Sri Lanka head to England with the clear tag of the underdogs. Things were completely different the last time around a couple of years ago, as Sri Lanka was a really strong side thanks to the presence of the magical Kumar Sangakkara. At the same juncture, England were struggling horribly in tests and even lost the series 1-0 to Sri Lanka.
Now, though, the tables have turned and with the retirements of Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka looks quite vulnerable. England, on the other hand, is the team to beat with a rejuvenated Alastair Cook at the scheme of things. Going on the tour, it will be incredibly difficult for the Sri Lankans to challenge England in their own backyard.
Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford seemed positive at a press conference and backed the Sri Lankans. “In our batting group, having lost a couple of senior players, there are some new young guys who have come in,” Ford said. “They’ve worked extremely hard in the last few weeks. We’ve been fortunate enough in Colombo to train on some pitches that are similar to what we’re likely to get in England. That’s been pleasing to see how those younger players have been adapting to those conditions. Of course, it’s going to be a huge mental challenge for them, because it is going to be about grinding out big hundreds. A lot of that comes from having done it and experience.”
Ford spoke about the difficulties which all touring teams face in England, adding, “Any team going to England in the early summer finds it hard.” “Especially coming from the subcontinent, it’s more of an adjustment. As has been documented, it is a team in transition, so some extra challenges probably face us. But it is exciting anyway to see how the young lads step up and to see whether they’re up for international cricket and whether they want to be international cricketers for a long period of time.