A new-look England side, including three debutants, is set to lock horns with Sri Lanka in the first match of the two-match Test series at Lord's on Thursday.
England are playing their first Test, since a disastrous Ashes campaign down under, when they were hammered 5-0 by Australia. The English selectors have since then revamped the team and players like Kevin Pietersen have been left out.
The Alastair Cook-led side is aiming for a fresh summer start to build some momentum ahead of the much-anticipated Test series against India. England feature a number of new faces, such as Chris Jordan, Moeen Ali and Sam Robson, who are set to make their debut in whites in the Lord's Test.
"It's been a pretty heavy load for every England captain," Cook said. "There are always different challenges. It feels like a fresh start. I'm a pretty open guy, and people have had pretty good chats with me.
"They can walk up to me, rather than me walking up to them. All the newcomers will want to prove they are international players, and they deserve to be here. I've been impressed by these guys coming into the dressing room."
The England team have lost Graeme Swann during the Ashes series and they are heading into the series against Sri Lanka without a frontline spinner. England will be banking on Ali and Joe Root to fill the spinner's slot in the playing XI. They have a decent pace attack, led by James Anderson and also featuring Jordan, Liam Plunkett and Stuart Broad, who are more than capable of exploiting the conditions conducive to fast bowling.
A confident Sri Lanka will be sensing a chance at an upset after winning the five-match ODI series 3-2. The Lankans are now familiar with the conditions and will be hoping veterans Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara can guide them to their first Test series win on English soil.
"Kumar is dying to get a hundred at Lord's," Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews said. "They are big game players, and want to get involved in every big opportunity. If we can win the series that will be the best send-off for them."
The Islanders have decent spin bowlers, but they lack quality pacers. Shaminda Eranga has been promising in recent series, but he is still young, while Nuwan Kulasekara and Dhammika Prasad lack consistency.
The Lankan Lions have not won a Test match at Lord's and Mathews said they are up for the challenge and will play aggressively. He also pointed out his team are still disappointed about the reporting of Sachithra Senanayake for a suspicious bowling action.
"If a team is going to be aggressive against us, we can be aggressive as well," said Mathews. "Yes, I think the spirit of the game is important. But you've got to make sure no one takes advantage of it.
"We were obviously disappointed about Sachithra's reporting - he was reported twice before in England. We all know it's going to be a hostile series. There are so many things happening around. We're up for the challenge."
Expected lineups: England: Alastair Cook (capt), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Matt Prior (wk), Liam Plunkett, Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Nuwan Kulasekara, Dhammika Prasad, Rangana Herath, Shaminda Eranga.
Where to Watch Live:
The first Test is scheduled for an 11 am BST (3.30 pm IST, 6 am ET) start with live coverage on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2 in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Catch the action live on TV on Sky Sports 2 in the UK, while viewers can also live stream the action HERE. Viewers in the US can watch the game on ESPN 3 while the action can also be live streamed HERE. Watch the match in Sri Lanka on CSN with the live streaming option HERE, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can view the match on SuperSport and live online HERE.