The Asia Cup and the Indian Premier League have got a lot to answer for. Shoehorned in either side of these one-day tournaments, this series has been a terrific advert for Test cricket. It would have been even better, one suspects, had it been longer than just two Tests.
Another absorbing day’s cricket was, until shortly before the close when Graeme Swann took two wickets with the second new ball to further his team’s advantage, a mainly frustrating one for England. It was a day when the pitch stubbornly refused to reveal any demons; a day of missed opportunities, unremitting toil and a day during which England had another long sighting of Mahela Jayawardena.
After adding another three hours to his tally in making an unbeaten 55, Jayawardena has now batted more than fifteen hours in this series and England will not feel that their work is done until they have seen the back of him on the final day. All of his runs have been made under pressure and so he will be well versed in the situation, when his team begins 33 runs in front with only four wickets remaining.