By AFP | March 19, 2012
COLOMBO — England’s Graeme Swann said Sunday the team was hoping to set the stage for the upcoming Test series with a win at the next warm-up game against Sri Lanka.
England made a winning start to their tour of Sri Lanka by defeating the Board XI by an innings and 15 runs on the final day of the three-day match in Colombo on Saturday.
"It was a tough three-day game, we were all battling the heat and humid conditions. I thought we played very well," said Swann who picked up 3-33 during the second innings.
"The ball feels great in the hand. I am enjoying myself," he told reporters in Colombo.
The tourists will play another three-day fixture at the Sinhalese sports club in Colombo from March 20, before the two back-to-back Tests in Galle and Colombo.
"We need to win the next warm-up game, so that we are geared to win the first Test," said Swann, who has 166 wickets in 39 Tests.
No mystey in Sri Lanka’s bowling attack
He said Sri Lanka remained a formidable side, despite the home team busy playing back-to-back one-day games against Australia and now in Bangladesh for the Asia Cup.
"Sri Lanka and Pakistan are fairly similar animals. Sri Lanka is more consistent, particularly their top order with (Kumar) Sangakkara and Mahela (Jayawardene)."
But he said Sri Lanka’s bowling attack was "not much of a mystery anymore" after the retirement of the world’s leading wicket taker Muttiah Muralitharan last April.
Sri Lanka has not won a Test series since Muralitharan’s retirement and the team have lost series to England, Australia, Pakistan and South Africa.