But again they don’t look to be in the best shape when they let the Burnley Bumpkin get a third five for in the series.
With a bit of application and some thought Sri Lanka managed to pass 120 in an innings for the first time in the two test matches of this three game series but it still wasn’t enough to save them from another heavy defeat.
The visitor’s second innings at Chester-le-Street lasted longer than their previous three knocks added together by a few overs while racking up 164 more runs than the previous three, again, combined.
And yet they still let Anderson get another five for. The first time he’s managed more than two in a series in his England career, 115 tests.
It’s a shame that they are dumped up North in a the cold spring with little or no chance to acclimatise, no warm up matches to speak of. Almost like the old days when they were given one game at the Oval at the end of the summer.
You do hope this set of youngsters can get back to the level of the Sri Lanakans over the last couple of decades when they’ve played some good stuff with some excellent cricketers, from the days of Ranatunga and de Silva, through Jayasuriya, Jayawardene, Vaas, Dilshan, Sangakkara etc. Though of course you can never understand why Chaminda Vaas’ record in English conditions was so poor but then if he couldn’t do it in the cold early season here then it’s no surprise the modern day team struggle.
It was good that Cook finally got past the nervous nine thousand, nine hundred and nineties. The youngest to pass the 10,000 run mark, always good when you beat a Tendulkar record. Of the 12 that have reached that mark he might have the lowest average but he along with the man just ahead of him in 11th, Sunil Gavaskar, are the only real openers on the list, so did it the hard way.