File image of Mahela Jayawardene.(Getty Images)
File image of Mahela Jayawardene.(Getty Images)

'They're well prepared': Mahela Jayawardene has his say on India vs England Test series

Jayawardene said the return of vice-captain Ben Stokes, and fast bowler Jofra Archer will keep them in good shape for the four-match Test series against India starting from February 5 in Chennai.
By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 02:10 PM IST

Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene believes England are ‘well prepared’ to face India in their own backyard despite the Virat Kohli-led side being at the top of their game with a victory in Australia acting as a huge boost.

Jayawardene said the return of vice-captain Ben Stokes, and fast bowler Jofra Archer will keep them in good shape for the four-match Test series against India starting from February 5 in Chennai.

"Getting Ben Stokes back will be a massive advantage for England because he will bring that experience and be another left-handed batsman in their top-order which can be crucial," Jayawardene told Sky Sports.

Also Read | Virat Kohli has made India a tough side, can't be bullied: Nasser Hussain

"Jofra Archer will bring something to the table with his pace, especially on slower wickets. So I think overall they are very well prepared," he said.

Both Stokes and Archer were not part of the Sri Lanka series, which England won 2-0.

"I think that's going to be a very exciting series and a very good challenge for this group of players. That's what cricket is all about. You need to go away and win the Test series," The former Sri Lanka cricketer added.

Jayawardene cautioned England spinners Dom Bess and Jack Leach saying bowling to Indian batsman in their home conditions will be a different challenge altogether.

Also Read | 'Forget Pietersen, Gower, my runs; Root can break Tendulkar's world record'

"The two spinners (Bess and Leach) will have learned a lot here but it will be a bigger challenge in India."

Opener Rory Burns has also been called for the India assignment but it won't be easy for him to be battle-ready for international cricket, according to the Sri Lankan.

Burns, who has an experience of 21 Tests under his belt, last played in domestic matches at home, about four months back. "It will be a challenge for Rory Burns if he opens. He hasn’t played much cricket lately."

Jayawardene was also "disappointed" that wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow is not in the squad "given his experience and the way he batted in this (Sri Lanka) series". "He should be at that touring party."

(With PTI inputs)

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