England give Monty Panesar chance on Ashes trip

England have recalled spinner Monty Panesar to their squad for the winter Ashes tour of Australia along with three uncapped players.
Monty Panesar. Picture: PAMonty Panesar. Picture: PA
Monty Panesar. Picture: PA

Panesar has not played for his country since a well-
publicised incident with bouncers at a Brighton nightclub but has been recalled after a spell on loan at Essex.

Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance, Warwickshire’s former Ireland bowler Boyd Rankin and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes are the three players in the 17-man party who have yet to play Test cricket.

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Panesar was allowed to leave Sussex on loan after being fined by police for urinating on bouncers after being thrown out of the nightclub on 5 August.

National selector Geoff Miller is confident the left-armer is back on the right track and said: “There’s a very strong management in that side to help all aspects of it. He’s appreciated he’s made errors.

“He’s an experienced international and it’s up to him to actually produce the goods for us. He’s very prepared to let his bowling do the talking for him, so I’m prepared to accept that.”

Stokes, and in particular Rankin, impressed in the recent one-day series against Australia but Miller stressed that county performances were also crucial.

On Rankin, he said: “It’s not just the one-day performances, he’s performed very well for Warwickshire. He’s a very difficult person to bat against.”

Ballance’s international experience extends to a two-ball duck in a Twenty20 international against Ireland but Miller insisted: “He’s played very well for Yorkshire so it’s not a left-field selection, it’s considered.”

In the battle to provide back-up to first-choice openers Alastair Cook and Joe Root, England opted for Michael Carberry over Nick Compton.

Compton, 30, made two centuries in his nine Test appearances before losing his place in the squad. He was back amongst the runs this summer after returning to Somerset but that was not enough to earn him an England recall, with left-hander Carberry, 32, whose sole Test appearance came against Bangladesh in 2010, getting the nod.

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Jonny Bairstow keeps his place in the squad, with Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen – whose next Test appearance will be his 100th – completing the batting options.

Rankin faces competition from Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett for a place alongside frontline pace duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann is the likely first-choice spinner ahead of Panesar.