Dominic Sibley confident of facing down Sri Lanka spin for England

‘I know I’ve got all the shots’: Dominic Sibley confident of facing down Sri Lanka spin as England begin preparations for two-Test series

  • England are starting preparations for their two-Test series against Sri Lanka 
  • Opening batsman Dominic Sibley is embracing challenge of securing his spot 
  • Sibley averaged 54 in 3-1 series win over South Africa and then starred for Lions 

Dom Sibley begins the latest leg of his journey towards becoming an established Test opener confident he can adapt to the very different conditions that await him in Sri Lanka.

Sibley took big steps towards proving that an unconventional leg-side dominant technique will not stop him succeeding at the highest level by averaging 54 in England’s 3-1 series success against South Africa.

He was then shrewdly sent to Australia by England as an investment in his promise as a potential Ashes opener in two years time and scored two centuries for the Lions in a short stay before heading here for the final assignment of England’s busy winter.

Dominic Sibley is confident in his ability to cement his spot for England in Sri Lanka

The Warwickshire man will be involved in what is likely to become three days of practice against a Sri Lanka Board President’s XI just outside Colombo in his first taste of senior cricket in this spin-dominated country.

And Sibley is adamant an extreme change in conditions from pace-driven South Africa and Australia will not stop him repelling the challenge of sub-continental specialist Keaton Jennings for his place at the top of the order.

‘I came on an Under 19 batting camp here but that was quite a long time ago,’ said the 24-year-old. 

‘It’s going to be a challenge but I’m looking forward to embracing that. I’ve got two practice matches to find my feet and I’ll be trying to adapt quickly.

‘I know I’ve got all the shots to play against spin but it’s just a case of executing well and making good decisions under pressure,’ said Sibley. 

A maiden Test century against South Africa was the highlight of an impressive series for Sibley

‘And in the extreme heat here when conditions are tough.

‘It’s about having confidence within myself and the fearlessness to play those shots. 

‘We’ve got two Tests coming up and I want to score two hundreds. I’m realistic enough to know that might not happen but I’m hungry and I think I’ve shown that.’

England are likely to give match practice to the bulk of their squad over the next three days in Katunayake against what is expected to be modest opposition. But Jack Leach is still easing his way back from a calf injury sustained in practice for this tour and is not expected to bowl until the last day at the earliest.

The opener will face renewed competition from recalled spin specialist Keaton Jennings


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