Former captain Nasser Hussain is highly impressed with the way England are building forward to the ICC Cricket World Cup in England next year and feels, having improved in most aspects of their game, the ability to counter big pressure knock-out games, remains the only question mark over the Eoin Morgan led side.
Batting first in the second ODI at Dambulla, England stumbled along the way but eventually recovered to get very fine score of 278-9 on the board.
In a rain-curtailed run chase, Sri Lanka failed to get going at all and were restricted to just 140-5 in 29 overs by England, as the visitors won the game by 31 runs on the DLS method.
Speaking on three lions' performance and their progress, Nasser was quoted saying, "England have got every box ticked, There is a little question against mystery spin but that is something, given time, they will work on and improve," he stressed, "They didn't have their best day but got 280, which was above par in my estimations. Sometimes when you're around a side you don't realise how good they are until you go away from home and they are a very fine team."
Happy with the 1-0 lead in the series, Nasser further said, "It's not 'if they can play in these conditions' as we have seen that they can, it is 'can they do it under pressure in a must-win game?' If Jason Roy goes in the first over, like he did today, can Joe Root come out and play the same way under pressure? I think he can."
On Eoin Morgan's inspiring leadership, the veteran added, "Morgan then hit 31 in the next 18 balls after Root got out - he didn't hold back at all, he just kept going. In a bilateral series you just carry on but in a World Cup semi-final, when you've just lost Root, will Morgan do that?"
"You just want to make sure you can do that in a one-off, must-win game but you can't test that until you're in the situation because every other cricket they play is bilateral cricket where there is a tomorrow," he signed off.
(Inputs from Sky Sports)