Unchanged England eye clean sweep

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Nick Compton and Steven Finn will get another chance to impress as England aim to complete a series whitewash of Sri Lanka in the third Test at Lord's, with home skipper Alastair Cook outlining the value of consistency in selection.

Compton had already been retained in a 12-man England squad despite a worrying run of low scores, while Finn's selection ahead of the uncapped Jake Ball was confirmed on Wednesday when Cook announced his team would be unchanged.

Addressing the media on the eve of the opening day at Lord's, Cook said: "Consistency of selection is a big part of thinking. It gives people chances to show what they can do in England shirts and you want people to feel as comfortable as they can.

"You're never going to be perfectly comfortable, I suppose, when you're trying to cement your place, but that's international cricket.

"You don't want people to always be looking over their shoulder. When they get a chance, they get a good run."

England opened up an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber with victory at Chester-le-Street last time out, although Sri Lanka can take confidence from a much-improved second-innings batting display in Durham, which saw the tourists follow up previous scores of 91, 119 and 101 with 475 all out.

 

ENGLAND AIM TO END LAST-TEST HOODOO

In each of their five most recent series, England have lost the last Test. Batting coach Mark Ramprakash said earlier this week: "I hope lessons will have been learned because we have come unstuck in the last Test, most recently in South Africa. That wasn't a good feeling, so we hope the guys will want to finish the job off this week."

 

SRI LANKA TO FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE AT HOME OF CRICKET?

Sri Lanka have never won at Lord's, but they have managed draws on their last four visits. After struggling in seam-friendly conditions in the north of England, the tourists will be eager to make hay with the bat at a venue that often produces high-scoring games.

 

BANDARA SET FOR SRI LANKA DEBUT

While the hosts will be unchanged, uncapped left-arm seamer Chaminda Bandara is expected to be included in Sri Lanka's line-up after being called up as a replacement for the injured Dushmantha Chameera.

 

ANDERSON AIMING TO MAINTAIN STUNNING FORM

James Anderson shapes as the main threat to Sri Lanka. England's record wicket-taker collected 18 wickets across the first two Tests, at an average of 7.72.

 

OPTA STATS

England are looking to secure their first Test-series whitewash since beating India 4-0 on home soil in 2011. It would be the first time they have managed it against Sri Lanka and only the fourth time against any opposition since 1978 (in series of three or more matches).

Joe Root has scored more Test runs (1,754) than any other player since the start of 2015. However, he has hit just one century in his last 18 innings.