Swann, Prior and Shah make england test squad

September 29, 2008 at 12:32 pm Leave a comment

England named their 15 man test team to tour India for Two tests today. The headline selections of the team is the call up for Matt Prior, Graeme Swann and Owais Shah. Prior joins keeper Tim Ambrose in the squad and will be keen to make an impression in the 7 match ODI series before the test series. Both keepers have been given an increment central contract and between them will be vying for the Test spot. Matt Prior has had a good domestic summer scoring 931 runs at 51.72, including three 100s and seven 50s. His good form earned him a recall to the ODI team and if he makes an impression in the ODI series leading up to the test series, he could get the keeper position. Tim Ambrose showed a sign of form with 1 hundred and a 50 in 10 innings for Warwickshire at 47, however, Prior is no doubt the better batsmen. James Foster’s form looks to have been ignored again, even though he has had his best season, and was the best keeper this season.


Graeme Swann will provide the second spin bowling option to Monty Panesar, beating off competition form Adil Rashid and Samit Patel. His inclusion is down to the fact that he spins the ball the opposite way to Monty Panesar.

“The inclusion of Graeme Swann as off spinner provides us with a right-arm/left-arm slow bowling combination which we believe can be effective in India”

-Geoff Miller


Swann also brings with him the experience which could be vital in India and also is a handy lower order batsmen. His inclusion in the team would mean that either England drop a bowler or a batter from the side that played the final test against South Africa. Stuart Broad, who has struggled for test wickets, and either Collingwood or Strauss look likeliest to miss out in the starting XI. Swann has token 30 first class wickets compared to 62 Adil Rashid wickets, however, Rashid’s lack of experience counts against him.


The most difficult decision to be made was who occupies the final batting spot in the squad left vacant by Vaughan’s omission. Owais Shah was selected ahead of the unlucky Ravi Bopara. His selection in the team is mainly down to the fact that he is thought to be a better player of spin and can also bowl occasional spin.


“He played a superb innings in India on his Test debut two years ago,”

“It’s a further opportunity for him to build on his success with the one-day side this year and his inclusion in the squad will create real competition for places within the batting unit.”

  Geoff Miller


The cricket writer’s young player of the year Ravi Bopara will be disappointed to miss out having a better first class record for the season. Bopara has scored 1162 runs at an average of 64.55 including 4 100s and 6 50s. Owais Shah’s stats however show he has scored 894 runs at an average of 42.57 with 3 100s and 5 50s. The stats call for an Bopara inclusion but Shah has been assisted by his experience of playing a test in India last time. He also bowls useful spin picking up 1 wicket compared to Bopara’s 25 in this season’s division two. Ravi Bopara was selected in the 12 man test team for the final test against South Africa but since Pietersen’s reign as captain he has been demoted and has only featured in one game, which Pietersen admitted was just until Collingwood had returned.

Bopara on merit deserves a chance to improve his modest test average as his county form indicates. His experience of 3 tests against Sri Lanka will also be of assistance but he has been left out of both the senior and performance squads.



England squad: Kevin Pietersen (capt), Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Tim Ambrose (wk), Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Steve Harmison, James Anderson, Monty Panesar, Ryan Sidebottom, Owais Shah, Graeme Swann.


England Performance Programme squad: Tim Bresnan, Mark Davies, Steven Davies, Joe Denly, Robbie Joseph, Robert Key, Amjad Khan, Sajid Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Stephen Moore, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Ollie Rayner, Jonathan Trott


Entry filed under: Cricket.

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