Liam Dawson is hoping helpful Sri Lankan pitches will pave the way for England to play three spinners in this month’s one-day series.
Dawson has represented his country in all three formats in the last two years but was not required at all during a seam-friendly domestic summer.
A trip to the sub-continent brought him back into the reckoning and on Wednesday the Hampshire bowler joined his team-mates in their first training session of the trip at Colombo’s P Sara Stadium.
Conditions proved stiflingly warm for a squad whose county seasons ended in autumnal conditions only days ago, but Dawson welcomes the change of scenery.
He is behind established pair Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid in the pecking order but is holding out hopes of joining them in the five-match series.
‘Mo and Rash have done a great job for England over the last couple of years, I’m very realistic about that,’ he told Press Association Sport.
‘But over here we could come across some slower pitches that spin a lot and three spinners might be an option. Until we get to the first game in Dambulla we won’t know.
‘I’m happy to be here and hopefully I can make a contribution if I play.
‘My white-ball cricket over the last two or three years has been pretty strong. It’s always nice to come on tour with England and I’m looking forward to it.’
The tourists will be wary of Sri Lanka’s own spin contingent but will surely harbour high hopes of success.
England remain top of the ICC’s ODI rankings, with Sri Lanka in eighth having failed to win any of their last nine bilateral series.
‘The plans will be the same as what we’ve done for the last 18 months to two years. You get to number one by being a very good team so we’ll stick to our strengths and continue to play good cricket,’ added Dawson.
‘They’ve had a tough Asia Cup but they’ll be trying to put that right in the next few matches.
‘It will be interesting to see what they produce. They might go with their strengths and produce slower wickets that spin a little bit but we’ll wait and see. As a group the lads have played in all conditions and we have to adapt.’