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Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 14:05 UK

Trott gets surprise England call

Fourth Ashes Test, Headingley: England v Australia
Dates: Friday, 7 August - Tuesday, 11 August Start time: 1100 BST
Coverage: Live Test Match Special commentary (from 1025 BST on day one, 1045 BST on remaining days) on BBC Radio 4 LW, 5 Live sports extra, the Red Button and BBC Sport website. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobile phones. Also live on Sky Sports.


Jonathan Trott
South Africa-born Trott has played two Twenty20 internationals for England

England have handed a shock call-up to Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott for the fourth Ashes Test against Australia which starts at Headingley on Friday.

The uncapped right-hander is included in a 14-man squad, which also features seamer Ryan Sidebottom, but left-arm spinner Monty Panesar is omitted.

South Africa-born Trott could provide cover for all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who is struggling with a knee injury.

The 28-year-old has 831 first-class runs this season at an average of 83.

"This a case of having every option covered for one of the most unpredictable grounds in the world, let alone this series," said BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew.

Trott struggled in his only previous experience of international cricket, scoring just 11 runs in two Twenty20 internationals against West Indies at the Oval in 2007, but impressed during the England Academy's tour of New Zealand last winter.

"Jonathan Trott has also performed really well for Warwickshire this season and his place in the squad is fully deserved," said national selector Geoff Miller.

"His inclusion will provide us with the option of playing six batsmen if we feel this is appropriate."

Warwickshire chief executive Colin Povey told BBC Radio 5 live: "He's full of runs and nice to have him alongside Ian Bell.

"He's been playing consistently well for the Lions side over the last two years - he's in such good form in all forms - I'm delighted they've called him into the squad.

"He's been in the mixer for a while and he'll be desperate to play - he's worked really hard this winter.

England are due to assemble in Leeds on Wednesday as they attempt to shrug off the disappointment of missing out on victory in the third Test at Edgbaston.

But the hosts lead Australia 1-0 in the five-match series and will hope to claim the win they require from the final two Tests to regain the Ashes.

OLIVER BRETT'S BLOG

Sidebottom, who has played 21 Tests for England and taken 77 wickets at an average of 27.70, is in contention to make his first appearance of the series.

He recently took a five-wicket haul at Taunton, traditionally a fast bowler's graveyard, and with Headingley usually favouring swing rather than bounce, the left-arm seamer would appear to be an ideal fit.

Durham paceman Steve Harmison has been included despite suffering blistered feet during his county's championship win over Sussex at Chester-le-Street last week, but the biggest fitness concern again surrounds Flintoff.

He has needed injections to get through the last two matches in his final series before retiring as a Test cricketer and his availability is expected to be the deciding factor in whether England strengthen their batting line-up by adding Trott.

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"We will continue to closely monitor Andrew Flintoff's fitness in the build-up-up to Headingley. His right knee will be reassessed by our medical staff over the next 48 hours and no final decision on his availability will be taken until closer to the start of the Test," Miller added.

"In choosing our squad we decided to omit a second spinner as Headingley is not usually a ground where two spinners are required and therefore Monty Panesar misses out on selection this time.

"We will need to carefully assess the pitch and the overhead conditions at Headingley before finalising our 11 for this Test and the inclusion of Steve Harmison and Ryan Sidebottom will give us different types of pace bowling options.

"Both players have been in good form for their counties in recent weeks and as selectors we are delighted that competition for places in the side is so strong."

Selectors monitoring Flintoff fitness

Australia have dilemmas of their own, not least whether or not to risk paceman Brett Lee, who has missed the first three Tests with a side strain.

On Sunday, Lee declared himself "80-85%" fit but the New South Wales man, who has 310 Test scalps, does not have a chance to prove himself before Friday and the selectors may consider him to be too much of a gamble.

Meanwhile, batsman Michael Clarke will miss training on Wednesday after suffering a minor abdominal strain while batting on Monday - but the tourists hope he will be fit to take his place on Friday.

Stuart Clark, chief tormentor of England in the 2006-07 Ashes series, which Australia won 5-0, could come in for Peter Siddle, with Mitchell Johnson likely to keep his place, despite an inconsistent series so far.



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see also
Strauss frustrated by stalemate
03 Aug 09 |  England
Aussies defy England to earn draw
03 Aug 09 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
03 Aug 09 |  England
Australia on top as England slump
07 Aug 09 |  Australia
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England


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