England have named their 16-man Test squad for the tour of India. As expected, there was no place for Kevin Pietersen, with Nick Compton and Joe Root both selected as possible replacements at the top of the order for Andrew Strauss. Jonny Bairstow takes the place of Steve Davies as the reserve wicket-keeper, while Eoin Morgan has seen off the challenge from James Taylor and Ravi Bopara as the squad’s reserve batsman. Graeme Swann will lead a spin attack which also includes Monty Panesar and Samit Patel.
Commenting on the credentials of Compton and Root, national selector Geoff Miller said, “Nick Compton has performed well consistently for Somerset in county cricket this season, made big hundreds, and shown that he has the temperament and the technique to play at a higher level.
“Joe Root is a player who has been successful at every level from county cricket through to EPP and England Lions, and he deserves this opportunity to step up to the next level and press his case for a place in the Test side.”
Compton was the leading run-scorer on the LV= County Championship in 2012, with 1191 runs at an average of 99.25 for Somerset, who finished second in Division One. Root, who played for Yorkshire, who finished second in Division Two, hit 738 runs at an average of 43.41.
With regards to Pietersen’s omission, managing director Hugh Morris said, “Both [the] ECB and England team management have had meetings with Kevin Pietersen to address the issues which led to his omission from the final Investec Test match against South Africa. These discussions remain private and confidential and as there are issues still to be resolved Kevin has not been considered for selection for the India tour.”
Eoin Morgan is perhaps the surprise inclusion at the expense of James Taylor. Taylor impressed many with his temperament during the Test series against South Africa, despite not scoring many runs, while Morgan had a miserable first-class season for Middlesex, averaging just 19.
The first of four Tests begins on 15th November, with the tour also comprising two Twenty20 Internationals and five One-Day Internationals, the squads for which will be announced at a later date.
The selectors have also named a 17–strong England Performance Programme squad which will undertake a month-long tour of India from mid-November and a seven-strong squad for next month’s Hong Kong Sixes tournament which will be captained by Leicestershire batsman Josh Cobb.
ECB Performance Director David Parsons said, “The England Performance Programme (EPP) looks to identify and develop players that can go on to be world class cricketers for England in the future. This year, following a brief period of training at the National Cricket Performance Centre, Loughborough we have the opportunity to take players to the sub-continent to work on specific skills which will further their individual games. As in previous winters we will be shadowing the England team and their tour which is a model we have successfully used since 2006, providing England with a group of players that can be called upon should the need arise. The England Lions squad for the tour to Australia in February 2013 will be selected towards the end of this training camp in December.”
England Test squad: Alastair Cook (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wicket-keeper), Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Nick Compton, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Eoin Morgan, Monty Panesar, Samit Patel, Matt Prior (wicket-keeper), Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott.
England Performance squad to tour India: Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Gary Ballance, Scott Borthwick, Danny Briggs, Varun Chopra, Matt Coles, Jade Dernbach, Ben Foakes (wicket-keeper), James Harris, Simon Kerrigan, Craig Kieswetter (wicket-keeper), Stuart Meaker, Azeem Rafiq, Toby Roland-Jones, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, Chris Wright.
England Hong Kong Sixes squad: Josh Cobb (captain), Adam Ball, Keith Barker, Ben Brown (wicket-keeper), Chris Nash, Tom Smith, Ross Whiteley.
© Cricket World 2012
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