‘I was planning a winter off,’ says Foakes after rescuing England in Sri Lanka

• Wicketkeeper hits unbeaten 87 on first day of Test cricket
• ‘It was an amazing day. It feels a bit surreal at the moment’

From Lisbon to Sri Lanka it has been a remarkable few weeks for Ben Foakes who rescued England on his first day as a Test cricketer; they have been brimful of surprises, nearly all of them pleasant. “I had just come back from a lads’ week in Lisbon [with some of his Surrey colleagues] when Ed Smith rang to tell me I was coming here,” said Foakes after composing a polished unbeaten 87 on the first day of the Test in Galle.

“In Lisbon I’d heard about Jonny Bairstow’s ankle but the call from Ed took me by surprise. After a few years of Lions I was planning a winter off to clear my head. I felt beautiful about that. So I arrived here fresh.” Upon arrival in Colombo he did not however anticipate playing in the Test. The assumption was that Jos Buttler would take over the keeping duties.

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