England consider three spinners for Galle Test | india | Hindustan Times
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England consider three spinners for Galle Test

England are facing a bowling selection headache for the opening Test against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, captain Michael Vaughan said.

india Updated: Dec 01, 2003 01:42 IST
PTI

England are facing a bowling selection headache for the opening Test against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, captain Michael Vaughan said on Sunday.

The Galle pitch is bone dry and likely to assist the spinners.

"There is not much grass on it and it's obvious that spin is going to come into play." Vaughan said after a three-hour practice session.

England had been expected to play three fast bowlers and two spinners, but they are now considering playing three specialist spinners.

"This is a unique place to play cricket where spin comes into the game from the first morning of the first day," said Vaughan.

If England played left-arm spinner Ashley Giles as well as two off spinners, Gareth Batty and Robert Croft, all rounder Andrew Flintoff would open the bowling.

"We gave him [Flintoff ] the new ball today because we want to cover all options.

England are considering playing all rounder Rikki Clark at number seven, a decision that would bolster the lower order.

"Rikki playing is another option and he has definitely got a chance. Who is to say that he may not end up opening the bowling? "

Fast bowler James Kirtley's good form as stand-in for the injured James Anderson has created further selection uncertainty.

Matthew Hoggard and Richard Johnson, despite fine performances against Bangladesh, are under pressure for their places, Vaughan said.

Sri Lanka have won six out of the eight Tests played in Galle and have lost only one Test at home since England last toured in March 2001.

England (from): Michael Vaughan (capt), Marcus Trescothick, Mark Butcher, Graham Thorpe, Andrew Flintoff, Nasser Hussain, Rikki Clarke, Ashley Giles, Robert Croft, Gareth Batty, James Kirtley, Richard Johnson, Matthew Hoggard, Chris Read, Geraint Jones, Paul Collingwood.