'They're well prepared': Mahela Jayawardene has his say on India vs England Test series
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.
"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.
"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)
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- India head coach Ravi Shastri responded to a meme on him that was shared by columnist Shobha De.
- England decided to send Ali back after the 2nd Test and it backfired. England played three seamers on a turning pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium and they dearly missed Moeen’s services in the 3rd Test.
- “England got sucked into thinking they were playing a pink ball test in Adelaide not Ahmedabad,” he added.
- In due course, Ashwin also became the second-fastest bowler to scalp 400 wickets in Test cricket. He ended scalping 7 wickets in the pink-ball Test which India won comprehensively by 10 wickets.
- The Test match ended inside two days with India winning it with 10 wickets to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-match series. The result also knocked England out of the World Test Championship final race.