Cricket: Headley given Tudor's place

ALEX TUDOR was dropped and Peter Such called up as the England selectors sprang two surprises yesterday when they named their team for the third Test match, which was due to start here today.

Tudor, the young Surrey fast bowler, was left out despite his impressive Test debut against Australia at Perth. Instead, Dean Headley was given the third seam place alongside Alan Mullally and Darren Gough as a reward for his impressive display in Melbourne earlier this week.

Graham Gooch, the England tour manager, said: "Alex did very well in Perth, but we have gone for the more experienced bowlers here. This has been the toughest selection meeting I have ever been involved with."

Such has been very much the second- choice spinner on tour. The Essex off-spinner played his last match a month ago against South Australia in Adelaide. Glamorgan's Robert Croft was chosen to play in this week's drawn match against Victoria in Melbourne.

However, Croft's failure to impress at the MCG and Adelaide's tradition for helping spin later in the game persuaded England to recall Such four years after the last of his eight Test appearances against New Zealand at Old Trafford. "Robert Croft has played a few games and done okay but now it is time for Peter Such to be given an opportunity," Gooch said.

Such admitted: "It's a bit of a surprise but it is the nature of modern touring that if you do not get in for the first game you have to bide your time and wait for your opportunity. I've had four years to think about this but I'm playing for England again and looking forward to it."

England have chosen all seven batsmen because Gooch believes they "need a strong batting line-up to put a decent score on the board".

ENGLAND: M A Atherton (Lancashire), M A Butcher (Surrey), N Hussain (Essex), A J Stewart (Surrey, wkt & capt), J P Crawley (Lancashire), M R Ramprakash (Middlesex), G A Hick (Worcestershire), D W Headley (Kent), D Gough (Yorkshire), A D Mullally (Leicestershire), P M Such (Essex).

Australia (from): M A Taylor (capt), M J Slater, J L Langer, M E Waugh, S R Waugh, R T Ponting, I A Healy (wkt) or A C Gilchrist (wkt), D W Fleming, C R Miller, G D McGrath, S C G MacGill.

Umpires: S J Davis (Aus) & S A Bucknor (WI).

TV umpire: P Angley.

Match referee: J F Reid (NZ).

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