In a little over a week, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root will take to the Headingley turf to face Sri Lanka in a Test match. To warm up, they showed their international class in the County Championship against Surrey.
The pair shared a mammoth triple-century stand at their home ground for Yorkshire, taking the defending champions’ score from 45-3 to 417-4 when finally separated on the second day.
In sharing those 372 runs, the England teammates inked their names into Yorkshire’s record books. Theirs is now the highest White Rose stand against Surrey and the highest for the fourth wicket against any opposition. Only four other partnerships in the county’s history are worth more.
As Surrey toiled, the visiting Sri Lankan side, themselves limbering up for five-day action against Essex, surely trembled.
Angelo Mathews’ tourists have famously failed to adapt to early-summer English conditions and will no doubt fear a Surrey-style pummelling at the hands of Root, Bairstow or any other Three Lions representative in Leeds.
The Yorkshire pair are just the latest prospective Test players to hit high gear at the right time. Root took his overnight score to 213 against Surrey, while Bairstow fell two short of a double century of his own.
Some miles south of Root and Bairstow’s batting masterclass, Mathews’ men were toiling.
Essex piled on 412 against them before declaring four wickets down, having bowled the tourists out for 254 the day before.
Although the contest petered out into an inevitable draw, it painted a stark picture of how tough this series against England will be for the 16/1 shots.
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