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Moores out to make winning start on Test return

10 June 2014 18:36

England coach Peter Moores will be out to mark his return to the Test arena with victory in a two-match series against Sri Lanka.

Moores was reappointed for a second stint in April as replacement for Andy Flower, who left his post following England's disastrous tour of Australia, which featured a 5-0 Ashes whitewash at the hands of their fierce rivals.

The 51-year-old's return to the national set-up has not prompted instant success for England, who have suffered defeats to Sri Lanka in the preceding Twenty20 and one-day international series.

But, England, ranked as the third-best nation in Test cricket, will be the favourites to atone for those disappointments with victory in the longer format of the game.

A much-changed squad has been selected for the opening Test at Lord's, with a trio of debutants given the chance to make an impression when play gets under way on Thursday.

Fast bowler Chris Jordan and all-rounder Moeen Ali could make their Test bows, while Australian-born opener Sam Robson is in line to appear for the first time in senior international cricket in any form.

Meanwhile, Moores also opted to hand a recall to Yorkshire's Liam Plunkett, whose last Test appearance came versus the West Indies in 2007.

That youthful squad will have designs on clinching England's first Test win since August last year, however, Sri Lanka will have plenty of motivation to try and spring a surprise.

Former Sri Lanka coach Paul Farbrace left his post two months ago to become an assistant to Moores, and the tourists may hope to get one over their former boss.

Accusations over all-rounder Sachithra Senanayake's controversial bowling action have irritated Sri Lanka, while the same player's now infamous run-out of Jos Buttler in last Tuesday's fifth and final ODI has fuelled tensions further.

Sri Lanka's sole Test series win in England came 16 years ago as they emerged victorious at The Oval in the only Test of their 1998 tour.

The visitors will be without paceman Suranga Lakmal due to a hamstring injury for the Lord's Test, although Sri Lanka are hopeful of his return for the second and final meeting at Headingley in 10 days' time.

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