Kumar Sangakkara has observed the England team closely after commentating during the tours of Pakistan and India. @ AFP
Kumar Sangakkara has observed the England team closely after commentating during the tours of Pakistan and India. @ AFP

Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said that his country will have to be on top of their game if they want to challenge England, whom he termed as the best all-round side in any conditions ahead of the three-Test series beginning in November. Before the Test series, England will play five ODIs beginning on October 10 and one Twenty20.

Sangakkara has observed the England team closely after commentating during the tours of Pakistan and India. He has also played three seasons for County side Surrey where many of the current England players were his team-mates or part of the opposition sides.

“It’s going to be a tough series for Sri Lanka against an England side, who I think will be well adapted to any conditions we play them under,” Sangakkara told ESPNCricinfo.

“I think they are the best all-round side in world cricket without a doubt, in any conditions. They have allrounders down to No. 10. They bat very deep. They have a settled batting line-up, which they haven’t changed. They have strokemakers and batsmen who can knuckle down. Since Alastair Cook has left, they’ll have a new opening combination, so whoever comes in there, Sri Lanka can target.”

Sangakkar pointed out that England’s spin duo of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali will be a potent attack to watch out for. “They have very good spinners in Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali,” he said.

“Rashid in Sri Lankan conditions will become a very potent threat. They have bowlers who know have to reverse swing as well, so they’re bringing a very, very strong unit. They have the ability to adapt, because if they want to play three spinners, they can play three spinners. They can play an extra seamer if they want, without really compromising on their batting. Sri Lanka will have to be on the top of their game. A lot will depend on Rangana Herath and our batsmen’s ability to post a good first-innings total.”