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Page last updated at 08:30 GMT, Sunday, 1 June 2008 09:30 UK

England name unchanged Test squad

England captain Michael Vaughan
Captain Michael Vaughan hopes to clinch the series at Trent Bridge

England have named an unchanged 12-man squad for the third Test against New Zealand at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

Michael Vaughan's side hold a 1-0 lead in the series after winning the second Test at Old Trafford by six wickets.

Chief selector Geoff Miller said: "We are pleased with the progress the team is making.

"We will be looking to win again at Trent Bridge and take that momentum into the series against South Africa later in the summer."

With Matthew Hoggard still recovering from a broken thumb, Hampshire pace bowler Chris Tremlett keeps his place in the squad.

But it is unlikely that 26-year-old Tremlett will add to his three Test caps at Trent Bridge, with Ryan Sidebottom, James Anderson and Stuart Broad set to continue as the first-choice seam attack.

606: DEBATE

"We'll wait and see what the conditions are like, but we've just won three Test matches out of four against New Zealand - two away and the last one at home - with the same side, so that would probably be the side [for the Test]," Miller told BBC Five Live.

Despite England's performance at Old Trafford, where they overcame a 179-run first innings deficit to win the game, Miller highlighted areas in which the team could improve.

"We are aware of the need to post bigger first innings totals on a more regular basis and that we have to bowl well as a unit in order to counter the strength of the New Zealand middle order," he said.

England's main area of concern as far as the batting line-up is concerned is a shortage of runs from the middle order trio of Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and especially Paul Collingwood.

Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell
England expect Paul Collingwood to come good soon

Durham all-rounder Collingwood has only managed scores of six, two and 24 not out in the series so far.

But Miller said: "We don't get worried about form. We know form is temporary. We know how strong a character Paul Collingwood is, he's a quality player, and we know runs are just round the corner.

"We accept he's having a bit of a bad trot, but we know he can turn that round and perform like we know he can."

Among the players not considered by the selectors was all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who is out of action with a side strain.

Miller said the selectors were in "constant contact" with Flintoff and his medical advisors but repeated that he would not be brought back into international cricket until he was 100%.

"We're talking about a squad these days, it's no longer just an England team. The intensity of international cricket means there's got to be a kind of automatic rotation - you need more than 11 players.

"Andrew, when he's fully fit, will be taken into consideration but make no mistake, there's no doubt an England side, an England squad, is better with Andrew Flintoff in it," he added.


England squad: M Vaughan (Yorkshire, capt), A Cook (Essex), A Strauss (Middlesex), K Pietersen (Hampshire), I Bell (Warwickshire), P Collingwood (Durham), T Ambrose (Warwickshire, wkt), S Broad (Nottinghamshire), R Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), M Panesar (Northamptonshire), J Anderson (Lancashire), C Tremlett (Hampshire).




see also
Strauss ton inspires England win
26 May 08 |  Cricket
New Zealand in England in 2008
12 May 08 |  Cricket


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