England in India 2011

Pietersen returns as Meaker gets call

Andrew McGlashan

September 27, 2011

Comments: 199 | Text size: A | A

Kevin Pietersen walks down the paddock before the qualifying session for the Italian Formula One Grand Prix, Monza, September 10, 2011
Kevin Pietersen's presence on England's tour of India remains a major talking point © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Stuart Meaker | Kevin Pietersen
Series/Tournaments: England tour of India
Teams: England

The uncapped Surrey fast bowler, Stuart Meaker, has been called into England's one-day squad for their tour of India next week, after the selectors chose to rest their senior paceman, James Anderson, for the five-match ODI series. Kevin Pietersen, who was rested for the home ODI series against India, as well as the two Twenty20s against West Indies at The Oval, has been recalled.

Meaker is yet another player to have been born in South Africa, but like his fellow Surrey seamer, Jade Dernbach, he learnt his cricket in England, in his case at Cranleigh School in Surrey. He has spent the last two winters on the ECB's Fast Bowling Programme, and made his debut for England Lions against Sri Lanka A this summer.

The Warwickshire allrounder Chris Woakes has also been called into the squad, along with the Durham legspinner, Scott Borthwick, who impressed with a spell of 1 for 15 in his four overs against West Indies on Sunday. Anderson, who has had a heavy workload this summer, will be allowed a break from international cricket until the squad travels to the UAE in January for their Test and ODI series against Pakistan, while Durham's Ben Stokes has not been selected so that he can undergo a rehabilitation programme on a finger injury.

Two additional players, Jos Buttler (Somerset) and Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), will join the squad ahead of the Twenty20 fixture on 29 October, almost certainly to replace the ODI captain, Alastair Cook, and the Test and ODI No. 3, Jonathan Trott. Assuming he recovers from a shoulder injury, Stuart Broad, the Twenty20 captain, will link up with the squad in Kolkata ahead of the one-off fixture on October 29. Otherwise Graeme Swann will continue as captain.

"This squad contains an exciting balance of experienced international cricketers along with some very talented younger players who can play the high quality limited-overs cricket needed to challenge India," said the national selector, Geoff Miller. "A number of injuries and a decision to omit James Anderson in line with our policy of sensibly managing player workloads give opportunities for other very talented players to continue to develop as international cricketers.

"We had a promising one-day series win over India earlier this month and this squad will be looking forward to the challenge of continuing that success in the sub-continent over the next four weeks," added Miller. "The additions to the squad for the Twenty20 fixture will strengthen the squad and provide Jos Buttler and Alex Hales with valuable experience of playing in the subcontinent.

"Stuart Broad is currently undergoing a period of rehabilitation for a shoulder injury, however he will join the squad in India if he completes his rehabilitation programme ahead of schedule," said Miller. "Graeme Swann will once again lead the Twenty20 side if Stuart is unable to join the squad."

Regardless of how much significance was attached to England's 25-run defeat in the second of those T20s on Sunday, their failure to chase 114 on a turning deck served to emphasise the challenge that confronts the squad in the coming series. Batting against spin bowling on dusty, slow surfaces will - if India are serious about exacting some measure of revenge for their humbling recent tour - be the regular formula during the five ODIs and Twenty20 match.

With that in mind, the recall of Pietersen is significant, especially in light of reports that he was set to retire from the limited-overs format. However, a series against India on home soil isn't the best place for complete experimentation, and with Eoin Morgan ruled out until January, England's middle order does need a dose of experience.

Cook and Trott will obviously be included - and the debate about the top three won't be far behind - but without Pietersen the slots from No. 4 to No. 6 would have been a little light on proven ability, despite Ravi Bopara's recent performances and Jonny Bairstow's confident debut.

Pietersen, though, is under some serious pressure. His ODI average over the last two years is 23.30 and his last hundred came against India, at Cuttack, shortly before he lost the captaincy. While his Test and Twenty20 form has recovered, that revival hasn't transferred to 50 overs. Perhaps it's a lack of motivation with ODIs not providing the fulsome challenge of Test cricket or instant thrill of 20 overs. This series could be his last chance to show he really has the hunger to play all three formats. The Pietersen of 2008 would clearly enhance a developing side, but the Pietersen of 2009-2011 is a spare part.

A number of the younger players that were selected against West Indies will be heading to India. Borthwick impressed against West Indies, and has nudged in ahead of Danny Briggs, the Hampshire left-arm spinner, who didn't get a game in those fixtures. It's also an important tour for Samit Patel who needs to put in consistent all-round displays and prove his fitness levels in testing conditions.

The pace attack will once again be without Broad or Anderson, which will give another opportunity to the improving Steven Finn after he regularly touched 90mph towards the end of the season. Bowling in the subcontinent will be another stage in his development but he'll be able to tap into the knowledge of his debut Test series against Bangladesh.

ODI squad Alastair Cook (capt), Jonathan Bairstow, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Scott Borthwick, Tim Bresnan, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Craig Kieswetter, Stuart Meaker, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott, Chris Woakes

*Jos Buttler and Alex Hales will join for Twenty20 international

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by DeathPoke on (September 30, 2011, 1:20 GMT)

Im a Kiwi born Aussie, and I see absolutely no problem with OS-born players playing for any team in any sport. The hardest decision should be that of the players themselves, as a question of loyalty and pride. If they qualify to play for a country, and are going to remain loyal and devote themselves to that country, then more power to them!

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (September 29, 2011, 17:28 GMT)

Should have picked Rashid or Briggs instead of the dead wood Patel...

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (September 29, 2011, 14:50 GMT)

Cont'd To highlight the gulf in the selection of both squads, you look at the England squad and you think why has this or that player been left out; with India you think (1) why has this or that player been selected (2) where are the wickets coming from (3) who's going to contain the batsmen. For India the ODI series is not about the results but about performing, like WIndies did in the 2nd T20, starting to rebuild Indian cricket from the rubble of the England tour and identifying who has the technique and temperament to succeed in the future. England seem to have their cricketing house in order and it's time for for India to do the same. What are the chances of that happening? Given the BCCI's president's recent comments, I would say very little. England has named what appears to be a strong squad on paper and I wouldn't be surprised if they did well on the pitch but a series win in India will be a combination of England's continued progress and India' continued slide.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (September 29, 2011, 14:24 GMT)

To my fellow Indian supporters - please chill. Doesn't matter which team India play or where the players are born, there's no escaping that India is a hopeless team with no proper structure in place to identify and nature cricketing talent. There are many reasons for this but the main factor is that in the recent past India had a golden generation of players who have retired or are close to retiring and the BCCI thought that the next generation would be waiting to step into their shoes. Neither WIndies nor Aus planned for succession (I'm not in any way implying that India when No1 were close those teams) and BCCI did not heed those lessons. What Eng have shown is year on year improvement from under Hussain together with a total resructuring of the game at domestic level. With their current bowling options they are the envy of most teams and coaches and have the satisfying problem of trying to keep all their players happy.

Posted by nosebreaker on (September 29, 2011, 12:35 GMT)

Guys just to round off this tedious discussion, South Africa has enough talent for England and South Africa......You can only play 11 players at a time for SA, so why not let them play international cricket for another country if they have the credentials. It is great for SA's economy to have so many saffers in England living of the English system and spending money in SA......keep it up boys and bring the pounds back home!!!!!

Posted by JG2704 on (September 29, 2011, 9:37 GMT)

vivekdhayalan_indian_tamilan - as I said before in response to MADDY20 - Our 4-0 drubbing was mainly achieved by our bowling unit and Cook and Bell. All English to the bone. YORKSHIRE PUDDING - I should have been more clear in saying that I meant that only Morgan actually played at full int level for his birth country MADDY20 - Hopefully VALAVAN and BOBMARTIN amongst others will have put your notions to bed. If you're going to quote facts , please make sure they are accurate otherwise you look foolish

Posted by JG2704 on (September 29, 2011, 9:25 GMT)

MADDY20 - You say us POMS couldn't win a world cup etc. I believe we are the current T20 world champions though - a game which is huge in India and number 1 test side in the world

Posted by   on (September 29, 2011, 9:22 GMT)

As far as odi series concluded last in England is concerned India did well unlike test series before. its the rain which stopped 50 overs to be played in full.

its interesting to see how the fight will be between the teams on subcontinent venues. definetly indian team will have more advantage of home apart from what ever they are as of now.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 29, 2011, 9:20 GMT)

KEDAR DHEKANE - RE anderson rested.....what is that mean??? Firstly one ? is enough and 2ndly , the phrase is what DOES that mean?

It means that England are trying to rotate their squad and for whatever reason - whether it be that they think Anderson is tired/jaded or preventing Anderson from becoming tired/jaded or they just think other bowlers might do a better job on Indian pitches. Whatever way you look at it , it is surely better to not send a player out there who might not do a good job than send a player out there who might struggle. Even if it is purely a form thing , what's wrong with that? Surely you pick a squad to do a job. I know the Indians prefer to make excuses afterwards about injured/half cooked players. Maybe England's selectors are trying to prevent things happening rather than using the half cooked/injured excuses AFTER the series , like you get from other teams

Posted by JG2704 on (September 29, 2011, 9:02 GMT)

MADDY20 - 5WOMBATS responded to your quip about Somerset's non English players playing for England by mentioning how many non Indian players were in an IPL team. The facts are that even if you replaced KP,Trott ,Morgan and Strauss with others , England would have still won the test series convincingly. The whole of our bowling unit was English born and bred and our main batsmen were Cook and Bell. Trott was injured for some time and Strauss generally had a bad series. Kp had one or 2 good knocks and then Prior , Bres and Broad chipped in with valuable runs. Actually there is little point in responding to your ignorant comments. The favt that you're still calling Patel and Bopara our Indian players speaks vols.Actually I think it was the comment Posted by chiggers on (September 27 2011, 14:56 PM GMT that said about the number of non Indians playing in an IPL side in ref to your Somerset/England comments

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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