Captain Joe Root says it is important England respect the challenge they face in Sri Lanka.
England start a two-game Test series in Galle on Thursday, March 19 and the skipper thinks it’s a good opportunity for some players to show what they are capable of.
He also believes the key to success will be the squad’s ability to respect the conditions and the opposition.
England and Sri Lanka can’t be split by the bookies ahead of the first clash. Both teams can be backed at 2.25 (5/4) with LeoVegas, which highlights how well-matched this tour could be. The draw is available at 6.00 (5/1).
England must have open mind
Despite a 3-0 Test series whitewash the last time England visited Sri Lanka, Root believes he players must expect a different challenge this time around
He said: “We're expecting the surfaces to be slightly different, and we're quite open-minded about what to expect. But ultimately it gives an opportunity for some of the other guys to show what they're capable of.
“I think last time we came at a different time of year for starters. It was a lot wetter. And I'm sure Mickey [Arthur] and everyone has put their own stamp on things and are playing cricket very differently.
“There were very extreme conditions last time around as well, and I felt we found a very good way of exploiting that. It probably suited some of the guys that we had on tour, and the way they played their cricket.
“I think it's important to have an open mind coming into this series. If we just went in and expected it to be exactly the same then we could find ourselves getting stuck, and I think it's really important that we play what's right in front of us, and make sure we respect the surface and the opposition. And I'm sure there are one or two guys that want to put their stamp on this team and take it forward.”
Root wants to maintain momentum
England head to Sri Lanka after the positives of a 3-1 series success in South Africa.
Root wants the team to build on that and is also eyeing a possible World Test Championship tilt after India’s loss in New Zealand left the door slightly ajar for those in behind.
Fourth-placed England would do their cause no harm by bagging more valuable points in Sri Lanka.
“I think for us building towards that Test Championship final would be a huge achievement,” added Root.
“It's something that we're aiming for as a team, and obviously, we're also always judged on how well we do in The Ashes as well, so it's a long process in making sure that we're always trying to peak when we're going up against Australia and travelling over there.”