Pakistan v England 2011-12 December 9, 2011

Panesar named for Pakistan Tests

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Monty Panesar has been given hope of relaunching his Test career after being named in England's squad to take on Pakistan in UAE next month. The 16-man party is very much as expected with Ravi Bopara retaining the spare batting slot and Steven Davies, the Surrey wicketkeeper, given the role of Matt Prior's understudy as he was in Australia.

In a sign of the consistency that has been a hallmark of England's Test cricket over the last 18 months there is only one change from the original 16-man squad that travelled to Australia last year with Bopara replacing Paul Collingwood. The trio of players who have been recovering from injury - Stuart Broad (shoulder), Eoin Morgan (shoulder) and Chris Tremlett (back) - are all included although there remains a small injury cloud over Tim Bresnan who has recently undergone elbow surgery.

"This series sees Steven Davies once again deputise as wicketkeeper to Matt Prior while Monty Panesar, who has been playing cricket in Sydney recently, has been selected as the second spin option along with Graeme Swann," Geoff Miller, the national selector, said. "Monty's selection comes off the back of a strong domestic season with Sussex and with the potentially spin-friendly conditions of Dubai and Abu Dhabi in mind.

"Ravi Bopara has another opportunity to show his growth as a Test player and we believe he will continue to add depth to our batting stocks for what promises to be a highly competitive series."

Panesar remains the second-best spinner available for England and was the logical option to work alongside Graeme Swann. His last Test was against Australia, at Cardiff, in 2009 when he produced the famous last-wicket rearguard with James Anderson to save the match. He moved to Sussex to rejuvenate his career and last season he was the highest wicket-taker in Division One of the County Championship in 2011 with 69 victims at 27.24.

Yet, whether Panesar makes the first eleven will depend on the willingness of Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower to move away from the current balance of six batsmen, the keeper and four bowlers - albeit in conditions that haven't demanded a second spinner, or specialist fifth bowler - unless they opt for the risky strategy of two quicks and two spinners.

The prolific form of England's top five, Prior's consistency in Test cricket, plus the developing allround skills of Bresnan and Broad, suggest England could cope with the shift in strategy but don't be surprised to see the balance remain the same. However, there is little doubt that at some point next year - whether in UAE, Sri Lanka or India - England will need two spinners in the same attack.

Bopara has clung onto his place in England's Test plans after replacing the injured Jonathan Trott against India and has fought off the claims of James Taylor, Samit Patel and Jonny Bairstow. Davies, meanwhile, is back in an England squad for the first time since the one-day series in Australia during which he was omitted from the World Cup party.

"We believe we've selected a very strong squad with a number of key players looking to return from injury including the likes of Stuart Broad, Eoin Morgan and Chris Tremlett," Miller said. "All three have missed a significant period of cricket recently but continue to make excellent progress and will be looking forward to having a substantial impact during this series. To have three world-class players of their calibre returning to the squad is an enormous boost for the Test team.

"We've been very pleased with the preparations undertaken by a number of players during what continues to be a lengthy break from international cricket. Several players are attending training camps with the England performance programmes in South Africa and India. With a long lead-in period once the squad arrives in Dubai there will be a substantial amount of preparation time to acclimatise and adapt to the conditions."

England have two three-day warm-up matches before the first Test on January 16 although the opposition is still to be confirmed. Tremlett and Steven Finn, the two other pace bowlers in the squad, will view that as an opportunity to push for recalls but may have to bide their time.

Squad Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Chris Tremlett, Steven Finn, Ravi Bopara, Monty Panesar, Steven Davies

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 5wombats on December 12, 2011, 21:02 GMT

    @JG2704 - hi again mate. Yes indeed @rahulcricket007 was really bigging it up all the way through until Sehwag got his King-Pair. Then he, along with many india fans realised that the game was up and just quietly melted away like ice-cream in the heat. Along with @IndiaNumeroDeux some of these guys just don't know when to stop. This goes back a long way. Many india fans couldn't resist commenting on The Ashes - saying what they were going to do to England, etc. Now that England have done that to them - they find it hard to accept the reality. please publish.

  • JG2704 on December 12, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    @Posted by RandyOZ on (December 11 2011, 03:01 AM GMT) - re so many comments on here. Probably because England are such an interesting subject that people like your good self get bored of posting on your own teams and would like to share your balanced views and intellect with us

  • JG2704 on December 12, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 - Funny , I was reading your comms the other day (from an archive thread)pre the summer tour of England and you were beating your chest about what India were going to do to England. When you lost the 1st test or 2 you were saying that everything would be good as Sehwag was returning and he would make all the difference. After that your posts seemed to fizzle out. Pakistan will indeed be a big test and they could win etc , but I certainly wouldn't put money on it on your backing.

  • on December 11, 2011, 20:51 GMT

    The much awaited contest would be Younus Khan vs Graeme Swann in test matches. Never before, maybe never again.

  • JG2704 on December 11, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    @Juiceoftheapple on (December 11 2011, 12:28 PM GMT) - I'm guessing re Buttler , that England performed so brilliantly in the ODI's that they don't need to look at anyone else. And it's not as if he's any use in the field or can keep wicket either is it?

  • Juiceoftheapple on December 11, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    I can't see Flower playing 5 bowlers, I think his 'not lose' first policy - which sees a 7 man batting line up will again come through, whilst we're not terrible against spin, we're also not the best, especially in favourable conditions, if thats the case. Then Flower 'might' flirt with 2 spinners, but if it doesn't come off revert back to 3 +1. With long days in the field I think fitness will play a great deal in which bowlers we pick, and I don't think he minds dropping / rotating bowlers if he feels its the right thing to do - I wont be surprised to see Finn. And to all the nonsense written below - Test Number 1 in the world, FACT. T20 Number 1 in the world. FACT. Rubbish at ODI's. yep - Hence why Buttler is with the performance squad in India (averaged 137 with 7 not outs in the CB40 last year going all the way to the final). I'm glad they called up Davies not Kieswetter, I think theres only so much you can learn from sitting on the bench.

  • SDHM on December 11, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    RandyOZ - probably not wise for an Australian to talk of batting line-ups folding like cards at the moment, is it?

  • SirViv1973 on December 11, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    @ArsalAAK how can you justify your comment 'Ajmal is way better than Swan' ? Swan has played more tests taken more wickets has a better average and a better strike rate. Most of Ajmal's tests have been played on the subcontinent in spin friendly conditions. Correct me if i'm wrong but Swan has only played 4 of his 36 games on the subcontinent. Most of his matches have been played in more seamer friendly conditions in Eng,SAF and Aus.

  • RandyOZ on December 11, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    I don't know why there are so many comments here, it is clear that England are going to fold like a pack of cards against Pakistan. Highly overrated players like Bell will be shown up for who they truly are (rubbish, as Warne showed) and it will be once again left to the South Africans and Irish to do all the work, while hacks like Cook are at Buckingham palace collecting OBEs. What a farce English cricket has become, no wonder they got a funding cut.

  • on December 10, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    @Honeymaster Agreed. Misbah is a curious case for me though. He tries to hold his fort, go all on defensive and wait for either the opposition to show a chink in their Armour or a match-winning performance from one of his players. He may be looking for a 1-0 victory somehow. Can Misbah tough it out. We will have to wait and see On the other hand England is getting too perfect for test cricket. But unlike Australia they don't have a natural flair to add to their method. I feel they are bound to become predictable and they won't be able to hold their dominance over test cricket for long. They are very good but one dimensional for my sake. How it pans out also depends on whether Pakistan is playing as a team or not. Pak has an advantage of being used to those pitches now. Can Ajmal run through a side? You never know. Can England drop four to five catches of Taufiq Umar to allow him a fifty. Maybe. Thanks God English press will not be there to hound.

  • 5wombats on December 12, 2011, 21:02 GMT

    @JG2704 - hi again mate. Yes indeed @rahulcricket007 was really bigging it up all the way through until Sehwag got his King-Pair. Then he, along with many india fans realised that the game was up and just quietly melted away like ice-cream in the heat. Along with @IndiaNumeroDeux some of these guys just don't know when to stop. This goes back a long way. Many india fans couldn't resist commenting on The Ashes - saying what they were going to do to England, etc. Now that England have done that to them - they find it hard to accept the reality. please publish.

  • JG2704 on December 12, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    @Posted by RandyOZ on (December 11 2011, 03:01 AM GMT) - re so many comments on here. Probably because England are such an interesting subject that people like your good self get bored of posting on your own teams and would like to share your balanced views and intellect with us

  • JG2704 on December 12, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 - Funny , I was reading your comms the other day (from an archive thread)pre the summer tour of England and you were beating your chest about what India were going to do to England. When you lost the 1st test or 2 you were saying that everything would be good as Sehwag was returning and he would make all the difference. After that your posts seemed to fizzle out. Pakistan will indeed be a big test and they could win etc , but I certainly wouldn't put money on it on your backing.

  • on December 11, 2011, 20:51 GMT

    The much awaited contest would be Younus Khan vs Graeme Swann in test matches. Never before, maybe never again.

  • JG2704 on December 11, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    @Juiceoftheapple on (December 11 2011, 12:28 PM GMT) - I'm guessing re Buttler , that England performed so brilliantly in the ODI's that they don't need to look at anyone else. And it's not as if he's any use in the field or can keep wicket either is it?

  • Juiceoftheapple on December 11, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    I can't see Flower playing 5 bowlers, I think his 'not lose' first policy - which sees a 7 man batting line up will again come through, whilst we're not terrible against spin, we're also not the best, especially in favourable conditions, if thats the case. Then Flower 'might' flirt with 2 spinners, but if it doesn't come off revert back to 3 +1. With long days in the field I think fitness will play a great deal in which bowlers we pick, and I don't think he minds dropping / rotating bowlers if he feels its the right thing to do - I wont be surprised to see Finn. And to all the nonsense written below - Test Number 1 in the world, FACT. T20 Number 1 in the world. FACT. Rubbish at ODI's. yep - Hence why Buttler is with the performance squad in India (averaged 137 with 7 not outs in the CB40 last year going all the way to the final). I'm glad they called up Davies not Kieswetter, I think theres only so much you can learn from sitting on the bench.

  • SDHM on December 11, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    RandyOZ - probably not wise for an Australian to talk of batting line-ups folding like cards at the moment, is it?

  • SirViv1973 on December 11, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    @ArsalAAK how can you justify your comment 'Ajmal is way better than Swan' ? Swan has played more tests taken more wickets has a better average and a better strike rate. Most of Ajmal's tests have been played on the subcontinent in spin friendly conditions. Correct me if i'm wrong but Swan has only played 4 of his 36 games on the subcontinent. Most of his matches have been played in more seamer friendly conditions in Eng,SAF and Aus.

  • RandyOZ on December 11, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    I don't know why there are so many comments here, it is clear that England are going to fold like a pack of cards against Pakistan. Highly overrated players like Bell will be shown up for who they truly are (rubbish, as Warne showed) and it will be once again left to the South Africans and Irish to do all the work, while hacks like Cook are at Buckingham palace collecting OBEs. What a farce English cricket has become, no wonder they got a funding cut.

  • on December 10, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    @Honeymaster Agreed. Misbah is a curious case for me though. He tries to hold his fort, go all on defensive and wait for either the opposition to show a chink in their Armour or a match-winning performance from one of his players. He may be looking for a 1-0 victory somehow. Can Misbah tough it out. We will have to wait and see On the other hand England is getting too perfect for test cricket. But unlike Australia they don't have a natural flair to add to their method. I feel they are bound to become predictable and they won't be able to hold their dominance over test cricket for long. They are very good but one dimensional for my sake. How it pans out also depends on whether Pakistan is playing as a team or not. Pak has an advantage of being used to those pitches now. Can Ajmal run through a side? You never know. Can England drop four to five catches of Taufiq Umar to allow him a fifty. Maybe. Thanks God English press will not be there to hound.

  • JG2704 on December 10, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    @g.narsimha - Will you still be posting to explain the "Mark my words" comment if England don't get the test beating that you expect?

  • JG2704 on December 10, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    @WeeBee on (December 09 2011, 16:43 PM GMT) - Vaguely understand your post , but you seem to be accusing England of picking Asian/British Asian players. May I ask who you mean? Ravi Bopara has an Asian sounding name and maybe has Asian parents but was born and bred in England. Apart from him , who are the other Asian/British Asian's in our squad? Also Ravi is unlikely to play much part in the tests anyway. Re running scarred (presumably scared) May I ask how you come to that conclusion?

  • on December 10, 2011, 17:48 GMT

    No suprises on the selections but time must be running out on Bopara to prove his test class. Davies I felt was harhsly dropped from the England ODI team. Davies doesnt have the power shots to clear the ropes on ODI and often is found getting out by hitting the ball in the air on the off side. Glovework is much better than Kiestwetter but I Davies batting style is more suited to test cricket. James Foster needs to brought in for the time being for the ODI team untill we develop a true ODI keeper of our own. His batting isnt the best but he can clear the ropes and is the best gloveman in England at the moment.

  • ArsalAAK on December 10, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    @Mustafa Saleem: Reality check....It won' be as one sided as you think.Sure England are a superb side but what happened to them against India recently?Ajmal is way better than Swan and you seem to have forgotten a certian Juniad Khan in the pace department too,however i do agree with you on the batting prospective apart from Younis and to some extent Hafeez there is no one to hold up but who will pose a serious threat to them??We all know what happens to Anderson and Broad on subcontinent tracks.

  • SDHM on December 10, 2011, 16:57 GMT

    @ Mustafa - I think you're being a bit fatalistic regarding the tests, but I can see your point. With the exception of Younis, one thing the Pakistan line-up shares is a penchant to get starts and not go on. I also worry about their scoring-rate; they've become a more solid line-up over the past few months, but on deathly flat wickets in the UAE do they score quickly enough to give themselves time to bowl sides out regularly? I don't think so. However, it only takes one inspired spell from Ajmal to give them the edge. England are favourites and rightly so, but I can see either side squeaking a 1-0 victory. Pakistan should win the ODIs comfortably though.

  • bumsonseats on December 10, 2011, 15:09 GMT

    india when are you going to relise these are test games not odis. england can score against spin in test and t20 its the odis that we find hard for some reason. it seems the only thing you beat us was the indian odis but not the t20 in india. but then you struggled to win those in uk. get a grip we will see you next year till then go see if you can beat the aussies 1st. dpk

  • AlanHarrison on December 10, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    @ Blake Houston: I've plenty of time for Bairstow, but I also think Steven Davies was unlucky to get discarded after last winter, and think he also has the potential to fulfill the sort of role you're talking about ... I'm hoping Panesar can put his arm ball into action and prove the doubters (notably one Duncan Fletcher) wrong, but he may not get to play in the tests. It will be a challenging series. I can't help remembering the last time England played Pakistan away from home after a summer featuring a euphoric victory in a home test series (2005), and then England frankly got hammered. Yes, Pakistan then had the advantage of playing properly at home, but conditions in UAE will still be very new to England.

  • SirViv1973 on December 10, 2011, 14:57 GMT

    Oh and a comment to several of you who are comparing this series to 2005. This is a far better England side than back then and its a much poorer Pakistan team.

  • SirViv1973 on December 10, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    I think England will continue to stick with their tried and tested formula of 3 seamers and a spinner initially at least anyway. I don't see eng playing 2 spin 2 seam, if Flower decides he needs to get Monty in he will drop a batsman. I'm a little surprised with some of the Pakistan fans comments on. Their team is pretty average right now. Ok so your thrashing ban and you've just beaten Srl but both of these teams are poor eng are the justified world number 1s and I think this series will be a reality check for some of you over optimistic fans.

  • on December 10, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    Leave aside Younis Khan and there is no batsman in Pakistani team which can boast of good average against quality test sides. How many of Pakistan batsman you can rely on to score a hundred against England? None. All of the english batsman have scored big against quality test sides. Even Stuart Broad can score a hundred and he has done so already against Pak. How many Pakistani Batsman have scored double hundreds? Only Younis Khan and Taufiq Umar. Matt Prior and Stuart Broad are the ones yet to score a double hundred in England batting department. Every single one of English bowlers can run through a side. Apart from Ajmal Pakistan does not have such a match-winner. The only things that can go in Pakistan's favour are conditions or once in a life-time performance from some player. So i would say England would have to work-hard to lose tests against Pakistan. And Pakistan will have to play out of their skins to register some sort of resilience to the impending defeats. #Reality Check

  • aizazqaisrani on December 10, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    come on bro beer doherty mendis are slow bowlers not spinners .dont compare them with ajmal

  • IndiaNumeroUno on December 10, 2011, 12:43 GMT

    @wombats:"England play to create pressure in the old fashioned way; pile up the runs - take defeat out of the equation"... I'm afraid the only thing piling up will be cluster collapse of wickets (like what happened in India!!)

  • on December 10, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    In limited overs cricket, it will be Pakistan all the way. However tests will be different. I don't think Pakistan has the bowling resources to curtail England under 400.Even if Pakistan gets rid of top order, england tail-enders can stick it out for a long time. Pakistan does not have the batting resources to reach 400 against the quality attack of England. I don't see a batting collapse of England and unless that happens Pakistan are in trouble. England is coming out of a series against a world-class indian team while Pakistan will be coming out of a series against Bangladesh. My bet- it will be a reality check for Pakistan. Pakistan play poorly against Swann and they have a weakness against left-arm spinners so Panesar will come handy as well. I see a mismatch here as far as tests are concerned. England fast bowlers will be steady on these pitches if not outstanding and Pakistan has a poor batting line-up as far as technique is concerned. Gul is average, Rehman n Cheema are steady

  • OhhhhMattyMatty on December 10, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    England just have to defend Ajmal and then launch the other plodders that Pakistan call "spinners". Bell, KP, Morgan, Prior are superb players of spin and will destroy the Pakistani spinners. England play spin really well these days, they only struggle when they have to score 6+ an over against them in ODIs for a consistent period. In T20s and Tests they batter spinners for fun! Look how many spinners have had their Test careers ended by England lately. Harbhajan, Beer, Doherty, Hauritz, Mendis etc.

  • Aura123 on December 10, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    Eng trying to forget Indian tour and save their no 1 test ranking and Pak after beating relatively weak teams and getting better every day now trying to prove they can beat No1 :) i think both teams are really good so will be really exciting series can't wait :)) come on pak :))

  • me54321 on December 10, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    I've got a feeling we might play five bowlers, though probably not in the first test. We have done it before under the current leadership; in the West Indies in one test, and during the 2009 Ashes when Flintoff wasn't really a batsmen. Admittedly our bowling is a lot more potent these days, but I wouldn't be surprised if the move was taken just to protect them from being overworked on dead pitches. Either way I have total trust in the guys in charge to make the right decision.

  • g.narsimha on December 10, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    NO chance of ENG beating a team from subcontinent in UAE . AJMAL,RAHMAN& HAFEEZ will tormant the english ,no match ,PAK WILL WIN BOTH ODI&TEST series ,mark my words.

  • hussainiiiii on December 10, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    Very Good Squad!! But itz not easy to play in UAE. This series will also decide the Misbah's future. Hope for the best.

  • 200ondebut on December 10, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    One reason for our No 1 ranking has been consistency in selection - if bloggers selected the side Cooky wouldn't have gone to Oz!!!!!So I welcome the team selected - there are no obvious errors. England have to plan for two things - who replaces Strauss when he retries (he's 34 now) and who comes into the middle order if Morgan/Bopara don't kick on. Personally I would stick with Bopara ahead of Morgan simply because his technique is far superior. Morgan is always going to be suseptible to swings in form 'cos of the extreme movement of his head during the delivery stride. Welcome back Monty.

  • Mooky on December 10, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    nice balance to the side and good to see Monty back, at least we now have a genuine No11

  • balajik1968 on December 10, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    Balanced team. This English line up will be really tested. But equally, Pakistan is a team short on Test Match play. I would like to see how the bowlers measure up session after session against a strong batting line-up. Equally in the batting, the Pakistanis have only two players who are really capable of playing long innings against sustained pressure, Younis Khan and Azhar Ali. I would also like to see how the English bowling copes in what will be unhelpful conditions. They did very badly in India during the ODI series. Bresnan as much as admitted that the conditions defeated them. If the English bowling loses to the conditions, then questions should be asked about being called the best attack in the game.

  • johnathonjosephs on December 10, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    Panesar replacing Swann? you got to be kidding me. hope swanna doesn't get injured

  • on December 10, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Something In my mind is telling me that England is going to get hurt in UAE, but lets keep it simple till the results, so BRING IN ON ENGLISH BOYS.

  • landl47 on December 10, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    It's interesting that no-one here seems to be mentioning the bowler who was the best in the recent ODI series in India, Finn. He's both the fastest and the most capable of getting something out of otherwise dead wickets. It's hard to see Panesar playing unless Swann is injured, not so much because of his bowling but because his batting and fielding aren't up to test standard. It's hard to evaluate Pakistan as a test team because they haven't played any of the top sides recently. England shot them out 3 times for under 100 in 2010; since then they drew two tests against SA in November 2010, but after that have only played against WI, NZ, Zimb., SL and Bang., not exactly overpowering bowling attacks. England had no problem against India's spinners, knocking both Bhaji and Mishra out of test cricket. I like England to win the tests, but Pak are a very good ODI side and England haven't got the ODI format right yet, so Pak may edge the ODIs.

  • jmcilhinney on December 10, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    This is a rather predictable selection, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. I don't think that there's any specific reason to get excited about Panesar's inclusion, given that he was in the last Ashes tour party as well and played no part. I agree that he's almost certainly there as cover for Swann rather than to bowl in tandem, as fun as that might be to see. For the first test at least, I have no doubt that England will go with the familiar line-up with the only point of interest being who bowls seam with Anderson and Broad. Bresnan is the incumbent so, if he's fit, he should probably play, also given that his batting is a bonus. If he isn't fit in time, will it be Tremlett or Finn? As for Bopara, I'm also not convinced. His domestic performance suggests that he should be in or about the national team but, other than a few times early on, he just hasn't produced. I think it's time to accept that he won't and look at other options.

  • on December 10, 2011, 2:04 GMT

    Ajmal and hafeez can change the game

  • iBilal on December 9, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    if Panesar bowls... he's gonna run through Pakistan lineup... cuz Pakistan has the habit of making stars from nothing

  • on December 9, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    Really looking forward to an exciting series of test cricket. i hope it gets as competitive as England tour of Pakistan in 2005. im just not sure what pace options Pak will have cz that is very important who they bowl with new ball. and Misbah & co. would need to play more attacking cricket contrary to what they did against SL otherwise England can really surprise them with their aggressive play. fingers crossed.

  • on December 9, 2011, 21:07 GMT

    Bairstow should have been picked, because he would be great back up wicket keeper and also he could be 1st cab off the rank to replace an injured batsman.

  • 5wombats on December 9, 2011, 20:37 GMT

    Anderson will play. Otherwise what was the point in resting him for the last 8 weeks? Now - the question is whether Monty will play. Answer; only if the pitches look like 2 spinners are required. I think England will play what they have been playing - the tried and tested receipe; 6 Batsmen pick themselves then Prior, All rounder Broad (who was man of the series V india - they couldn't handle him), then Swann, Anderson, Finn. England play to create pressure in the old fashioned way; pile up the runs - take defeat out of the equation - and then let scoreboard pressure and the bowlers do the rest. Won a lot of Test matches like that in the last couple of years. If pitches look like 2 spinners are needed then it will be Finn that steps out for Monty.

  • on December 9, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    @WeeBee, when you say British Asian I'm guessing you mean English!

  • on December 9, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    Pakistan winning 3-0?...what planet are some of you from?..Utterly ridiculous!....An interesting series for sure, but Pakistan have absolutely no chance of winning the series in a clean sweep...They do not have a bowling attack capable of bowling England out twice, whereas the Pakistani batting line-up, whilst talented, is prone to fold under pressure...On the expected flat wickets I expect England to rack up 500+ every time, just like they've been doing for the last 2 years against all opposition played in all conditions

  • tanvir1974 on December 9, 2011, 20:19 GMT

    Ofcourse a good balanced team but it is not easy to defeat the current Pak united team which also comprised on 9 match winners and almost 11 match winners. win and loss is the part of game but this series will be a real and tough exam for england it is not 2010 team it will 2012 Pak team !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • hhillbumper on December 9, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    why pick bopara? Genuinely has he looked like putting it together properly as a test player.James Taylor is better,or Jos Butler or anyone really. Hope he proves me wrong and would like nothing better than to see him do well but just don't think he will

  • Nutcutlet on December 9, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    @jackiethepen: Steyn is not compatible with Jimmy in this instance. Steyn relies more on raw pace and Jimmy ideally wants a heavy atmosphere and a greenish tinge in the wicket when he can be devastating as we all know. He is not, IMO, esp. suited to UAE conditions. @JG2704: I have to disagree with you on this one. Morgan is well suited to playing spinners as he plays late and has the range of shots, relying on wrists more than booming Gooch-type drives in the V. Think Thorpe. EM is the closest we have to a player who has a technique ideally suited to counter class spinners, as Thorpe assuredly did. He is a huge plus in the field too. This series is likely to be close, despite some of the bluster on both sides hereabouts, and it may be that England can carry the day through having a better fielding unit - the achillies' heel of Pakistan. Conversely, it may actually depend on England's top order getting on top of the spinners that come in all shapes and sizes, thus EM plays in my book!

  • on December 9, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    English Guys........little wait and see if its 3-0 to England or something Else....they came in 2005 with tage World 2 and Ashes winner same year and went back with 2-0 in test and 3-2 in ODIs...

  • Nutcutlet on December 9, 2011, 17:57 GMT

    @jackiethepen & coatsie 89: I agree that the dropping of Jimmy is pretty unpalatable, but he is probably the bowler who thrives most in English (or English-type) conditions and that is not what is on offer in UAE. Finn showed in India that he can trouble class batsmen on dead tracks through pace and bounce and I think that the case for keeping him in is a strong one. SB & TB have to play because they can be regarded as bowling all-rounders. Where does that leave Jimmy? Of course, if the two Andies go with five bowlers, that can allow him to keep his place, but that is not the way they think at the moment. If they lose the first test, things may change. Remember that Finn began last winter ahead of Tremlett and CT has had a long lay-off. Finn is the form pick. Personally, I have the hunch that England will change the format if the first game is lost or a high-scoring draw. My concern is that Pak will rely on class spinners and we'll only play Swanny. This is not England, or Oz.

  • JG2704 on December 9, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    @Nutcutlet on (December 09 2011, 11:43 AM GMT) Re selection , I'd drop a batsman for Monty and that batsman would be Morgan. Harsh on Morgan maybe , but he has been injured a while and I really don't see how you can drop any of the other 5 batsmen. Personally I think England could have replaced PC with a bowling all rounder and had the balance as 5/1/5 rather than 6/1/4. Have always thought that despite our form with the 6/1/4 formation. Also from our bowlers (who played most of the Indian series) 3 of them can contribute runs on their days and Prior is good enough to be there as a batsman so we have a luxury - as do India and SL in particular - in having a wicket keeper that can score runs consistently. I think Patel might have given us another option if our seamers struggle and we want an extra bowling option without compromising our batting.

  • JG2704 on December 9, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    @David 'Moz' Morris on (December 09 2011, 12:57 PM GMT) - I mentioned Kerrigan in another thread. It does seem funny that none of the championship winning side are in the 16 and I think Kerrigan was instrumental in helping Lancs win the title. To be fair Keedy is 37 and it would go against their youth policy otherwise what other reason is there that Darren Stevens hasn't been given a go at T20 or ODIs.

  • JG2704 on December 9, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    Re Bopara - I do wonder exactly why England have recalled him? Nothing against him and I thought they were harsh to discard him when they did. But having done so it does seem that the only way he should get back in is by consistently scoring well in the CC and he has not done so and that in the 2nd division too. Anyone think that Cook had an influence on the decision?

  • on December 9, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    Pakistan will easily clean sweep england 3-0, Pakistan got better attack and if the batsman can get decent scores no match. England have to play well otherwise Pakistan will beat them comprehensively. Pakistan will play with there strengths .....

  • bumsonseats on December 9, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    david wise. i think ur right with the spnning option, if england had a thought of playing 2 spinners, samit would have been selected. montys there just in case swann injured/illness. so its buisness as usual with england 3 pace 1 spin, option. maybe the patel selection would say we are not comfortable with our pace bowlers not been able to get wickets in any conditions. i can understand that ay of thinking. dpk

  • on December 9, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    well!!!!!! i think its a good squad after keeping in mind the conditions of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Pakistan is playing superb over last couple of years ang i m sure cricket lovers 'll enjoy very close contests!

  • waqarbangash on December 9, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    All people will be glad when ajmal will destroy the eng bating line up with his newly invented teesra

  • waqarbangash on December 9, 2011, 16:58 GMT

    i think it should be a tough series for england because pak have not lost any test series since the last tour of england where that series pak lost due news of the world introduced the trio fixing scandal by which they lost their last match of that series because they came in pressure but in that series pak were not having their main players like misbah, younus who are the wall of pak team and they have professor in the team who is a gud alrounder and a great advantage is that ajmal will be bowling with his offspin.doosra and as well as with his new type of bowling named teesra .As we know that england main bowlers are still recovering from their injuries so in my opinion pak will favorate and they will win test series by atleast 1-0

  • WeeBee on December 9, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    hah! .. You know One thing i should write here ....! English Players are really scarred right now ... players are going to INDIA to play spin on special wickets without wearing pads ... Ballers are going to South Africa for practice ... Additional Spiner is called ... As England has only two spiners in their whole country ... swann and monti One Question? Why English selectors have to pick ASIAN/ BRITISH ASIAN Players for their tour to SUB CONTINENT, Other players fear from Pakistani/Indian players? or they dont know how to play in subcontinet? Pakistan is playing good cricket, PAK-ENG would be interesting but England would get shocks.

  • on December 9, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    Well....we should certainly judge Anderson on his record around the world....and I mean literally......because if one compares his record in Sub-Continent conditions to the one in England etc....one can certainly judge his ability....i guess the best selections are of Broad and Tremlett....to some extent the spinners.....however anderson could prove a weak link in the England attack on the flat pitches in UAE......

  • on December 9, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    very good squad selected, the best indeed. But pakistan will give them a tough time this time. a great series anticipated.

  • on December 9, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    I could be wrong but I think the excellence of the Pakistani spinners heretofore has made England fans read more turn in the UAE pitches than there actually is. Definitely they aren't half as conducive to turn as the Bangladesh ones our team is currently playing on. It is going to be tough getting results.

  • coatsie89 on December 9, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    @Nutcutlet - you would actually drop Anderson?? 2nd best pace bowler in the world. From what i've seen in the test matches in the UAE, we could easily get away with playing just Swanny then having Anderson, Broad & Tremlett. I would give Bresnan more time to rest from his operation and make sure he is ready to battle the South Africans next year when seam will play a more key role. Other wise I would say Broad misses out. Tremlett's extra height and natural variation in bounce will cause the Pakistani batsmen all sorts of problem. Easy England whitewash in the tests. With Morgan back in the middle for the ODIs and T20s, I think there'll be a massive improvement in recent performances.

  • Sachit1979 on December 9, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    Very much predictable selection. It's unfortunate that England still has dearth of enough good talents in spin department.

  • tanstell87 on December 9, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    England will win 3-0....go England go !!!!

  • Robster1 on December 9, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    Decent squad with the sole exception of Bopara - he could become a resonable one day player, but a test batsman, well never I'm afraid. James Taylor will score way more test runs than Bopara ever will.

  • on December 9, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    i love monty !!! great to see him back, looks a great serie in the making, hope butter finger pakistan dont drop too many, but im looking forward to a lovely series, i expect england to win 3-0 but that dont mean we cant enjoy the series, bopara inclusion is intresting one tho

  • Hayes.Adam on December 9, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    Pakistan for now is flying high,and they would beleave that UAE suits them, but England opting for two spinners will certainly challenge the weak batting line of Pakistan,this will be a good contast among the two, key for England would be to get rid of Misbah and Akmal quick. England would be highly on guard against the top spin attack.

  • on December 9, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    England seriously have an embarrassment of riches in the bowling department at the moment. Some very good players are gonna be left on the sideline this tour.

    In regards to Monty, i don't think he'll be playing unless Swann gets injured. England have been stubborn on the 4 bowler issue and i think it'll take a dust bowl to get them to budge on this tour. If England were considering going with the 5 bowlers i think they would have selected Patel thus not completely losing a batsmen.

  • The_GreatOne on December 9, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    I think Monty will struggle mainly caz pitches in UAE are slow I mean he might spin one or two but due to slow paced pitches batsmen will have plenty of time to adjust so u need to have the guile of Swann or Ajmal to survive there... Rest I think if positive Cricket is played than Rest Assured it will be a Cracker of Series... i wish it could have been played in Pakistan.... As last time when English team Came to Pakistan I watched their practice match at Jinnah Bagh... then at Gadaffi Stadium Met Ian Botham, Mike Atherton, Bumble, Andy Caddick, Darren Gough in 99 and in 2005 met Flintoff, Kevin Peterson... Those were dam wonderful days...I wish Cricket Returns to Pakistan soon... Watching SHOAIB AKHTAR WIN THE TEST MATCH IN FAISALABAD As we miss watching Live Cricket I remember What Bob Woolmer (may his soul rest in peace) said we will blow ur Ashes Bloon

  • on December 9, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    i do not understand that why davis was dropped

  • jackiethepen on December 9, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    If South Africa were playing Pakistan would they drop Steyn, nutcutlet? So why would England drop Anderson, their most dangerous strike bowler, especially against the top three? Anderson just removes the top order consistently.

  • chilled_avenger on December 9, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    I know it sounds strange,but in the 7 years I have followed Cricket it's the first time I see the English squad as 'Formidable'(Not taking anything away from 2005 Ashes Winning Squad)! There batting order has been in amazing touch in the last couple of years with the possible exception of Morgan and Strauss! They have 5 in-form fast bowlers to choose from knowing that they will probably go with 2 or 3 of them! Swann is no Murali/Warne/Kumble but he has been more than decent in his career so far and Monty,as I am told by the English fans,have been in good domestic form! Let's see how they fare with the weight of No.1 crown. I hope they back their ranking with an impressive show!

  • on December 9, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    i hope that both teams play to the best of their abilities........... with Pakistan winning it.............

  • Salman-Shafiq on December 9, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    A very intelligent move by England.. but they will have to come head to head against, A.rehman, Ajmal, Hafeez

  • playitstraight on December 9, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    I don't think Monety will get a chance, mainly because England always play 1 spinner, and that is Graeme Swann. England's strength has always been pace, so I doubt that he will even get to play in the whole series. Bopara is a good inclusion, he has the technique for the Test format. But I still think that Pakistan will take both the Test and ODI series.

  • on December 9, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    Once, neither of Lancashire's spinners, Keedy or Kerrigan, both instrumental in our Championship success, get a look in. I admit Kerrigan is probably too young but the fact Keedy has never played for England is a joke.

  • cricket0007 on December 9, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    english fast bowlers will struggle in UAE, they'll miss those bowler frndly condtions of england but at the same time batsmen will enjoy playing on those flat tracks. now it all depends on how english batsmen play spin ! Pakistan has the best spin attack in the world right now and teams like sri lanka who play spin well have struggled big time against them.. It will be a massive test for England

  • allblue on December 9, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    Does this 16 (less Strauss) comprise the ODI squad as well? I wouldn't have thought so, but it seems a bit strange that the ODI replacements haven't been named at the same time. Anyway, what a boring selection - excellent! The days of one of the selectors closing his eyes and sticking a pin in a list of players are long gone thankfully. A strong looking squad who we can be sure will be very well prepared for the challenge ahead. Pakistan are an amazingly resilient team and are in a nice run of winning form coming in to the series so England are going to have to perform at a high level to prevail. The one hope is that we are not presented with the score-bore-draw wickets that produced the 0-0 series with SA last year.

  • on December 9, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    This would be challenging series for either side, though England is well balanced side on paper, but you never know Pakistan lions, who can change the game any time. Adding Panser is a good move,keeping the spin friendly wickets. and ti will be good combination fight of offer spiner and left arm spinner. Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman vs Graeme Swan/Monty panser.

  • satish619chandar on December 9, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    Oops forgot Anderson.. but still without him, the attack looks promising for these conditions.. Anderson can replace Finn if experience is preferred...

  • satish619chandar on December 9, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    Having Bresnan and Broad and Swann as a clean striker is a big bonus for England.. With the form Prior is in, they can still afford to have 5 bowlers.. Cook, Strauss, Trott, KP, Bell,Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Tremlett and Monty.. Surely they got a good test team and one thing they need to shape up is, playing spin... Ajmal is pretty canny operator and facing other offies is different from facing him.. Pakistan being a inform team can challenge England well.. Hope for a enthralling series!

  • satish619chandar on December 9, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    Having Bresnan and Broad and Swann as a clean striker is a big bonus for England.. With the form Prior is in, they can still afford to have 5 bowlers.. Cook, Strauss, Trott, KP, Bell,Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Tremlett and Monty.. Surely they got a good test team and one thing they need to shape up is, playing spin... Ajmal is pretty canny operator and facing other offies is different from facing him.. Pakistan being a inform team can challenge England well.. Hope for a enthralling series!

  • on December 9, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    Martin Atkin - you are far from alone in missing those days :) Good squad this though - maybe would have had Patel instead of Bopara, but given England's recent form in test cricket, I think it's safe to say they know what they're doing.

  • tomphillips on December 9, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    Bopara! really!!?? He is a good player as long as there is no pressure, the balls not turning, swinging or seaming and isn't too quick.

  • on December 9, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    I think the decision for the Monty's inclusion is based on the fact that PAKISTANI team has always struggled against left arm spinners like rangana herath vettori etc ... So it is a good decision to include him lets see what he can come up with .

  • on December 9, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    On paper, Pakistan is better team for UAE conditions with Saeed Ajmal and Hafeez having tremendous wicket taking ability and a very accurate and penetrating left arm orthodox bowler Abdur-Rehman in back up. Aizaz Cheema is another good find who is always eager to bowl his heart out despite numerous fruitless spells, a worthy candidate for lifeless pitches of UAE, but during last couple of years, English team has produced favourable results in most unfavourable conditions. Should be cracker of a series.

  • Shhy on December 9, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    5-0 against the Indian spin.. surely 3-0, 4-0 and 3-0 in Tests,ODIs and T20s respectively against the world's best spin attack.. Try your best England..

  • worldofcricketforums on December 9, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    A full strength England team, going to be a very difficult series for Pak. I don't think they will change and play 2 spinners though.. the pitches in UAE have not been as flat as people make out, Pak pacers got something out of the pitches against SL and bowled them out cheaply a couple of times. Will be a new ball game, along with spin playing a role by day 2-3

  • Nutcutlet on December 9, 2011, 11:43 GMT

    I don't see that there is any room for argument with this squad; it is, with the exception of Collingwood's departure and Bopara's inclusion, the same crew that trounced the Aussies 12 months ago. That it was a totally successful campaign on the field has much to do with the dynamic of the party. This is a set of players who play for one another under Flower's management. Why should there be any changes - apart from the one that is forced? However, where it gets interesting is in the eventual composition of the starting XI. Is Finn, after his magnificent showing on the unresponsive pitches of India, now ahead of Tremlett? I would suggest that that is the case. England HAS to play two spinners in UAE - who steps aside to allow Monty in? IMO, it has to be Anderson, as Broad and Bresnan (let's hope he's fully fit) offer much more with the bat. The alternative is to play five bowlers, in which case a batsman has to be sidelined, but that is not Flower's MO. It'll be interesting, & right!

  • on December 9, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    Its a good decision by England to include Panesar in the set-up. Taking into account the tours to the sub-continent England will need an adequate back-up for Swann, and in some venues playing both will be a necessity, though for the UAE tour i doubt Monty will get a look in , as the English will not change from their line-up except if Bresnan is unfit and they play Broad at No.8.Its a good decision to keep Davies as second choice keeper as Prior , though capable enough, is suspect against spinners, and Pakistan have quality if not the best going around. I'll be brave and call the series 1-1 at best.

  • on December 9, 2011, 11:22 GMT

    Well, the Test for Pakistan team is here, should be a cracker of a series... Pakistan must pull out with their best socks if they are to continue with the winning momentum... Though England looks a well composed allround team... Pakistan worry could well again be their fielding...

  • MSGLONDON on December 9, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    Woo hoo.... Great to see Steven Davies back in the Test Squad.... Come on England!

  • JG2704 on December 9, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    Glad Monty has been named. Like someone else commented I'd have had Patel in ahead of Bopara. Also (despite how well CT and SF have performed with the ball) I'd have had an extra spinner out there as it is unlikely they'll ever use more than 3 pace bowlers and if one of their bowlers picks up an injury they can call another up. Otherwise I'm fairly happy with the squad. Monty may be a gamble in that he can't bat or field but I feel it is a gamble worth taking.

  • on December 9, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    its good team have strong bench strength but they are not good in spinning track so its test of their skills hope it will be a good series pakistan might win it by 1-0 i think

  • on December 9, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Good squad - plenty of balance and experience. Could be a very successful winter!

  • butterBum on December 9, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    playing against sub continental teems 2 seam and 2 spin bowling attack is always safe strategy,mind you spinnners help the catain in shaping up the game and both swaan n monty are capable gentlemen .

  • spence1324 on December 9, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    Any other england fans think this could be the second 'rebirth' for M panser? because he took 60+ wickets at something like avg 24 in the county championship on pitches that are not like madras, bombay or galle etc and the pitches in the UAE should suit him.

  • on December 9, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Even though I enjoy the success that stability brings, I do kind of miss the days when an England tour squad announcement would contain a couple of bolters and normally one player you'd barely heard of!!

  • Bilal_Choudry on December 9, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    i can already see hafeez opening the bowling against the left handers

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  • Bilal_Choudry on December 9, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    i can already see hafeez opening the bowling against the left handers

  • on December 9, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Even though I enjoy the success that stability brings, I do kind of miss the days when an England tour squad announcement would contain a couple of bolters and normally one player you'd barely heard of!!

  • spence1324 on December 9, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    Any other england fans think this could be the second 'rebirth' for M panser? because he took 60+ wickets at something like avg 24 in the county championship on pitches that are not like madras, bombay or galle etc and the pitches in the UAE should suit him.

  • butterBum on December 9, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    playing against sub continental teems 2 seam and 2 spin bowling attack is always safe strategy,mind you spinnners help the catain in shaping up the game and both swaan n monty are capable gentlemen .

  • on December 9, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Good squad - plenty of balance and experience. Could be a very successful winter!

  • on December 9, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    its good team have strong bench strength but they are not good in spinning track so its test of their skills hope it will be a good series pakistan might win it by 1-0 i think

  • JG2704 on December 9, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    Glad Monty has been named. Like someone else commented I'd have had Patel in ahead of Bopara. Also (despite how well CT and SF have performed with the ball) I'd have had an extra spinner out there as it is unlikely they'll ever use more than 3 pace bowlers and if one of their bowlers picks up an injury they can call another up. Otherwise I'm fairly happy with the squad. Monty may be a gamble in that he can't bat or field but I feel it is a gamble worth taking.

  • MSGLONDON on December 9, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    Woo hoo.... Great to see Steven Davies back in the Test Squad.... Come on England!

  • on December 9, 2011, 11:22 GMT

    Well, the Test for Pakistan team is here, should be a cracker of a series... Pakistan must pull out with their best socks if they are to continue with the winning momentum... Though England looks a well composed allround team... Pakistan worry could well again be their fielding...

  • on December 9, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    Its a good decision by England to include Panesar in the set-up. Taking into account the tours to the sub-continent England will need an adequate back-up for Swann, and in some venues playing both will be a necessity, though for the UAE tour i doubt Monty will get a look in , as the English will not change from their line-up except if Bresnan is unfit and they play Broad at No.8.Its a good decision to keep Davies as second choice keeper as Prior , though capable enough, is suspect against spinners, and Pakistan have quality if not the best going around. I'll be brave and call the series 1-1 at best.