BUMBLE ON THE TEST: Joe Root and Dan Lawrence impress

BUMBLE ON THE TEST: Joe Root and Dan Lawrence took full advantage of some poor Sri Lankan bowling, Jonny Bairstow won’t make the Ashes at this rate… and that rain delay means I’m getting even less sleep!

  • England ended day two in Galle in a strong position after a Joe Root century
  • It was the perfect way for the skipper to begin hectic 2021 of 17 Test matches
  • Debutant Dan Lawrence looked a natural despite the tricky spin conditions
  • But Jonny Bairstow will be kicking himself after failing to take his chance
  • Rain delay that disrupted the evening session means an even earlier start
  • And I’ve finally got myself a good axe for chopping wood (and other things)! 

It’s a very different Test match experience for our very own David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd as he covers Sri Lanka vs England from home.

But that certainly isn’t stopping him offering us a unique perspective on the day two action as Joe Root’s century and a lovely 73 from debutant Dan Lawrence helped England into a very strong position.   

David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd is covering the Sri Lanka vs England Test from his own home this week 

It was unbelievably important for Joe Root that he should start a busy year of 17 Tests so well after having a quiet time in 2020. 

Others will be rested and rotated as the year progresses, but not the captain, so that’s a great way to begin. 

The key to his innings was that he picked up length so quickly. He defended calmly and swept superbly. What an innings!

Joe Root ended day two on an unbeaten 168 and achieved the highest score from an Englishman in Sri Lanka as the tourists took control

I was very impressed with young Dan Lawrence from Essex. He looked an absolute natural. He knows he’ll face scrutiny coming into the Test arena from county cricket, but I’m more interested in what he can do, not what he can’t. 

And on this evidence, he can do plenty. What he and Root did so well during their partnership of 173 was knock the ball around. Sri Lanka just couldn’t bowl any maidens.

Dan Lawrence scored 50 on his Test debut and raised the bat to the England dressing room 

When a few of us last summer picked our side for next winter’s Ashes, both Shane Warne and I had Lawrence in at No 3 for the first Test at Brisbane. 

And, for me, that means no Jonny Bairstow – again – because I’m having Ollie Pope at No 6. Bairstow will be kicking himself. 

He did so well with Root on Thursday to repair the damage of two early wickets, and just had to survive the first half hour on the second morning. 

But he fell in the second over, allowing Lawrence to come in and make his case.

Jonny Bairstow was the first wicket to fall and he’ll be kicking himself for not kicking on

That said, I thought Sri Lanka bowled poorly. If you talk to the two modern spin-bowling geniuses, Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan, they’ll both tell you that a spinner has to be able to land the ball on a consistent line and length. 

But Sri Lanka just couldn’t do it. Their offie, Dilruwan Perera, was too straight, and their leggie, Wanindu Hasaranga, gives you a bad ball or two every over. 

As for their two seamers, they’re trundlers. England will face a much tougher examination than this in India next month.

My axe arrived yesterday. It’s got a hickory shaft. They knocked down a couple of trees down outside my house, and I bagged a few logs for burning. 

First, though, I need to chop them, and I have to say I’ve always been partial to a good axe. There are plenty of things you can do with one…

Bumble is commentating for Sky Sports off an iPad, via FaceTime and with his dog on his lap 

Also arriving in the post was a late Christmas present for Vipers: a bundle of firelights, with long matches (very important), and a fire mitt that ensures you don’t get your fingers burned when you open the front grill. 

I could tell she felt joyful when she opened the package, even though it’s mid-January. 

But she has to understand that the shops have been under pressure, what with the Covid restrictions. Sometimes, you just have to be patient.

It’s a shame rain wiped out the last session in Galle. The good news means that the third day’s play, weather permitting, was going to start early to make up for lost time. 

The bad news is, that means getting up at 2.20am, not 3.20am. 

We’ve been here before, mind you. I remember when Sky bought the rights for an England series in India. Cost ’em millions. 

But then the BCCI said they wanted to charge us extra to enter the grounds! We ended up covering it off the tube from the Sky studios in Isleworth. Everyone was a winner.

Rain caused the premature end to the second day, which means an earlier alarm on Saturday 

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