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Joe Root Eyes Top Spot in Test Rankings After Sealing Series Against Sri Lanka

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: November 18, 2018, 11:28 AM IST
Joe Root Eyes Top Spot in Test Rankings After Sealing Series Against Sri Lanka

A file photo of Joe Root. (Twitter/ BBC Sport)

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England captain Joe Root has his eyes set on reaching the summit of the Test rankings after his side completed a series win over Sri Lanka on Sunday, by claiming victory in the second Test at Pallekele to take a 2-0 lead with a match to go.

“It was a brilliant Test match,” said Root at the post match presentation. “I thought we were very good in the whole game really. At times we were under pressure and we responded really well to that.

“Sri Lanka played brilliantly in both innings but we stayed calm and managed to find ways to get back in the game. We played some close games against India, and this was similar to that.”

The visitors picked up the remaining three wickets within 30 minutes of Day 5, beating the hosts by 57 runs and a 17-year wait for England to achieve a Test series win in Sri Lanka, the first since 2001.

While spinner Jack Leach picked a maiden five-wicket haul to help the visitors bowl out Sri Lanka for 243 in the second innings, Root claimed the player of the match award for a fabulous century in the second innings which set the ball rolling for the visitors, helping them post a target of 301 for the home side.

“We have been courageous at times. As a whole squad we have done really well. We got to keep looking to improve, can't keep still. We want to get to the No. 1 rank in the world at some point and we got to be consistent to that. There are competitions for places within the squad. We need to keep taking opportunities that are in store for us.”

Post the game, Ben Foakes said that it was difficult task to keep wickets in the final two days due to the low bounce. “It feels nice to win the Test series after two games is really good. Keeping here was tricky, the ball was keeping low at times and it was a nightmare.”

“As long as we win the game, my contributions doesn't matter. Worked hard at the nets with Mark Ramprakash (batting coach), the team feeling is excellent. We have worked hard for this and deserve this success.”

Stand-in Sri Lanka Captain Suranga Lakmal lamented the high score his side had to chase in the innings, courtesy of Ben Foakes’ contribution in England’s second innings.

“It was a good game and it was a challenging wicket,” he said. “Both sides played good cricket. 250 would have been good but 300 was a bit too much. Expect to give our 100 percent in the next match.”
First Published: November 18, 2018, 11:28 AM IST
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