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Five for: England v Sri Lanka Published: 05 June 2014

Alastair Cook and Peter Moores share a joke
Alastair Cook and Peter Moores share a joke

The England v Sri Lanka Investec Test series is just a week away, with the first Test getting underway at Lord's on Thursday 12 June.

After the fiery end to the Royal London ODI series, where Sri Lanka took the spoils 3-2, the stage is set for a hotly contested Test series.

With just seven days to go, here are five reasons why we should be excited about the first Test of the summer.

The first morning at Lord's

Nothing beats the smell of freshly cut grass, the sound of the John Barnes Outswingers playing next to the Harris Garden, the murmur of excitement around the ground and the first look of an England team in whites. The first day of a Lord's Test is always special, and Thursday 12 June will have been a date marked on many calendars up and down the country as the date summer truly begins.

England's New Order

After the winter of discontent, England have had to reshuffle the pack, with Alastair Cook's and Peter Moores' new era set to get underway. Today's squad announcement has seen Sam Robson, Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan brought in as new faces, with returns for Liam Plunkett and Chris Woakes, which gives this England team a vibrant and new look for the 2014 Test summer.

Sri Lanka on a roll

This Sri Lanka team have been in fine form, and certainly aren't the plucky underdogs that some are making them out to be. The islanders followed up success in the Asia Cup and the ICC World T20 earlier in the year with the win in the ODI series, and Angelo Mathews' side certainly aren't short of confidence coming into the Test series. Whether they can translate their limited over form into Test cricket remains to be seen, but they're a team that's used to winning.

England vs Sri Lanka Test Matches - Everything you wanted to know

Sanga's last chance saloon

This Test will almost certainly be Sri Lankan legends Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara's last appearances at Lord's, with the 37 and 36-year-olds unlikely to be around the next time Sri Lanka visit these shores. While Jayawardene has made two of his 33 Test hundreds at the Home of Cricket, Sangakkara's name is conspicuous by its absence on the Lord's Honours Boards. After his imperious ODI century last Saturday, he'll want to sign off from Lord's with a century in the longest form as well.

Moores the merrier

New coach Moores has promised a more expansive brand of cricket in his second stint in the job. If he is to follow the lead of Australian coach Darren Lehmann, who has made Australia one of the most watchable teams in the world (as well as a very successful one), there's certainly a lot to look forward to as an England fan.

Tickets for the England v Sri Lanka Investec Test match are still available, via the tickets.lords.org website, or by calling 020 7432 1000.


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