London: England cricket team spinners Dom Bess and Jack Leach have managed to leave their mark on Sri Lankan batsmen in the recently concluded series of tests. Despite this, former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene believes that the series of 4 tests against India from February 5 will be a big challenge for him.
Left arm spinner Jack Leach won 10 wickets in the two-game Test Series, while off-line spinner Dom Bess took 12 wickets as England won the series 2-0. Jayawardene said, “I think it’s going to be a very engaging series. It will be a good challenge for these players. This is the name of cricket. You have to go abroad and win the series of tests.
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He said: “These 2 spinners (base and leech) must have gained a lot of experience here but in India it will be a big challenge for them.” Jayawardene however believes that England are well prepared for the Indian series, especially in this series he will benefit from the services of versatile Ben Stokes and fast bowler Jofra Archer.
Both Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer were rested in the Sri Lanka series. Jayawardene said: “The return of Ben Stokes will be the biggest advantage for England as they are experienced and another lefty batsman will come in their first order which will be important.”
He said, “Jofra Archer can do something special with her fast, especially on slow wickets. Overall they are very well prepared. Opener Rory Burns was also included in the England squad for the Indian series, but Jayawardene said the challenge wouldn’t be easy for him.
He said: “ If Rory Burns starts the heats it will be a challenge for him. He hasn’t played much cricket lately. Jayawardene expressed his disappointment that he didn’t include wicket batsman Jonny Bairstow.
Mahela Jayawardene said: “He’s a veteran and especially considering how he hit in the series against Sri Lanka, he should have joined the team.” Kevin Pietersen also advocated the inclusion of Bairstow in the squad.