Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

No Shocks as England Get Set to Defend the Ashes; CRICKET

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

No Shocks as England Get Set to Defend the Ashes; CRICKET

Article excerpt

THE England squad for the forthcoming Ashes tour of Australia holds few surprises.

But there is strong contingent of young players from Durham and Yorkshire in the England Performance Programme squad.

The England selectors revealed the picks for the trip Down Under yesterday and, as predicted, pace bowler Chris Tremlett was called into the senior 16, while Monty Panesar was named as the back-up spinner behind Graeme Swann and Steven Davies is the reserve keeper behind Matt Prior.

Tim Bresnan was given the nod ahead of Yorkshire team-mate Ajmal Shahzad who joins club-mates Jonathan Bairstow, Andrew Gale and Adam Lyth in the Performance Programme party, which also includes Liam Plunkett and Ben Stokes of Durham.

Chairman of selectors Geoff Miller explained why Tremlett and Panesar had got the nod.

"They have something in common They have both got new clubs to play for and we have watched them pretty constantly," he said.

"Chris has led the attack and done really well at Surrey as opposed to being an ordinary bowler, like he was at Hampshire. He has taken responsibility and bowled really well.

"Conditions in Australia should suit him so consequently he got the nod on that. Monty went away and developed his game. He was having a bad time, we told him what he needed to do. He also got a new area to play in and he has produced the goods for them this year. He is a quality spinner and so we have two quality spinners going out."

Miller also revealed that Panesar's previous experience in Australia -he was part of the squad that was whitewashed during the 2006-07 series - had counted in his favour.

The 28-year-old was left out of the side for the first two Tests on that tour before taking five for 92 in the first innings of the third Test.

"Monty has been to Australia before and did well once he got in the side," he said. …

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