England in Sri Lanka – 2nd November 2018

There were 20 or so media representatives in the breakfast room at the Cinammon Grande Hotel this morning when news arrived that overnight thunderstorms and persistent morning rain had resulted in an early (and sensible) cancellation of the day’s play.

It was bad news for Jack Leach and a couple of other players who may have pushed their claims for a place in the first Test XI, but there’s nothing you can do about the weather.

Somerset left arm tweaker Leach admitted that he had “itchy feet” after not playing in the first two-day game but admitted that he would just have to “give it my best shot” if selected as the third spinner in Galle next Tuesday.

Guardian correspondent and lifelong Somerset man, Vic Marks, has no doubt about what England’s line-up should be: “Finger spinners have a history of success in Galle and Jack has a history of bowling well on turning pitches, as they have been in Taunton for the last few seasons. It’s not called ‘Ciderabad’ without reason these days.”

Buttler is a remarkably quiet, unimposing superstar, for those unused to engaging him. Softly spoken, fingers twitching, genuine consideration given to every question…you end up wondering whether he even knows any platitudes or clichés rather than waiting for the next one. Just look at the throng of media around him, and its intensity. It is not easy to speak with ease and honesty in the knowledge that eight consecutive questions regarding a fielder’s life may be directly attributed to your pull shot on to his head.

Anyway, in the absence of cricket today, the breaking news was that the second Test – scheduled for Pallekelle outside Kandy – might be moved to Colombo. The reason? There is only one five-star hotel in Pallekelle. The owners have double, or even triple booked their rooms. England will not compromise on their routine of staying in five star accommodation. The England supporters who have booked their rooms in the Earl’s Regency face an awkward and unwelcome decision. Keep the rooms – and there’ll be no Test match. Give them to the England squad, and they’ll have nowhere to stay to watch them.

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