A 3-0 series whitewash over Sri Lanks would be “a brilliant achievement” for the England Test team, according to captain Joe Root.
If they were to win in Colombo, they would become just the third touring team to complete a 3-0 whitewash in Sri Lanka, after Australia in 2004 and India in 2017.
That would complete a year that began with an innings-defeat in Sydney as England slipped to a 4-0 defeat in the Ashes. They then lost in New Zealand and went a record 13 Test matches without a win.
“It’s been quite a journey for this group of players in the Test team,” said Root. “We did start in difficult circumstances and we weren’t playing our best cricket, but we’ve found a way to get to a really strong position.
“There have been a few changes along the way, but as a group we’ve found a way we want to go about things and it’s been really pleasing everyone has bought into that and given us a great opportunity to now, hopefully, win this series 3-0.”
That victory would represent a major staging post in the progress of the side’s standing and confidence, Root said.
“It would be massive for this team. We’ve played some good cricket over this winter and it would be a good opportunity to show we can be more consistent.
“Also, there’s only been two other sides who have won 3-0 out here in Test cricket so it would be a brilliant achievement and fill us with a huge amount of confidence going into the rest of the winter.”