January 15, 2021
England’s latest batting debutant looked instantly at home during an impressive maiden innings at Galle
Dan Lawrence settles into Test cricket with formidable familiarity | Andy Bull
The first ball Dan Lawrence faced in Test Cricket was from Sri Lanka’s slow left-armer Lasith Embuldeniya. It was outside off stump, flatter and faster than the one before it, which had done for Jonny Bairstow. Lawrence sized it up, stepped back, and smacked it out to cover for an easy single. And that was the introductions done with, a brisk handshake before he settled down to the serious business of Test match cricket. Lawrence spanked his next ball, a full toss from Dilruwan Perera, away for four, followed it with a punch through the covers, a glance past square leg, and before you knew it he was already in double figures.
It all looked disarmingly easy. Here was a 23-year-old kid playing his first Test innings on a hot, humid day, on a turning pitch, against three good spinners, one of them, Perera, an old hand who was busy taking first-class wickets back when Lawrence was still crawling around on all fours. It should have been hard going, but somehow Lawrence took to it like a soft chair, as if all this was as comfortable and familiar to him as the nets back at Chingford, where his dad works as a groundsman, and where he first learned to play.
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