Vaughan not recalled to England squad
Wednesday 29 April 2009
England named uncapped pace bowlers Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions today in a 12-man squad for the first Test against West Indies starting at Lord's in a week's time.
Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara has been recalled after hitting a century in his only test in the Caribbean this year and is likely to fill the problematic number three spot.
Former captain Michael Vaughan, Ian Bell and Owais Shah, the other candidates to bat at number three, have all been omitted.
Fast bowler Steve Harmison, who has disappointed more often than he has succeeded since the 2005 Ashes series, has also been left out while all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is unavailable after key hole surgery on his injured right knee.
National selector Geoff Miller told Skysports the selections of Bresnan and Onions showed the England team was not a closed shop.
"They've bowled very, very well pre-season and they've bowled very well in the early part of the season.
"We need to find strong backup and one or two other seam bowlers who are of international quality and these two have out-bowled the others so they get their chance.
"I think it's exciting, we've been designated as a closed shop for some time now and this just shows to county cricketers that we are not a closed shop and we are prepared to open it up."
Miller confirmed Bopara would probably bat at number three followed by Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood with wicketkeeper Matt Prior at six.
England will play five bowlers at Lord's where the last six tests have been drawn since Australia's victory in 2005.
They have included two spinners in Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar although only one is likely to play in the English spring when pitch and overhead conditions favour the swing and seam bowlers.
England squad to face West Indies:
Andrew Strauss (captain), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Graham Onions, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann.
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