Peter Moores on lookout for England's next frontline spinner

Peter Moores sees improvements in Moeen Ali's bowling but admits it is important that England quickly identify a new frontline spinner to replace Graeme Swann.

England coach Peter Moores has admitted the importance of quickly identifying a new frontline spinner.

With match-winning tweaker Graeme Swann now in retirement and his long-time understudy Monty Panesar out of the picture due to disciplinary problems, England opted to go without a recognised spinner for the opening Test against Sri Lanka this week.

Their lack of slow-bowling resources showed on the final day at Lord's, with part-timers Moeen Ali and Joe Root bowling only 16 overs between them as Alastair Cook's side fell one wicket short of victory.

Cook confessed in his post-match interview that Ali, who is primarily a batsman but also a capable off-break bowler, is the best option available to him at present after failed experiments with Simon Kerrigan and Scott Borthwick over the past 18 months.

While Moores is pleased that Ali is improving, he has conceded that finding a more permanent option in the near future is imperative as England look to address a "weakness" in their seamer-heavy attack.

"We are going to have to identify our next spinner, there's no doubt about that," he told reporters. "All sides need the option of a frontline spinner. One or a couple are going to have to play for us otherwise it is going to be a weakness in our ranks that people will be able to try to exploit.

"Kerrigan, statistically, has been the most prolific in first-class cricket. If you take that as one of the gauges then that puts him in the frame, and obviously Adam Riley has also come on the scene.

"Monty is the most experienced Test match spinner out there for us but through other issues he has made it very difficult to look at him as an option at the moment. The key is to put himself up for selection like anyone else. Monty has got to do that. I think Moeen Ali has the chance at the moment. He is getting better quite quickly but is going to have to adjust to take wickets as a Test match bowler."

Swann's long-term successor will have the job of replacing a man who took 255 Test wickets.

Englands Gary Ballance plays a sweep shot watched by Sri Lankas wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene (L) and Sri Lankas Mahela Jayawardene (C) during play on the fourth day of the first cricket Test match between England and Sri Lanka at Lord's cricket groun
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