Stuart Broad may be the first casualty in England’s battle of spinners | Vic Marks

Jimmy Anderson could lose his seam partner should the tourists opt for horses for courses in Galle

This is a special place for a Test match. Two sides of Galle’s cricket ground are flanked by the ocean and a third is overlooked by the magnificent old Dutch fort where the pauper and the miser can share an excellent view of the cricket. On Saturday the skeletons of the awnings to be fixed over the stands were being erected to prevent English spectators from being frazzled or drenched come Tuesday for the first Test against Sri Lanka – hopefully the former is the greater peril but there are no guarantees at this time of the year.

There was also some activity out in the middle. The square is a luscious green and a few days ago there were photographs of the Test pitch, which was the same colour. Now the much-discussed strip of turf that constitutes the playing surface is easily distinguishable. Grass is still visible but is no longer emerald green. The ground staff were scrubbing the turf with brushes in anticipation of another trim.

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