Alastair Cook returns to captain England after a sabbatical © Getty Images
By Julian Guyer
London: May 1, 2014
England‘s first squad since Peter Moores was re-appointed as head coach saw a new-look selection panel opt for several familiar faces when they unveiled a 13-man party for next week’s one-day international away to Scotland.
Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer Harry Gurney was the only uncapped player selected for the match in Aberdeen on May 9, although he did tour the West Indies with England earlier this year.
Meanwhile two relative international novices in batsmen Moeen Ali and Gary Ballance retained their places in a squad again captained by opener Alastair Cook.
This was the first squad chosen by the new England selection panel headed up by former Test batsman James Whitaker that also includes Moores, Middlesex coach Angus Fraser and Nottinghamshire boss Mick Newell.
However, that didn’t do a number of players at both counties any favour with Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn, back in the wickets in County Championship cricket after a wretched tour of Australia, left out of this squad.
So too were Nottinghamshire batsmen Alex Hales and Michael Lumb, even though the former made England’s first Twenty20 hundred during the recent World T20 in Bangladesh and the latter a hundred on his One-Day Internationals (ODI) debut in February.
Their county colleague Gurney was one of just three specialist seamers included alongside veteran paceman James Anderson, called up for one-day duty for the first time since the 2013 season in England, and Sussex’s Chris Jordan.
Stuart Broad continues to be sidelined with a knee injury while Tim Bresnan has yet to play first-team cricket for Yorkshire this season.
All-rounder Ben Stokes is still out with the broken wrist he suffered punching a dressing-room locker in the Caribbean and his absence has paved the way for a recall of Chris Woakes.
The batting had a more settled look with Cook supported by several seasoned internationals in Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara and Joe Root, who showed he’d recovered from a thumb injury playing for Yorkshire against Middlesex this week.
Lancashire’s Jos Buttler retained his place as England one-day international wicketkeeper with Kent’s James Tredwell holding on to the first choice off-spinner role that has been his since Graeme Swann’s retirement.
“The start of the international summer is always incredibly exciting for everyone involved in England cricket and it has been pleasing to see so many players in good form early on this season,” said Whitaker in an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement.
“On behalf of the selectors I would like to wish new coach Peter Moores, Alastair Cook and the whole squad all the best for a good performance against Scotland in what we know will be a very competitive fixture.”
Scotland have qualified for next year’s World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand, where they have been drawn in the same pool as England.
And if England needed any more reason to take their ‘minnow’ opponents seriously, they need only recall their last international match — a humiliating 54-run loss to the Netherlands, like the Scots a non-Test nation, at the World Twenty20 in Chittagong in March.
England’s squad for the Scotland match will meet at the national training base at Loughborough University in the English Midlands for two days’ training before heading to Scotland.
None of the 13-man party will not be available for the round of County Championship fixtures starting on May 4.
Alastair Cook (c)(Essex), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Jos Buttler (Lancashire, wkt), Harry Gurney (Nottinghamshire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Joe Root (Yorkshire), James Tredwell (Kent), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)