Despite a deflating tour of South Africa, Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne has exuded confidence in his team turning it around against England at home.
Karunaratne is leaning on the return of some key players in the squad to help them tide over the mighty English.
South Africa completed a clean sweep in the two-match Test series against the island nation on Tuesday. Both were humbling defeats for the visitors - by an innings and 45 runs in Centurion and then by 10 wickets in Johannesburg.
Senior all-rounder Angelo Matthews had opted out of the tour. Batsman Dinesh Chandimal missed out in the second Test owing to an injury he sustained in Centurion. Suranga Lakmal failed to recover from a hamstring niggle as well.
Speaking at a news conference, Dimuth Karunaratne was upbeat about his team's chances in the impending two-Test series against Joe Root's side.
"We are hopeful they (injured players) will be back. We think there is good news around their injuries. Playing in our home conditions will be a lot better for us. We can do it in Sri Lanka. We have a good spinning line-up who will be keen to make full use of our conditions. Hopefully, we can dominate the English," said Dimuth Karunaratne.
Much like the other subcontinent countries, Sri Lanka favors spin bowlers more than seamers.
Post the retirement of veteran spinner Rangana Herath, Sri Lanka will look towards Dilruwan Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga and Lasith Embuldeniya to put their hands up and perform.
England gave us lots of trouble before, but we have the experience this time: Dimuth Karunaratne
The last time England toured Sri Lanka was in 2018. It was a historic tour for the visitors as they became just the third non-Asian team to register a clean sweep in Asia.
It was arguably the worst phase in Sri Lankan cricket. However, Dimuth Karunaratne believes the hosts will be better prepared for England this time around.
"They gave us lots of trouble previously, but we are ready for that. I think this time we have the experience, and we will be trying to dominate in our conditions. They have lots of experience of conditions on the sub-continent. But ultimately the series could be decided around the mental side. That's my plan, at least, whatever the condition we should back ourselves," Karunaratne added.
The brief tour will commence on January 14 in Galle. The same venue will host the second Test as well which is set to begin on January 22.Published 05 Jan 2021, 22:25 IST