Home News Jayawardene rates England’s chances of beating India after Sri Lanka win

Jayawardene rates England’s chances of beating India after Sri Lanka win

Mahela Jayawardene was impressed by England’s victory over Sri Lanka (Pictures: Getty)

Mahela Jayawardene believes England are ‘very well prepared’ to face India following their impressive Test series victory over Sri Lanka.

Captain Joe Root scored 426 in four innings to lead England to a 2-0 win over Sri Lanka. England will now travel to India ahead of the four-Test series which starts on February 5.

Root’s side will be buoyed by the return of all-rounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Jofra Archer – who were both rested against Sri Lanka – although Jonny Bairstow and Sam Curran will not be involved in the first two Tests due to England’s rotation policy.

Assessing England’s chances of beating India, former Sri Lanka captain Jayawardene told Sky Sports: ‘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 Test series.

‘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.

‘It will be a challenge for Rory Burns if he opens. He hasn’t played much cricket lately. I’m disappointed Bairstow is leaving the squad given his experience and the way he batted in this series. He should be in that tour party.

‘Jofra Archer will bring something to the table with his pace, especially on slower wickets. So I think overall they [England] are very well prepared.

India pulled off a miraculous win over Australia (Picture: Getty)

‘The two spinners [Dom Bess and Jack Leech] will have learnt a lot here but it will be a bigger challenge in India.’

Root was named the Player of the Series after scoring a stunning double century in the first Test and 186 in the first innings of the second.

But England’s bowlers also impressed, with Bess taking 12 wickets and Leach ten. James Anderson and Stuart Broad, despite only playing one match each, contributed nine wickets between them.

Reacting to England’s victory over Sri Lanka, former captain Michael Vaughan said: ‘Sri Lanka are a poor team but England have been questioned with their spinners.

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‘They will have to bowl better in India. But the confidence that this will do for the team, and for Joe Root at the start of a huge year, is huge.

‘A really, really strong performance from England. If you look down from one to 11, most people have contributed.

‘This isn’t a great Sri Lankan team, and neither was the one they beat last time, but to win five Tests in a row in these conditions is a great effort. It is an amazing achievement if you think of the heat and lack of preparation.’

England’s four-match Test series against India starts on February 5 in Chennai.

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