Sri Lanka vs England 1st Test Day 1 Live Cricket Score: As England move on and play their first Test since Alastair Cook, Sri Lanka ready themselves to play their final Test alongside Rangana Herath – two longtime members of their respective teams and two star performers through their careers. Cook’s departure leaves a massive gap to fill for Joe Root’s side. Sri Lanka will face the same question mark by the second Test but for now, they can rely on crafty Herath for one final time. England could well chop and change as they did against India while Sri Lanka are unlikely to make many changes on a surface that is expected to assist spin.
Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka will most likely go with three spinners – one of them obviously being Heraht – with Akila Dhananjaya and Dilruwan Perera expected to get the nod.
England: As England move to a post-Cook era, Rory Burns will open the batting alongside Keaton Jennings. Bairstow misses out with an injury putting either Ben Foakes or Chris Woakes in line for a place. Jack Leach and Adil Rashid are expected to be the spinners.
Three things go together when it comes to Test cricket at Galle – rain, spin and Herath. All three factors will come in to play at one point or the other as Sri Lanka host England in a three-match series.
Rain – There has been overnight rain going into the Test and that could play a part in the contest. Things, at the moment, don’t look bleak for a start.
Spin – Over to Dinesh Chandimal in the press conference to highlight this one “When you’re playing in Galle, definitely the spinners will come into play. Going by that point, we can be ahead of England. We can give them a good fight in the test series.”
Herath – Chandimal once again, “Rangana Herath has done really well in Galle and we look up to him to win us one more game.” Herath needs one more wicket to complete 100 test wickets in Galle, a rare achievement. Only countryman Muttiah Muralitharan and England’s James Anderson have taken 100 or more wickets at a single venue. The crafty spinner has 430 wickets going into his final Test and five more would lift him on the all-time wicket-takers’ list from 10th to seventh, surpassing Richard Hadlee, Stuart Broad, and Kapil Dev.
Sri Lanka vs England 1st Test Day 1: Sri Lanka hope Rangana Herath has a little magic left in his 40-year-old left arm to give them a victorious start to the Test series with England from Tuesday. Herath is playing his final Test, his 93rd since his debut in 1999. The former Sri Lanka skipper is retiring from all forms of cricket in Galle after this first Test of three. Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal is confident they can exploit England’s inexperienced top order in spin-friendly conditions at a venue that has been a fortress for Sri Lanka. England hasn’t won its previous four Tests in Galle. (AP)