Root wants Eng­land to build on rare road win

Oman Daily Observer - - TENNIS / BASKETBALL -

GALLE: Eng­land skip­per Joe Root is hop­ing the drought-snapping test vic­tory over Sri Lanka on Fri­day will prove just the start of a run of suc­cess away from home for his team.

The 211-run vic­tory was the first away win for Eng­land in 14 tests go­ing back more than two years, a first on the road un­der Root’s cap­taincy and only a fourth de­feat for Sri Lanka at Galle in their last 14 matches at the venue.

“It’s not just us, like we’re the only side that strug­gles away from home, it’s across the board in test cricket,” the 27-year-old bats­man told re­porters.

“That makes it even sweeter when you do come to a very dif­fi­cult venue, like Galle, and man­age to win.

“Hope­fully we can build on this and it’s not just a one-off for us. We can go to Kandy with huge amounts of con­fi­dence and look to still im­prove and get bet­ter.”

Sri Lanka were dis­ap­pointed not to give spin-bowl­ing great Ran­gana Herath a win in his last match and have con­cerns over the fit­ness of cap­tain Di­nesh Chandimal, who suf­fered a groin strain dur­ing the match.

“Chandimal’s in­jury is grade one tear, and it will take 10 to 14 days to re­cover, so it will be touch and go for the sec­ond test match,” coach Chandika Hathu­rus­ingha said.

“We’ll wait and see how his body re­cov­ers be­fore we make the call. If he is not 100 per cent fit, he may not play. We have to look at a re­place­ment or standby player for him.”

Eng­land wicket-keeper Ben Foakes was named Man of the Match af­ter scor­ing a cen­tury in his maiden test in­nings, which could leave the tourists with a se­lec­tion headache of their own.

Reg­u­lar glove­man Jonny Bairstow is ex­pected to re­cover from an an­kle in­jury and be avail­able to play in the sec­ond match of the se­ries start­ing in Kandy on Thurs­day.

While Foakes said he was happy just to have had the chance to play the long­est for­mat of the game for his coun­try, Root said th­ese were the kind of tough de­ci­sions any cap­tain would want to have to make.

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