Sri Lanka are in a period of transition, having lost seven of 11 Tests they played in 2015. Sanath Jayasuriya, who returned as chief selector, little more than a year since he stepped down from the role, however, believed that the side had one of the best bowling attacks.

"The one department we are really good at is bowling," Jayasuriya said. "We have the top best bowling side in the world - five fast bowlers and spinners who are all experienced and very good."

The Sri Lanka pace attack for the three-match Test series in England comprises Dhammika Prasad, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal and Dushmantha Chameera. Prasad, who is returning from a back injury he sustained during a tour match in New Zealand, Eranga, and Pradeep had played key roles in delivering Sri Lanka a 100-run victory at Headingley. Dusmantha Chameera, the newbie, had impressed with his raw pace and bouncers in New Zealand. He finished the series as the second-highest wicket taker with 12 wickets in two matches at 24.

Rangana Herath had retired from limited-overs cricket, but continues to be vital cog in the bowling department. He has played 67 Tests and is three short of 300 wickets.

Jayasuriya identified batting as the only worry and said that the management had to be "patient" with the young batsmen. He cited the case of Lahiru Thirimanne as an example. The left-handed batsman was dropped for the New Zealand Tests and was originally not picked for the World Twenty20 in India, but top-scored for Sri Lanka in each of the warm-up encounters preceding their tournament - hitting 41 against New Zealand, and 45 against Pakistan.

"The only thing which we are lagging behind is our batting that is where you need to give them a little bit of time," Jayasuriya said. "You can't find batsmen overnight you have to be a bit more patient with them.

"That is why we have given a chance to Thrimanne; we know how he can perform. He is going through a lean patch and he should get out of it very soon."

Jayasuriya stressed on the importance of continuity in selection and believed that the players picked for the England tour were the "future of Sri Lanka cricket".

"We think the players selected for the England tour is the future of Sri Lanka cricket," Jayasuriya said. "That's why I sat with the outgoing chairman of selectors Aravinda de Silva and we picked the team because we needed continuity in what he was thinking and in what we had in mind.

"They are talented cricketers we have and we want them to deal with the pressures at international level. What we need to give them is the confidence to play at international level. We need to build their confidence by giving them continuous exposure.

"It's a very talented team and they are very good. They have been in the system for a long time in the Sri Lanka 'A', Development squads etc. We have to groom this talent. They are good domestic players who have played professional cricket overseas. What they need is international exposure at the highest level. We have given them that chance and we now have to be patient."

Jayasuriya also cautioned not to expect big results from Sri Lanka in England, although they had won the Test series 1-0 in 2014.

"You can't get results overnight, the English tour is very tough," Jayasuriya said. "We have to look at the players' performance in England on the long term. We can't go on the short term just for the sake of winning. It's not easy playing in England and even though we won in 2014 we had to fight hard. You have to face reality we have to give the boys a chance and provide them with the maximum what the country can give."