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England unchanged for final Pakistan Test
by AFP


Ground:Kennington Oval, Kennington
Event:Pakistan in British Isles 2006

DateLine: 13th August 2006

 

England named an unchanged 12-man squad Sunday for the fourth and final Test against Pakistan starting at The Oval on Thursday.

 

The selectors kept faith with the same side that won the third Test at Headingley by 167 runs to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead on the four-match series while Gloucestershire seamer Jon Lewis, who missed out on that match, retained his squad place having been 12th man in five out of six Tests this season.

 

"The team has played really well in the last two Test matches and the challenge now is to maintain those standards and keep playing cricket of that quality in the final Test of the series," said England's chairman of selectors, David Graveney, whose side won the second Test at Old Trafford by an innings and 120 runs.

 

The former spinner also praised the role of captain Andrew Strauss, leading the team in the absence of the injured Michael Vaughan (knee) and Andrew Flintoff (ankle).

 

Earlier this season Strauss was in charge while England went down 5-0 in a one-day series against Sri Lanka and Graveney added: "Winning the series was an outstanding team effort with everyone playing a part and I am particularly pleased for Andrew Strauss, who took on the Test captaincy in difficult circumstances after our defeat by Sri Lanka in the NatWest Series.

 

"He deserves full credit for his leadership of the team and I am sure he and the rest of the players will be doing their utmost next week to ensure that we can finish the series with a win."

 

Swing bowler Matthew Hoggard, who jarred his knee during the third Test at his Yorkshire home ground, also retained his place as his injury was not regarded as serious enough to threaten his participation at The Oval.

 

Squad

 

Marcus Trescothick (Somerset), Andrew Strauss (Middlesex, capt), Alastair Cook (Essex), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Chris Read (Nottinghamshire, wkt), Sajid Mahmood (Lancashire), Matthew Hoggard (Yorkshire), Stephen Harmison (Durham), Monty Panesar (Northamptonshire), Jon Lewis (Gloucestershire).

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)



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