Pakistan v England 2011-12 February 7, 2012

Bell dropped from limited-overs squads


Jos Buttler and Danny Briggs have been named in England's limited-overs squads to face Pakistan in the UAE. The pair, both of whom are uncapped in ODI cricket, have been included in the squad that will play four ODIs and three Twenty20 internationals.

Ian Bell, however, was omitted from the squad. Bell had passed 50 only once in his last 14 ODI innings and had looked uncomfortable against Saeed Ajmal's spin in the recently concluded Test series. It is entirely possible that Bell, aged 29 and a veteran of 108 ODIs, has played his last limited-overs match for England.

Buttler, a 21-year-old from Somerset, has been in good form recently for England Lions. He struck two centuries and a half-century in his last five innings against Sri Lanka A, including one century from just 56 deliveries. He broke into England's Twenty20 side towards the end of the English season after impressing in several important games - notably the CB40 final and the FPt20 quarter-final. He is seen as having the big-match temperament and the big-hitting game to prove a destructive ODI player. He can also keep wicket.

Briggs, a 20-year-old left-arm spinner from Hampshire, is one of three spinners in the 16-man squad. A bowler who relies more on control than any extravagant turn, England hope Briggs proves well-suited to the slow, low pitches anticipated in the UAE.

Tim Bresnan, who has just rejoined the England squad, having earlier returned to England for further treatment on an elbow injury that required surgery at the start of December, is also included subject to further fitness tests.

Nottinghamshire batsman Alex Hales will join the squad for the Twenty20 leg of the tour, with Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott returning to England. Stuart Broad is the captain of England's Twenty20 side that will be looking to retain their World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka in September.

England's National Selector, Geoff Miller, said: "We have selected two squads that include both experienced international players and younger players who have performed strongly for England Lions in recent months and deserve an opportunity to further test themselves against quality opposition. Playing against Pakistan in the UAE will be challenging but it is important that these players continue to develop their skills so that we are able to make strides in limited-overs cricket particularly on the subcontinent."

England have a mixed ODI record. While their home form remains impressive - they won series against both World Cup finalists, India and Sri Lanka, at home in 2011 - their away form is grim. They lost all five matches against India in October and 14 of their last 20 outside England. They have won just five and tied the other.

Their record in Asia is even more gruesome. Since December 12, 2005, England have won just 12 of 38 ODIs in Asia and four of those victories came against Bangladesh and the Netherlands. Pakistan, by contrast, have won 12 of their last 13 ODIs and 23 of their last 30. England, however, have won five of the last seven ODI meetings between the sides.

In a bid to improve the tempo of England's batting, Kevin Pietersen will be given another opportunity to open the innings, with Craig Kieswetter dropping down to bat at No. 5. While England hope Pietersen can exploit the powerplay overs, after a brief experiment at the World Cup before his injury, Kieswetter is also seen as an accomplished hitter of the older, softer ball. Both may require productive series to silence their critics.

Kieswetter has only passed 50 once in his last 24 ODIs, while Pietersen has not made a score of 80 or more since November 2008.

Indeed, in that period, he has only passed 50 three times in 34 innings. But England have invested a lot of time in both of them and would be loathe to change tactics now.

England will warm-up for the series by taking on England Lions on Friday, before the ODI series begins in Abu Dhabi on February 13.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on February 10, 2012, 3:05 GMT

    I really hope that Woakes plays for the Lions in the warmup game and bowls well. They say that that none of the Lions will be elevated into the senior squad for this tour but maybe for the next tour. He is someone I'd like to see in the England ODI and/or T20 squads.

  • John on February 9, 2012, 21:29 GMT

    @Juiceoftheapple on (February 09 2012, 17:34 PM GMT) Sorry to digress and I hope cricinfo will still publish this , but I guess in the T20 Craig won't open for Somerset with Gayle being there. Do you know what the score is with Van Der Merwe? I think I prefer him to A Morkel. I thought I read that KP was going to open which I'm not against. It'll be interesting to see who plays for the Lions and who plays for the seniors in tomorrows match with so many players in a crossover situation?

  • John on February 9, 2012, 21:25 GMT

    @zenboomerang on (February 09 2012, 08:18 AM GMT) See where you're coming from but maybe they're taking Craig's strike rate into the equation. Also he played well in Somerset's CT20 campaign in India and scored a 100 in the Lions A tour in SL. Also re Prior , 2 of his inns he played spin well but you can't say he played spin well in the other 4. Personally I think Buttler could be the man but one problem is that he also plays for Somerset and rarely gets an opportunity with the gloves although when I have seen him as WK he has looked faultless.

  • John on February 9, 2012, 21:24 GMT

    @ ihaq1 on (February 08 2012, 17:03 PM GMT) I'd like to have seen him given a go too. KP would be one of my first batting picks for an ODI/T20. As I posted previously I'd have liked to have seen Morgan captain this side and maybe Bresnan who needs some games and the rest of the side made up of OD specialists from the Lions tours. So my 11 might look something like this - Hales,Kieswetter,Root,Buttler,Morgan,Bairstow,Patel,Bresnan or Borthwick , Woakes,Buck,Briggs. I'd like to see our seniors inc Finn and Bopara go to SL and try and play some extra practise games. Still maybe for our batsmen like Morgan and KP it might be some way of playing with less pressure in order to restore confidence. I really DO NOT like Broad in there. He is injury prone and is too valuable a player to our test side to risk him in these games

  • Simon on February 9, 2012, 17:52 GMT

    As for Bell, the most talented of our batsman, but he's a confidence player, he's had a mare, send him home, theres no sense in him having to deal with those spinners and pitches for another few weeks, he'll be fine - If he's not smacking the windies and saffers about come the summer, then Adge Cutler's a Yorkshireman.

  • Simon on February 9, 2012, 17:34 GMT

    Yeah the stats aren't good for Kies, however, you need to bear a few things in mind, having watched a lot of him opening for Somerset, he gets out a lot going aerial, which is his job as the opening impact hitter. But he's a better batsman than the pinch hitting role (Patel can do that better anyway!?). I've been saying for a while that he should be batting lower down with Buttler in the Somerset order and NOT going aerial. Kies hits the ball very hard, but most importantly he's also a very solid batsman and can make good gritty innings (when he's not trying to clear the ropes). Added to this I think he was the second highest scorer in our World cup winning T20 team, and highest scorer in the final. This is why I think he's still in the ODI team over JB / JB / SD / MP. Whereas KP, well lets be honest, he might as well go fo it straight off and try and smash the stitching out because he won't be at the crease for long.

  • Dummy4 on February 9, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    it will be a good series brigg is a good bowler saw him in the t20 comp

  • Roo on February 9, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Still can't see Craig Kieswetter being picked before Prior... CK has only played 8 of his 28 ODI games away from UK... Has an average of only 29.96 which has been boosted greatly by playing against Scotland, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka (in Eng)... Even Haddin has a better average & can't get a bat for Oz ODI's atm... Surely there are better players coming through... He had better prove that he is a better player of spin than Prior in the UAE...

  • Aamir on February 8, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    @ All who responded, thank you very much :D But Strauss is a very good captain and he was in very good form in ODI's and I can understand Prior not being in ODI's although I prefer Prior's keeping to Kieswetter's. Looking forward for the ODI's :D

  • John on February 8, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    Personally I'm glad Bell has been left out. His average isn't great and his runrate is poor. I don't understand why certain Sky pundits always go on about how Bell should be an integral part of the side. They even did a comparison caption of the then top 6 batsman and even though the caption was there with all the facts and figures clearly showing Bell's SR was the worst of the 6 Hussain was going on that he should go ahead of Trott to increase the tempo. I often think Trott is too slow but at least he is more likely to hold an inns together.

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