Moores waits on injured quartet

  • Last Updated: May 2 2014, 18:56 BST

Peter Moores will start his new job in earnest surrounded by familiar faces next week - but just as notable will be the absentees in Loughborough and Aberdeen.

Matt Prior: Has an Achilles problem
Matt Prior: Has an Achilles problem

There are sick notes, of varying concern, for four Test-match probables as England begin their campaign with a one-day international trip to Scotland.

Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes and Tim Bresnan would all be first-choice too in England's limited-overs team.

Wicketkeeper Matt Prior has become a Test specialist, especially since the emergence of Jos Buttler.

While all have yet to prove full fitness - and in Stokes' case, no timescale is known - Steven Finn must demonstrate a different type of well-being before he can join the new era under Moores and captain Alastair Cook.

Finn's loss of form during England's abject Ashes winter contrasts with his flying start to the new season for Middlesex - but the indications from Moores are that no chances will be taken yet.

The fast bowler was unsurprisingly omitted from the 13-man squad named on Thursday, to travel north - and, unlike Bresnan, he is highly unlikely to be added to the mix for five ODIs and a Twenty20 against Sri Lanka.

It seems Prior and Stokes are perhaps causing most consternation, though.

Moores said of the wicketkeeper: "It's a concern - because he's obviously played a game and his Achilles has flared up."

A fit Prior would be favourite at Lord's next month to reclaim the Test place he lost to Jonny Bairstow during England's Ashes whitewash last winter.

But he has played just twice since then, most recently scoring a century as a specialist batsman for Sussex, before sitting out the next match after a recurrence of his ankle pain.

Moores added: "He's on a break now, and we need to make sure that when he plays it doesn't flare up again.

"It is something our medics are right on top of - you need your players to be fit.

"We want to be selecting from everyone.

"The Test matches don't start for a while, and he has to show he can get through a game without it flaring up."

Stokes is, arguably, even more of a worry.

His maiden Test hundred in Perth was a near unique bright spot for England in Australia - but after a string of low limited-overs scores in the West Indies culminated in a golden duck in Bridgetown, the all-rounder took his frustration out on a locker door.

He is still out with the resulting broken wrist, and there have even been suggestions he could possibly miss the whole of the summer.

"It was complicated one, so it takes a bit more time," said Moores.

"It will be when he's ready to play, and if that's not the first Test then it isn't."

Broad, still resting with patellar tendonitis in his right knee, is hoping to be back for Nottinghamshire in time to then figure in the first Test.

"He is having a break to get his niggles sorted, with a view to him playing a couple of rounds of county cricket," said Moores.

"At the moment, we are looking at the Tests for Broad.

"As with all key players, you are desperate to pick them if you can. But you have to be realistic - we need to make sure he is fully fit."

Finn is a different matter - having been described as 'not selectable' last winter as technical issues with his action took hold.

He has begun the summer with a rush of wickets, but England still appear wary.

"He's the sort of player a coach wants to be able to select, that's for sure ... (but) is he ready to be selected?" asked Moores.

"There is a general perception we should give him long enough in county cricket to really get to where he wants to, before he goes and plays for England again.

"What I do like is him taking wickets in county cricket.

"He looks like he's bowling the sort of balls you want to see a fast bowler bowling.

"That is exciting for us - because he was missed in the winter."

Moores' playing personnel is fragmented then, and it seems there may still be more changes in the backroom too at the start of his new era.

Batting coach Graham Gooch is the latest departure in the aftermath of Ashes disappointment.

But David Saker's position as bowling coach, and that of spin specialist Mushtaq Ahmed, also require clarification.

"To be fair to everyone, you have to take a bit of time," said the head coach.

"You don't want to be making rush decisions when you don't know where you are at.

"A lot of these people have very strong reputations as coaches and have been involved in a successful period, and obviously a really tough winter.

"I'll take my time but make sure that round the England side is the environment we want."


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