England v New Zealand, 3rd Test, Trent Bridge June 1, 2008

England unchanged for third Test

Cricinfo staff


Paul Collingwood has the backing of England's selectors as he battles against his poor form © Getty Images
 
England have named an unchanged squad for the third and final Test against New Zealand at Trent Bridge starting on Thursday. England took a 1-0 lead in the series after winning the second Test at Old Trafford by six wickets.

The selectors weren't expected to spring any surprises after England's come-from-behind victory in Manchester. Despite conceding a deficit of 179 they fought back with a six-wicket haul from Monty Panesar and a century from Andrew Strauss. Chris Tremlett retains his place as the spare player in the squad.

Barring injury England will take the field with the same XI for a fifth consecutive Test for the first time since 1884-85, when they won a series in Australia by 3-2.

"We were delighted with the way the team fought back to win at Old Trafford and there were some excellent individual performances from Andrew Strauss and Monty Panesar which helped turn the game our way," said Geoff Miller, the chairman of selectors.

"There are still areas in which we can improve on as a side. We are aware of the need to post bigger first innings totals on a more regular basis and that we have to bowl well as a unit in order to counter the strength of the New Zealand middle order.

"But overall we are pleased with the progress the team is making and have chosen the same group of players for this Test. We have won three out of our last four Test matches and we will be looking to win again at Trent Bridge and take that momentum into the Test series against South Africa later in the summer."

Miller backed Paul Collingwood to get over his lean spell with the bat. He has made just 32 runs in the first two Tests and hasn't scored a hundred since the Chester-le-Street Test against West Indies last year.

"We know how strong a character Collingwood is," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "He's a quality player and a quality fellow and we know that runs are just around the corner. We'll accept he's having a bit of a bad trot but we know he can turn that around.''

Squad Michael Vaughan (capt), Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Tim Ambrose (wk), Ryan Sidebottom, Stuart Broad, Monty Panesar, James Anderson, Chris Tremlett

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