Cricket: New-look England seek home comfort against Sri Lanka

LONDON, June 11, 2014 (AFP) – England will look to put the memory of their 5-0 Ashes drubbing in Australia behind them and prove there is Test life beyond Kevin Pietersen when they face Sri Lanka in the first of a two-match series at Lord’s on Thursday. What the run-out row also did was obscure Sri Lanka’s anger that Paul Farbrace, until recently their head coach, jumped ship to join his native England where he is now working as Moores’ assistant.

“I understand the choice Farby made,” Sangakkara said ahead of the ODIs.

“Whether it was fair of the ECB to put him in that situation when he was still with us is a different question. It wasn’t pleasant.” And with England still smarting from the run out, backing up, of Jos Buttler during Sri Lanka’s 3-2 series-clinching one-day win at Edgbaston, the Test campaign has been “spiced up” in the words of home captain Alastair Cook.

Six players who featured in England’s last Test, a crushing 281-run defeat by Australia aren’t in England’s 12 for Lord’s.

Star batsman Pietersen, whose international career was terminated by the England and Wales Cricket Board after the Ashes on account of his ‘distracted’ nature is the most high-profile absentee.

But he has been joined on the sidelines by ope