England v West Indies, 1st Test, Lord's May 13, 2007

Vaughan ruled out of first Test

Cricinfo staff



Owais Shah: Vaughan's absence means he returns to the squad © Getty Images
Andrew Strauss will captain England in the first Test against West Indies at Lord's next week after Michael Vaughan failed to recover from a broken finger.

The in-form Owais Shah, whose one cap came against India 14 months ago, was recalled in place of the sidelined Vaughan, but there was no place for James Anderson or Sajid Mahmood as Liam Plunkett secured the remaining seamer's slot.

The influence of new coach Peter Moores was immediately apparent with the call-up of Matt Prior, who he coached at Sussex, as wicketkeeper. It was expected that Paul Nixon, who kept for England throughout the CB Series and the World Cup, would retain his place. Prior's form for Sussex has also been patchy this season - averaging 22 from four first-class matches - although he gained good reports from the A tour of Bangladesh.

"Matt averages nearly forty with the bat in first-class cricket and this was an important factor in reaching our decision," David Graveney, England's chairman of selectors, said. "He performed well for England A in the winter, has experienced the international environment before and will, I am sure, be very excited about the prospect of making his Test debut at Lord's.

"Vaughan has made progress with his recovery from injury but his chances of being fully fit for this Test are extremely doubtful and we feel the best course of action is to avoid any uncertainty and for Strauss to deputise for him. Michael will continue his rehabilitation with the squad at Lord's next week and we will reassess his fitness when we sit down to pick the side for Headingley.

"I have spoken to both Andrew Flintoff and Strauss about the captaincy position. Our view is that the team's best interests will be served if Strauss leads the team as this will allow Flintoff to concentrate on his batting and bowling."

Graveney said that Shah was included primarily as cover for Kevin Pietersen should he fail to recover from a calf strain. "We're very optimistic that he'll be fit and we do not have any other injury concerns leading into this Test. Shah [gives] us the option of playing a stronger batting line-up if required."

Asked about the situation regarding Marcus Trescothick, who scored a double hundred for Somerset in the week, Graveney said that there was no consideration being given to him being recalled. "We have no intention of picking him in the foreseeable future. We have to take it slowly. We tend to talk about Bristol City and Bristol Rovers rather than cricket."

England squad Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Owais Shah, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Matt Prior (wk), Liam Plunkett, Monty Panesar, Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard.

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