Root targeting number one spot in Test rankings


England captain Joe Root is targeting the number one spot in the Test rankings after his side completed a series victory in Sri Lanka on Sunday with a game to spare.

Jack Leach took his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket as the visitors beat the hosts by 57 runs in Kandy for a first Test series in Sri Lanka in 17 years.

REPORT: England complete first Test series win in Sri Lanka in 17 years

It was also England’s first Test series success away from home since they won in South Africa in the 2015/2016 season.

But the England skipper has no doubt that his team can continue to improve.

Root told Sky Sports: “We have to keep looking to improve. We don’t want to stand still – we have seen this group grow in the last six to eight months but we are not the finished article.

“We want to get to No 1 in the world at some point and we are going to have to be really consistent in all parts of the world to do that.

“If we keep the same attitude, drive and competition for places we will give ourselves a really good chance of getting what we want. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys.”

Root was quick to praise his entire squad for the manner in which they bought into the challenge of taking on Sri Lanka in their own conditions – not just the 11 players who have taken the field in the two Tests.

England left out seamer Stuart Broad and Jonny Bairstow, two of their best players, to make sure the balance of the side is right for the conditions.

The England captain continued: “Look at the guys we’ve got on the sidelines. We’ve got some very exciting young players and a lot of experience, and for Stuart Broad [and Bairstow] to have no played a part in this series shows the strength of the squad, and the adaptability as well.

“Around the world we could have played a very different side with a similar well-balanced look to it.

“It’s nice to be in a position where all 17 guys could walk into the team and it wouldn’t look any less balanced, or out of place in these conditions.”

The third and final Test of the series starts in Colombo on Friday.