England v West Indies, 3rd Test, Edgbaston June 6, 2012

Davies called up as Prior cover

ESPNcricinfo staff

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has been passed fit for the Edgbaston Test after having picked up an eye infection earlier. Steven Davies, the Surrey wicketkeeper, was drafted into the England squad as cover for Prior for the third Test.

Davies, who was playing in the County Championship against Sussex at Horsham, has been released back to his club. He has yet to play Test cricket but has been the reserve Test keeper of the last two years for series against Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Prior, though, a day before the game, was confident he would be able to play. "I expect to be fine to play tomorrow," he said on Twitter. "The management have got cover in as a precaution on the off chance my vision is affected!"

Davies has played eight one-day internationals and five Twenty20s with his most recent appearance coming against Australia in Perth last February during the one-day series where he found out he had been left out of the World Cup squad in favour of Prior.

His call-up came despite England having Jonny Bairstow, who keeps wicket for Yorkshire, in the side to face West Indies. Bairstow is the regular wicketkeeper for England Lions, but this decision suggests the management feel he is not ready for the role in a Test match or they do not want to burden him with another task while he is trying to forge a place as a batsman.

Prior has played 39 consecutive Tests, not missing a match since he flew home from the Caribbean during the 2009 tour for the birth of his child and skipping the Barbados Test. On that occasion Tim Ambrose, the Warwickshire wicketkeeper, took his place.

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  • Tom on June 7, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge I'd be surprised if we get two days of play - 180 overs - total in the game.

  • John on June 7, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    @Tom_Bowler on (June 07 2012, 08:56 AM GMT) Players mature at different ages.Trott was not much younger when he made his test debut and wasn't being discussed that much prior to his call up. As a bowler (even in his 30s) Ajmal has become a totally different animal in the test arena. While he had a bad inns at Lords , surely all decent players , even when in nick (pardon the pun) can have the odd lapse.Surely the total runs he's scored this season , combined with the average , combined with the fact he's doing it in the 1st division surely suggest he is as good a candidate as any to take the number 6 position. Also he is more experienced which could count for something in a huge series vs SA

  • Randolph on June 7, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    Exposing the lack of depth once again England!

  • Dan on June 7, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    I see Nick Compton is being suggested as an England player, I suppose it's understandable given his recent form but I don't rate him myself. He's just shy of 29 and is in his ninth season as a pro, if he was going to make it he would have done so by now. I sat at Lords on Monday and watched him get bowled leaving one on off stump, Tim Murtagh is a fine county bowler but I wouldn't fancy sending a batsman out to face Dale Steyn who can't judge Dial M no matter how many hundreds he has made at Taunton. Hildreth on the other hand looked very well organised, he struggled a bit with his timing but he was technically very correct. It seems unlikely Davies will play but if he does he deserves it in my opinion, Foster is still the best pure keeper in the country but sadly for him if he was going to get back in the reckoning he'd have done so before now, Davies looks as good as anyone else to me and there's a realistic prospect he might be a long term successor to Prior.

  • Tom on June 7, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge I'd be surprised if we get two days of play - 180 overs - total in the game.

  • John on June 7, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    @SirViv1973 They won't do the 5 man attack anyway.I know that we have usually done well with just the 4 bowlers on home turf but I really don't see the point in our particular team obsessively trying to get a 6th batsman in with little/no success without even trying the 5 man bowling attack. So what if WI/Aus preferred 6/1/4 - they both naturally had more batting depth. There were times in UAE when our 4 man attack laboured when the extra man might have made all the difference and even in the last test when WI were 300+-6 , people on here were calling for Finn to replace Bresnan, What's wrong with having both? If WI can score those runs against a 4 man attack what might SA do. 5 man attack and you are going to get a more constant intensity. Also our number 7 and 8 has averaged better than our number 6 in the last year or so , so how much of a luxury is a number 6 batsman who does nothing with the ball? In 2005 we almost certainly would not have regained the ashes with anything

  • anthony on June 7, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    @ prasssnuu, how many chances do you want bopara to have? he has failed everytime except against the 'mighty' wi. bairstow is also not test class, nothing wrong with bringing davies in as cover for prior. but taylor should replace bairstow.

  • pranshu on June 7, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    why nt bairstrow given the glove works.. as his batting has proved him zero on test level.. why not bopara.. who came back wid 1 120 not out and 65 not out..... when will u give chance to bopara?????

  • Clive on June 7, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    Of course Davies is still the reserve wicket-keeper. The England management are not stupid. They realize that Bairstow is nowhere near good enough to keep wicket at ODI level yet, let alone in tests, where he needs to concentrate on establishing himself as a batsman. Some rather silly suggestions on here.

  • Dummy4 on June 6, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    Reading the comments on this issue so far, there appears to be fair bit of cynicism on bringing Davies into the team. For what its worth, i personally believe this is a perfectly acceptable move on behalf of the England management. For a while now Davies has been the reserve test keeper so it is no surprise for him to be called up. From what i have seen of him is he is both a good bat and keeper so the balance of the side will not be harmed with his inclusion. In regards to Bairstow, it is clear that the management believes his batting abilities are of prime concern.

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