England have recalled Ian Bell and Ryan Sidebottom to their squad for the second Test against West Indies at Chester-le-Street. Monty Panesar's omission is the only change from the first Test squad with the ground not favouring spin
Bell started the season with scores of 172 and 108 for Warwickshire, after being told to go back and score big runs following his axe on the tour of the Caribbean, but was overlooked for the No. 3 spot. Ravi Bopara seized his opportunity with his second Test century, but Bell has been called up on the back of 320 runs in seven first-class innings.
After being left out before the first Test, Bell was told by national selector Geoff Miller to show even more passion about earning a recall although since his early-season centuries he has managed scores of 27 for the England Lions and 37, 30 not out in first-class cricket.
Bell's inclusion means there is the option of playing an extra batsman at Chester-le-Street should conditions seem heavily in-favour of the bowlers, but Andy Flower has made it clear that he is keen on a five-man attack. England's middle order wobbled at Lord's with Kevin Pietersen making a first-ball duck and Paul Collingwood falling for 8.
Sidebottom returns after recovering from surgery on a chronic Achilles injury after the West Indies tour. He has played two Championship matches, claiming seven wickets at 31.42 and will give Flower another seam option. If England make a change to the winning eleven from Lord's - either for Sidebottom or an extra batsman - Tim Bresnan would be the player to drop out after being restricted to seven overs on his debut.
"Both Bell and Sidebottom have been in form in the early part of the season and have been a part of the England set-up in recent years," said Miller. "Ryan Sidebottom has recovered from surgery and reports that he is now bowling pain-free.
"The inclusion of Bell and Sidebottom in the squad gives the selectors, the coach and the captain several options going into this game. Monty Panesar is unlucky but it was always highly unlikely that we would play two spinners at Chester-le-Street."
England squad Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Graham Onions, Ryan Sidebottom