SL vs ENG 2021: Root, Bess star as England win first Test

SL vs ENG 2021: Root, Bess star as England win first Test
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  • Post last modified:January 19, 2021
  • Post category:Cricket
  • Reading time:4 mins read

England won the first Sri Lanka Test. Mickey Arthur laments his side’s “unacceptable” first-innings batting show during the defeat to England in the first test of SL vs ENG 2021 Test series.

  • England registered a seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka.
  • It was tricky, says Bairstow.
  • Head coach Mickey Arthur laments his side’s ‘unacceptable’

Cricket pundit Rob Key says Joe Root batted “out of this world” as he delivered a “perfect example” of how to play spin during his double century in England’s win over Sri Lanka in Galle.

England captain Root puta massive show onboard scored 228 – his 18th Test hundred and fourth double ton – and collected more runs with the sweep shot than he had done in any of his previous innings in his Test career for England.

Root batted out of this world

Sky Sports Cricket expert Rob Key said of England’s Captain Root, who passed 8,000 Test runs during his knock:

“Because he is such a good player, and because of the way he made it look so easy, you almost take it for granted.”

“It wasn’t that easy a pitch and he batted out of this world. He barely played and missed, barely put a foot wrong in terms of going forward to a ball he should have gone back to.”

“It was like every single decision in a double hundred he got right. He timed the ball beautifully – he never looks to hit the ball too hard.”

“I think it was as near a perfect knock as you can play in these conditions. If you wanted to know how to play spin or if you were coaching young players, this is the absolute template.”

“Defence, how to sweep, how to rotate strike – he gave a perfect example of every single part of playing spin.”


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Following the defeat to England in the first test match, former Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene added of Root:

“He batted on a different surface and was the difference between the sides – batting for long periods and controlling the situation.

“On a wicket like this, if a batsman can get 228 he is definitely going to be the man of the match as it is not easy. He didn’t give any clear-cut chances. He looked absolutely brilliant.”

Arthur: Sri Lanka’s first-innings ‘unacceptable’

Sri Lanka’s first-innings batting show was in complete contrast to Root’s, with a series of reckless shots seeing the hosts skittled in 46.1 overs, and Head coach Arthur was not moved by the show of his team during first test match of SL vs ENG 2021 series.

Dinesh Chandimal’s side fared better in their second knock, posting 359, but coach Mickey Arthur was left to lament their “unacceptable” day one.

He said: “Our first innings was very poor, it was an unacceptable batting performance. I was very happy with what I saw on days three and four but we can’t give up a Test match like we did on day one again and expect to get a positive result.”

“I take a lot of positivity out of how we responded but days one and two were unacceptable and can’t happen again for us to move forward.”

“Batting in Sri Lanka is all about patience, it’s about trusting your technique, wearing the opposition down and grinding away. The guys responded very nicely in the second innings but it was too late.”

The second and final Test of SL vs ENG 2021 series begins on Friday in Galle.

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