Cricket 2 years ago

Preview: England Primed for Test Series Victory at Durham

  • Preview: England Primed for Test Series Victory at Durham
  • Preview: England Primed for Test Series Victory at Durham

The age old adage concerning England's exploits in home conditions were done no harm to, as a "Jonny and James" inspired England stomped their way through to what was an inevitable, if not the perfect victory. Fittingly, it was James Anderson, whose 10/45 - an absolute masterclass in swing bowling - saw Sri Lanka being on the wrong end of something that is no less than art. 

Alastair Cook's turbocharged England now move to Chester-Le-Street, Durham, currently home to the archetypal English conditions, and more or less a graveyard for touring teams' batting line-ups, especially those as fragile as the hosts'. The same, however, can be said of England, albeit in a differing intensity.

While Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow's commendable efforts to steer what seemed a sunk ship at one stage, served as a reflection of the invidual ability Trevor Bayliss has in his side for times of crisis, question marks still hang over some of the players, including Alex Hales whose lacklustre 86, although an excellent knock, wasn't what he is in the side for. 

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Also, Nick Compton and Moeen Ali are yet to nail down their respective spots. They have had flashes of brilliance so far, but those too have been far and few in between. The upcoming test may be the last chance for the two,  so it better be a good one for them or replacements would have to be considered.

Sri Lanka may have appeared to be a bunch of milquetoasts at Leeds as England's bowlers tore them to pieces, but that is no reason to ignore the huge scope there is for improvement in a fast-progressing side, having already seen how appalingly England batted against a below-average bowling line-up. 

Alastair Cook and company are primed for a win at Durham, but it's not a win that would matter as much as the way of winning it would. 

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