England look to square Lanka series

Colombo, December 8:

England coach Peter Moores wants his team to be streetwise and aggressive as the tourists bid for a series-levelling win in the second Test against Sri Lanka starting on Sunday.

England lost the first Test in Kandy by 88 runs despite holding a first innings lead of 93 runs and failed to bat out an extra 30 minutes on the final day that could have drawn the match. Moores said the lessons learnt from the Kandy Test will help them match the formidable home team during the second match at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC).

“We have to be a bit more savvy, a bit more streetwise and find different ways of attacking,” said Moores.

England will be inspired by their 2001 predecessors under Nasser Hussain who fought back after losing the first Test to win the next two and take the series 2-1. England must choose between the experienced Steve Harmison and Test rookie Stuart Broad to replace frontline strike bowler Matthew Hoggard, who is an unlikely starter after the back injury sustained in Kandy.

Sri Lanka have recalled opener Upul Tharanga to replace veteran Sanath Jayasuriya, who announced his retirement from Test after the Kandy match. Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said the rest of the team will be unchanged, meaning the hosts will play three seamers to support Muttiah Muralitharan. “The bowling combination will depend on the pitch but knowing the SSC it will probably be three seamers and Murali,” said Jayawardene.