England v New Zealand ODI series May 30, 2008

Ambrose replaces Mustard in one-day squad

Cricinfo staff


Tim Ambrose: in the ODI squad for the first time © Getty Images
 
Tim Ambrose has been called up to England's one-day squad for the series against New Zealand. Ambrose, who took over from Matt Prior in the Test side earlier in the year, replaces Phil Mustard and is the only uncapped player in a 14-man squad.

Ambrose made his mark for England during the Test series in New Zealand, when he produced a maiden century in his second appearance at Wellington, to turn the tide of a series that England eventually won 2-1. He has now been given his opportunity at one-day level as well, despite managing only three runs in two innings in the current Test series.

Mustard has been omitted after averaging 22.8 in his ten appearances in Sri Lanka and New Zealand last winter. He performed fitfully in his pinch-hitting role at the top of the order, often starting with a flurry of pulls and drives only to play one shot too many, although he did make an impressive 83 from 74 balls in his penultimate appearance, the tied ODI in Napier.

"Tim Ambrose has already shown that he has the temperament and the ability required to succeed in Test cricket and his selection reflects our desire to use the same wicket-keeper in both the long and short forms of the game," Geoff Miller, England's national selector, said. "Phil Mustard will, of course, be disappointed not to have been selected on this occasion but he remains a player of terrific potential and we will continue to monitor his performances closely along with a number of other wicketkeepers in domestic cricket."

Another player who will feel unlucky to have missed out is Matt Prior, whom Ambrose replaced in the Test side, but whose forceful performances for Sussex have since powered him to the top of the first-class averages. He, however, will have to wait his turn for a little while longer. "We're aware of the need to identify a player who can take over the opener's role from Phil," said Miller, "and play in a positive manner at the start of the innings."

The offspinner, James Tredwell, also misses out from the party that toured New Zealand in February, while the selectors did not consider a recall for Andrew Flintoff, whose comeback for Lancashire has been hampered by a side strain that will keep him on the international sidelines at least until the arrival of South Africa in July.

"Andrew is still recovering from a side strain and we would prefer to wait until he is 100 per cent fit before considering him for selection," said Miller. "We will be guided by the England medical team as to when the best time would be for him to return to international cricket. His rehabilitation is progressing well at present and we are optimistic that he will be available for selection later in the summer."

England one-day squad Paul Collingwood (capt), Tim Ambrose, James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Kevin Pietersen, Owais Shah, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, Luke Wright.

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