Sri Lanka v England: Joe Root says tourists need to be 'bolder'

England captain Joe Root
Root is trying to captain England to a first win abroad since 2015-16
Sri Lanka v England, first Test
Venue: Galle International Stadium, Galle Dates: 6-10 November Time: From 04:30 GMT
Coverage: Live text commentary and The Cricket Social programme on the BBC Sport website and app.

England will try to be "bolder" and more "courageous" during their forthcoming three-match Test series in Sri Lanka, says captain Joe Root.

The first Test in Galle starts on Tuesday, with the tourists attempting to win a Test series in Sri Lanka for the first time since 2001.

"We've done things in a certain way in the past when we have come to the subcontinent," said Root.

"I think it is time to try something slightly different."

Root said England need to "be a little bit bolder and courageous and maybe really try to exploit every surface that we come up against".

England have not won an away Test series since their tour of South Africa in 2015-16. The last time they were on the subcontinent they lost 4-0 to India at the end of 2016.

Their preparations have been disrupted by rain, with the opening day of their final warm-up match washed out.

"I do think we've made the most of the opportunities we have had," said Root.

"There should be no excuses going into the game."

More rain in Galle has prevented Root from seeing the pitch for the opening Test.

There have been reports pace bowler Stuart Broad could be droppedexternal-link to allow England to play an extra spin bowler, while the tourists are undecided if Jos Buttler or Ben Foakes will keep wicket with Jonny Bairstow injured.

"For us to win over here, it is not going to be 11 players - it is going to be a squad performance," added Root.

"There will be times when the balance of the team might change quite drastically and we've got to be open to that and accept that.

"It's not about you individually, it's about us collectively doing something special here."

The match will be England's first Test since 2006 without Alastair Cook, following the opener's international retirement in September.

"I've played 70-odd games and he's been involved in every single one of them," said Root.

"It has been slightly strange him not being around, but it creates opportunities for other guys to stand up and take on that leadership role in the side and the squad.

"You're starting to see that already, which is really promising, and I'm sure that's exactly how he would want it."

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka have made a late change to their line-up after bowler Lahiru Kumara was dropped for, according to a statement from the hosts, "breaching the code of conduct of the team".

He has been replaced by Dushmantha Chameera.


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