Selection issues for England

Bell enjoys some batting practice to boost his chances of recall

Last Updated: 23/02/09 10:50pm

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Khan: Picked up 5-75

Khan: Picked up 5-75

Sky Bet

Tour Match
Barbados - Day Two
England 351-8 dec (R S Bopara 124 no, T R Ambrose 74, A J Strauss 66, K A Stoute 4-67) & 142-2 (I R Bell 72, A N Cook 52) v BCA President's XI 245 (S S J Brooks 69, K A Stoute 56, J Holder 50, A Khan 5-79)
BCA President's XI drew with England

England's selectors have plenty to ponder after the two-day fixture against the Barbados Cricket Association President's XI ended in a predictable draw.

Amjad Khan pushed his claims for a place in the team to play in the fourth Test at the Kensington Oval on Thursday with a five-wicket haul.

The Kent seamer's efforts helped dismiss the hosts for 245 at Windward Cricket Club, giving England a sizeable lead of 106.

There was little time left to push for victory, though, the tourists instead deciding to get in some further batting practice before closing on 142-2.

Selection issues

However, the game has given skipper Andrew Strauss, who jarred his finger while fielding but did no serious damage, and his fellow selectors food for thought ahead of the crucial clash with the West Indies.

With wicketkeeper Matt Prior having returned home following the birth of his first child and all-rounder Andrew Flintoff sidelined through injury, England will be forced to make changes from the side that failed to win in Antigua.

Tim Ambrose will take over behind the stumps but is unlikely to be risked at number six, meaning a batsman is set to be drafted in.

Ravi Bopara appeared to push himself into contention with a quick-fire 124 on day one against a young Barbados team that included just four players with first-class experience.

But there is also the option of recalling Ian Bell, dropped after the innings defeat in Jamaica, after he hit 72 off just 91 deliveries.

The Warwickshire right-hander was eventually bowled attempting a reverse sweep, his dismissal bringing about the end of the game as the two teams agreed to shake hands.

Alastair Cook also enjoyed some time in the middle, the opener making a fluent 52 before becoming the first of two wickets for off-spinner Rostin Chase.

Impressive Khan

If England do opt to go with six frontline batsmen it would mean a four-man bowling attack, a move that is likely to lead to Khan's fine performance going unrewarded with a debut.

The Danish-born fast bowler picked up 5-75 to follow the lead of fellow England Lion Bopara after the pair had only recently arrived from New Zealand as cover for Flintoff.

Having already struck twice on the first evening, Khan claimed one of only two wickets to fall in the morning when he removed Kevin Stoute for 56.

He then knocked back the off-stump of all-rounder Jason Holder (50) before dismissing number nine Ronaldo Arthur in similar fashion.

Ryan Sidebottom, another pushing for selection, had Barbados skipper Shamar Brooks caught at gully for 69 while spinners Monty Panesar and Adil Rashid, who finished with 2-63, each claimed a wicket apiece on day two.

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