The England selectors shook up the national side yesterday, leaving a few members of the previously cosy club in the cold and inviting in some new faces for the squad that will take on West Indies at Lord's in the first Test which starts next Wednesday.
There was no recall for Michael Vaughan, the previous captain who had been touted to return, but Ian Bell, who has had a smashing start to the domestic summer with Warwickshire, was not the lucky recipient of a phone call either. The Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara, currently earning some cash in South Africa in the Indian Premier League, is the man who looks like being handed the chance to bat at No 3 and make the position his own for England's busy Test summer, which culminates in an Ashes series.
Owais Shah was the incumbent but he failed to take his chance in the recent series in the Caribbean and has also been left out of the squad all together.
A further notable absentee is Stephen Harmison, who looked like he may be given yet another chance following the withdrawal of Andrew Flintoff, as he is the only other English bowler who provides bounce and out and out pace. But the selectors want him to prove himself all over again and have instead handed call-ups to the uncapped duo of 26-year-old pace bowler Graham Onions of Durham and Tim Bresnan, 24, the Yorkshire all-rounder.
Onions, who bowls right arm at around 80-85mph, celebrated in style yesterday by taking six wickets in a County Championship game against Somerset. Bresnan is more medium pace but nibbles the ball around and is a useful lower-order batsman.
National Selector, Geoff Miller, stressed yesterday that all those disappointed players could still be in contention later in the summer.Reuse content