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Half-century in second Test against Sri Lanka was vital for Dom Sibley's confidence

Dom Sibley scored a crucial half-century in the second Test against Sri Lanka
Dom Sibley scored a crucial half-century in the second Test against Sri Lanka
Aaron Gales
Modified 26 Jan 2021

If there was a batsman in England's team who needed a boost going into England's upcoming series in India, it was opener Dom Sibley.

With scores of 4, 2, and 0 in the first three innings against Sri Lanka, Sibley wouldve gone into the crucial run chase in the second Test match knowing that his place was in jeopardy, particularly with Rory Burns returning.

And the 56 must have done his confidence a world of good. After looking nervous early on, and the wickets of Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, and Dan Lawrence falling around him, Sibley anchored the innings wonderfully. His knock came off 144 deliveries as the in-form Jos Buttler ticked along nicely alongside him.

It was an important knock for Sibley, one that reminded us of his staying power and stubbornness, and one that should see him become a long-term option for England at the top of the order.

Credit must go to the England captain Joe Root and selector Ed Smith for sticking with Sibley after his poor performance in the first Test match.

It would've been a harsh decision to drop him after one bad game. But Sibley had looked all at sea against spin bowling in the first match. And there was little evidence of him getting to grips with it as he was out for a duck in the first innings of the second Test.

Will Dom Sibley lose his place in the Test series against India?

With Burns and Ben Stokes returning for the series against India, there is still a chance that Sibley may find himself out of England's eleven for the first Test match against India next month. But it does look like unlikely. Either Zak Crawley or Dan Lawrence are more likely to make way.


But even if he loses his place, Sibley can leave Sri Lanka knowing that he is capable of playing against spin in challenging conditions. This, in turn, will stand him in good stead for the future.

Make no mistake, whatever happens over the next few months, Sibley should be one of the players that England build their future Test match side around.

At just 25 years old he has a long career ahead. And with an average of over 35 and two Test match hundreds to his name in 14 matches, Sibley has demonstrated he has the skills required to anchor England at the top of the order for the next five years.

Published 26 Jan 2021, 11:08 IST
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