0England vs Sri Lanka — any Lessons Learned?

The third and final test in the Eng­land vs Sri Lanka test series is now at an end after the rain brought a damp squib of an end to the match.
So what have we learned? Not a great deal really. We are almost where we were three tests ago. Nick Compton would appear not quite of test level is one obvi­ous con­clu­sion. Per­son­ally speak­ing I feel it would be a little harsh to jet­tis­on him – I would give him the Pakistan series to make a final decision on him. I doubt that will hap­pen, how­ever and Lords was the last we will see of him in the whites of the three lions.
James Vince has prob­ably done enough to stay in the side but needs a score against Pakistan to ensure he travels with the side in the winter.
Alex Hales might just be the open­er Eng­land have been look­ing for. Ok, so he should have bagged him­self a couple of tons – and he needs to watch the con­cen­tra­tion – but it’s bet­ter to fail in the 80s and 90s rather than only register single digits.
Chris Woakes is a decent back up bowl­er and did him­self no harm. I’m not sure he is an out and out replace­ment for Ben Stokes, how­ever, and he is more of a bowl­er who is decent with the wil­low rather than the genu­ine all-round­er Stokes is.
Jonny Bair­stow looks like he has cemen­ted his middle order spot for some time with some great innings. His keep­ing, how­ever, leaves a lot to be desired. But to be fair it’s not often you get a play­er who can bat as well as he can and keep wick­et to the desired stand­ard. Jos But­tler is sim­il­ar to Bair­stow in that he’s a hit with the bat but largely a miss with the gloves. Eng­land need to decide if they want a spe­cial­ist keep­er at the cost of the strength of the bat­ting order or they are pre­pared to put up with slip ups from time to time. The keep­ing will improve with time too (as it did with Alec Stew­art) so watch this space.
Eng­land need a world-class spinner…anyone got any ideas!?! Adil Rashid could do a job but is expensive.
So there we have it – plenty to chew on for the select­ors going forward.

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