'Streetwise' Kieswetter creates a positive spin


England will play England Lions in a one-day practice match in Dubai today. It will be conducted under proper regulations with no messing about, have plenty of scope for embarrassment and be of little practical help in the series which starts against Pakistan on Monday.

Today's encounter is a day match while the four ODIs and three Twenty20s will be played under lights. There will be neither the quantity, nor perhaps the quality, of spin that will confront England in the next three weeks.

Alastair Cook will return to the captaincy of the senior team with the Test series done and Andrew Strauss having relinquished his duties until the Sri Lanka tour. He is up against James Taylor, who has just led the Lions to a 3-2 one-day series win in Sri Lanka.

The side fielded by England will be presumably, though not certainly, the one that will start against Pakistan next week. It will see a return of Craig Kieswetter to the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi where he made his breakthrough two years ago. Playing for the Lions in a warm-up Twenty20 match against England he made 81 from 66 balls and was immediately elevated to the senior team along with Michael Lumb, his opening partner who made 53. Both played a key role in the World Twenty20 triumph three months later. Had Kieswetter not been badly dropped on four by Stuart Broad at mid-off history might have turned out differently.

"It was a great feeling," said Kieswetter yesterday. "I was on the other side last time and we were fortunate enough to take the England side down. Lumby and myself have great memories and we're first-hand cases of how this game can open doors."

Doors will not be opened quite so dramatically this time whatever happens today. England have named their 16-man squad for the Pakistan series and a Lions century by an outsider will not change it. What it will do is lay down a marker for the future in front of the England coach, Andy Flower.

Kieswetter has been dropped down the order after failing to nail the job as opener in two different spells. Although he made 63 at Kolkata in England's last match on their limited-overs trip to India last October he had a generally fitful time. The hope now is that, more often than not, he will be in a position to take advantage of the late powerplays. "It's a new role and one I'm quite excited about," said Kieswetter. "The Sri Lanka side came out with one or two seamers and we faced a lot of spin. It was a nice challenge to be able to manipulate the spinners around in the middle overs and then whack them about at the end. We're trying to become a bit more streetwise in how we play the middle overs. Runs don't always have to be pretty, they can be ugly. As long as we're getting them we're happy."

Monty Panesar, who is not in the one-day squads, has stayed on in the UAE for a week and will probably play for the Lions today to give England much-needed spin practice.

Meanwhile, the Ashes bowling hero Chris Tremlett, who had to leave England's tour of the UAE early when a scan revealed a bulging disc in his back, had surgery in a London hospital yesterday.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas