Michael Vaughan has been left out of England's 16-man Test squad to tour West Indies next month, leaving his international future in the balance. Ryan Sidebottom is back after injury while Adil Rashid is also named after being included for the India trip to gain experience.
The squad, named after a five-and-a-half-hour meeting, is a show of faith by the selectors in the players who went down 1-0 before Christmas, with Steve Harmison, Ian Bell and Monty Panesar facing an important tour after a disappointing time in India. Bell's poor form at No. 3 was a possible route back for Vaughan but he has retained his place, though he faces increasing pressure from Owais Shah.
The plan had been for Vaughan to find some form with the Academy in India but that was disrupted by the Mumbai terror attacks, which forced the team home. Vaughan's chances of having another crack at Australia now rest with his early-season form for Yorkshire after he also missed out on the Lions squad that will head to New Zealand in February.
"Michael Vaughan has not yet had an opportunity to prove his form in order to be considered for selection for the Test side," national selector Geoff Miller said, "He does, however, remain very much in our thoughts as we continue to plan for the Ashes Test series against Australia later this summer.
"He will play a full part in Yorkshire's pre-season programme, which will include a tour to Dubai, and we will continue to monitor his form closely once the domestic season begins in April."
Rashid's inclusion follows the time he spent with the squad during the Test series in India and shows the England management expect him to launch his international career sooner rather than later. The spin department is well stocked for the tour with Panesar and Graeme Swann likely to fight it out ahead of the first Test.
The quick-bowling stocks are also strengthened with the return of Sidebottom, who suffered a string of injuries during the second half of 2008 after being England's main strike bowler. He struggled against South Africa and missed out on the one-dayers and Tests in India with a side strain.
"Despite losing the Test series in India 1-0, we felt the team performed creditably against strong opposition and all the players originally chosen for that series have been retained in the squad," Miller said. "We are pleased to welcome Ryan Sidebottom back to both squads now that he is fully recovered from injury.
"Adil Rashid was added to the Test squad for the India tour and we have again included him in the party to tour West Indies. He is an exciting prospect for the future and his inclusion will enable us to continue to monitor his development closely as well as providing extra competition for places in the spin-bowling department."
The one-day squad includes one new face with Steven Davies, the Worcestershire wicketkeeper-batsman, named in the 15-man party alongside current incumbent Matt Prior. Alastair Cook and Luke Wright have been dropped while Dimitri Mascarenhas is recalled.
"Dimitri Mascarenhas has performed well for England before in the shorter form of the game and we feel that his experience will serve the team well in the Caribbean," Miller explained. "Steven Davies had an excellent season for Worcestershire in both forms of cricket and is a young player of tremendous promise whose performances we have been monitoring for some time. This is an exciting opportunity for him and I am sure he will be keen to impress."
Miller added that it had been a close call between Davies and James Foster, the Essex wicketkeeper, who many feel is the best one-day gloveman in the country. Davies had a prolific Pro40 season in 2008, hitting two hundreds and three fifties as an opener, and provides the selectors with another option at the top of the order after Prior slipped down to No. 8 against India.
Robert Key has been named captain of the New Zealand-bound Lions squad, which includes Amjad Khan - who toured India for the Test series - and Sajid Mahmood. Gareth Batty, the Worcestershire offspinner, is given a chance to resurrect his international career, while Joe Denly's progress will be monitored with interest. Davies will swap with Tim Ambrose after the Test series in West Indies is completed.
Test squad Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen (capt), Paul Collingwood, Owais Shah, Andrew Flintoff, Matt Prior, Tim Ambrose, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, Steve Harmison, James Anderson, Ryan Sidebottom, Monty Panesar, Adil Rashid
One-day squad Kevin Pietersen (capt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Steven Davies, Andrew Flintoff, Stephen Harmison, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Samit Patel, Matt Prior, Owais Shah, Graeme Swann, Ryan Sidebottom
Lions squad Robert Key (capt) Gareth Batty, Ravi Bopara, Mark Davies, Steven Davies, Joe Denly, Amjad Khan, Sajid Mahmood, Stephen Moore, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Liam Plunkett, Jonathan Trott, Luke Wright