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August 26, 2011
England have rested Kevin Pietersen for the upcoming ODI series India and called up Durham allrounder Ben Stokes.
Pietersen, who was the highest scorer in the Test series against India, has been left out as part of the selectors' ongoing policy of 'managing player workloads'. While Pietersen has recovered his Test form in fine style, his one-day returns have been less productive - just two half-centuries since November 2008.
Geoff Miller, the England selector, emphasised, however, that Pietersen was being rested rather than dropped. "The decision to omit Kevin Pietersen from the one-day squad is in line with our policy of sensibly managing player workloads and will give the opportunity to another batsmen to test himself batting at number four."
Stokes is the only one of the three debutants from the one-off ODI against Ireland to have made the squad, with Ravi Bopara holding his place ahead of James Taylor and legspinner Scott Borthwick not selected either. Stokes was close to playing against Sri Lanka earlier in the summer but picked up a finger injury. He has had an excellent season for Durham in the CB40 with 357 runs at 51.00. Though he won't be fit to bowl, he offers England hard-hitting ability down the order.
While the remainder of the ODI squad is largely similar to the one that beat Sri Lanka 3-2 earlier in the summer, there are maiden Twenty20 call-ups for Somerset wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler and Nottinghamshire opener Alex Hales. Buttler has not actually had as productive a season as last year in Twenty20, but has showcased enough potential to step in for the injured Luke Wright.
Hales, meanwhile, replaced Michael Lumb from the team that lost to Sri Lanka in the one-off T20. Ian Bell, who was a non-playing member of the squad from that game, has been dropped. Hales impressed in all forms of the game for Nottinghamshire this season and is the highest-scoring English player in the Friends Life t20 with 544 runs from 16 games. "The domestic Twenty20 competition went well for me and I'm pleased to have been recognised for scoring runs in a winning team," said Hales.
"England are the world's best Test team and the Twenty20 world champions so breaking into the setup at any level is a big deal and I'm extremely proud to have done so. I need to back my ability to play positively and score runs if I'm going to stay in contention for a place and that's my target going into Wednesday's game."
Miller, meanwhile, backed the squads blend of youth and experience to succeed. "Across both squads we believe we've selected an exciting blend of experienced international performers along with some exciting young players with a great deal of talent," he said in a statement. "We will need to play a high quality brand of limited overs cricket against the world champions India.
"We're very excited to have included some bright young players in the form of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Alex Hales, all of whom have proved themselves domestically and will now be looking to successfully take the step up to international level."
Twenty20 squad: Stuart Broad (capt), Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter (wk), Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, Ben Stokes, Graeme Swann
ODI squad: Alastair Cook (capt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Craig Kieswetter (wk), Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Ben Stokes, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Plays of the day from the fifth ODI in Ranchi
Plays of the day from the fourth ODI between India and Sri Lanka in Kolkata