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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 October 2007, 15:33 GMT 16:33 UK
Murali absence irrelevant - Shah
By Oliver Brett

Owais Shah
I'm just lucky and really happy to be part of Peter Moores' plans

Owais Shah
England's Owais Shah says the absence of Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan knocks none of the gloss off his team's one-day series victory on the island.

England have a 3-1 lead with the last match to follow on Saturday in Colombo.

And Middlesex batsman Shah told BBC Sport: "It was unfortunate for Sri Lanka they were without their ace card.

"But if people think this is a hollow victory they should also consider we were without Andrew Flintoff, one of the best all-rounders in the world."

Shah, who hit a match-winning 82 in England's first victory of the series in Dambulla, added: "You can't take any credit away from the guys. We delivered what we were picked to do.

"We have achieved something which is amazing - beating Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka in a one-day series for the first time in 25 years."

Now 28, Shah played his first one-day international against Australia at Bristol in 2001 and scored 62 against Pakistan in the triangular tournament that summer.

But he was immediately consigned to the role of occasional player in subsequent series, despite a general liturgy of failure for Duncan Fletcher's England in 50-over cricket.

DEBATE: MESSAGEBOARD
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He has, however, played in 12 of the 14 one-day internationals under the new Peter Moores regime and appears to have taken occupancy of the number six position.

Shah said: "That's just how things work I suppose. Duncan Fletcher had his ideas and Peter Moores has got his ideas.

"I'm just lucky and really happy to be part of Peter Moores' plans and really excited to get an opportunity to get a run in the side which I didn't quite get before."

"Hopefully I can carry on being part of Peter Moores' plans."

Would that, therefore, extend to Test cricket?

England have a Test series in Sri Lanka in December and there is talk that Shah's Middlesex colleague Andrew Strauss could be overlooked.

That would open possible squad places to the likes of Ravi Bopara, Mark Ramprakash, Rob Key and perhaps Shah himself.

It's everyone's ambition to get a long run in the Test side, that's my dream

Owais Shah

"I don't look too far ahead - I'll leave that to the selectors," Shah said, philosophically.

"If they think I'm good enough to play in the Tests then hopefully they'll select me; if they don't then that's life.

"I'll get on with my life and concentrate on the one-day side of things - that's what I'm in at the moment - and I'll try to keep performing in the one-dayers."

But he admitted he still harboured hopes of adding to the two Test caps he has so far gained, in Mumbai in 2006 and Lord's in 2007.

"It's everyone's ambition to get a long run in the Test side, that's my dream.

"But there's a lot of competition in sport at the top level and I've just got to wait my turn."

SEE ALSO
England seal historic series win
10 Oct 07 |  England
England battle to tense victory
07 Oct 07 |  England
Murali ruled out of one-day games
09 Oct 07 |  Sri Lanka
Shah innings sets up England win
04 Oct 07 |  England
England in Sri Lanka 2007
25 Jun 07 |  Cricket


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