Captain needs runs to silence critics

Galle has rarely been kind to England captains. More often than not they have travelled the coastal road back to Colombo, having been gently basted in the sun, knowing that they have come off second best. No England captain has left Galle a winner.

Nasser Hussain, Michael Vaughan and Andrew Strauss have all struggled here, both as captains and batsmen, Vaughan’s twin draws (hanging on, nine wickets down in 2003, and then saved by the rain in 2007) a triumph compared to the innings defeat suffered by Hussain and the 75-run defeat inflicted on Strauss yesterday.

Watching Strauss in the aftermath of defeat, it was Hussain that I was thinking of. During England’s first ever Test match in Galle, Hussain was in the middle of a horror trot. The team was playing well- we had just won in Pakistan- but he could not buy a run and, as all captains will tell you, the job becomes doubly difficult when you are struggling to justify your place in the team……

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