England spin duo can do even better in next test: Root

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Third Test - England v Pakistan - Ageas Bowl, Southampton, Britain - August 25, 2020 England's Dom Bess reacts, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Mike Hewitt/Pool via REUTERS

GALLE, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Captain Joe Root expects spin twins Dom Bess and Jack Leach to be even better in the second test after both claimed five-wicket hauls in England’s victory over Sri Lanka in the first match at Galle International Stadium.

Bess took 5-30 as England skittled their hosts out cheaply in the first innings, while Leach was 5-122 in the second before the tourists wrapped up a seven-wicket win on Monday.

The teams meet again in Galle from Friday and Root said the spin duo will have learned a lot from the first test.

“I think they will be better. They got a huge amount from this, not only in terms of confidence from taking wickets but the amount of time they had out there,” he told a news conference.

“You cannot replicate the amount of time spent out in the field in a match situation against international players.

“Not just the actual art of spin bowing, the skill and technical elements of it, but the mental aspect of it, getting used to the heat. We didn’t have the usual lead-in to a tour that is played in such extreme conditions.”

Root was named Man of the Match after scoring 228 in England’s first innings but said the victory was a team effort.

“Any test win you’ve got to take a lot of confidence from, and a lot of heart from," he added.

"I think the way we’ve gone about this game ... it’s not been the perfect performance, we are well aware of that ... but with the little lead-in we’ve had on this tour, it’s great achievement.

“But there are a number of things we can take into the next test and we are very well aware we have to keep improving, keep getting better if we going to have continued success over the next five tests."

England next play four tests in India.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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