Bell and Sidebottom press England re-entry button

Rapid recalls underline selectors' new policy of keeping squad on toes

England demonstrated yesterday how much they have changed under new management. The side which a year ago looked as though it could only be broken into with the help of an explosives expert has adopted a much less rigid entry policy.

It is also one clearly designed to ensure that those already there are aware their places are not conferred by divine right. In announcing the squad for the second Test, the selectors showed that they are prepared at least to consider changing a winning team.

Ian Bell and Ryan Sidebottom, left out because of form and injury during the winter, were both recalled to a 13-man party for the match which begins at Chester-le-Street on Thursday. Monty Panesar has been omitted because the selectors are not yet ready to inaugurate the two-spinner policy which seems destined to play a key role later in the summer.

Geoff Miller, the national selector, said: "Both Bell and Sidebottom have been in form in the early part of the season and have been a part of the England set-up in recent years. Their inclusion in the squad gives the selectors, the coach and the captain several options going into this game."

Bell made two hundreds in the opening days of the season and, although he has had trouble since in converting sound starts into something more substantial, which is what got him dropped in February, his recall is recognition of the fact that he still features in England's long-term plans.

It seems that Sidebottom has made a full and swift recovery from Achilles surgery. The chronic complaint affected his return on the recent tour of the West Indies after he had already missed much of the second half of last summer with a long list of complaints ranging from back to groin.

Miller said: "Sidebottom has recovered from surgery after the Caribbean tour and reports that he is now bowling pain-free."

It is possible that neither Bell nor Sidebottom will appear in the XI which takes the field on Thursday and certain that there will not be a place for both unless there are injuries. Their selection at least should finally quell the notion that either Michael Vaughan or Stephen Harmison are in the frame for a recall.

Although the names of the erstwhile captain and strike-bowler have been much discussed, only conspiracy theorists and those who think that former glories can be recaptured can have given them serious credence. In the case of Vaughan the selectors' task was eased by his hamstring injury. Sidebottom and Bell are different altogether and both, probably for different reasons, are valued by England's team director, Andy Flower.

Sidebottom's left-arm swing not only presents a different problem for batsmen but also creates rough for Graeme Swann's off-spin when bowling to right-handers. Neither is to be underappreciated.

It looks as though Sidebottom's body is fully repaired – he was probably rushed back into action too quickly in the Caribbean because Flower and the captain, Andrew Strauss, were so eager to have him in the side – and in his two Championship matches for Nottinghamshire he has bowled with skill and precision, although taking only seven wickets.

Perhaps he will not have an enduring international career because of the toll taken by having to strive for a little extra pace in Test cricket, but England would dearly like to have him available for the Ashes starting in July.

Bell is doubtless considered by Flower to be one of his less successful charges during his period as batting coach. But the new team director is not about to give up on one with obvious talent and time. He is probably there as cover this week, but offers the opportunity to alter the balance of the side. The selectors must be sure he has learnt a lesson. He was one of those who had perhaps become a little too assured of their place. When he was dropped after the defeat to the West Indies in the first Test in Jamaica, it was probably two matches too late.

But the squad is not merely one to take on the West Indies at the Riverside. It also has been picked with the potential shape of England in the Ashes in mind.

England squad for second Test

*Thurs 14-Mon 18 May, Riverside

A J Strauss (capt)......... Age 32 ......... 61 caps
A N Cook ......... 24......... 42
R S Bopara ......... 24......... 5......... 
K P Pietersen ......... 28......... 51
P D Collingwood......... 32......... 47
I R Bell ......... 27......... 46
M J Prior (wkt)......... 27......... 17
S C J Broad ......... 22......... 16
T T Bresnan ......... 24......... 1
G P Swann ......... 30......... 6
J M Anderson ......... 26......... 36
G Onions ......... 26......... 1
R J Sidebottom......... 31......... 21

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
News
Jennifer Lawrence at the Vanity Fair Academy Awards party in February 2014
people12 undisclosed female victims are seeking $100m in damages
Arts and Entertainment
Adam Levine plays a butcher who obsessively stalks a woman in Maroon 5's 'Animals' music video
music'Animals' video 'promotes sexual violence against women'
News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voicesI like surprises - that's why I'm bringing them back to politics, writes Nigel Farage
News
Bear and hare woodland scene from John Lewis Christmas advert
newsRetailer breaks with tradition, selling real festive fir trees online for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Horowitz will write the next 007 novel
booksAnthony Horowitz to write new instalment in spy series for 2015
News
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
people
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

Sport
Kicking on: Nathaniel Clyne is relishing the challenge of the Premier League after moving from Crystal Palace
footballSurprises include a first ever call-up for one Southampton star
Voices
4 May 2013: The sun rises over Tower Bridge in London. Temperatures across the UK could be higher than several European holiday destinations by Monday, including parts of Italy and France (Andy Hepburn/PA)
voices
News
The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients
science

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
Extras
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?