We are not one-trick pony anymore, says England skipper Joe Root
England skipper Joe Root says his team have shown that they can win after from home after visitors beat Sri Lanka by 42 runs to secure Test series whitewash
Joe Root believes England's triumphant Test tour of Sri Lanka proves they are no "one-trick pony" and is ready to embrace rising expectations around his side. Jack Leach took three of the six required wickets as well as a vitally important run out to seal a 42-run win. Chasing a ground record 327 and starting on 53-4, Kusal Mendis (86) and Roshen Silva (65) both made major inroads before a last-wicket stand worth 58 threatened the unlikeliest of turnarounds in the third Test.
Leach's left-arm spin earned him figures of 4-72, and the match-winning wicket of Malinda Pushpakumara four balls after tea, but it was a right-arm throw that did the most damage. He rattled the stumps from 40 yards to see off Mendis and break an ominous 102-run partnership with Roshen.
Most of England's recent successes have come in seam-friendly conditions at home and they arrived on tour winless in the last 13 matches overseas, a sequence they banished in style with victories in Galle and Kandy before ensuring a clean sweep here yesterday. The last time an English touring team landed a whitewash in a series of three or more games came in New Zealand back in 1963 and the only other occasion dates back to the days of Lord Hawke in the 19th century.
To have done so on three spinning wickets, effectively outperforming Sri Lanka in their own strongest suit and jettisoning generations of struggles against the turning ball, is a source of considerable pride for the captain. "It's all about being adaptable and we've shown we can do that here," Root said after the match.
"We've shown we are not a one-trick pony in our own conditions any more and that should fill us with a huge amount of confidence going into future tours. "We've got to be open to doing things differently wherever we go, we've done it a certain way in these conditions but it will be different in the West Indies next year and obviously very different in Australia next time we're over there and in South Africa," he added.
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