Sri Lanka in England 2011 May 24, 2011

Law braced for 'toughest deal on planet'

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Stuart Law, Sri Lanka's interim coach, believes that England's Test cricketers currently pose the "toughest deal on the planet", but insists that his players have the expertise and character to put up a strong fight when the first Test in Cardiff gets underway on Thursday.

Despite being considered outsiders in English early-season conditions, Sri Lanka enter the series full of confidence after a pair of impressive victories in their warm-up matches against Middlesex at Uxbridge and England Lions at Derby, where they overcame the follow-on to win a thrilling contest by 38 runs on the final day.

They have since suffered a major setback with the news that Nuwan Pradeep, their matchwinner at Derby with 4 for 29 on the final day, is set to fly home with a knee ligament injury. However, Law was confident that his squad was sufficiently well rounded, even in the absence of the retired Muttiah Muralitharan, to pose a challenge to England's strong batting line-up.

"It seems everyone else isn't confident in our bowling, but we've played four different seamers [in the warm-ups] and won both games," he said. "Our seamers run in and hit the seam, and in England conditions that's always a bonus. Our spinners do a lot of work for Sri Lanka, and yes we haven't got Murali, but we've got good spin. Given the right conditions and the right attitude, and if they are consistent enough, yes they can take 20 wickets."

Sri Lanka will be further buoyed by the memory of their last meeting with England, in the World Cup quarter-final in Colombo two months ago, when they romped to a ten-wicket victory with more than 10 overs to spare, thanks to centuries for Upul Tharanga and the new captain, Tillakaratne Dilshan. However, Law believed that in five-day cricket, England would pose an entirely different challenge.

"I've said it openly, in the last 18 months, I believe England are the best team in Test cricket," said Law. "They've beaten teams in their own backyard and away from home as well, they are well drilled, they leave nothing to chance, they prepare well. You can't complain with the way they are going, and as an Englishman you'd be very happy after the Ashes, which is one of the biggest contests on the planet. We know we've got our work cut out, but we've not come here to roll over and die. We've come here to fight."

Injuries aside, Sri Lanka have had a difficult build-up to the Test series. There was a change-over in leadership following the resignation of Kumar Sangakkara in the aftermath of their World Cup final defeat against India, and a clash of priorities which led to several of the squad, including Sangakkara and his fellow veteran Mahela Jayawardene, missing the early part of the tour to concentrate on the IPL in India.

In the circumstances, Sri Lanka have done remarkably well to make light of such difficulties, although Law - who himself is coaching in an interim capacity following the resignation of Trevor Bayliss - said that off-field problems were part and parcel of the country's cricket.

"If you understand what goes on in Sri Lanka cricket behind the scenes you'd be amazed how well these guys play," he said. "They do have to put up with extra pressures, but this tour is a magnificent opportunity for [some] young guns to come in, stick their hands up, and say 'I want to be here for 10 or 15 years and have a great career for Sri Lanka'."

Although Law admitted that his IPL latecomers, Sangakkara and Jayawardene, had looked a bit rusty during the match in Derby, he said he could sense a sharpening of focus during the squad's practice in Cardiff on Tuesday morning. "Looking at them today their mindset has completely changed," he said. "They are preparing for the first day of battle on Thursday. They are two quality individuals, two quality players, I'd expect they'd leave no stone unturned."

Although Sri Lanka's Derby victory showed that they are not afraid of grassy wickets, the Cardiff wicket is one that could well play into the hands of a team of strokemakers who know how to make the most of flat surfaces. Two years ago, Australia posted a mammoth 674 for 6 at the same venue, and on first inspection, the 2011 pitch looks to be similarly full of runs.

"The pitch looks a belter, completely different to the nets," said Law. "It's a true batting surface as they have been down here for a long time. In Test cricket you expect to see those sorts of pitches, and with all the weather around it might not change too much. And that's what I've been trying to tell our boys. In all conditions, never give in, because you never know what's round the corner.

"We're just preparing for them to be the toughest deal on the planet at this stage," he added. "We are not underestimating one facet of their game. People are saying that certain areas of their batting line-up can be exposed, we are not seeing it that way, we are just coming up with good plans for each batsman, rather than say we are targeting this guy or that guy. If we can sniff a result, we'll try to put our foot on their throat."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vilander on May 26, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    ok just for records , i think it might be safe to say that Eng are the closest to second favorite team for many indian fans, so lets not have doubts on that and they are far better in world of sports obviously, but in cricket we are better.

  • on May 26, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    @sinhaya:dream lands and nothing else...practice games don't make any difference..infact, the host teams fields the worst team their

  • Shan156 on May 25, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    @Valavan, good assessment there. It is really baffling that SL fans think Australia are a weak team when they haven't managed to win a single test there. SL are also yet to win a test match, leave alone a series, in India and SA. Both their wins in England were inspired by Murali. The one game that they dominated for 3 days without Murali in the recent past was the 2002 Lord's test thanks to their huge first innings courtesy centuries from Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardene. They enforced the follow-on but England managed to secure the draw by scoring heavily in the 2nd innings. Without Murali and a mediocre pace attack, there is precious little to believe that SL will dominate the series especially in the early part of the English summer. With England boys in good form, I tip England to win the series easily. Watch out for Jonathan Trott. His appetite for runs is insatiable.

    @Yash Ranade, Jimmy is as good a bowler as Zaheer in English conditions.

  • Shan156 on May 25, 2011, 22:25 GMT

    @Yash Ranade, India deserve their #1 ranking as they have managed to remain unbeaten in a home series for nearly 7 years and have also won away series in England, NZ and WI. They even managed to draw a series in SA for the first time and were unfortunate to lose the series in Australia in 2007-2008. However, I think there isn't much difference between the top 3 teams. If England beat SL and India, they become #1 (according to ICC). If SA beat Australia at home (which they will), then they may become #1. People tend to look down upon England's Ashes win in Australia citing that they are a poor team. There is some credibility to that argument but please don't forget that Australia at home are still a force and England just didn't scrape home for a win - they thrashed them in 3 tests by an innings! That takes some doing.

    My money is on an England win against both SL and India in England but if it goes the other way, that's fine too. May the better team win.

  • on May 25, 2011, 18:58 GMT

    @Shan156 It doesn't matter about which country fares how well in Soccer or other sports, this is talking cricket. I think most Indian fans would probably support England if India isn't playing. Especially against Australia, SA and Pak. Though now, with this No. 1 ranking thing, Indians are certainly perceiving England as a challenge. Come July, the debate will be sealed and shut. I would like to say either way, but I am obliged to say that it will obviously will be sealed in India's favour (2-0) with Zak and Bhajji saving a match with their batting.

  • Valavan on May 25, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    No words to comment here. Even WI won the practice games in 2004, still managed to loose. England lions just had 1 player from the 1st Test squad. Some unknown fast bowler bowled SL in England Lions. And England is not the weak link as SL think. England won test series in SL in 2001, but the last test series England managed to keep it to 0 - 1 despite SL home advantage. With Murali hanging his boots, SL must play very well. some guy saying about Aussie batting failure but they didnt watch COOK dominated the whole ashes. BTW how many tests did SL win in Australia to call Aussie as weak team. I think SL never ever drew a test back in Aussie, Law should know this fact. Swann is now no.1 test offbreak bowler with 3 other speedsters, if Dilhara will fail, the hidden truth is England will win it atleast 2 - 0.

  • kasyapm on May 25, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    @Matthew Jackson: Think you got it spot on, mate. I am an Indian fan, but could not differ with you here!

  • Shan156 on May 25, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    A lot of Indian fans here are trashing England because Law thinks that England are the best test team in the world at the moment. You guys should understand that a lot of us England fans don't think that way. We deserve our #3 ranking but aren't that much behind the top two teams. At the same time, it is Law's opinion and he is entitled to his as you and me are entitled to ours. What is the problem here?

    Also, if India is really that great, how come they have never won a test series in Australia or South Africa? With so much interest in cricket in that part of the world and with such a huge population and with no major internal problems (like Pakistan and SL face), it is only natural that they will do well in cricket. There is very little interest in the game of cricket in England. Soccer is the priority here and although we haven't won major tournaments, we are still among the top 10 teams in the world. Considering that soccer is universally popular, that is pretty good.

  • dsig3 on May 25, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    England at home are tough. I think their bowling has improved over the last 4 years. Facing Tremlett and Finn and Broad with the ball swinging is probably the hardest test attack in Cricket at the moment. If any of them get it right you can kiss the innings goodbye. The way the whole squad bowled in the ashes was really impressive. Indian attack is not even close, batting is a different story though.

  • on May 25, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    @Ramesh Dharshana Parera: Dude, dont react so viciously, just think with a cool mind that Law is an Aussie, and since England have beaten Australia in two consecutive ashes, it has to become the no. 1 team in the world.....no matter how they perform in other parts of the world :)

  • Vilander on May 26, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    ok just for records , i think it might be safe to say that Eng are the closest to second favorite team for many indian fans, so lets not have doubts on that and they are far better in world of sports obviously, but in cricket we are better.

  • on May 26, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    @sinhaya:dream lands and nothing else...practice games don't make any difference..infact, the host teams fields the worst team their

  • Shan156 on May 25, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    @Valavan, good assessment there. It is really baffling that SL fans think Australia are a weak team when they haven't managed to win a single test there. SL are also yet to win a test match, leave alone a series, in India and SA. Both their wins in England were inspired by Murali. The one game that they dominated for 3 days without Murali in the recent past was the 2002 Lord's test thanks to their huge first innings courtesy centuries from Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardene. They enforced the follow-on but England managed to secure the draw by scoring heavily in the 2nd innings. Without Murali and a mediocre pace attack, there is precious little to believe that SL will dominate the series especially in the early part of the English summer. With England boys in good form, I tip England to win the series easily. Watch out for Jonathan Trott. His appetite for runs is insatiable.

    @Yash Ranade, Jimmy is as good a bowler as Zaheer in English conditions.

  • Shan156 on May 25, 2011, 22:25 GMT

    @Yash Ranade, India deserve their #1 ranking as they have managed to remain unbeaten in a home series for nearly 7 years and have also won away series in England, NZ and WI. They even managed to draw a series in SA for the first time and were unfortunate to lose the series in Australia in 2007-2008. However, I think there isn't much difference between the top 3 teams. If England beat SL and India, they become #1 (according to ICC). If SA beat Australia at home (which they will), then they may become #1. People tend to look down upon England's Ashes win in Australia citing that they are a poor team. There is some credibility to that argument but please don't forget that Australia at home are still a force and England just didn't scrape home for a win - they thrashed them in 3 tests by an innings! That takes some doing.

    My money is on an England win against both SL and India in England but if it goes the other way, that's fine too. May the better team win.

  • on May 25, 2011, 18:58 GMT

    @Shan156 It doesn't matter about which country fares how well in Soccer or other sports, this is talking cricket. I think most Indian fans would probably support England if India isn't playing. Especially against Australia, SA and Pak. Though now, with this No. 1 ranking thing, Indians are certainly perceiving England as a challenge. Come July, the debate will be sealed and shut. I would like to say either way, but I am obliged to say that it will obviously will be sealed in India's favour (2-0) with Zak and Bhajji saving a match with their batting.

  • Valavan on May 25, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    No words to comment here. Even WI won the practice games in 2004, still managed to loose. England lions just had 1 player from the 1st Test squad. Some unknown fast bowler bowled SL in England Lions. And England is not the weak link as SL think. England won test series in SL in 2001, but the last test series England managed to keep it to 0 - 1 despite SL home advantage. With Murali hanging his boots, SL must play very well. some guy saying about Aussie batting failure but they didnt watch COOK dominated the whole ashes. BTW how many tests did SL win in Australia to call Aussie as weak team. I think SL never ever drew a test back in Aussie, Law should know this fact. Swann is now no.1 test offbreak bowler with 3 other speedsters, if Dilhara will fail, the hidden truth is England will win it atleast 2 - 0.

  • kasyapm on May 25, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    @Matthew Jackson: Think you got it spot on, mate. I am an Indian fan, but could not differ with you here!

  • Shan156 on May 25, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    A lot of Indian fans here are trashing England because Law thinks that England are the best test team in the world at the moment. You guys should understand that a lot of us England fans don't think that way. We deserve our #3 ranking but aren't that much behind the top two teams. At the same time, it is Law's opinion and he is entitled to his as you and me are entitled to ours. What is the problem here?

    Also, if India is really that great, how come they have never won a test series in Australia or South Africa? With so much interest in cricket in that part of the world and with such a huge population and with no major internal problems (like Pakistan and SL face), it is only natural that they will do well in cricket. There is very little interest in the game of cricket in England. Soccer is the priority here and although we haven't won major tournaments, we are still among the top 10 teams in the world. Considering that soccer is universally popular, that is pretty good.

  • dsig3 on May 25, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    England at home are tough. I think their bowling has improved over the last 4 years. Facing Tremlett and Finn and Broad with the ball swinging is probably the hardest test attack in Cricket at the moment. If any of them get it right you can kiss the innings goodbye. The way the whole squad bowled in the ashes was really impressive. Indian attack is not even close, batting is a different story though.

  • on May 25, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    @Ramesh Dharshana Parera: Dude, dont react so viciously, just think with a cool mind that Law is an Aussie, and since England have beaten Australia in two consecutive ashes, it has to become the no. 1 team in the world.....no matter how they perform in other parts of the world :)

  • Vilander on May 25, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    some wierd way of putting the pressure back on eng ? mm but no they are not as good as they are being made to be, they lost home and away to India and if i remember only drew SL away but put away aus and sa, so i am expecting a tough fight here , dont forget SL were WC finalists in odi, so i am not sure if eng would compete or loose..definitly not dominate. all indian fans would be following this to see how sl go, honors even with them for ind so far except the big one the wc.

  • on May 25, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    Best Team in Test Cricket?! Hahahaha! We'll see that in August as I think Zaheer is a much better bowler than anybody in the English squad in English Conditions. If either Ishant or Sreesanth find rhythm, England are crabmeat!

  • me54321 on May 25, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    OK, prematurely calling England the No.1 team was bound to ruffle a few feathers of the more passionate fans, but to suggest this England team isn't quality is a little foolish. Bringing up results from 3+ years ago is waste of time, as this England team only really started as a proper team 2 years ago. There really isn't much between the top 3 teams in test cricket at the moment, but I'm sorry Sri Lanka isn't in that top 3. Having said that, it could yet be a very exciting test series, and it's not inconceivable that Sri Lanka could manage a 1-0, but I really can't see anything less than a 2-0 for England.

  • on May 25, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    @Ramesh Dharshana Perera no major tournament? Didn't England win the Twenty20 not so long ago?

  • on May 25, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    All the people talking about 3-0 whitewash by SL should read S Rajesh' article. Stats dont lie and now we dont have Murali. I'm really looking forward to SL doing well but will elave it to the players to prove who i the better team. Regarding who is number one i think india batting still pips England but they are not going to win a whitewash either.

  • on May 25, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    @ voma--Early days to comment on England's win mate!! let bat and ball do the talkin first..I don't mind u becomin a loughing stalk in front of Sri Lankan fans later....

  • anver777 on May 25, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    SL team will struggle a bit in bowling dept but the batting is strong enough to challenge Eng..... Good Luck SL Lions !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on May 25, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    If IPL late coming captains do not perform, send them down the order and let youngsters bloom... that is the Law.... he he

  • on May 25, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    I was surprised to see Dilshan as captain but now I believe he may be more aggressive and even more result oriented than the previous two SL captains.

  • on May 25, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    This is rubbish from stuart law & english supporters Can England beat SL in Sri Lanka ? or at least give a fight ? Stuart Law ,i dont know what u talking about ! Can some one pls tell me what these Englishmen achieved to become no 1 ? they havnt beat India in India or SL in SL..havnt won a WC or a major tournament,not no 1 in ICC rankings.. if England beat SL & Ind in Eng,even that dosent make them no 1 till they beat them at their home & become no 1 n ICC rankings.. look at English bowlers,they may be good in English conditions but are they really world class ? Can u compare bowlers like Onions,Finn,Breasnan with the likes of Morkel,Stayn,Malinga & Zaheer ? & do Englishmen think Strauss,Trott,Cook,Bell,KP are good as Indians(Sachin,Sehwag,GambirDravid,VVX),SLns(Sanga,Mahela,Dilshan,)SAns(Amla,Kalls,De Villears,Smith ) & etc..

  • on May 25, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    @safwan:thats why india had beaten england in tough seaming conditions whereas the same england was trashed by india in tough chennai wickets,chasing 386 on a fifth day track..this is enough to prove who is no.1

  • Meety on May 25, 2011, 2:35 GMT

    This match is looming as a draw, Mahela, Sanga & Samaweera will be tough to bowl out twice. That being said I really don't think SL will be able to bowl England out on this pitch. Countering all that - is that the Pommie players may NOT be match fit for this game & SL might just ambush them! I would expect England to be too strong over the remaining 2 Tests. Expect Poms to win 2-0, or 2-1.

  • Sinhaya on May 25, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    @mrgupta, we have not played Bangladesh and Zimbabwe that much as you try to show. Have you forgotten that South Africa beat England 2-1 in 2008? Get your facts right. Remember not too many visiting teams have won the first 2 practice games. So winning the practice games is a great sign. Have you forgotten about our batsmen Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardena, Sangakkara and Samaraweera? They have good batting averages and can clobber the English bowlers to all corners of the ground. Swann may be the only threat but watch how Randhiv, Mendis and Herath will bamboozle the English batsmen. It will be 3-0 Sri Lanka definitely!

  • SRT_GENIUS on May 25, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    This is pretty much how one should work in their jobs as well. First, hype up any new tasks assigned as one of the toughest the organization has seen. Then get all the credit. It's WIN-WIN strategy - failure has little penalty and success is hyped up! :-)

  • safwan_Umair on May 25, 2011, 0:37 GMT

    england are the number one test side as of this moment .... hands down! being number one doesnt only entail winning on tailor made home wickets .. its about winning in tough overseas conditions, and england are the only test side with that capability thesedays.

  • Flat_Track_bullies on May 24, 2011, 23:09 GMT

    can't believe he said that. so what exactly eng have done in last 18 months, except beating a very weak Aussie team? he' s seriously undermining sri lanka..and players confidence..

  • HarshaCD on May 24, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    Law just gives too much credit to this ordinary english side.But have to admit, since Law took over SL team had performed wonders, (chasing 413 against India in an ODI and missing it by 2 runs, Beat Aussies in Aussie etc.) He just make players do wonders.

  • sanzo5 on May 24, 2011, 21:43 GMT

    good luck team sri lanka.. i am from india but i fully support chennai superkings make randhiv and co...

  • on May 24, 2011, 21:38 GMT

    What a load of hogwash! India beat England both home and away in the last two series the teams played in 2008 and 2007. The last time England beat India in test series was in 1996, in which they won 1-0. Stuart Law needs a lesson in the modern history of world cricket.

  • on May 24, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    While you'd have a pretty good case for claiming that India, and not England, are the top test side in the world at the moment, I can see that from Sri Lanka's perspective, ENG in England probably pose the tougher challenge. SL could reasonably hope to match IND area for area - batting, pace, and spin, and would be in familiar conditions.

    ENG probably have slightly weaker batsmen than SL, and certainly less depth in the spin department. But ENG's advantage in fast bowling is magnified by the conditions, and so dwarfs SL's advantages. (ENG's lack of a second first rate spin bowler, for example, is unlikely to hurt them at home, unless Swan gets injured. In Sri Lanka it would be a different matter!).

    So, to cut a long story short, I think that Law is probably right that playing ENG in England is probably just about the toughest challenge that SL could face right now. The only thing that might be harder for them might be RSA in South Africa.

  • the_blue_android on May 24, 2011, 19:48 GMT

    I'm 100 % sure Sanga and Mahela flinch everytime Law shoots from his hip :)

  • heat-seeker on May 24, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    Law is protecting his back-side! While he should have more confidence in his team, he actually is afraid they might get beaten quite convincingly... and that might have negative consequences for himself as the coach. So he's going on and on about how tough England are! (when even most in England acknowledge that they have to beat India and South Africa to lay claim to being the best).

  • cricket_for_all on May 24, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    Please Indian fans leave us (Sri Lankan and English) to comment on this article. It is very hard to filter if you fill the with your comments. Please crickinfo Give us (Sri Lankan and English) chance to comment for this article.

  • mrgupta on May 24, 2011, 19:23 GMT

    @Sinhaya: Ha, your team Coach says England might be the toughest team (not quite though) and you guys think without Murli or Malinga your team can Whitewash the English in their own backyard!! This even big teams like Aus, SA or India haven't yet managed in years. Beating England Lions who had batsmen still struggling to make it to England team and bowlers who are not sure of their place doesn't guarantee a whitewash. Wait till your bowlers bowl to Cook, Trott, Pieterson and Strauss and your Batsmen play against Anderson, Broad and Swann. Its not BD you are playing this time, maybe you are too used to play BD and Zim that you feel like every side is like them. I reckon it will be 2-0 to England.

  • on May 24, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    "Toughest Deal" Yeah right ! Wait till India reaches England ,Learn it from the masters as they say world champs and no1 in test cricket we will teach you how to play cricket !! Toughest deal will turn into a no deal pretty soon Just wait guys just wait !,,

  • RohanMarkJay on May 24, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    I agree with Sinhaya, Sri Lanka are certainly capable of beating England. Sri Lanka has definitely got the talent and capability to do it. They can definitely make a clean sweep of the series. Best of luck Sri Lanka.

  • on May 24, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    mmmm Law looking good, may be he's talking rubbish but seems like he love srilanka. thats great.

  • on May 24, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Why not Kulasekera who was a part of previous England tour to be called upon.His leg cutters in these conditions will be very useful.Maharoof is a sensible addition considering his experiance and knwoledge about English conditions.Hope Dilhara could survive or else one of the other seamers should come up to take the reins.It will be a tough job.Mendis and Herath should play together to make an impact in bowling department probably.

  • KingOwl on May 24, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    I like Stuart Law's style. Hope he will be good for SL.

  • randika_ayya on May 24, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    Best of luck to Sri Lanka!!! its a shame to loose Mathews for the entire tour and now Nuwan Pradeep and dilhara too are suspect. In light of recent injury concerns perhaps we should bolster the squad by sending out Kulasekara/Amarasinghe and playing two spinners (Herath/Randiv, Mendis) for the first test which maybe a grind for bowlers.

  • voma on May 24, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    Hes right England are the real deal ( in test cricket ) at the moment . India may have a chance , sorry Sri Lanka you havnt got a hope ! . 2 -0 to England i say

  • the_blue_android on May 24, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    Stuart Law would make a better standup comic than a cricket coach with all his hyperbole.

  • Ellis on May 24, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    Law is trying to instill in the SL team the fighting spirit that is so much a feature of Australian cricket. He is quite right to do so. In recent years SL have fought well in dire circumstances. It is important they do so in England because the Test match section of the tour may be difficult. The team is capable of performing well if they hold together. Hopefully, the politicians, hangers-on, and sycophants will allow Law, Dilshan, and the team to do well by getting out of the way.

  • Sinhaya on May 24, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    Sri Lanka can win the tests 3-0 if they bat and bowl well. Sri Lankans won the 2 practice games which is a great sign of nothing but victory. Lankans can also win the ODIs 5-0. Thats what the Lankans must aim for. England are beatable. They won the Ashes only because Aussie batting failed.

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  • Sinhaya on May 24, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    Sri Lanka can win the tests 3-0 if they bat and bowl well. Sri Lankans won the 2 practice games which is a great sign of nothing but victory. Lankans can also win the ODIs 5-0. Thats what the Lankans must aim for. England are beatable. They won the Ashes only because Aussie batting failed.

  • Ellis on May 24, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    Law is trying to instill in the SL team the fighting spirit that is so much a feature of Australian cricket. He is quite right to do so. In recent years SL have fought well in dire circumstances. It is important they do so in England because the Test match section of the tour may be difficult. The team is capable of performing well if they hold together. Hopefully, the politicians, hangers-on, and sycophants will allow Law, Dilshan, and the team to do well by getting out of the way.

  • the_blue_android on May 24, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    Stuart Law would make a better standup comic than a cricket coach with all his hyperbole.

  • voma on May 24, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    Hes right England are the real deal ( in test cricket ) at the moment . India may have a chance , sorry Sri Lanka you havnt got a hope ! . 2 -0 to England i say

  • randika_ayya on May 24, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    Best of luck to Sri Lanka!!! its a shame to loose Mathews for the entire tour and now Nuwan Pradeep and dilhara too are suspect. In light of recent injury concerns perhaps we should bolster the squad by sending out Kulasekara/Amarasinghe and playing two spinners (Herath/Randiv, Mendis) for the first test which maybe a grind for bowlers.

  • KingOwl on May 24, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    I like Stuart Law's style. Hope he will be good for SL.

  • on May 24, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Why not Kulasekera who was a part of previous England tour to be called upon.His leg cutters in these conditions will be very useful.Maharoof is a sensible addition considering his experiance and knwoledge about English conditions.Hope Dilhara could survive or else one of the other seamers should come up to take the reins.It will be a tough job.Mendis and Herath should play together to make an impact in bowling department probably.

  • on May 24, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    mmmm Law looking good, may be he's talking rubbish but seems like he love srilanka. thats great.

  • RohanMarkJay on May 24, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    I agree with Sinhaya, Sri Lanka are certainly capable of beating England. Sri Lanka has definitely got the talent and capability to do it. They can definitely make a clean sweep of the series. Best of luck Sri Lanka.

  • on May 24, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    "Toughest Deal" Yeah right ! Wait till India reaches England ,Learn it from the masters as they say world champs and no1 in test cricket we will teach you how to play cricket !! Toughest deal will turn into a no deal pretty soon Just wait guys just wait !,,