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Dawson hoping to join three-pronged spin attack in Sri Lanka

by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

Liam Dawson is hoping the spin-friendly conditions in Sri Lanka will allow him to resume his England career in the upcoming one-day series.

The left-arm spinner has represented his country in all three formats since his T20I bow against this month’s hosts at Southampton in July 2016, but was not needed on home soil this summer against Pakistan and India respectively.

The Hampshire spinner is hoping to come into contention as part of a three-man spin attack at some point during the five-match series, but knows he’s likely to play third-fiddle to Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.

Moeen and Rashid

Moeen and Rashid speak to Wisden Cricket Monthly

Mo and Rash have done a great job for England over the last couple of years, I’m very realistic about that,” Dawson told Press Association Sport after England’s first training session of the tour in Columbo.

“But over here we could come across some slower pitches that spin a lot and three spinners might be an option. Until we get to the first game in Dambulla we won’t know. I’m happy to be here and hopefully I can make a contribution if I play. My white-ball cricket over the last two or three years has been pretty strong.”

Liam Dawson appeals during the second Test between England and South Africa, July 2017

While England are currently the highest-ranked team in the world, with a transitioning Sri Lanka down in eighth place after failing to win any of their last nine bilateral series, Dawson knows that playing Sri Lanka on their own turf will provide many challenges.

“The plans will be the same as what we’ve done for the last 18 months to two years,” said Dawson. “You get to No.1 by being a very good team so we’ll stick to our strengths and continue to play good cricket.”

“They’ve had a tough Asia Cup but they’ll be trying to put that right in the next few matches. It will be interesting to see what they produce. They might go with their strengths and produce slower wickets that spin a little bit, but we’ll wait and see. As a group the lads have played in all conditions and we have to adapt.”

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