Tim Bresnan has been ruled out of England’s forthcoming cricket tour of New Zealand with an elbow injury, while wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter was dropped from the one-day squad.
National selector Geoff Miller announced a 15-man squad for the three Test series yesterday, with uncapped Warwickshire seamer Chris Woakes replacing Bresnan, who has been struggling with a right elbow problem for over a year.
Miller hopes the Yorkshireman will be fit in time for a packed schedule on home soil later in the year that sees England staging a return series against New Zealand, the Champions Trophy and an Ashes contest with Australia.
Kieswetter who played in 34 successive one-day internationals until England’s defeat by India in Mohali on Wednesday, was included in the original ODI squad for New Zealand.
However, a run of low scores, as well as some indifferent performances with the gloves, have seen the Somerset man leapfrogged by county colleague Jos Buttler and Yorkshire’s Jonathan Bairstow in the revised squad announced yesterday.
England have also added two players to their 50-over party in top-order batsman Joe Root and seamer James Harris.
Miller, explaining Bresnan’s absence, said: “It’s not necessarily an operation at this stage and we feel he’ll be absolutely fine; our medical staff say he’ll be fine for the [English] summer.”
Turning to Woakes, a near like-for-like replacement for Bresnan in that he too is a useful lower-order batsman, Miller, in an England and Wales Cricket Board statement, said: “He is coming in for all parts of the New Zealand tour because he’s shown with the [second-string England] Lions what he is capable of.”
As for Kieswetter, Miller said he had failed to make the most of his chances.
“Craig has had an extended opportunity in ODI and T20 cricket and while he has shown evidence of delivering performances on the international stage, we don’t feel these have been consistent enough,” he said.
“We discussed it with him and felt the best way forward was for him to go back to Somerset, work on his game and get a lot of runs early in the season,” Miller said.
Root has made his debut in all three international formats in India, with the Yorkshireman helping Alastair Cook’s men clinch a 2-1 series win in the drawn fourth Test in Nagpur last month.
“He’s already shown us what he can do and he’s shown he is very, very easy in the international arena,” Miller said. “We’re excited about him.”
Spinner Samit Patel and middle-order batsman Eoin Morgan were both dropped from the Test squad.
England last played a Test series in New Zealand in 2008, winning the three-match contest 2-1.
A Twenty20 side led by Stuart Broad start a three-match series in Auckland on Feb. 9, with the first ODI in Hamilton on Feb 17.
The first of three Tests is due to start in Dunedin on March 6.