Sheffield's Joe Root says he is proud, but wasn’t surprised, of his history-making England side as they completed a series whitewash of Sri Lanka yesterday.
Root's England wrapped up a 3-0 series win after beating the hosts by 42 runs in the third Test in Colombo, with Root’s Yorkshire teammate Jonny Bairstow named man of the match after his first-innings century.
Remarkably, before this series England had not won away from home in 13 months and Root hadn’t won a Test as captain outside England.
This England side is the first ever to win every Test match in Sri Lanka, and Root said: "I am proud of everyone, it's been a brilliant tour and a real team effort.
"But I'm not surprised by the whitewash. I knew we were capable but to do it in the way we have and as consistently as we have is a real improvement from these players. Hopefully we can use this as a springboard for moving forward.
"It's been a really good experience for the group but we have to keep looking to get better. The guys have stepped up whether they are experienced and been around a lot, or the guys who have come in and performed as they have done."
Spinner Jack Leach ensured England kept their nerve in Colombo, taking three wickets as well as a vitally important run out to seal victory and make Root's side just the third English touring team to sweep a series of three or more games.
Such achievements are not easy to come by - the last time it happened, in New Zealand, John F Kennedy was planning for a second term as President of the United States and the Beatles were three days away from releasing their debut album - and Sri Lanka pushed England harder than anyone expected.
Chasing a ground record 327 and starting on 53 for four, Kusal Mendis (86) and Roshen Silva (65) both made major inroads before a last-wicket stand worth 58 threatened the unlikeliest of turnarounds in the third Test.
Head coach Trevor Bayliss said: "It went a couple of hours longer than I'd have liked, but we got there in the end and it's justification for the way we have performed in the three Tests.”