MARTYN Moxon is backing England to make it a 3-0 Test series whitewash against Sri Lanka in Colombo, starting on Friday.

Yorkshire’s director of cricket has hailed England’s performances across all formats having completed a clean sweep of red and white ball successes.

The Test series may be won, but with Joe Root targeting top spot in the ICC’s rankings, this fixture is a hugely important one.

“Once the series has been won, the challenge of winning the last Test is always a big one,” said Moxon. “A lot of times, it’s ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’ in some respects. But I’m sure they’re going to be determined to come back home 3-0, and I don’t see any reason why they can’t.

“Sri Lanka are in a bit of a transitional period - they’ve lost some world-class players and aren’t the force they were. But, having said that, for England to win in all three formats is a great achievement. All credit to them.”

Moxon believes the way England have played in sub-continental conditions would have troubled a better side than Sri Lanka, an India for example, who currently sit top of the world rankings.

“We’ve got a good team with all bases covered if the players perform to their capability,” he continued.

“Jennings got his hundred and Burns, although he hasn’t got a big score, has shown he’s capable at the top of the order.

“The three spinners have done their job. We haven’t needed any seamers, but we know we have ones available who are very capable at Test level.

“If we can nail the top three - there’s still a question mark at three - we will be very strong.

“The way they play, they’ve found a good balance between defence and attack. There’s been periods where batsmen have had to dig in, which they’ve been willing to do, and others when they’ve attacked.

“The innovations with the sweeps and the reverse sweeps have been profitable. I heard some analysis had been done and it’s a record for sweep shots played, the runs scored and the dismissals.

“I think it’s been a fascinating series.”

Yorkshire stars Root and Adil Rashid have both contributed significantly.

While Root scored a brilliant second-innings century at Kandy in the last Test, Bradford's Rashid has chipped in with valuable runs and wickets throughout.

Moxon said: “For Rooty to get a hundred in those circumstances and with everything that’s been said about him not converting and all that, it must be up there as one of his best. The captain getting a hundred and winning the series on the back of it is almost the perfect scenario. It’s your dreams come true. I’m delighted for him.

“I think Rash batted really well in particular, which is good to see because we know how capable he is with the bat.

“At Test level, up to now, he hasn’t really shown it. But he’s played some important innings and shown a lot of confidence.

“With the ball, I think the three spinners have complemented each other really well.

“England are in a very good position that they’ve got three spinners who can all play together in those conditions because, traditionally, playing in the sub-continent has been a problem for them.”

The other talking point from the last fortnight has been Jonny Bairstow’s situation, with the wicketkeeper-batsman left out of the side altogether having recovered from an ankle injury suffered in training last month.

Ben Foakes retained the gloves after a debut man-of-the-match display in the first Test at Galle, but Bairstow was omitted altogether despite arguably being England’s best batsman in recent times.

Bairstow will play in Colombo and will bat at three, replacing injured Sam Curran in the side. But that looks like being only a short-term measure.

Moxon added: “It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Jonny now.

“England - the selectors, captain, coaches - have got a bit of a conundrum as to what they do.

“Jonny’s proven that he’s a world-class player.

“Going forward, they’ve got to find a place for him.”

Jimmy Anderson has also been rested. Stuart Broad will take his place.