Craig Kieswetter and Samit Patel have been recalled to England’s limited-overs squads to face Sri Lanka in the NatWest Twenty20 at Bristol on Saturday and the five-match NatWest Series starting at the Kia Oval next Tuesday.
Somerset wicketkeeper Kieswetter replaces Matt Prior, who played in the World Cup earlier this year, while Nottinghamshire allrounder Patel has come back into the fold due to form and improved fitness. It means there is no place in the squad for Paul Collingwood, who retired from Test cricket after the Ashes and has recently returned after a knee injury.
Kieswetter, who gives England a hard-hitting option at the top of the batting order, has been preferred to Steven Davies, the Surrey wicketkeeper. Geoff Miller, the national selector, said: “Craig has been in exciting form for Somerset so far this year – and while Matt Prior has been outstanding in the Test team, we believe Craig will offer some real firepower with the bat along with his ability with the gloves.”
Patel, 26, has not played for England since November 2008 and had been urged to improve his fitness levels in order to be considered again. He spent two months in Brisbane under a rigorous training regime and shed 12kgs: his hard work allied to good form has earned him a recall. Patel has made 11 one-day international appearances and his ability as a second spinner will complement Graeme Swann.
Collingwood will be disappointed by his omission, having spoken in an interview in the July issue of The Cricketer of his desire to continue playing for his country in the one-day format. “Paul Collingwood has been an inspirational limited-overs cricketer for England over many years, and we still see a role for him in this capacity based on form and fitness,” Miller said. “His omission is purely down to form over a period of time, and we look forward to him getting plenty of cricket under his belt for Durham as he presses to reclaim a place in the England limited-overs set-up.”