Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan return for New Zealand series

Duo back in 12-man England squad after missing Tour of New Zealand

Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan are both back in England's squad for the first Investec Test after their recoveries from elbow surgery.

Off-spinner Swann and seamer Bresnan, who both last played Test cricket in the series-clinching December Test against India in Nagpur, were this morning included in a 12-man squad for next week's match against New Zealand at Lord's.

Bresnan underwent surgery on his bowling arm, after England announced he would be rested from the three-Test tour of New Zealand, and it was decided on the eve of the first of those matches in March that Swann would also need an operation in the United States.

Both bowlers have been back in action for their counties this season, and their return to the England reckoning this week is as expected.

The remainder of Alastair Cook's squad, announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board, is also predictable.

The same six specialist batsmen who featured in England's last Test - the drawn match in Auckland two months ago - remain, in the continued absence of the injured Kevin Pietersen.

Swann replaces his fellow spinner Monty Panesar, and England have resisted the belt-and-braces policy of naming an extra seamer - as they did before the first Test against West Indies this time last year, when Graham Onions was included.

National selector Geoff Miller said: "Both Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan have worked hard to regain fitness following elbow surgery and have demonstrated through their performances for their counties that they are ready for the challenge of international cricket."

England's squad will be notable for many as confirmation of selection policy at the start of this Ashes summer.

But after the disappointing 0-0 stalemate in New Zealand, the hosts have a score to settle against the Kiwis in the two-match series at Lord's and Headingley. Miller added: "We are anticipating another very competitive series against New Zealand and know that we will need to improve significantly on our performances in the recent Test series against them if we are to start the international summer on a positive note.

"This series provides a good opportunity for the players to show that they have learnt from the experiences over the winter."

 



PA

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