Sam Curran believes England's spinners will be pivotal in their attempts to secure a series-sealing win in Kandy after the tourists' batsmen posted 285 on the first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka.
England, who recorded a convincing 211-run win in the first Test in Galle, won the toss and elected to bat but were in danger of failing to reach 200 when 171-7.
Yet Curran's superb 64, which included six sixes, helped Joe Root's men to 285 before Jack Leach bowled Kaushal Silva prior to stumps to leave Sri Lanka 26-1, still 259 runs in arrears.
Leach's delivery gripped and straightened before clipping the top of off stump and Curran expects the 27-year-old - along with Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid - to have a huge say in the coming days.
"You saw in the evening how much it spun," Curran told Sky Sports.
"The next couple of days are going to be exciting for spin bowlers and batters are going to be on their toes.
"Spinners are going to have a huge role and we've got three great spinners all bowling very nicely.
"We have a score we're fairly happy about with the surface breaking up and cracks getting a bit bigger."
Curran top-scored for England but Jos Buttler's 67-ball 63 was also a crucial knock.
It came either side of the lunch interval and Curran thought the hosts were running out of ideas for how to get Buttler out.
"Jos came in and played the way we know he can do: sweeping, reverse sweeping, running down - they looked like they started to panic a little bit," he added.
"It got to the stage after lunch where he was almost reverse sweeping or sweeping every ball, the field was all over the place."
Curran made a half-century for the third time in 11 Test innings and his 60-run final stand with James Anderson was England's most productive of the day.
"It was crucial - getting close to 300 was massive for us," he added.
"Me and Jimmy had quite a bit of fun out there. He was probably the one telling me to calm down and trust him.
"You've just got to back your ability, take the risks when you need to. Joe Root has been massive in the dressing room, saying: 'Don't worry about making mistakes'. We're just trying to go out with a positive mind-set."
19 de diciembre 2018
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