Another result in Sri Lanka should come as no surprise – they don’t do any draws – but my suggested changes in England for the second test could do.
There’s a lot of shouting for Surrey wicketkeeper Ben Foakes to play and, up 1-0 in the series, what’s the fix? I’d drop Dom Sibley. He doesn’t look forward to running.
Jonny Bairstow scored 82 for one time this week, hitting on three, so I’d put him up one place, ask Dan Lawrence to come in first and let Foakes slide at seven – then you win the series.
Dom Sibley had to forget a test against Sri Lanka, and David Lloyd thinks he should be impeached
Lloyd would put Jonny Bairstow (left) one place up in the order as England looked for another win
I’ll explain my thinking. During the 2019 Ashes, England devised a hare-brained plan to promote one of the openers from one-day cricket to open in Test match cricket.
But in Jason Roy they chose the wrong one. Bairstow has six Test centuries and has proven to be a real addition to the team when he is recalled.
There is also competition for the gloves. Yes, Jos Buttler was excellent in this match, but England is always aware of setting up a long batting line-up and the inclusion of Foakes would reinforce that.
Sri Lanka will make sure the second test field is a ragged Bunsen burner – and that should encourage rotation behind the stumps, because in that heat up, down, up, down is energy draining.
Dan Lawrence (left) completed an impressive first appearance with 21 not out in the win
There will be a lot of spin bowling and it will be tough on the body.
People readily accept plans to swap the fast bowlers to combat fatigue. But what about the physical demands placed on the wicket-keeper?
That’s a job. You can refresh players in such extreme conditions. For example, they will say to Stuart Broad, “Three wickets, fantastic effort, now put your feet up.”
A top player stayed on the bench, just like in football. Nothing to do with his performance in the last game, but because the manager wants him to shoot completely in the game that follows.
My team: Crawley, Bairstow, Lawrence, Root (capt), Buttler, Curran, Foakes (wkt), Bess, Leach, Mahmood, Anderson.
Not for me, Bumble. I would play the same batsmen, keep Jos Buttler as wicket-keeper and keep the same spinners. Jack Leach and Dom Bess need to keep bowling and improving. Rotation should be limited to the seamers.
There are 16 more tests this year and, with tricky conditions for the faster men in Galle, I would equip some, if not all, of the players who played in the first. So Jimmy Anderson for Stuart Broad, Olly Stone for Mark Wood, and possibly Chris Woakes for Sam Curran – although the latter could rightly be given another game for not being over-bowled.
My team: Sibley, Crawley, Bairstow, Root (capt), Lawrence, Buttler (wkt), Curran / Woakes, Bess, Leach, Stone, Anderson.
Ex-skipper Nasser Hussain would keep Jos Buttler, who gave a great show behind the stumps
Sorry, Bumble, it’s insane to propose that Dom drop Sibley after a bad test. Yes, he will be under pressure from Rory Burns when England goes to India, but he has shown that he can make Test centuries and trying to replicate that in Asia is the next and biggest stage of his development.
But I would hire Jimmy Anderson for Stuart Broad and Olly Stone for Mark Wood. Otherwise England should remain unchanged.
My team: Sibley, Crawley, Bairstow, Root (capt), Lawrence, Buttler (wkt), Curran, Bess, Leach, Stone, Anderson.
I don’t think you can drop Dom Sibley after a bad test. With five more appearances in Sri Lanka and India, you would admit he shouldn’t have toured in the first place.
If he’s going to make it as a long-term opener, he should get the chance to figure out how to play spider in Asia.
Stuart Broad is a name that could be dialed in the five Tests to come in Sri Lanka and India
The changes I would make are to bowling, because of rest and rotation: Anderson for Broad, Olly Stone’s pace for Mark Wood’s pace, who tends not to play back-to-back Tests due to his history with injuries, and Chris Woakes for Sam Curran, to amplify the battle of the lower order a bit.
My team: Sibley, Crawley, Bairstow, Root (capt), Lawrence, Buttler (wkt), Woakes, Bess, Leach, Stone, Anderson.
You’ve certainly opened a debate with this one, Bumble, but the changes should be reserved for the bowling unit.
The pre-series plan to divide the duties of the new ball between Broad and Anderson has to be carried out and I would add a third spinner too.
Rarely have really fast bowlers been successful in Galle. And when Mitchell Starc of Australia did well five years ago, with match scores of 11 for 94, Sri Lanka still won with a landslide of 229 runs thanks to 18 wickets via spin and a run out.
Drier conditions later this week suggest the spinning ball will play an even more prominent role in the second game than the first, so I would pick one of the wrist spinners, Matt Parkinson or Mason Crane, from the reserve ranks.
My team: Sibley, Crawley, Bairstow, Root (capt), Lawrence, Buttler (wkt), Curran, Bess, Leach, Parkinson / Crane, Anderson.