Foakes would have no issue with being dropped

By Sports Desk November 09, 2018

Ben Foakes would have no issue with stepping aside for Jonny Bairstow in England's second Test against Sri Lanka despite a man-of-the-match display on his debut in Galle.

Foakes grasped his chance with both hands after Bairstow was ruled out with an ankle injury, scoring a century in the first innings and a quickfire 37 in the second on day three.

The wicketkeeper-batsman also impressed with the gloves as the tourists wrapped up a 211-run victory, but knows he could miss out in Kandy next week.

"Jonny, I think, will be fit," Foakes said. "I guess he's the number one and if I play one game I'm quite happy with that one.

"The big thing for me is just making my debut and being able to say I'm an England Test cricketer. Regardless of what's happened, that's such a special feeling that no-one can take away.

"To be honest if you asked me two weeks ago, I was having six months off, so to be sat here now is unbelievable."

Foakes says there will be no hard feelings in the squad regardless of who gets the nod.

"It's such a good team environment to walk into," he said. "Everyone wants everyone to do well.

"You can understand in some teams there's different guys going for different spots, but there's none of that."

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  • Root pleased to practice what he preached Root pleased to practice what he preached

    England captain Joe Root is satisfied with the way both his words and actions inspired England to victory in the second Test against Sri Lanka.

    A 57-run victory in Pallekele secured the series win for England - a first away from home since January 2016 and a first in Sri Lanka since 2001.

    Root had challenged his players to be bold in the second of three Tests and his own 124 in the second innings made a significant contribution to the victory, earning him the Man of the Match award.

    "I'm really pleased to back up everything I've spoken about and the way that I did it," Root told Sky Sports.

    "It's nice to make a big contribution but the thing that sits well with me is the manner in which I did it. I asked the guys to play a certain way, and I went out and backed it up myself."

    England returned on day five needing only three wickets to make sure of the win and they cleaned up the Sri Lankan tail in just 31 minutes.

    "We were pretty confident," Root continued. "We knew we'd be able to create three chances on that surface, but we also recognised that when partnerships developed it became quite difficult.

    "We tried to stay as calm as possible, trust all the plans we had, and follow through on that, and thankfully it paid off."

    Root believes the performance demonstrates a tremendous strength in depth in England at the moment.

    "Look at the guys we've got on the sidelines," he added. "We've got some very exciting young players and a lot of experience, and for Stuart Broad [and Jonny Bairstow] to have no played a part in this series shows the strength of the squad, and the adaptability as well.

    "Around the world we could have played a very different side with a similar well-balanced look to it.

    "It's nice to be in a position where all 17 guys could walk into the team and it wouldn't look any less balanced, or out of place in these conditions."

  • In a spin: England's win against Sri Lanka sets new record In a spin: England's win against Sri Lanka sets new record

    England clinched their first away series victory since January 2016 with a 57-run win against Sri Lanka in Pallekele on Sunday, but the second Test was also notable for its record-breaking bowling stats.

    The match - which also sealed England's first series win in Sri Lanka since 2001 - saw 38 of the 40 wickets taken by spin bowlers, setting a new marker in Test cricket.

    Akila Dananjaya and Jack Leach took eight wickets apiece, while Dilruwan Perera was one off that pair with seven and Moeen Ali boasted six scalps.

    Malinda Pushpakumara and Adil Rashid each ended the match with four wickets and England captain Joe Root took one.

    Dimuth Karunaratne was run out by Ben Stokes during Sri Lanka's first innings, leaving Suranga Lakmal as the only non-spin bowler to claim a wicket.

    The previous best was 37 in a Test between India and New Zealand in 1969, while India clashes with Australia in 1956 and Pakistan in 1987 featured 35 spin wickets.

    The third and final Test gets under way in Colombo on Friday.

  • England seal series win over Sri Lanka England seal series win over Sri Lanka

    Jack Leach grabbed his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests as England sealed a series win over Sri Lanka with a 57-run victory on Sunday.

    Leach (5-83) and Moeen Ali (4-72) made quick work of the final three Sri Lanka wickets on day five of the second Test in Kandy.

    The result gave England a 2-0 lead in the three-Test series and marked their first series win in Sri Lanka since 2001.

    Resuming at 226-7, Sri Lanka still had hope of making the remaining 75 runs for victory.

    But those chances took a huge blow early, Niroshan Dickwella (35) edging Moeen to Ben Stokes at slip.

    Moeen struck again two balls later, a beautiful delivery beating Suranga Lakmal (0) through the gate and crashing into off stump.

    Leach completed his five-for with the final wicket, Malinda Pushpakumara (1) giving the left-arm spinner a return catch as England wrapped up their win.

    The final Test of the series begins in Colombo on Friday.

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