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May 29, 2005
Ashley Giles has been ruled of the second Test against Bangladesh, in Durham, with the same hip cartilage problem that prevented his inclusion at Lord's. Gareth Batty, who didn't bat or bowl during the Lord's Test, will be retained in the squad when the selectors meet on Monday night to confirm the squad.
Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, told the Press Association that although he will miss the second Test, surgery is not yet a certainty for Giles: "He won't be ready for the next Test, we leave him out and hope he will be ready for the one-dayers. Long-term it [surgery] could be that, but it is so far down the line that at this stage we are pretty confident things will happen with the treatment he is receiving at the moment."
The other major issue to be discussed by the selectors will be Graham Thorpe's position in the team. He scored an unbeaten 42 at Lord's, and is set to win his 100th Test cap at Chester-le-Street, but his announcement before the Test, about his winter move to Australia, has reopened the debate about his spot for the Ashes series.
Fletcher, part of the four-man selection panel said: "We have a selection meeting on Monday and that will be discussed there. I can't say anything about that at this stage. As far as I am concerned I found out about it on Tuesday. He told us he let us know as soon as he could. If Tuesday was the day, Tuesday was the day. That was when finality was reached. There is no real problem with the timing if he found at that time."
Fletcher said that having experience in the team when they face Australia will be very important, suggesting that Thorpe will retain his place. "Experience is very important when you are put into situations that we will probably face against Australia." he said, "He has shown before he is a tough, nuggety little player. He has fought in some really tough situations and got England out of trouble on numerous occasions."
Fletcher added that England would not be experimenting with the team for Chester-le-Street, despite the ease of the innings and 261-run win at Lord's. "You have to pick your best Test side. We want to build up to play the Aussies, it is very important for guys to get decent cricket in an environment with 20,000 people watching. The players spending time with each other and getting to know each other is also very important."
Michael Vaughan said that one of the major bonuses to come out of Lord's was Andrew Flintoff's bowling. He sent down nearly 15 overs of quick bowling, taking five wickets, and Fletcher was also pleased with his performance. "We want to look at him and slowly build him up," he said, "At this stage we are not 100% confident he can bowl 20 overs in a day if really called upon.
"Around about 15 overs is what we are looking at and after the Bangladesh game we might have to look at him playing in the County Championship to build up into two or three spells in a day. He is ahead of schedule, we just ultimately wanted him ready for that first Ashes Test, anything earlier was a bonus."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge