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Jennings faces nervous wait ahead of SL tour

Updated September 14, 2018

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LONDON: England opener Keaton Jennings faces a nervous wait to know if he is part of their plans for next month’s tour of Sri Lanka but his ability on spinning wickets could work in his favour, coach Trevor Bayliss has said.

Jennings averaged just over 18 in their recent 4-1 series victory over India and has not scored a Test century since his debut knock in Mumbai in 2016.

“I’m sure he will be a bit nervous about which way it will go. He scored runs in India on spinning wickets and I’m sure that will be in his favour,” Bayliss told the British media. “But he is a big boy, he knows runs on the board count as well. All of those points will have to be discussed and I can’t say at this stage or another whether he will go or not.”

England, who will be without Alastair Cook after the 33-year-old retired as their most prolific scorer in Tests, are expected to name their squad next week.

England will play five One-day International and a Twenty20 International in Sri Lanka before the three-Test series gets underway on Nov 6 at Galle.

Meanwhile, James Anderson has no immediate plans to retire after becoming the most successful pace bowler in Test cricket history, but the 36-year-old does not rule out a sudden decision to end his international career.

Anderson bowled Mohammed Shami

to seal victory over India in the fifth Test at The Oval on Tuesday, claiming his 564th Test wicket in his 143rd match to move ahead of Australian great Glenn McGrath.

Anderson, who made his Test debut in 2003, said retirement thoughts had not crossed his mind yet as he was still able to cope with the physical demands of the game’s longest format.

“I don’t really think about it — I play my best when I focus on what’s ahead of me; the next game, the next series - whatever it is,” the Lancastrian said.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2018