Sri Lanka v England 2020-21

Joe Root hopes that the know-how gleaned by his twin spinners, Jack Leach and Dom Bess, on conducive surfaces at Taunton will help England to overcome their lack of match preparation when the first Test against Sri Lanka gets underway in Galle on Thursday.

With England’s match practice limited to two days of intra-squad warm-ups in Hambantota, and with their most experienced spinner, Moeen Ali, ruled out of the series after testing positive for Covid-19 on arrival, Root is relying on his players to lean on prior experience to overcome their unavoidable rustiness.

“I think we’ve prepared the best we can,” Root said during the captain’s pre-match press conference on Wednesday. “That’s all you can do. We’ve obviously had a very short lead-in to this game but we have made the most of everything we’ve got.

“I can’t ask any more of the guys, we’ve had some really good conversations about the…

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