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Kohler-Cadmore hails Tests as hardest format

— 21 January 2021

“I would love to play for England in all three formats,” says Tom Kohler-Cadmore. “But if you gave me only one career cap to my name, I would pick a Test cap over T20s and ODIs every day of the week.”

Test Match Cricket is all the rage after a memorable week for England and India, with talk of the format’s beauty at fever-pitch.

And Kohler-Cadmore, the Yorkshire and England Lions batsman, would dearly love to be a part of it some day soon.

“The way I see it, Test cricket is the highest and hardest level of the game. It challenges you in more ways,” he explained. “Mentally and physically, you’re under pressure for five days, not to mention the build-up to the series.

“Most one-day or T20s are played on good pitches wherever you are in the world.

“Even in the sub-continent, they’re still true and flat. They might be a bit lower, but they don’t spin massively and play pretty well.

“In a Test Match, you’re getting your full game tested on a deteriorating pitch.”

Kohler-Cadmore was speaking to preview Friday’s second and final Test between England and Sri Lanka at Galle (4.30am UK).

After winning by seven wickets at the same venue on Monday, Joe Root would dearly love to take a 2-0 victory into their next assignment in India at the start of next month.

“I watched the full fourth day evening session on Sunday, and I thought that was so exciting,” continued Kohler-Cadmore.

“The contest England were in, even though they were just chasing 70, was compelling on a turning pitch.

“For a little bit when they were three down early, you were thinking, ‘Surely not!’. But the way Bluey (Jonny Bairstow) played and Dan Lawrence in his first Test, they steadied the ship and got us over the line.

“Watching that match, it was really good for Test cricket bar that first day when Sri Lanka were batting. The rest of it was a brilliant contest.”

It was not just England’s victory which caught the eye. India beating Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday to seal a 2-1 series victory has been hailed as one of Test Cricket’s greatest wins given the tourists plethora of injuries and absentees, including Virat Kohli.

They were also bowled out for just 36 to lose the first Test at Adelaide before Christmas.

“It’s been good to see away teams do so well. So often it happens that teams go to Australia or India and it’s 3-0 or 4-0. Sri Lanka can be the same,” said 26-year-old TKC.

“If you’re a non-Asian team playing in those countries, it’s so far away from your norm that you struggle in those conditions.

“It’s now good to see it becoming more competitive.”

He continued: “England were in charge of pretty much the full first game, and they won the series in Sri Lanka a couple of years ago as well. It’s great to see that we are able to play in spinning conditions, and it shows how hard the players are working.

“It’s great as a viewer back home to be able to say, ‘We’re not certain to lose even though it’s spinning’. That has happened in the past.

“Fingers crossed, this kind of form continues when they go to India.”

  • With 17 Tests scheduled for Root and co this year, including home and away series against India and an Ashes series Down Under close to Christmas, it would be easy to overlook the importance of this ongoing series.

    But it is part of the first World Test Championship, which concludes in June and gives England a springboard for success.

    Kohler-Cadmore said: “Any Test series is really difficult away from home. Even if you’re playing a team you would hammer at home, they know how to play in their own conditions.

    “I don’t think anyone would ever go to Sri Lanka and think it’s going to be easy.

    “This series has come at the right time for England ahead of India, who will be tougher. They will have a game-plan worked out and ready to go.

    “That’s especially important for the younger lads who haven’t played much out there – Sibley, Crawley, Lawrence.”

    Monday’s seven-wicket win was, from a Yorkshire point of view, all the more notable for the performance of three of our own – captain Root, Bairstow and new signing Dom Bess.

    Root hit a sublime first-innings 228, off-spinner Bess claimed eight wickets in the match, including five in the first innings, and Bairstow posted scores of 47 and 35 not out.

    “The boys were outstanding, and it’s nice to see them doing so well, especially Jonny having been out of the squad for a while,” added Kohler-Cadmore.

    “Had he got out in that final session of day four, England are under massive pressure.

    “I know he didn’t get a massive score, but his 30 was really crucial and worth so much more.

    “He’s just a scrapper who will never give in.

    “Jonny can do everything. We’ve seen how destructive he can be against the white ball and red ball. And the second innings, he dug in and battled hard.

    “I actually think he’s quite unlucky not to be the first choice keeper. But England are very fortunate to have two players in him and Jos Buttler who would be the frontline keeper in any other team in the world.

    “Jonny is outstanding and someone you need in your team. We’re very lucky that he’s a Yorkshireman.

    “It’s great to see him back in the team, and hopefully he can get a big score in this second Test to really cement his spot again.”

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