September 1, 2002

England Squad for fourth npower Test v India

Media Release

England today named a 14-man squad for the fourth npower Test at The AMP Oval starting this Thursday.

With Andrew Flintoff absent through injury, England have included four players who did not feature in the starting line-up at Headingley; Dominic Cork, Ronnie Irani, Stephen Harmison and Marcus Trescothick.

Irani, who played in all of England's NatWest Series matches this summer, is recalled to the Test squad after a three year absence. The Essex all-rounder played the last of his three Tests to date against New Zealand at The AMP Oval in 1999.

Trescothick (thumb), Irani (knee) and Cork (finger) will play in Norwich Union League matches for their respective counties today and tomorrow to test their fitness ahead of a five-day game. * (See below for relevant fixtures)

Commenting on the selection, Chairman of Selectors, David Graveney, said: "We want to give these three players some more match practice before the Test match and we should have a clearer picture of their fitness by Tuesday.

"Although we are aware of the limited match practice Ronnie Irani has had recently, he was out for only a couple of weeks through injury and was able to practice with both ball and bat on Friday and Saturday of this week.

"Marcus Trescothick played yesterday in the C&G Final and suffered no reaction above the norm to his thumb injury. He was happy with the way he batted and felt fine in the field.

"The selectors discussed the likely shape of the team when we met earlier in the week and we were not inclined to play seven batsmen and four bowlers. This policy did not work for us against Sri Lanka at Lord's earlier in the summer and we feel that we will need a five-bowler combination for this Test Match.

"At this stage without having seen the wicket, we are not expecting a surface which is especially helpful to spin and as a consequence we have decided not to include a second specialist spinner in the squad."

England Squad for fourth npower Test v India

Players       D.O.B

Nasser Hussain (captain) (Essex) 28.3.68 Mark Butcher (Surrey) 23.8.72 Andrew Caddick (Somerset) 21.11.68 Dominic Cork (Derbyshire) 7.8.71 John Crawley (Hampshire) 21.9.71 Ashley Giles (Warwickshire) 19.3.73 Stephen Harmison (Durham) 23.10.78 Matthew Hoggard (Yorkshire) 31.12.76 Ronnie Irani (Essex) 26.10.71 Robert Key (Kent) 12.5.79 Alec Stewart (Surrey) 8.4.63 Marcus Trescothick (Somerset) 25.12.75 Alex Tudor (Surrey) 23.10.77 Michael Vaughan (Yorkshire) 29.10.74

*Relevant NUL fixtures Today: Lancashire v Essex at Old Trafford Tomorrow: Durham v Somerset at Riverside, Derbyshire v Surrey at Derby