Thirimanne unfazed by doosra

  • Last Updated: June 10 2014, 17:43 BST

Sri Lanka's batsmen appear unlikely to lose any sleep about the possibility of having to contend with Moeen Ali's doosra at Lord's.

Lahiru Thirimanne: Preparing to face England
Lahiru Thirimanne: Preparing to face England

Moeen, planning to try out his prototype delivery after learning the basics of the trade from his Worcestershire team-mate Saeed Ajmal, will not be England's Plan A to take wickets in the first Investec Test.

On the other hand, he has been chosen as a batsman who is expected to also get through his fair share of overs if England's frontline pace attack do not bowl Sri Lanka out first.

Lahiru Thirimanne, the tourists' vice-captain, has made it abundantly clear nonetheless he and his team-mates will be primarily concerned with the threat of England's seamers.

In fact, when reminded about the hosts' only 'mystery' spinner in the opening Test, Thirimanne's first response was to clarify the bowler's identity.

"Who are you talking about? Moeen Ali?" he asked, before explaining the priorities of Sri Lanka's batsmen.

"I don't think the Lord's wicket will turn.

"It will suit fast bowlers - the majority of records (here) belong to fast bowlers.

"We're good at playing spin, so we just want to concentrate on (how to bat against) pace."

The threat of James Anderson's seam and swing, and the returning Stuart Broad's pace, will remain Sri Lanka's preoccupation - but Thirimanne senses an opportunity against hosts in transition after their Ashes whitewash last winter.

"In English conditions, I think the England attack is the best in the world.

"But at the moment, they have some new fast bowlers - so we have a little bit of a chance, because they are regrouping their side.

"There are (still) some world-class bowlers, like Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad - so we have to play our best cricket."

Sri Lanka have had limited-overs success in England, 5-0 winners eight years ago and 3-2 this summer.

But a first Test series triumph would be a much bigger prize.

"We've won one-day series here, but we want to concentrate on these Tests," added Thirimanne.

"We've won two Tests here; we want to win a series now.

"This is a very good chance for us to do that."

Sri Lanka have fared well enough so far on this tour to be significantly encouraged too.

"We carry good things into this match, confidence levels and motivation.

"England are a tough side to beat in their own conditions. We are the underdogs.

"We are also a very young side, if you take Kumar (Sangakkara) and Mahela (Jayawardne) out.

"We have a young captain, and we are also [like England] a developing side."