5 talking points ahead of England’s second Test in Sri Lanka

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England will attempt to secure a series victory over Sri Lanka by taking the second Test in Kandy this week.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at five areas of discussion.

Stokes takes over at three

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes is sure to be game for the challenge at number three (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Turn, turn, turn

Frequent showers prevented the pitch from baking under the sun during the first Test (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)

Foakes auditioning for full-time role

When Jos Buttler described Ben Foakes’ appearance in the series opener as “the best debut ever” it spoke volumes about the impact the Surrey wicketkeeper had made on his new team-mates. In confirming he would continue behind the stumps regardless of Jonny Bairstow’s fitness, captain Joe Root was both rewarding the new man’s efforts and offering him a chance to lock down the role for the foreseeable future. Another smooth outing with the gloves and some more handy lower-order runs may be enough to buy him a long spell in the side and redefine Bairstow’s role.

Take two for Burns

Rory Burns
Rory Burns looks a sound pick at the top of the order (Eranga Jayawardena/AP)

Hosts hoping for a hero

Sri Lankan cricket waved goodbye to champion left-arm spinner Rangana Herath last week, as he joined greats like Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Muttiah Muralitharan in retirement. It is neither a surprise nor a secret that the current squad cannot hold a candle to those illustrious names but – in home conditions – there is still a chance for someone to turn in a match-winning performance. Angelo Mathews is the best batsman on show, Niroshan Dickwella capable of doing damage in the middle-order, while Lakshan Sandakan and Malinda Pushpakumara are vying for the chance to replace Herath as the left-arm tweaker of choice.

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