June 27, 2002

Sri Lanka face new-look England attack

A key phase in England's build-up to the World Cup begins in Nottingham this afternoon, as they meet Sri Lanka in a day-night match at Trent Bridge, the first of ten games in the NatWest triangular series which also involves India.

This series will be followed by the ICC Champions Trophy in Colombo, and a triangular series in Australia before England's World Cup campaign begins against Zimbabwe in Harare on February 13.

Matthew Hoggard and James Kirtley are likely to share the new ball for England, while Alex Tudor is set to make his one-day international debut.

"We're missing our two best bowlers really, but Hoggard has come in and done really well and James Kirtley's done fantastically for Sussex and deserves his opportunity," Tudor said.

"It's our chance to show the future and what it may be like after Caddick and Gough have gone - this is our big opportunity to show that given the chance we can do it."

"It's a great challenge for me because some of the batsmen in this series are among the best strikers of a ball in the world. If you want to be successful at international one-day cricket you have to learn how to bowl to these guys - you can't shy away from it.

It's not going to be easy and you have to try and get the ball in the right area because the margin for error is minimal."

Meanwhile Sri Lanka's coach Dav Whatmore says the tourists have put the disappointing Test series firmly behind them.

"We're looking forward all the time to the one-day game where you get a result on that particular day," Whatmore said.

"It's happened to us before, losing a Test series before a one-day tournament. We've been able to turn it around and that is our objective in this tournament as well."

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