England in Sri Lanka 2007-08 October 19, 2007

Strauss misses out on Sri Lanka tour

Cricinfo staff



Andrew Strauss: staying at home © Getty Images
Andrew Strauss has been left out of England's forthcoming three-Test tour of Sri Lanka. Strauss, who has been struggling with his form for 18 months but who was expected to retain his place, has been dropped while a quartet of debutants - Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Phil Mustard and Graeme Swann - are brought in.

There was also no place for Mark Ramprakash, who many had touted for a recall, while Steve Harmison, who missed most of the summer with injury, will need to prove his fitness in South African domestic cricket before he can join the squad.

"We have chosen a balanced squad which includes a number of experienced Test players," David Graveney, the chairman of selectors, told the assembled press at The Oval, "together with several young players who performed well in the recent one-day series in Sri Lanka.

"Harmison is scheduled to play two four day matches for the Lions in mid November and he will join the tour party in Sri Lanka subject to him proving he has regained form and fitness following his back injury in the summer.

"Strauss needs to recover his best form and he has not been included in the squad on this occasion. We fully anticipate that he will have a major role to play with England in the next 12 months and he will be considered for the tour of New Zealand in the New Year.

"Owais Shah and Ravi Bopara are both fine players of spin bowling and their performances for the one-day side recently have demonstrated that they have the temperament required to succeed at the highest level."

Shah and Bopara's stock rose in England's one-day series, but Mustard - although he kept wicket proficiently - failed to produce a big score. He replaced Matt Prior for the recent one-day series who broke his thumb in the World Twenty20 in South Africa.

Graveney added that the England Performance Squad will be based in India from mid-November to act as a stand-by squad to cover for any injuries in Sri Lanka. England's first Test against Sri Lanka gets underway on December 1.

Full squad
Michael Vaughan (capt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Matthew Hoggard, Phil Mustard (wk), Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior (wk), Owais Shah, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann

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