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Patel handed England Test chance

Samit Patel has been called up for England's Test tour of Sri Lanka at the expense of Eoin Morgan.

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Morgan dropped for Sri Lanka tour; Tredwell included as extra spinner

Samit Patel has been called up for England's Test tour of Sri Lanka at the expense of Eoin Morgan. Morgan paid the price for a dismal tour of the United Arab Emirates, where he averaged just 13.67 against Pakistan in three Tests and fared little better in the limited-overs contests in which he is regarded as a specialist. His struggles have presented an opportunity for Samit Patel, who has been included in the Test party for the first time and will compete with Ravi Bopara for the number six spot. Patel's left-arm spin could also come in handy on turning sub-continent wickets, although the slow-bowling ranks have been strengthened further by the addition of James Tredwell. And while the spin-friendly tracks in Sri Lanka have presented an opportunity for Patel and Tredwell they contributed to the omission of Morgan. The Dublin-born left-hander was one of several England batsmen to struggle against Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.


England coach Andy Flower believes he requires time to iron out some flaws in his technique, but has tipped him to bounce back. "He's had a tough tour of the UAE, we've been here for two months and it's been hard work for him," said Flower. "He has got some work to do I think on his Test game - that's going to be quite difficult for him considering his next cricket is going to be IPL cricket. "When he comes back he'll have limited exposure to opportunities to get four-day cricket under his belt so he has got to go away and give some serious thought to his method in Test cricket. "He has been severely tested out there by the Pakistan spinners as have all our batsmen. "I still think he has a very exciting future in Test cricket, he's only 25 years old and he's a very talented player, a very confident player and a very dangerous player. "If he can get his game in order so that the next time he gets a game in Test cricket he can grab it with both hands then he will fulfil his wishes for his cricket career and England will be a better side for it." The two-Test tour opens with a three-day game against a Sri Lanka Board XI, which starts on March 15. England then meet a Sri Lanka Cricket Development XI on March 20, also a three-day affair, with the first Test starting in Galle on March 26. The second Test at the PSS in Colombo is scheduled for April 3. Batting coach Graham Gooch, who recently signed a full-time contract with the side, will lead an advance party of seven to Sri Lanka, with the remainder of the squad following on March 10. England squad: AJ Strauss (captain, Middlesex), JM Anderson (Lancashire), IR Bell (Warwickshire), RS Bopara (Essex), TT Bresnan (Yorkshire), SCJ Broad (Nottinghamshire), AN Cook (Essex), ST Finn (Middlesex), MS Panesar (Sussex), SR Patel (Nottinghamshire), KP Pietersen (Surrey), MJ Prior (Sussex), GP Swann (Nottinghamshire), JC Tredwell (Kent), IJL Trott (Warwickshire)

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