First-Test victory a personal and team triumph for Root’s depleted England

The captain bore the fruits of having some time off and should be proud of how he and his undercooked and under-strength team started the year even if tougher tests lie ahead

After the presentation and the press conferences were out of the way, and the dust on the well-worn pitch had settled, Joe Root stepped out onto the outfield in Galle to speak to the solitary England fan who had witnessed his side’s seven-wicket victory in person from the ramparts of the neighbouring Dutch fort.

Rob Lewis had spent 10 months in Sri Lanka waiting for the team to return after the original series was postponed back in March and Root, whose match-defining 228 was forged with a bat that has a Barmy Army logo on the back of it, wanted to thank him personally for his support across the five days.

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