Root challenges England debutants to follow in Cook's footsteps

Rory Burns and Ben Foakes appear set to debut for England as they begin life after Alastair Cook, with Joe Root challenging the new men.

England captain Joe Root   -  Getty Images

Joe Root is confident his new-look England side will be ready to face Sri Lanka and urged them to follow in Alastair Cook's footsteps.

England is playing its first Test this week since stalwart Cook's retirement in September and is set to line up with Rory Burns alongside Keaton Jennings at the top of the order in Galle.

Ben Foakes could also debut, but Root is excited to see what the new men can offer, believing there to be an opportunity to take Cook's lead and deliver "something special".

"It will be my first Test match playing without Alastair. It's a big loss in terms of experience and everything he brings to the squad," Root told reporters.

READ: Bairstow out of first Test in Sri Lanka

"Of course we miss him, but it's a great opportunity for someone else to stand up and do something special for England."

"The guys are aware you've got to make the most of every chance you get to prepare. We've done that very well in the lead-up to this game."

"We've got to be adaptable, it's part and parcel of Test cricket and playing here this time of year. There's no real excuse for going in undercooked. We've done some really good stuff up until now and that'll have to be enough."

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