Joe Root
Joe Root (AFP Photo)

England captain Joe Root has told his spinners that they may come into play early as they gear up to face Sri Lanka in a three-Test series next month.

England will begin their tour of Sri Lanka with a five-match ODI series followed by a lone T20I. Sri Lanka have included five spinners in their Test squad for the series which has given England ample indication of the conditions they will encounter during the tour.

“I was speaking to Rash (Adil Rashid) about potentially him having to take the new ball at the Oval with Jimmy if Sam Curran didn’t bowl as well as he did or at least coming on pretty quickly,” Root was quoted as saying by The Telegraph on Tuesday. More than anything it is getting your mind right for it and being open to it as as serious consideration and a strong option.”

Root, 27, admitted it’s rare of England spinners to roll their arms with the new ball but he has already conveyed to them that it’s a serious proposition and that they should be ready for it. “It doesn’t happened very often for English spin bowlers but it’s for the guys to start thinking about that now. They should be aware that bowling with the new ball might be a serious option for me and they are going to have to be ready for it. I’d like to think the guys are thinking ahead like that and are clever enough to do it,” Root said.

Sri Lanka put South Africa in a spin when they hosted them in July for two Tests and, winning it 2-0. England are fine-tuning their approach by taking learnings from the series.

“Learning from that South Africa series is going to be important for me and seeing how they operate. It is about being absolutely ready. You know what it is going to be like but ultimately the temptation is to beat them at their own game but we have to be a bit smarter than that. It will be difficult to find that balance. We are clear on how we do that and if we do I am confident we can win that series.

Root knows it’s going to be a task dealing with the spinning tracks and that his team will have to figure out a ‘formula’.

“I think we have to do things slightly differently than we have in the past couple of winters and find a good balance of exploiting those conditions but playing to our strengths as well. If we can commit to that and trust and believe then there is no reason why we can’t win in Sri Lanka. It will spin and it will be really hard work. Finding a formula is going to be important. That is something for me to think about over the next couple of weeks.

“Guys who were involved in the Bangladesh series – some of the surfaces we played on will be similar – have to look at what they did and then think how can I apply that to my own game? It is going to be crucial,” he said.