Sri Lanka were thrashed in South Africa last week but they have unfinished business with England on the spinning pitches of home
SRI LANKA are determined to make amends for the ‘hurt’ their 2018 Test series whitewash at home to England caused them.
And in coach Mickey Arthur they have now got a master international coach who has enjoyed plenty of success against England over the years during his time in charge of South Africa and Pakistan.
Arthur has admitted his side will need to ‘box clever’ to cope with a raft of injuries, including to key batsman Dhananjaya de Silva, that saw them lose 2-0 to South Africa this month.
But he knows the fact they are back at home will help, with conditions certain to be more suitable to a side for whom spin is king.
“With guys out of the first Test we have to box clever,” said Arthur. “I think Sri Lanka were hit hard by the 3-0, I didn’t think they expected it. We will certainly be prepared for that
“The pace and bounce of the Wanderers was too much for the guys to handle, especially with a young side. I suspect it is going to turn a bit, in fact I know it will. It will be typically Sri Lankan conditions.
I am comfortable that our guys in those conditions are technically a lot more streetwise than they are against the fast bouncing ball.
“Our guys grow a leg when they come back into their own conditions, they become taller, bigger, stronger, because they are at home and know what to do.”
Arthur is also confident England will benefit from having his former Protea all rounder Jacques Kallis in the dressing room, as one of the game’s finest batsmen.
“I had a chuckle about it,” added Arthur. “I didn’t think I’d face both Mark Boucher and then Jacques within a week of each other.
“He has a wealth of experience to tap into and when Jacques talks, guys listen. Each batsman will get something out of him, I’m sure.”