Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya and Wanindu Hasaranga will all present unique challenges in the Test series

Joe Root doesn’t do it, Kane Williamson doesn’t do it, and Virat Kohli wouldn’t dream of doing it. How has anybody ever managed to open the batting while captaining a Test team? Dimuth Karunaratne, possibly the last of a dying breed, approaches it like Alastair Cook. An old-school left-hander, he bats as if nobody has told him that he’s now the boss. His record is serenely unchanged, with an average around 37 and a strike rate of 49. His 10th Test hundred came along only last week, as Sri Lanka’s ship went down on the Highveld, but he has yet to make one in eight matches against England. The good news is that he loves batting at Galle, where both Tests will take place, and he can’t do worse than the last Sri Lanka captain to welcome Root, Dinesh Chandimal, who suffered a 3-0 whitewash in 2018.

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