England in New Zealand 2012-13 January 23, 2013

Morgan and Patel set for axe


England will not take their Test series in New Zealand lightly with a full-strength squad expected to be named on Thursday for the three matches in March although not all the players who were on duty in India will earn another trip.

The selectors covered many bases with their squad for the India series, which ended up consisting of 19 players after the addition of Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Meaker for a period and later James Tredwell to the party. The squad for New Zealand is set to be a more streamlined 15 names so there will be fewer reserves kicking their heels on the sidelines.

From the original players included for the India tour, Eoin Morgan and Samit Patel are the likely ones to be disappointed this time. Joe Root's impressive Test debut, and continued emergence as an international cricketer, will earn him a run at No. 6 while Nick Compton, although he did not make the major score to make his place impregnable, did enough to warrant at least the three matches in New Zealand.

Jonny Bairstow is expected to be available again following his compassionate leave which means he will return for the T20s and ODIs then provide the batting and wicketkeeping back-up in the Test squad. Bairstow's stock has fallen a little since he replaced Pietersen against South Africa at Lord's, where he made 94 and 54, now finding himself behind Root.

Morgan and Patel will remain fringe Test players. Morgan has stated his desire to return to the longer format, but also said he would assess his IPL commitments when his short-term future in the side was clearer. Omission from this Test squad puts him well down the pecking order again and he may well decide on another lengthy spell in India.

Patel was always likely to be a horses-for-courses selection. England began the India tour wanting someone to provide a fifth-bowling option to balance the side, but it soon became clear his left-arm spin was not Test standard and he sent down fewer overs as the series progressed. Neither did he fully take his chance with the bat, albeit he was on the end of a couple of rough decisions, and further scores of 26 and 33 were not sufficient.

The bowling attack is set to consist of familiar names although the third-seamer's slot in the final XI remains up for grabs. Tim Bresnan will be able to count himself fortunate to travel after a barren second half to 2012. Since the start of the South Africa series he has two Test wickets at 210 apiece. There is a strong case to have a look at one of the younger pace bowlers - Meaker, Chris Woakes or James Harris - but that does not appear to be the approach.

Bresnan, Stuart Broad and Graham Onions will again be competing to support James Anderson and Steven Finn. Broad has ground to make up after a troubled tour of India and his performances in the preceding one-day games could well have a bearing. Onions is the type of bowler who could flourish in New Zealand but will have only one warm-up game to press his case.

Monty Panesar, who sparked England's revival in India, will have to be content with a back-up role again behind Graeme Swann.

Probable England squad Alastair Cook (capt), Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Monty Panesar

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shanmugam on January 24, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    @Harmony111, Onions impressed in the few chances he got. Unfortunately, he got injured during/after the Saffa tour and fell behind in the pecking order. Tremlett is injury prone too. Re: frequent injuries, I wonder the same. Remember Simon Jones? He was a highly skilled bowler but unfortunately was prone to injuries. Who would have thought after the first innings of the TB test in the famous 2005 Ashes series when he took 5 wickets that we will never get to see him play for England again?

    @SherjilIslam, pray tell me where I presented any excuses, dumb or otherwise, about England's ODI series defeat to India. I replied yesterday to you asking the same. cricinfo, for whatever reason, decided not to publish it. cricinfo, please publish this time.

  • rohit on January 24, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    Bresnan,Morgan & Patel should given rest for next tour. Question mark on ECB selectors why are they continue putting Dernbach into the squad.what quality are they looking in DERNBACH? England losing because they are continue playing with 10 men. their 11th person is neither a bowler nor a player. Dernbach becomes most expensive bowler in one-dayers. Meaker,Woakes & Briggs are waiting thier chances. i hope we'll see them in 5 odi.

  • Adrian on January 24, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    @Harmony111 - You're right that Onions is 30 now, although the truth is he's been unlucky with injuries, which is why he's not played many matches. He has in fact taken his chances when they've come along (a test average of under 30 will show that). Personally I wouldn't see him as a saviour, but he is certainly a useful option, especially in swinging conditions. You asked about Tremlett too. I believe he has also struggled with injuries for the last year and a half.

  • Harmon on January 24, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    @Shan156: I see that Onions is 30+, so either he got little chance to prove his worth or he failed to impress in the matches he got to play. If I was an Eng fan I won't see a saviour in him.

    I guess TB too is coming back from an injury, a shoulder one I guess. If it was his bowling arm then a loss of power is natural. SB's injury is in his heel and good rehab shud fix it I guess. He bowled some grt balls to RD & SRT in 2011.

    And what about Tremlett? He's been MIA for long now.

    Both Aus & Eng have/had very promising bowlers but so many of them get injured in 2-3 matches. Either these bowlers are made of dough & chickenwire or they are reckless in their diet/exercises or that we are devolving. For years & years India had just 1 fast bowler - Srinath. That man was used exhaustively by all captain esp on away tours. What was he made of? Sachin used him and VP all the time in SA tour in 97 - he got a serious shoulder injury but came back and played for 6 more years - as a better bowler.

  • Ray on January 24, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    This might be the ideal Test series to experiment. (The ODI squad seems to be one never ending experiment). Off the pitch nice, easy place to tour. On the pitch, conditions not dissimilar to England and against a side who, with the greatest respect, aren't amongst the world's best currently. Why not have a look at a few from Woakes, Meaker, Roland-Jones, Topley? Of the batters, Bairstow and Root need to play and we should get Taylor back in the squad. Also we need to decide upon a reverse WK. Is Bairstow good enough?

    Plently of time to give the senior players match practice in the home series vs. NZ.

  • Sherjil on January 24, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    @Sachin_vvs fan:You are absolutely true.India couldn't unearth a single exiting talent despite having license to go with any young player. Shami and Bhuvi are good, but they are yet to be tested.One serious problem with our team now has a quality spinner who can spin the ball not like Ashwin who after bowling three good balls, easily gets tempted to go for the variations for the next deliveries and in the process throw away easy runs.And for Rohit Sharma, if you give 1000 chances to any tom, dick, harry, there is always a chance he can come good in one of the them.Nothing personal against him, but Pujara and Rahane should have been given a better run. And as far as England are concern, I only see Joe Root emerging as a real talent for any format of the game. Tredwell is also a good limited overs bowler Samit Patel is exactly an Indian version of Jadeja, who you can never rely on outside territory. Dernbach is a half tracker-bully.I wonder, how he gets selected again and again.

  • Sherjil on January 24, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    @Shan156: I love to see England performance in Champions Trophy.At-least you people cannot present dumb excuses after another ordinary performance.

  • Sherjil on January 24, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    Finally i guess better sense prevailed with English selectors.I guess NZ could give a good fight to England if they play with full strength(Including Ryder,Southee,Taylor,Vettory) Hoping to see some good cricket in NZ.

  • Nick on January 24, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    Stuart Broad when his mind is right is a match winner. Though his attitude has not been right for a while now and has been unwilling to do the hard yards, instead goes for the glory ball and ends up spraying it everywhere. Unfortunately a bit of a big head who thinks he is better than he is. Has talent with the bat but fails to put the graft in to improve, technical problems about playing around his front leg persist, in fact his batting has receded over the last year or so. Pity as he has the talent. I hope he gets everything right mentally and physically as when he is firing he is just brilliant to watch.