England dipped a toe into the waters of the one-day future yesterday. They did not, however, risk being drowned by making sweeping changes to their squads for the imminent limited-overs internationals against Sri Lanka.
Of the 14 players selected for the five 50-over matches, five were not part of the squad in the recent World Cup and of the 13 players for the sole Twenty20 match at Bristol on Saturday, seven played in the World T20 side last year that was triumphant in the West Indies.
The two most notable additions were both recalled players. Craig Kieswetter, the wicketkeeper-batsman, returns after being overlooked since early last summer when his form inexplicably plummeted. He has been piling up runs for Somerset this summer in all forms and has scored two one-day centuries.
Andy Flower, the England coach, said: "Kieswetter has been in good form this season and although he had a little injury and missed a bit of cricket, he has come back well and we think he will be better for the time out of the side. He has worked very hard while he's been out of the England side and his approach to that work has been a credit to him."
Samit Patel, the Nottinghamshire all-rounder, is also returning after three years in which he has not been considered by the selectors because of his surplus weight and lack of fitness. He is now deemed to have done enough to merit reinclusion. "We wanted to see a willingness to work hard and improve and he has shown that," Flower said.
The two biggest, if expected, casualties are the all-rounder Paul Collingwood and the wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior. Collingwood was captain of the side that not only won the World Twenty20 last year but also won a record eight successive matches.
With 197 caps, he is easily England's most experienced one-day international and has not been overlooked in a squad for 10 years. While both Geoff Miller, the chairman of selectors, and Flower left the door open for him yesterday, it is difficult to see how Collingwood might go through it at the age of 35.
Prior has probably had his last chance as well. For reasons nobody can quite fathom he has never managed to transfer his Test batting form to the one-day arena. A late inclusion in the squad last winter, he still flattered to deceive. "Matt has had his opportunities and he has not fulfilled what we wanted from him – so we have gone in a different direction," said Miller.
Flower added: "It was a difficult decision to leave Colly out because he has done so much for England and is such a good man to have in the dressing room. However, the truth is that his form has not been good in the last six to 12 months, so he was left out on that basis. He is determined to fight his way back into the England one-day and Twenty20 sides and we will monitor how he goes."
The only uncapped player in the squads is Jade Dernbach, the Surrey fast bowler. The Leicestershire batsman, James Taylor, who made a dogged 76 for England Lions against the Sri Lankans, may be unfortunate not to have been summoned. But England's batting line-up has become impenetrable.
In both squads:
S C J Broad (T20 capt) 24/29/76
I R Bell 29/7/97
R S Bopara 26/11/59
J W Dernbach 25/0/0
S T Finn 22/0/3
C Kieswetter (wkt) 23/9/12
E J G Morgan 24/16/64
S R Patel 26/0/11
K P Pietersen 30/30/114
G P Swann 32/22/51
C R Woakes 22/2/3
Just in T2O squad:
M J Lumb 31/7
L J Wright 26/29
Just in ODI squad:
A N Cook (capt) 26/26
J M Anderson 28/142
I J L Trott 30/25Reuse content