Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Need a Day of the Jekyll for a Thorough Test; Another Poor Batting Performance from Sri Lankans Will Provide Little Benefit for Strauss's Team with Bigger Games Ahead

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Need a Day of the Jekyll for a Thorough Test; Another Poor Batting Performance from Sri Lankans Will Provide Little Benefit for Strauss's Team with Bigger Games Ahead

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse Cricket Correspondent Cricket brought to you in association with

ENGLAND'S final-day performance to bowl out Sri Lanka for 82 in Cardiff was Test cricket at its compelling best but it is crucial for Andrew Strauss's side that the tourists are competitive again at Lord's.

The excellent bowling of Chris Tremlett and Graeme Swann on Monday has quickly generated excitement about a series that might have slipped under the radar had the Welsh rain ensured a draw in the First npower Test.

Yet to keep the supporters' interest levels high, Dr Jekyll, rather than Mr Hyde, must turn up for Sri Lanka tomorrow.

As heartening as it is to see the home bowlers tearing through their opponents, another supine batting display from Tillakaratne Dilshan's team will provide little benefit to anyone.

Later this summer, England will face India, the team top of the ICC Test rankings.

It is vital that, before taking on Sachin Tendulkar and company, Strauss and his players have had their talent tested thoroughly by Sri Lanka.

To give Dilshan's men their due, their batting in the first-innings was resolute but their bowling lacked penetration and then their effort when they batted again was dire.

It is fortunate for England that Stuart Law, Sri Lanka's resourceful Australian coach, will not allow his players -- some of whom, including Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, were playing in the Indian Premier League last month -- to adopt an easy attitude to the remainder of the series.

Law was so alarmed at Sri Lanka's ineptitude against the short ball in the final innings in Cardiff that he immediately recruited 17-year-old MCC cricketer Kieron Garside, who is 6ft 5ins, to bowl at his players in practice yesterday.

Garside will not carry the same threat as England's likely pace trio of Chris Tremlett (6ft 7ins), Steve Finn (6ft 7ins) and Stuart Broad (6ft 5ins) but it is clear where Law believes Sri Lanka's weakness lies.

The absence of Jimmy Anderson with a side strain is likely to mean Finn is given the nod ahead of Jade Dernbach, allowing England the chance to field one of the tallest pace attacks to have played the international game and Law is wary of the threat they carry.

"It is very hard not to be intimidated as a batsman when you are facing up to 6ft 8ins bowlers and you are well below 6ft," Law said. "But our players are naturally aggressive and we have to carry on playing like that.

"When Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh were bowling for the West Indies, maybe they were not always superexpress pace but it's pretty awkward when they can get the ball up to head height and it's the same with some of the current England bowlers.

"Our players will have to work out a method to get by. They have faced tall bowlers in the past so they know they can do it but it is a matter of getting out there and playing better cricket. …

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