Paul Farbrace has shown faith in Sri Lanka and feels they can bounce back in their ongoing tour of England
Paul Farbrace has shown faith in Sri Lanka and feels they can bounce back in their ongoing tour of England © Getty Images

After losing the first Test to England by an innings and 88 runs at Headingley, Leeds, Sri Lanka have been found guilty of edging the ball outside off-stump and falling prey to the hosts’ quality seamers. Sri Lanka struggled to cope up with the testing and different conditions in England while their’s top-performer James Anderson ran through the top-order on both occasions. After his side took a lead in the three-match series against the struggling visitors, England’s assistant coach, Paul Farbrace believes Sri Lanka should not be written off so soon on their tour of England. He feels they have star players like Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal who will come good and they will perform as a unit as they tour progresses.  Full Cricket Scorecard: England vs Sri Lanka 2016, 1st Test at Headingley

According to, Farbrace said, “Don’t write off Sri Lanka just because they have not got Mahela and Kumar. I feel a bit for the Sri Lankans but I do think they will get better as the tour goes on. Last time around we played the one-day series first and Test matches second. By the Test matches they played good cricket so they will improve.” Farbrace thinks their bowling attack is excellent and had they taken a couple of chances England might not have got as many runs and it would have been a different game.

He stated, “If we were in Colombo now on a dusty dry surface and it was 100 degrees and 100 per cent humidity and we had lost in three days it would be England can’t play spin etc,” sympathising with the ignominy felt by the visitors.

The batting did let the Sri Lankans down in Leeds, with totals of 91 and 119 evidence of their inability to cope with the moving ball in conditions tailor-made for England’s seam attack. Farbrace, who has been with Sri Lanka and saw their side clinch ICC World T20 2014 and Asia Cup 2014, believes that the visitors have a great coach in Graham Ford and will keep pushing his players to get the best out of them. He said, “Ford knows that it is going to be tough for them lacking experience but the only way you get better is by playing. There were glimpses of quality from some of their players.”

England can climb to No. 2 in the ICC Test Rankings behind only Australia, if they win 5 of their 7 Tests this northern summer against Sri Lanka and Pakistan. It looks an easy equation for the hosts for now but Farbrace believes that there is still room for improvement for his side.

He further stated on England’s performance, “If we are serious about being the No. 1 side in the world then there were times when we could have been a bit more clinical. We dropped two catches. It does happen and is part of the game but those are the things we have to get rid of. Ideally you’re always searching for perfect game. That does not always happen. We think we still have areas we have to get better at.”

The visitors will like to learn from England and hope the hosts don’t improve any further if they have to compete in the rest of the series, to be played in Durham and Lord’s.