Moores era ready to start

Andover Advertiser: Peter Moores' first England squad since returning as head coach will be announced on Thursday Peter Moores' first England squad since returning as head coach will be announced on Thursday

England's fresh start begins in earnest on Thursday, when new head coach Peter Moores and a revamped selection panel name their first squad.

A May 9 one-day international against Scotland in Aberdeen would ordinarily represent the lowest of low-key starts to the season for England, and little more than a warm-up for the five-match series against Sri Lanka which begins 11 days later.

But with all eyes on Moores' return to the international stage after five years away, the game assumes an added significance.

The fixture now represents day one for Moores, who will meet national selector James Whitaker as well as new appointees Angus Fraser and Mick Newell on Thursday before announcing the results of their deliberations.

Only a matter of months ago an England selection meeting would have looked very different, convened by Geoff Miller, doubtless dominated by influential team director Andy Flower and featuring limited-overs coach Ashley Giles.

Miller has since retired, Flower has resigned his former post and Giles was snubbed as his replacement.

After five years with Lancashire, Moores will surely arrive with a well-developed view of the players at his disposal and the type of cricket he aspires to play.

But he will not lack for advice.

Both Fraser and Newell are vastly experienced, have exhaustive knowledge of the domestic game and will come in harbouring fully-formed opinions on the necessary whos and wheres under discussion.

Whitaker, meanwhile, offers a link to the recent past having sat on the panel since 2008.

With such an altered dynamic at play, the exact composition of the squad is virtually impossible to predict but it will surely be the strongest available as Moores looks to draw an emphatic line under a dreadful winter.

The pre-Moores chapter ended with a humiliating defeat to an Associate nation in Holland and he will do anything to avoid starting the next one in the same fashion.

Captain Alastair Cook, deputy Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Ian Bell and Ravi Bopara must be considered certainties in the batting ranks, while Alex Hales enjoyed enough success in the World Twenty20 to earn his chance in the 50-over game, probably at Michael Carberry's expense.

Gary Ballance, Michael Lumb, James Vince, James Taylor and Moeen Ali are among the names that will also come under consideration, but the wicketkeeping gloves should be awarded to Jos Buttler - signed by Moores for Lancashire - with minimal debate.

Chris Woakes could benefit from fellow all-rounder Ben Stokes' self-enforced injury absence, and it will be interesting to see whether Samit Patel, a favourite of Newell at Trent Bridge, remains in his Flower-imposed exile.

He fell foul of the previous regime's exacting fitness standards, though he could offer sturdy support for senior spinner James Tredwell, who has impressed more in England colours than the county game for some time now.

With Stuart Broad not yet fit, James Anderson and Chris Jordan are clear favourites to lead the seam attack.

Otherwise, the selectors may need to pull a rabbit from the hat to round out the pace ranks with Steven Finn among the wickets but still fragile following a barren winter, Harry Gurney, Jack Brooks and Tymal Mills untried and Tim Bresnan yet to play competitively this season.

Possible squad to face Scotland on May 9: A Cook (c), A Hales, J Root, I Bell, R Bopara, E Morgan, G Ballance, M Ali, C Woakes, J Buttler, C Jordan, J Tredwell, J Anderson, H Gurney, S Finn.

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