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Sri Lanka’s Mickey Arthur: ‘England can expect some tough cricket’

“England can expect some tough cricket,” says Arthur, taking time out from a home T20 series versus West Indies to speak to the Observer. “It’s very hot here in Colombo right now and with a two-Test series you can’t ease yourself in, you have got to hit the first Test running.

“England have come from South Africa where pace dominated [in a 3-1 series win] but this will be different. The games will move slower until days four and five, where spin will dominate. It will be a war of attrition and a compelling series to watch.”

Such expectations suggest that Sri Lanka have indeed moved away from the ragging pitches witnessed 18 months ago – “We don’t want to be that drastic,” explains Arthur – but despite growing seam stocks, spin will still be to the fore. And in this regard there has been a changing of the guard.

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  1. Big series for SL and lots of pressure to beat Eng at home. We have lost a string of series at home and simply cannot be there poor and we need to reverse that trend against the Poms this series. Eng will replicated their plan from last time, which is hit their way to 275+ as fast as possible and wait for our batters to slip on the banana skin. We just need to outsmart them and for once, bat properly at home. You cannot play cricket in a world where you cannot bat at home.

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