka has a talented all-rounder and a leader who is the perfect man to captain the Sri Lankan youngsters. Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath are the only men on tour to have played more than 30 Tests which highlights the inexperience in this current squad. However, they have two young players who have buoyed Sri Lanka ahead of the first Test. A former captain of Sri Lanka’s Under-19 team, 21-year-old Kusal Mendis is regarded as a talented young batsman and has already hit two half-centuries in three warm-up innings. Sri Lanka will also hope that Dasun Shanaka goes onto bigger and better things and is certainly another name to watch for the future. Shanaka struck 112 from 132 balls against Leicestershire, to lift the visitors from 192 for 8 to 367 all out.
England 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Alex Hales, 3 Nick Compton, 4 Joe Root, 5 James Vince, 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 8 Moeen Ali, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Steven Finn, 11 James Anderson
Sri Lanka 1 Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Kaushal Silva, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Lahira Thirimanne, 7 Dasun Shanaka, 8 Rangana Herath, 9 Dushmantha Chameera, 10 Shaminda Eranga, 11 Nuwan Pradeep
Cook and Herath on verge of impressive records
- Alastair Cook needs 36 runs to become the 12th player – and first Englishman – to 10,000 in Tests.
- Rangana Herath needs three wickets to become the third Sri Lankan to 300 in Tests.
Test Match cricket at Edgbaston this summer holiday
England take on Pakistan this summer in an Investec Test Match and tickets are on sale priced from £31 for Adults and from just £6 for Juniors (U16s). You can purchase your tickets now by calling 0844 847 1902 or click here to book online.