England in Sri Lanka: Zak Crawley says it’s "fairly doubtless" that he’ll open his eyelash

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Zak Crawley's 267 against Pakistan was his highest score in top notch cricket

Conference location: Galle International Stadium. Events: 14.-18. January.
Cover: Live text commentary on the BBC Sports website.

Englishman Zak Crawley says it is "quite likely" that he will open the eyelashes during the two-test tour of Sri Lanka.

Crawley settled at three in the English summer and scored 267 points in his final innings against Pakistan.

However, with Rory Burns staying in London for the birth of his first child, Crawley and Dom Sibley are the only recognized openers in England's 16-man roster in Sri Lanka.

"I haven't been told anything yet, but I suspect that might be the case," Crawley said.

"It doesn't change much for me – I see the top 4 as all pretty similar roles.

"I'm happy to beat in one of those positions but I think there is a very good chance that I will open and I'm looking forward to it."

Crawley made his Test debut in New Zealand last winter, battling for six before heading to the top of the rankings for the injured Burns in the final three Tests of the English run win in South Africa.

He battled for four in the English summer's opening test before moving to third, which the 22-year-old thinks is his preferred position.

"When I was young I always wanted to hit three and all my heroes hit three and then I got a good score at three so I really like the way it worked," Crawley said.

"I had a small chance to think about the innings before going in and that was something I hadn't done in a while after opening up a bit for Kent and I really enjoyed that.

"But it means a lot to play for England – if they want me to open, I'll open. If they want me to hit six, I'll hit six and if I have a choice I might hit three." . "

The right-hander averaged 48.41 in eight Tests after his first century against Pakistan in the Ageas Bowl, but says it is still "very early days" in his testing career.

"You never really know that you can get a test a hundred until you get one. Hopefully I can build on that now," added Crawley.

"I don't want to be a one-hit wonder and fade away. I want to secure my place in the side and I won't live too long on these innings."

The preparation of England for the two tests, which start in Galle on January 14th, was hampered by the all-rounder Moeen Ali tests positive for coronavirus, and bowler Chris Woakes must isolate themselves as close contact, but Crawley said they are both "fine".

"It's obviously massively frustrating for them," Crawley said.

"Mo didn't know he had it until he tested positive so I feel for him, but I'm sure they'll be good if they come from the other side."

The rest of England's tour party returned negative tests on Tuesday and they first trained at their base in Hambantota on Wednesday.

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