One is shocked and surprised to see England’s batsmen fail against a young and fairly inexperienced Sri Lanka pace attack. This after getting an excellent start to their domestic season. Apart from Nick Compton and Alex Hales every batsman in the current English Test XI scored a first class century this season.
Interestingly English bowlers were able to maintain their good domestic performance in first Test match. Although only Anderson manage to pick a five wkt haul, yet rest of the pack had decent wickets in their bag.
Here is how they performed in the current first class season.
Below table features current England’s playing XI first class performance (including 1st Test) inning wise. Also featuring is phase wise performance of 1st Test match.
|Below tables is phase wise performance of both teams.|
As a matter of fact this has been before with English batsmen. They start their home series moderately inspite a good domestic start. Last year at home against NZ and Aus there was only one century partnership(opening stand of 177 v/s NZ) for first 3 wicket. The average runs scored for top three wickets are –
1st wkt : 32.21 (one century + no fifties)
2nd wkt : 22.00 (only one fifty)
3rd wkt – 27.80 (four fifty).
It is the 4th (51.40) & 5th wkt (51.60) partnership which gives England enough support and runs for to post decent total.
Sri Lanka only have themselves to blame. After dominating the first day, they were not able to constrain Bairstow. The last 10 overs of England’s innings went at 5 runs an over. This marginal advantage was the momentum England wanted.
The weather and pitch remained the same. It was the first day accuracy that was missing from Sri Lanka bowling.
England on the other hand despite having a modest score their bowler used the condition exceptionally. Both James Anderson and Stuart Broad played havoc on fragile Sri Lankans. Consistently picking wickets in each 10-over phase and keeping the run-rate to less than 3 runs(1st innings).
Sri Lanka’s recent Test performance.
Sri Lankans are having a torrid time with the bat in Test cricket. Since June last year in 11 Tests they managed just two scores of 400 plus, and 14 times were dismissed inside 300. They have relied heavily on their middle order to score runs consistently. The opening stand is not having a great start. The average runs for 1st wkt is 22.24, with 71 being the highest opening stand(only 3 fifty stands).
Inspite of this, their selectors have kept faith in the same batsmen (Kaushal Silva & Dimuth Karunaratne) to open the innings. Hoping same should be the case in ongoing Test series, because as of now they have used 22 players in last 11 Tests!.
Sri Lanka batting order.The top order lacks consistency. Below is sum of runs scored by each batting order in last 5 Test series(centuries are in bracket).
|serieswise(2015) batting performance by Sri Lanka|
|serieswise(2015) bowling performance by Sri Lanka.|
All data updated at end of 1st Test at Leeds(May 19-23),2016.