England opener Keaton Jennings admitted that his performances “weren’t up to scratch” in the summer after hitting a century in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.
The left-handed batsman struck an unbeaten 146 on the third day in Galle to put the tourists in a dominant position and clear favourites to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
Jennings had been lucky to get the nod for England’s squad as he had only averaged 19.20 in six Tests against Pakistan and India in the home summer with a highest score of 42.
What worked in Jennings’ favour though was that Alastair Cook retired so the England selectors did not want to pick two new batsmen at the top of the order.
Jennings told Sky Sports after the day’s play in Galle: “At the end of the day, the summer was tough and my performances weren’t up to scratch, I’m happy to admit that.
“But hopefully I can keep putting in performances that can lead us to matchwinning performances.”
Jennings admitted that his lack of form had led to some sleepless nights, but said that he had learned to block out the critics if he was to be successful on the international stage.
The Lancashire player went on: “I got myself into quite a state, waking up in the middle of the night and stressing about it.
“But not anymore, I try to isolate myself and listen to a core group of people who’ve stuck with me for 25-26 years.”
Sri Lanka were 15/0 at stumps on the third day, still needing another 447 runs to win on a wearing pitch with two days remaining.