The nations were due to meet in March 2020, only for their two-match series to be postponed amid the escalating coronavirus pandemic. England were playing a tour game in Colombo at the time when the decision was taken to cut short the trip and head home. They have returned 10 months later for a rearranged tour, with the ongoing COVID-19 situation seeing them hosted in a bio-secure bubble for both games in Galle. However, Moeen Ali will miss the first Test – and possibly the next one that follows – after a positive test result upon arrival. Chris Woakes had to self-isolate having been considered a close contact, so missed out on England’s only warm-up game. Moeen was joint-leading wicket-taker with fellow spinner Jack Leach – taking 18 wickets apiece – when England swept the hosts 3-0 on spin-friendly pitches when visiting Sri Lanka in late 2018, though captain Joe Root is aware the surfaces may not be the same now. “We are very aware that the conditions might be very different to the last time we played here,” Root told the media. “We are not going to have too many preconceived ideas about what we are going to come… Read full this story
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