Kieswetter handed England call-up

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The Independent Online

England have named uncapped Michael Lumb as well as wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter and recalled Ravi Bopara and Michael Yardy in their final 15-man ICC World Twenty20 squad.

There is no place on the trip to the West Indies at the end of this month for Matt Prior, England relying on Kieswetter behind the stumps and accommodating Yardy as an extra spinner and Bopara's batting.



South Africa-born pair Kieswetter and Lumb's inclusion gives England exciting new Twenty20 options at the top of the batting order.



Bopara returns after being dropped following a poor run of form in last summer's Ashes and then being left out of England squads throughout the winter.



Both the Essex batsman and Lumb have made recent eye-catching runs in the ongoing Indian Premier League.



National selector Geoff Miller explained the advantage of deploying Kieswetter as an opener, and therefore freeing up a place lower down for either an extra specialist or another bowling option.



"On the recent tour of Bangladesh, Craig Kieswetter showed what he is capable of in international limited-overs cricket - and as a wicketkeeper at the top of the order, he gives us options down the order."



Twenty-two-year-old Kieswetter, who became available for England only two months ago, already has a one-day international hundred to his name - against Bangladesh in Chittagong.



"Craig has improved over time, and his selection indicates real competition for places - which is only healthy for the England team," Miller added.



"Despite missing selection for this format of the game, Matt Prior very much remains in the England set-up and a part of our plans."

Lumb put himself in the reckoning for a place in the squad, captained by Paul Collingwood, with a match-winning half-century for the England Lions against the full international team in Abu Dhabi last month.

"Michael Lumb has consistently performed well in limited-overs cricket for Hampshire and has also impressed during his time in the IPL and with the England Lions," said Miller.



"As a powerful left-hander, Michael adds aggression to our batting and has the ability to complement the rest of the line-up."



Yardy, meanwhile, has edged out two others as a third spin option behind Graeme Swann and James Tredwell. The Sussex captain is also a frontline batsman.



"Michael Yardy has also performed at a consistently high level for his county, Sussex, in limited-overs cricket and knows his game inside and out," said Miller.



"Both Michael and Ravi Bopara have earned recalls to the England squad after going away and working hard on their cricket with excellent results."



Miller is content that England will travel to the West Indies, for a two-and-a-half week tournament which begins on April 30, with winning combinations in all three disciplines.



"We believe we've picked a balanced squad that can meet the needs of the Twenty20 format - aggressive batting with variation and strength in depth and various bowling options that accommodate the conditions and surfaces in the West Indies.



"Our fielding, which is such a vital aspect of limited-overs cricket, has improved markedly -and there's no reason we can't perform well in what will be a challenging global tournament."



Several injuries, in particular to the seam bowlers, since England named their initial 30-man squad made the selections in that department largely predictable - although Ryan Sidebottom is fit to travel, having had to leave England's tour of Bangladesh because of injury.



Yorkshire pair Ajmal Shahzad and Tim Bresnan have been selected as expected, along with James Anderson and Stuart Broad.



Batsmen Jonathan Trott and Joe Denly - who opened for England in their last Twenty20 international, against Pakistan in Dubai last month - have been omitted. But middle-order strokemaker Eoin Morgan is retained after a fine start to his England career.



England are drawn in Group D alongside West Indies and Ireland, and their first match against the hosts will be in Guyana on May 3.

England squad for the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies:

PD Collingwood (Durham, captain), JM Anderson (Lancashire), RS Bopara (Essex), TT Bresnan (Yorkshire), SCJ Broad (Nottinghamshire), C Kieswetter (Somerset), MJ Lumb (Hampshire), EJG Morgan (Middlesex), KP Pietersen (Hampshire), A Shahzad (Yorkshire), RJ Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), GP Swann (Nottinghamshire), JC Tredwell (Kent), LJ Wright (Sussex), MH Yardy (Sussex)



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