Joe Root pleased to practice what he preached

Joe Root's second-innings 124 led by example as England claimed victory in the second Test against Sri Lanka.

England's Joe Root.   -  Getty Images

England captain Joe Root is satisfied with the way both his words and actions inspired England to victory in the second Test against Sri Lanka.

A 57-run victory in Pallekele secured the series win for England - a first away from home since January 2016 and a first in Sri Lanka since 2001.

Root had challenged his players to be bold in the second of three Tests and his own 124 in the second innings made a significant contribution to the victory, earning him the Man of the Match award.

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"I'm really pleased to back up everything I've spoken about and the way that I did it. It's nice to make a big contribution but the thing that sits well with me is the manner in which I did it. I asked the guys to play a certain way, and I went out and backed it up myself," Root told Sky Sports.

England returned on day five needing only three wickets to make sure of the win and it cleaned up the Sri Lankan tail in just 31 minutes.

"We were pretty confident. We knew we'd be able to create three chances on that surface, but we also recognised that when partnerships developed it became quite difficult," Root continued.

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"We tried to stay as calm as possible, trust all the plans we had, and follow through on that, and thankfully it paid off."

Root believes that the performance demonstrates a tremendous strength in depth in England at the moment. "Look at the guys we've got on the sidelines," he added.

"We've got some very exciting young players and a lot of experience, and for Stuart Broad [and Jonny Bairstow] to have no played a part in this series shows the strength of the squad, and the adaptability as well."

"Around the world we could have played a very different side with a similar well-balanced look to it. It's nice to be in a position where all 17 guys could walk into the team and it wouldn't look any less balanced, or out of place in these conditions."