Craig Kieswetter and Ian Bell earn ODI calls
Ian Bell has earned a one-day international recall while, as expected, Craig Kieswetter has been preferred as England's wicketkeeper-batsman ahead of Matt Prior for the one-day internationals against Australia and the match against Scotland. There is also a surprising place for Tim Bresnan after he recently suffered a foot injury.
Bresnan was ruled out of the second Test against Bangladesh, at Old Trafford, with a stress fracture but has clearly recovered quicker than expected. The 13-man squad includes Michael Yardy, a key part of the Twenty20 success in the Caribbean, as the selectors begin to make their final plans for next year's World Cup.
Bresnan's fitness means there is no place for Ajmal Shahzad, the Yorkshire allrounder, who impressed on his Test debut in Manchester with his reverse-swing skills. However, both Shahzad and Prior, along with Ravi Bopara who didn't make this squad, can expect to be included in the England Lions for their triangular series with India A and West Indies A which runs concurrently to the ODIs against Australia.
"We are very pleased with the progress our one-day squad has made under the leadership of Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower over the past 18 months," said Geoff Miller, the national selector. "The challenge facing the squad now is to maintain the form they showed over the winter against the world's number one side in 50-over cricket.
"We have named a slightly smaller squad for this summer's NatWest Series than in previous years as our own programme closely mirrors the England Lions' schedule for their triangular series against India A and West Indies A.
"We will draw on additional players from the Lions squad if required and will also consider using the Lions programme to give non playing members of the one-day squad match practice where appropriate."
England have 21 ODIs between now and the beginning of the World Cup, starting with the June 19 fixture against Scotland, to formulate a squad that can amend the team's disastrous recent form in 50-over tournaments. Following the Twenty20 triumph there were calls for that model to be immediately replicated in the longer format but Michael Lumb, who opened with Kieswetter, has been omitted.
Kieswetter made his ODI debut against Bangladesh earlier this year having been drafted into the squad at the last minute following impressive performances for England Lions in the UAE. He responded with 107 in his third match at Chittagong, a game where he was also given the gloves, as the management hinted at the direction they would follow. The clincher, though, was Kieswetter's form in the World Twenty20, where he was explosive at the top of the order and hit 63 off 49 balls in the final against Australia.
"Craig Kieswetter made a century in only his third one-day International on the tour of Bangladesh and continued to impress during the World T20 tournament in the Caribbean," said Miller. "He has been earmarked for a role at the top of the order and I am sure he will be relishing the opportunity to test himself against high quality opposition.
"We are also pleased to welcome back Ian Bell to the one-day squad. He has performed well for Warwickshire this season in limited overs cricket and worked hard to add a more positive, attacking approach to his game.
"Michael Yardy's inclusion is a reward for performing consistently to a high level in the World T20 in the Caribbean and also reflects our longer term planning for a World Cup in the Indian sub-continent next year in which spin bowling will be a major feature."
Prior will feel hard done by once again as his ODI career is brought to another halt. After being tried at the top of the order, he went back to No. 6 during the Champions Trophy and the tour of South Africa where England won the one-day series 2-1. However, despite a couple of important innings, the emergence of Kieswetter has led to another change and there remains a feeling Prior's batting is too orthodox for a middle-order role.
Following England's victory against Bangladesh at Old Trafford on Sunday there was some doubt over Andrew Strauss's place in the squad after comments by Geoff Miller, the national selector, didn't appear to offer complete support for the captain. But that was cleared up when Andy Flower confirmed Strauss would be in charge although he will need a productive one-day summer to ensure against calls for a change.
England squad Andrew Strauss (capt), Craig Kieswetter, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Michael Yardy, Luke Wright, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Ryan Sidebottom, Ian Bell