Pakistan tour of England 2010 July 25, 2010

Morgan and Shahzad retain Test places

Cricinfo staff

Eoin Morgan and Ajmal Shahzad have retained their places in England's Test squad for the first match of the four-Test series at Trent Bridge next week, but there is no place for Ravi Bopara, who has scored back-to-back hundreds for Essex in the County Championship, or Yorkshire's Tim Bresnan.

Middlesex seamer Steven Finn returns to the England squad following a successful Test series against Bangladesh, while Shahzad has been given a chance to build on his Test debut from the same series, having overcome an ankle problem that limited him to four overs in his most recent England outing, the third ODI against Bangladesh at Edgbaston two weeks ago.

National Selector, Geoff Miller, said: "We have picked a very strong squad for the first Test against a Pakistan side that will be high on confidence following their recent win against Australia.

"We've been encouraged by the form shown by a number of England players involved in County Championship matches this week and those that are coming back from injury or rest, such as Kevin Pietersen, have been working very hard ahead of the first Test next week."

Shahzad's selection ahead of Bresnan is an acknowledgment of the role that swing bowling is likely to play in the coming series, especially at Trent Bridge where the ball habitually moves through the air, and against a Pakistan attack that includes the precocious 18-year-old Mohammad Aamer who, along with Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul, devastated Australia's batting line-up in the recent second Test at Headingley.

While Bresnan's stamina and discipline earned him admirers in tough conditions in Bangladesh earlier in the year, and augur well for a role on unforgiving surfaces such as Adelaide on the fast-approaching Ashes tour, Shahzad's ability to reverse-swing the ball, which he showcased to excellent effect at Old Trafford on debut, has earned him a chance to press for a permanent role as England's first-change quick bowler.

The attack will be led by the mercurial James Anderson - another man who can swing the ball to devastating effect, when the conditions are right - and Stuart Broad, whose confidence is high after a career-best haul of 8 for 52 against Warwickshire in the County Championship this week.

Morgan, meanwhile, has been given another opportunity to state his Test credentials, after indifferent scores of 44 and 37 in his first two outings against Bangladesh. With Paul Collingwood slotting back into the squad after being rested for the last two Tests, Morgan had looked likely to make way, until Ian Bell suffered the broken foot at Bristol that has ruled him out of the full four-Test series.

"Bell's untimely foot injury during the NatWest Series was obviously a disappointing blow but he is now focused on his rehabilitation and should make a full recovery in due course. Ian's absence provides other batsmen with the chance to impress against a world class Pakistan bowling attack."

England squad Andrew Strauss (capt), James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Steven Finn, Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior (wk), Ajmal Shahzad, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott

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