SL vs Eng Test series: James Anderson declares, “Sri Lanka have slight advantange”

SL vs Eng Test series: James Anderson declares, “Sri Lanka have slight advantange”: England pace spearhead James Anderson feels hosts Sri Lanka may have an upper hand in the upcoming Test series slated to be played later this month.

Anderson, who is the first pacer in the history of Test cricket to scalp 600 wickets, feels his side didn’t get the time for “a lot of practice” so the situation isn’t ideal for them. The right-arm fast bowler reckons Sri Lanka has a “slight advantage” as the hosts will lock horns with England after competing in a two-match series against South Africa. “The whole situation is not ideal for us. We have not got a long preparation [period] for this series and don’t have a lot of practice for the first Test, so it’s slightly unusual in that respect,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Anderson is saying.

“We just have to make the best of it, hit the ground running if and when we get out of quarantine. It’s not going to be ideal and we know Sri Lanka has been playing Test cricket which maybe gives them a slight advantage. It’s something we are going to have to cope with as best we can and be right on the money,” he added.

Anderson is eager to play the game and feels it will be a different challenge for England as the tour of Sri Lanka is going to be a tough series for the seamers.

“The fact we’ve not played any cricket as a Test side for quite a few months means we’re all hungry to get out there and start playing again,” said Anderson.

“They’re obviously difficult tours for seamers. But it doesn’t make it less exciting; it’s just a different challenge. There’s reverse swing; the new ball does swing. Our job might be about shorter spells and [fewer] overs in the day,” he added.

England has already received a major blow after all-rounder Moeen Ali tested positive for coronavirus following the team’s arrival at the Sri Lanka airport. The England Test squad led by skipper Joe Root arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday ahead of the upcoming two-match Test series, beginning January 14.

All members of England’s touring party had tested negative for coronavirus before departure but the apex board on Monday confirmed that Moeen tested positive for COVID-19 after PCR tests were done.

Moeen is observing a period of 10-days self-isolation, in accordance with the Sri Lanka Government’s protocol on quarantine.

Chris Woakes has been deemed as a possible close contact, and he will observe a period of self-isolation and further testing. Ahead of the Test series against Sri Lanka, England had also appointed former South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis as their batting consultant.
After Sri Lanka, England will lock horns in a four-match Test series against India slated to begin from February 5 in Chennai.