Since Jardine’s ill-fated taxi ride, Sri Lankan Tests have always been a bit taxing | Andy Bull

Only after being thrashed at the Oval in 1998 have England stopped treating their Test rivals this month as underdogs – but all subsequent series have been played on equal footing

From this distance it seems to have been a tricky little start to the tour of Sri Lanka, where England spent three days locked up inside their hotel rooms, then had one half of their only warmup game washed out by rain. Still, Joe Root has handled these little challenges with more grace, and good humour, than some of his predecessors did.

Related: Joe Root backs England's patient approach to bring success in Sri Lanka

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