England in Sri Lanka – 24th October 2018

The only important question for the dominant England team is whether these occasional ‘blips’ are just that – blips. Or are they symptomatic of something more serious – a tendency to flop spectacularly when least expected.

The suspicion was that the introduction of three bowlers who hadn’t bowled a ball in anger between them seriously disrupted a winning XI and Eoin Morgan’s decision to omit himself and give Jos Buttler a game as captain also undermined the stability of the team. Buttler may not have done anything obviously wrong or controversial but it was hard to imagine the descent of the players into moody niggling at each other and stroppy disaffection with Morgan in charge.

The pitch was as innocent and well-behaved as a choirboy under the baking sun but it lived up considerably under the lights and suddenly offered some assistance to the seamers, in particular.

Sam and Tom Curran became the first brothers to play for England since Adam and Ben Hollioake in 1999 but they endured a horrible day during which they bickered with each and were hammered by a rampant Sri Lankan top order.

There will be time over the next few days to finally visit the restaurant owned by Kumar Sangakkara and our fellow commentator on TalkSport for this series, Mahela Jayawardene. The “Ministry of Crab” serves its signature crustaceans by weight. The “crabzilla’ comes in at 2kg. It is not served on a plate – it arrives on a platter carried by two waiters. It also costs $US185-00. OUCH.

 


Proof of how progressive Sri Lanka has become as a country comes with the sight of a new statue in downtime Colombo commemorating something which once fundamentally chamged the world but is now obsolete. Poor old Alexander Graham Bell. (Actually I have no idea why it is there. Slightly odd.)

The solitary T20 International takes place at the R.Premadasa Stadium on Saturday. Chris Jordan has flown over as the solitary T20 specialist for a game of rare insignificance. But don’t bother telling the crowd that,. A near-sellout is expected.

 

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