The Test series so far has seen Sri Lanka comprehensively outplayed for the vast majority of the firstTest at Headingley, and the first half of the second Test match. However, the England cricket team being, well, the England cricket team meant that a fair degree of confidence will have worked it's way through the touristsafter their formidable fight back in their second innings at Durham. The Lord'sbatting-friendly pitch will surely mean thatwhichever batting team holds their nerve will surely have the upper hand.

Captain Cook - record breaker.

You know, it still beggars belief that after the Durham Test match Alistair Cook was still receiving a distinct lack of respect from some quarters (yes Pierce Morgan, I'm talking about you).

Putting aside his Ashes and other Test match winning record as captain his record as a batsman reached a pivotal milestone in the 2nd Test, and with it garnered a slew of other record-breaking achievements. Just think about this for a moment; The youngest player (beating Sachin Tendulkar's record by six months) to reach 10,000; the first Englishman and only the 12th batsman in the history of the game to reach that total. If that wasn't enough only one otheropener in cricket history has achieved the same milestone..... well actually it's not enough as he's scored more runs as England captain then any of hispredecessors. And yet, and yet. I can't help but feeling that in somequarters the praise has been somewhat muted.

Maybe it'sbecause he may not be theflamboyant of batsman (and men), maybe it's because he'scalmly methodical, or maybe it's because he's not Kevin Pietersen. C'mon people, Cook is abona fide cricketing great. Let's treat him like one.

Another catch bites the dust.

The 2nd Test was going swimmingly for the first two days having been shredded for a paltry 101 all out and then having the England batsmen pile on the ignominy by declaring on 498 for 9 as Moeen Ali finally had the chance to remind is that he was actually picked as a batsman in the first place with a classy 155 not out.

However it seems that old Cricket habits take an age to die as England began to forfeit the momentum that had been gained so far. It was partly due to a combination of loose England catching as Jonny Barstow forgot that wearing keeping gloves actually helps to keep hold of straightforward catch and James Vince forgetting that running backwards may actually inhibit one from catching a cricket ball.

This lead to Sri Lanka skilfully giving the English fielders some of their own medicine as they accumulated that confidence raising total of 475 to make England bat again.

And so to Lord's.

The 3rd and final test match starts this Thursday at Lord's. Sri Lanka have been forced into at least one change,having called up uncapped bowler Chaminda Bandara for the gameto replace Dushmantha Chamber whosuffered an injury in the previous game. So what will the final match bring? We all know that the Lord's pitch is traditionally batsman friendly, but of course there is the small matter of the slope which has often caught even the most experienced of players out over the years. My view is that the England batsman will prevail - but I would say that wouldn't I?

A word of warning to Sri Lanka.

Yes it may be that the tourists are on a high after the 2nd Test, but there is the little matter of Jimmy Anderson, because not only does he love Lord's but he's further bolstered by now becoming only the fourth England bowler to head the Test bowler rankings after reaching 451 wickets in the 2nd Test. So watch out Sri Lanka, Jimmy's gonna gotcha!! I predict a 3-0 series clean sweep for Captain Cook and his brave boys.

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