x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Cricket: England squad healthier with return of Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan

Tim Bresnan returns from injury to find England's line-up crowded with pace bowlers, but Graeme Swann comes back as the only specialist spinner.

Tim Bresnan returns to the England team and finds a crowd of pace bowlers waiting for him.
Tim Bresnan returns to the England team and finds a crowd of pace bowlers waiting for him.

Paceman Tim Bresnan and off-spinner Graeme Swann have returned from elbow surgeries to join the England squad for the first Test against New Zealand, starting at Lord's on Thursday.

"Both Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan have worked hard to regain fitness following elbow surgery and have demonstrated through their performances for their counties that they are ready for the challenge of international cricket," national selector Geoff Miller said in a statement.

Both bowlers missed England's 0-0 drawn series in New Zealand earlier this year because of their elbow issues. "We are anticipating another very competitive series against New Zealand and know that we will need to improve significantly on our performances in the recent Test series against them if we are to start the international summer on a positive note," Miller said.

"This series provides a good opportunity for the players to show that they have learnt from the experiences over the winter."

The presence of pace trio James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn in the Alastair Cook-led squad means Bresnan cannot take his place in the team for granted.

Swann faces no such worry, being the only specialist spinner in the 12-member squad, as the selectors overlooked left-arm spinner Monty Panesar.

Kevin Pietersen's absence due to an injured knee helped Jonny Bairstow retain his place in the squad for the match at the same venue where he made his Test debut last year.

Leeds hosts the final match of the two-Test series from May 24.



Alastair Cook (captain), Nick Compton, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Jonathan Bairstow, Matt Prior (wkt), Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Tim Bresnan



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