England drop Hales for Sri Lanka warm-ups

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England's selectors have made the decision to drop opening batsman Alex Hales for the warm-up in Sri Lanka, rather picking all-rounder Moeen Ali to play alongside Alastair Cook at the top of the order.

The match on Friday will see Cook and Moeen open, with Ian Bell at three, as they look to find a solid top order ahead of the World Cup. But Hales' absence caused a surprised reaction online, as he is an explosive player.

But Moores said on Thursday that they would rather build a platform from which to attack, and that a number of players still had room to state their case for selection in Australia and New Zealand next year.

Coach Peter Moores said, referencing the recent series loss to India: "At the moment, we're trying to find a settled combination as a team.

"I think anyone who's watched us play (will know) we haven't played as well as we want to. There are certain slots up for grabs, and it's a case of people getting a chance to go out and grab them."

The coach went on to say that they were fully focused on the Sri Lanka games, and he hoped his batsmen would be able to replicate India's Rohit Sharma is scoring solidly before accelerating.

Moores added: "We've got to try to win this tour first. But it would be daft not to be thinking forward to the World Cup.

"We're trying to move to be a more positive side, with both bat and ball, take every opportunity to score runs and put pressure on the opposition.

"It's not a simple process to say 'I'm going to walk out and whack it'. We saw… in that India game… Rohit Sharma started slowly, and then suddenly found freedom and played beautifully.

"We've got to do that. It's not actually complicated. You've just got to find your way of doing it as an individual, and a team."

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