Moores keen on Mustard
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Last Updated: 26/09/07 5:28pm
Mustard: Opportunity to stake claim
England coach Peter Moores is hoping wicketkeeper Phil Mustard can give him a future selection headache by performing strongly in the one-dayers in Sri Lanka.
"I've obviously seen him play and it will be interesting to see how he (Mustard) adapts to these conditions, how he plays and what he's like around the team."
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Mustard was called up for the five-match series after Matt Prior sustained a fractured thumb while practicing at the World Twenty20.
And Moores is optimistic the Durham gloveman can take his strong form in domestic one-day cricket into the international arena.
In addition to his wicketkeeping skills, the left-handed Mustard has forged a reputation as a destructive opening batsman during the initial power play overs.
Shane Warne even compared him to a young Adam Gilchrist following Durham's victory over Warne's Hampshire in the FP Trophy final.
"It's an exciting time because Phil Mustard gets a go for this series," said Moores.
"He's had a very good domestic season so it's a good time to come in and have a go.
"He could make it (selection once Prior regains fitness) difficult, but we want players to do really well so I'm hoping he goes really well.
"I've obviously seen him play and it will be interesting to see how he adapts to these conditions, how he plays and what he's like around the team.
"When you have someone close you can have a good look and decide where they are at the moment and also how much is in the tank for them to go on and hopefully be world-class players."
Despite being an ever-present in all forms of cricket throughout last summer, Prior was not awarded a central contract, suggesting England's selectors remained unconvinced by the Sussex wicketkeeper.
"Performance wins the day and it's not completely nailed down or someone would have got a central contract," added Moores.
"Matty Prior got a hundred on his Test debut and averages 40, which is not a bad start for your first seven Tests. We then have someone like Phil Mustard coming in and we'll see how he does.
"We've got quite a few young keepers out there who are pushing very hard, but to nail down a Test spot completely you probably have to do a year to two years."
England play a solitary warm-up match against the Sri Lankan Board President's XI in Colombo on Friday prior to the series-opener on Monday in Dambulla.