CARDIFF (AFP) - Ashes-winners England head into the first Test against Sri Lanka today (Thursday) insisting they won't take their injury-hit visitors lightly. If England sweep the series 3-0, they will move up into second place in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings. Since England moved to staging seven Tests in a home summer in 2000 they have not lost an early season series. Sri Lanka arrived in England without star-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who has quit Tests on injury grounds. Although they won both their warm-up matches, Sri Lanka's prospects for the first Test have been dealt a double blow by injuries to seamers Nuwan Pradeep and Dilhara Fernando. Pradeep's injury is so serious and he is set to return home for six to eight weeks while Fernando is struggling to be fit for todays match. But England captain Andrew Strauss, in what will be his side's first Test match since they won the Ashes 3-1 in Australia in January, dismissed all suggestions of a "homecoming". "We achieved quite an important goal for us as a side to win out there in Australia but our goals now have turned towards this summer and beyond," he told reporters here on Wednesday. Sri Lanka captain Dilshan said the loss of the in-form Pradeep had been a bitter blow. "I'm really disappointed losing him; he's really bowled well in the IPL and here in England.But I have a few youngsters who will have a chance to prove themselves at this level." And that could mean call-ups for left-arm seamer Chanaka Welegedara and fellow seamer Suranga Lakmal. Dilshan, added conditions meant Sri Lanka had included just one spinner, left-armer Rangana Herath, in their 12-man squad for the first Test. "He has been bowling really well over the last few matches and is a very experienced guy who has played a lot of Test cricket over the last few years," explained Dilshan. Sri Lanka's top order, featuring former captains Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara as well as Dilshan himself, could certainly pose problems for England's attack. "The experienced guys like Kumar and Mahela are used to these conditions," Dilshan said. "It's not easy playing here early summer but as cricketers we have to take this challenge even though we haven't played outside home (Asia) for a long time. This is a good challenge for everyone."