Root’s England target rare series sweep in Sri Lanka
London : England will look to complete the rare feat of securing a 3-0 series sweep in Sri Lanka when Joe Root`s confident touring side take on the depleted hosts in the third and final Test .
Ricky Ponting`s all-conquering Australian side were the first to win 3-0 in Sri Lanka 14 years ago, while a Virat Kohli-led India repeated the feat in August last year.
Having ended a 17-year-long wait for a series win in Sri Lanka, England will climb a place to second spot in Test rankings behind India, who they defeated 4-1 at home this year, reversing a 4-0 away series loss to Kohli`s side at the end of 2016.
“Only two sides have won 3-0 here… and they were both the number one side,” Root told reporters this week. “So it would give the guys a huge amount of confidence if we could carry the momentum, skill levels and smart nature with which we`ve played these first two tests into the next one.
“It would be a nice follow-on to this tour to be going on and playing in India now. It`s a very difficult place to go and play, but we would have a good chance. Better than we had previously.It`s hard to say (how we would do), but the most important thing is that we`re on that upward curve. We`re where we want to be,”he added.
The hosts have been weakened by the loss of spin ace Rangana Herath to retirement after the opening Test in Galle and they will also be deprived of promising off-spinner Akila Dananjaya, who took eight wickets in the last match in Pallekele, including career-best figures of 6-115 in the second innings.