England name unchanged squad for third Test
All-rounder Andrew Flintoff, seamer Matthew Hoggard and the likes of pace bowlers Sajid Mahmood and Stuart Broad have all been ruled out through injury.cricket Updated: Jun 04, 2007 00:08 IST
England named an unchanged squad on Sunday for the third Test against West Indies as they aim to win the series at Old Trafford.
The hosts had few options but to retain the same XI that triumphed by an innings and 283 runs at Headingley, West Indies' largest Test innings defeat, where they went 1-0 up in the four-match series after the drawn Lord's opener.
All-rounder Andrew Flintoff, seamer Matthew Hoggard and the likes of pace bowlers Sajid Mahmood and Stuart Broad have all been ruled out through injury.
But batsman Ian Bell appears to have recovered from the back spasms which prevented him fielding for much of the time at Headingley, although he will test his fitness in a one-day match for Warwickshire later on Sunday.
Meanwhile James Anderson will join up on Wednesday, on the eve of the Test, at his Old Trafford home ground with the XI announced by chairman of selectors David Graveney from Lancashire's Championship match away to Durham to provide pace bowling cover for late injury or illness.
However, left-arm quick Ryan Sidebottom is set to retain his place after taking eight for 86 in his first Test for six years at Headingley although Hoggard, whose injury opened the door for the Nottinghamshire bowler's international recall, could be fit for the final Test at Chester-le-Street starting on June 15.
"Matthew has worked hard to overcome the injury, but ultimately time was against him," Graveney said Sunday.
"We're prepared to give him as long as he needs to ensure the injury does not become a longer-term problem. We are hopeful that with further rehabilitation he will come into calculations for the fourth Test in Durham."
Graveney said he hoped Lancashire star Flintoff will be inspired by the return of captain Michael Vaughan.
Flintoff, who hasn't played in this series, underwent a third operation in three years on Friday on his persistent left ankle problem.
He is now set to miss both the remaining Tests and one-day internationals against the West Indies but hopes to feature at some stage during the subsequent home internationals against India.
Vaughan marked his return to the Test arena after 18 months out, mainly with a knee injury, by scoring a century on his Headingley home ground.
"Andrew successfully underwent surgery on Friday and following rehabilitation and strengthening work we are hopeful he can play a part for England at some stage later in the (northern) summer," Graveney said.
"Given his latest injury setback we all feel for Andrew and look forward to him making a strong recovery. I've no doubt Andrew will draw strength from the way Michael Vaughan made a successful return to Test cricket following a lengthy period out of the game through injury."
Andrew Strauss (Middlesex), Alastair Cook (Essex), Michael Vaughan (Yorkshire, capt), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Matthew Prior (Sussex, wk), Liam Plunkett (Durham), Stephen Harmison (Durham), Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), Monty Panesar (Northamptonshire)
James Anderson (Lancashire) will join the England squad on Wednesday evening as cover for injury or illness. He is available to Lancashire for their County Championship match against Durham starting on Wednesday.