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Series against England toughest on earth: Sri Lanka coach

Updated: May 25, 2011, 17:47 PM IST

London: Sri Lanka`s coach Stuart Law has described their forthcoming Test series against England as the "toughest deal on the planet".

The former Australian admits that England are the top Test team in the world following two years of consistent results.

"I have said openly, in the last 18 months England have been the best team in world cricket," Law said.

"They have beaten teams in their backyard, they`ve beaten teams away from home. They are well drilled and leave nothing to chance. We are preparing for them to be the toughest deal on the planet at this stage," said Law, who hopes to be appointed Sri Lanka`s permanent head coach after this tour.

"We are not underestimating one facet of their game. People say certain areas of their batting line-up can be exposed, but we are not seeing it that way. We are just trying to plan for each batsman. We need to play good consistent cricket for five days, and if we can sniff a result we need to put a foot on the throat."

The first Test begins at Cardiff Thursday.

Sri Lanka have started encouragingly with wins against Middlesex and the England Lions but suffered a blow when pace bowler Nuwan Pradeep was ruled out of the tour.

Sri Lanka are in a state of flux with a new captain in Tillakaratne Dilshan. The retirements of Lasith Malinga and Muttiah Muralitharan add to the different look of this squad.

"If you understand what goes on in Sri Lanka cricket behind the scenes, you would be amazed at how well these guys actually play," said Law.

"They have to put up with extra pressures whichever way they come. In the Malinga case, I knew he wasn`t too keen to play this Test series. He`s been playing IPL and has a degenerative knee problem and I was talking to the surgeon who looked after him a couple of years ago who was also treating Murali," Law said.

"He said he was lucky to be walking around, let alone bowling. It`s a shame he`s not here and a shame Murali is not here. But it`s a great opportunity for some young gun to come in and have a great career for Sri Lanka."