Batting coach Graham Gooch has challenged England's top order to prove they can improve on their recent travails in the United Arab Emirates.
England failed comprehensively with the bat in the 3-0 Test series whitewash against Pakistan, with a frailty to spin the most obvious trend among the frontline batsmen. But only the dreadfully out-of-sorts Eoin Morgan paid with his place in the squad, leaving the remainder to justify the selectors' faith in two Tests against Sri Lanka starting on March 26.
Gooch, then in a consultant's role, was absent for much of the UAE debacle but has now started work as a full-time member of the backroom staff, and said: "Our players are capable of improving their performances against this type of (spin) bowling and being a lot better than we were against Pakistan."
He added: "Only time will tell how much of an improvement we can make. We were knocked down but the important thing is how you get up, how you go forward. I think they will be looking at this series to put things right."