Having claimed victory at Pallekele to take a 2-0 unassailable lead in the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka, skipper Joe Root is delighted but has given England a new goal to ambition for - reaching and sustaining top spot in the ICC Test rankings.
Picking up the remaining three wickets within 30 minutes on Day 5 and beating the hosts by a substantial margin of 57 runs, England ended a 17-year-long wait and completed a rare Test series win in the island nation.
This also becomes three lions' first victory in the subcontinent, since Alastair Cook's men made history in India during the 2012-13 cricketing season.
Talking about the astonishing feat, a very pleased and satisfied Joe Root said at the post-match presentation, “It was a brilliant Test match, I thought we were very good in the whole game really. At times we were under pressure and we responded really well to that."
“Sri Lanka played brilliantly in both innings but we stayed calm and managed to find ways to get back in the game. We played some close games against India, and this was similar to that,” he added.
This is when he also made his intentions and ambition very clear and continued, "We have been courageous at times. As a whole squad, we have done really well. We got to keep looking to improve, can't keep still," affirming, "We want to get to the No. 1 rank in the world at some point and we got to be consistent to that. There are competitions for places within the squad. We need to keep taking opportunities that are in store for us."
The third Test at SSC, Colombo begins on Friday, November 23.
(Inputs from CricketNext)