At the start of the year, England were getting skittled out for just 58 by New Zealand. Eight months later and they have just completed a stunning whitewash of Sri Lanka in their own backyard. A stunning turnaround for Joe Root’s men. You would have got incredible odds on the best betting sites if you had suggested England would head to Sri Lanka and win three, yes three, nil.

This has been the biggest turnaround since Joe Denly’s return to the England side after eight years where he was, erm, picked to play in one T20 match throughout a whole tour.

Let’s dive straight into the player ratings.


Burns – Two early dismissals for Burns in this game, who would have been disappointed with his shot selection in the first innings. 3/10

Jennings – The way Jennings is going, he could get into the team for his fielding alone. An impressive six catches taken from the opener. At last, he is showing some consistency, shame he doesn’t have a bat in hand! 6/10

Bairstow – An angry ginger Yorkshireman isn’t a pleasant sight for anybody! Bairstow channelled all that anger and produced arguably his best Test performance to date. 8/10

Root – Played at a decent pace with the bat in the first innings, but Root would have been disappointed in the manner he got out in the second. Saying that, his rotation of his bowlers was a standout in this game. 7/10

Stokes – Typical Stokes performance. Involved in near-on everything. 9/10

Buttler – It’s fair to say that Buttler has found his sweet spot in this England line-up. He’s making it look so easy. 7/10

Ali – Decent contributions with the bat, but he came to the party when England needed him most in that fourth innings. 8/10

Foakes – the Surrey players 36 in England’s second innings proved to be extremely vital. Aside from Foakes’ batting, he is showcasing a serious natural talent with the gloves. 6/10

Rashid – Worked his magic in the first innings to give his side a healthy lead. Perhaps his best game in the whites of England. 9/10

Broad – Showed great inner strength to not ask or call for a single review throughout the match. What a man! 10/10

Leach – The sandwich between Moeen and Rashid. Is it edible? Erm, let’s ask Samit Patel? 8/10

Sri Lanka

Gunathilaka – First appearance of the series for Gunathilaka, who was one of six victims to fall at the hands of Mr Consistent, Jennings to me and you. He needs to take care of his behaviour as well, since he was already suspended for misconduct. 3/10

Karunaratne – Impressive first innings display. Batted at a decent pace, but just couldn’t add those extra runs that would have hurt the opposition. 7/10

de Silva – Another player who produced the goods in the first innings, but couldn’t back it up during the run chase. 7/10

Mendis – The youngster was on a role during SL’s run chase before he was run out by Leach. It proved to be a game-changing moment. 7/10

Matthews – He was a victim of Stokes (not in that way) during both innings. For such an experienced player, his shot selection during the run chase perhaps explained why he is no longer SL captain. 1/10

Silva – Showed application in this game, once again. Unfortunately, players around him couldn’t back him up. 7/10

Dickwella – Another poor display with the bat for SL’s attack-minded wicket-keeper. 3/10

Perera – Solid contributions from Perera once again. 7.5/10

Lakmal – Conditions were better for the quick’s compared to the previous games, but he couldn’t make use of them. 3/10

Sandakan – The left-arm Chinaman was a joy to watch because of the uniqueness he brought to the game. A well-deserved five-fer in the first innings. However, his economy rate of over four throughout the match proved to be costly against this attack-minded England side. 6/10

Pushpakumara – Gave Root and Co. a little scare towards the end of the match when he turned into a top order batsman. Not a top order Sri Lankan batsman, of course. 6/10