BUMBLE AT THE TEST: Moeen Ali is the ideal No 3 in these conditions

BUMBLE AT THE TEST: I still think Moeen Ali is the ideal No 3 in these conditions… and fair play to selectors for keeping faith with Keaton Jennings

  • England took another commanding 
  • Moeen Ali was dismissed for just three runs in the second innings on Thursday 
  • I believe he has the ability to get a big score in this series and change a game
  • Keaton Jennings century was a pleasing sight – following previous criticism

Sri Lanka are needing 462 to win the first Test against England after a commanding display from the tourists on day three in Galle.

If Sri Lanka achieve that, it would comfortably eclipse the world record of 418 set by the West Indies against Australia in 2003.

Sportsmail’s DAVID LLOYD takes us through his own perspective on the action… 

First time I’ve seen Rory Burns and I think, even though he looks unorthodox, he gets in brilliant positions. It was all going well for him until he punched it to mid-on and called for a single. It always looked high risk. There was no need. It was understandable for a lad on debut but he has to take the risk out of it. I reckon he will sort it out and come through… 

Rory Burns has an unorthodox batting style but he can prove a success at Test level

Rory Burns has an unorthodox batting style but he can prove a success at Test level

Got quite excited when a local lady came up to me and said ‘wonderful to see you here and I’d like to present you with a gift.’ I thought things were looking up. All sorts of possibilities crossed my mind. Bit of gold perhaps? Nice memento? It was a tea bag. ‘I know you’ll be missing a cuppa,’ she said. To be fair, they do make a nice brew in this part of the world…

The cricketing world are following with fascination the continuing fall-out from the sandpaper-gate scandal in Australia. Past players have been saying that tough, uncompromising cricket is the Australian way. It’s not. It’s THE way. The rider to that is you have to show respect to the opposition, the game and officials. That should cover it for Australia. No need for ‘elite honesty’…

I still think Moeen Ali is the ideal No 3 in these conditions but it hasn’t happened for him in this Test. It’s what you get from him at times but I believe he has the ability to get a big score in this series and change the course of a game. That’s the type of player he is. I wouldn’t change his position in Kandy…

Moeen Ali's time at the crease didn't last long on Thursday - as he was dismissed for just three

Moeen Ali’s time at the crease didn’t last long on Thursday – as he was dismissed for just three

It’s my duty to keep you all informed about the cobra, boa constrictor and monkey I came across up on the ramparts of the fort here the other day. I’m happy to say there was no sign of them on Thursday but I have to report that I wasn’t exactly going looking for them either…

I’m living healthily here. Plenty of fresh local fish. Where I’m staying has a lovely buffet and if there’s one thing I like it’s a buffet. I keep going back for more. On Thursday night I had some fish, a few prawns, bit of salad, cheese and fruit. No need to order off the menu. It was a proper trough!

Keaton Jennings had a rough time against India last summer but he had his century in Mumbai on debut to fall back on when thinking about the best way to play here. He has looked right at home against spin now with a well-organised game. Fair play, selectors. It could have gone either way but they stuck with him and he’s shown great strength to do this with so many saying he couldn’t play. 

Keaton Jennings silenced his critics by scoring a century in the first Test second innings

Keaton Jennings silenced his critics by scoring a century in the first Test second innings

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