England in Bangladesh 2002-03 September 29, 2003

England bring in Johnson to replace Anderson

Wisden CricInfo staff

The England selectors today called Richard Johnson into the Test squad for the Bangladesh leg of their winter tour following the withdrawal of James Anderson with a knee injury.

Johnson, already pencilled in for the one-day international squad to face Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, took 6 for 33 on his Test debut earlier this year against Zimbabwe at Chester-le-Street. He then played in the NatWest Series, but missed the Tests against South Africa with a knee injury.

David Graveney, England's chairman of selectors, said: "Richard produced an outstanding performance against Zimbabwe at Durham in his first Test match and deserves an opportunity to press for a place in the Test side again."

It is a double celebration for Johnson, who is getting married this weekend but postponing his honeymoon. He will join the squad in Bangladesh a day late. "It was frustrating not being able to play in the Test series against South Africa this summer after making such a good start at Durham," he said, "but I feel that I have a lot to offer in Test cricket and I'll be doing everything I can to make an impact in Bangladesh."

Anderson's dodgy knee opened the door for one more space in England's inexperienced bowling ranks and James Kirtley was the most likely replacement ahead of Johnson. But Kirtley will be left at home to recover from a shin injury ahead of the ODI series, which starts on November 7, and he is confident he will make it.

Talking to the BBC Sport website, Kirtley said: "I could have gone for [pain-killing] injections, that would have been fine for maybe four weeks but maybe it would have reared its head after that.

"England struggled with injuries last winter and they don't need a repeat performance," he said. "We realised it was more serious that first expected - it was one stage away from a stress fracture. It should take about six weeks, we're five weeks in so hopefully in a week I can start bowling and do a bit more on it."

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