England axe falls on Strauss

England select four uncapped players for three-Test tour

By Rob Lancaster.   Last Updated: 19/10/07 12:13pm

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Strauss: Staying at home

Strauss: Staying at home

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Andrew Strauss has surprisingly been left out of England's Test squad for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, which can be seen live on Sky Sports.

Watch all three Tests of England's tour of Sri Lanka LIVE on Sky Sports in December

"We fully anticipate that he (Strauss) will have a major role to play with England in the next 12 months and he will be considered for the tour of New Zealand in the New Year."
David Graveney, chairman of selectors Quotes of the week

Despite recently being awarded a central contract, the Middlesex opener has paid the price for a lean spell that has seen him fail to score a century in his last 13 Tests.

Owais Shah gets the nod in front of his county colleague, while there is also a place for Ravi Bopara.

The Essex batsman is one of four uncapped players included, as the selectors have shown faith in the players who won the recent one-day series in Sri Lanka.

That means no recall for Mark Ramprakash, who had been tipped to return to the international fold at the age of 38 after a second successive stellar season for Surrey.

Seam options

Stuart Broad's form in the limited overs arena, as well as his abilities down the order with the bat, has seen him rewarded with a spot in the 15-man party ahead of Hampshire's Chris Tremlett.

Steve Harmison is not among the list of names but is set to join the squad if he proves his fitness during a spell playing in South Africa.

The Durham paceman will turn out for Highveld Lions in two four-day matches next month to prove he is fully fit after a hernia operation.

As expected, Graeme Swann, who has recovered from the hamstring injury he picked up in the recent one-day series in Sri Lanka, is named as the second spinner, alongside Monty Panesar.

"We have chosen a balanced squad which includes a number of experienced Test players together with several young players who performed well in the recent one-day Series in Sri Lanka," chairman of selectors, David Graveney, said.

"Andrew Strauss needs to recover his best form and he has not been included in the squad on this occasion.

"We fully anticipate that he will have a major role to play with England in the next 12 months and he will be considered for the tour of New Zealand in the New Year.

"Owais Shah and Ravi Bopara are both fine players of spin-bowling and their performances for the one-day side recently have demonstrated that they have the temperament required to succeed at the highest level."

Prior engagement

England have also opted to take two wicketkeepers on tour, Matt Prior returning to the international fold after recovering from a broken thumb suffered at the ICC World Twenty20 tournament.

His understudy will be Phil Mustard, who took over the gloves for the one-day series against Sri Lanka, playing in all five games and opening the batting.

"We have chosen Phil Mustard as our number two wicketkeeper for the tour," added Graveney.

"Having recently toured Sri Lanka with the one-day squad, Phil is familiar with the conditions and will be ideally placed to deputize for Matt Prior should the situation arise."

England have two warm-up matches ahead of the first Test in Kandy on December 1. They then move on to Colombo for the second game before finishing the series in Galle.

Test squad to tour Sri Lanka: Michael Vaughan (Yorkshire) capt, James Anderson (Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Alastair Cook (Essex), Matthew Hoggard (Yorkshire), Philip Mustard (Durham), Monty Panesar (Northamptonshire), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Matthew Prior (Sussex), Owais Shah (Middlesex), Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)

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