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England v Sri Lanka: Five things to look forward to

Alastair Cook on his way to a century against Sri Lanka in 2011
Alastair Cook on his way to a century against Sri Lanka in 2011

With flowers appearing around Lord’s and the weather getting (slightly) sunnier, it’s impossible to ignore that summer is on its way.

Tuesday 4 March marks 100 days until England and Sri Lanka take to the field to do battle, and we've identified five things sure to whet the appetite.

Return of Test cricket

With the calendar filled with One Day Internationals and Twenty20 matches for the next few months, it will have been more than six months since England last donned their whites when they take the field on Thursday 12 June and 99 days since the conclusion of the previous Test anywhere in the world

England's new order

After a winter of discontent, England will almost certainly be fielding a new-look team, with plenty of places up for grabs.

After the likes of Sam Robson, Chris Woakes and James Taylor impressed for the England Lions, there’s a chance for Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler to show the selectors what they can do by performing well in the World T20.

Legends' last stand?

Two of the greatest players of the modern era, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, could be playing a Test together at Lord’s for the final time.

Although both are now 36 years old, neither are showing any sign of slowing down their prodigious run scoring however. Sangakkara in particular appears in the prime of his life after scoring both a triple century and another ton in his most recent Test, and he also has two ODI hundreds in his last three matches to boot.

However, unlike Jayawardene, who has made two Test centuries at Lord’s, Sangakkara does not appear on the famous Honours Boards something he’ll want to correct this summer.

Chandimal's second coming

Alongside those legends in the Sri Lankan middle order will be a youngster who also has fond memories of playing at Lord’s. In just his sixth ODI, 21-year-old Dinesh Chandimal struck a memorable century to lead the tourists to a six-wicket victory on the away side’s most recent tour to England in 2011.

Having made his Test debut later that year, he has wasted no time in becoming a key part of Sri Lanka’s team, and now aged 24, will want to add to his growing reputation with more runs at the Home of Cricket.

Lord’s in its prime

The smell of freshly-cut grass, the sound of the brass band playing and the excited murmur of anticipation around the ground - there is simply nowhere better than Lord’s on the morning of a Test match.

In the Ground's Bicentenary year, for players and supporters alike, walking through the Grace Gates on the morning of a Test match is a thrill like no other, and it’s now only 100 days away.

Tickets for Days 1 and 4 are still on sale on the Lord's ticket website.

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