England skipper Joe Root said Monday that spin would play a massive role in Sri Lanka but admitted that his side needed to adapt well in order to succeed in these conditions.
“We've just got to adapt very well, very quickly and read the situation.”
As England aim to better their record in sub-continent, Root insisted that his side possesses a balanced attack with multiple options at his disposal.
"We've got a very balanced squad with plenty of different options. From that point of view, I feel we'll be very well prepared for whatever surface is thrown at us."
The 27-year-old said Cook’s absence will be a big loss in terms of experience but England captain called on the young players in his side to stand up and put up a special performance for their side.
"It will be my first Test match without playing with Alastair. It's a big loss in terms of experience and everything he brings to the squad and the team," said Root.
"Of course we miss him. But it's a great opportunity for someone else to make that spot their own, stand up and do something special for England."
With Rangana Herath set to retire from Test cricket, Root praised Herath’s phenomenal longevity but warned his players from getting carried away by the occasion.
"I'm very aware of how skillful he is and how he'll try and get us out," said Root.
"Of course there'll be a lot of noise around him and it being his last game.
"But we've got to play 11 Sri Lankan players who could all equally affect the game and that respect has to be there for the whole team."