A short yet tough winter tour of Sri Lanka awaits England in the coming months. Joe Root’s men will begin their three-match Test series in November. Before that, Eoin Morgan’s troops will play five ODI’s and one T20i starting on October 10th.
Questions such as: Who can score more runs in SL, Boycott’s mum or Jennings? Why haven’t Australia been awarded the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ award? And who will wake me up at four in the morning to watch this Test series?
Anyhow, let’s take a look at who could be on that plane to the sub-continent:
There will be absolute certainties for the three-match series. From captain Joe Root to livewire Ben Stokes. There is talk that one of Jimmy Anderson or Stuart Broad could be rested for this tour. But, with Christmas off and the next Test series starting in January, that is unlikely to happen.
Spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid will also be on that plane. But which other spinner will join them? In terms of batsmen, it will be a major surprise if the Championships top scorer, Rory Burns misses out. The left-handed opener helped Surrey win the Division One title, scoring well over 1000 runs. Other than that, don’t expect any major surprises when it comes to the more senior and established players.
As mentioned above, England will be looking to take three spinners to the dust bowls of Sri Lanka. Two are already locked into their seats. But could Somerset’s Jack Leach join them? The left-arm spinner has taken a healthy 27 wickets from his ten matches after injury at the start of the season. Not only that, he would provide the variety that Root has craved overseas. Youngster Amar Virdi has also enjoyed a successful campaign at the Oval. Despite his 35 wickets this season, his inexperience and similarities to Moeen could result in him missing out.
Batsman Ollie Pope, who played two games against India, could be taken as a back-up. In terms of fast bowlers, could England make room for Somerset quick Jamie Overton or Warwickshire’s Ollie Stone? England need that extra bite in their bowling and giving either duo the chance would be a wise move. Both have taken 59 wickets between them from 15 matches (Division One & Two). Added with their wicket taking ability, they both have something England desperately need. Pace!
Flying With Ryanair
Keaton Jennings. Enjoy your flight to Ibiza, mate! In all seriousness, he will be starting the Galle Test alongside Burns. If it was up to me, I would take one more candidate, Jason Roy. Many will disagree but his level of talent excites me. More importantly, talent and big averages in domestic cricket aside. Roy has the mental toughness to produce the goods at the top of the order. He showcased that after winning back his place in the ODI setup after being dropped during the 2017 Champions Trophy. Roy is a risk. But just like Jos Buttler, he is a risk worth taking.