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England are expected to keep faith with the players that beat West Indies at Headingley when they name their squad for next week's third Test on Sunday.
All-rounder Andrew Flintoff has been ruled out of the rest of the series after undergoing ankle surgery.

Paceman Matthew Hoggard looks set to miss out after suffering a setback in his recovery from a thigh problem.

But batsman Ian Bell, who struggled with a stiff back in Leeds, should be fine to keep his place in the side.

And swing bowler Ryan Sidebottom will hope to build on his match haul of 8-86 in his first Test for six years, which helped England claim victory by an innings at Headingley.

Chairman of selectors David Graveney believes the panel's task has been made straightforward by the absence of key men.

"I feel for all the injured players because it is never easy for them, but the current situation means we don't have as many decisions to make," he said.

"As selectors we would prefer to have as many people as possible in contention, but the injuries we have at the moment are giving other people a chance to stake their claims."

Probable England squad: Vaughan (capt), Cook, Strauss, Pietersen, Collingwood, Bell, Prior (wkt), Plunkett, Harmison, Sidebottom, Panesar, Anderson.
I think it is a good idea to keep the same squad that we beat the West Indies with, because if we beat them with that squad we have the potential to beat anyone.
Thoughts?
 

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Yeah it's been confirmed this morning that it's an unchanged team.

England have kept faith with the team that beat West Indies at Headingley for next week's third Test at Old Trafford.

All-rounder Andrew Flintoff misses the rest of the series after ankle surgery and pace bowler Matthew Hoggard has failed to recover from a thigh problem.

But Ian Bell, who struggled with a back spasm in Leeds, has been cleared to take his place in the batting line-up.

Paceman James Anderson has been put on standby to join the team on Wednesday evening in case of injury or illness.

Interview: Chairman of selectors David Graveney

Hoggard suffered his injury in the drawn first Test at Lord's and had hoped to play this weekend to prove his fitness before suffering a setback.

"We're prepared to give him as long as he needs to ensure the injury does not become a longer-term problem. We are hopeful that with further rehabilitation he will come into calculations for the fourth Test in Durham," chairman of selectors David Graveney said.


606: DEBATE
Your views on the team, and predictions for the third Test

In Hoggard's absence, swing bowler Ryan Sidebottom picked up a match haul of 8-86 at Headingley in his first Test for six years to help England claim victory by an innings.

Graveney said Sidebottom's performance "spoke volumes" for the strength of the county game and expects his panel to have some "very difficult decisions" when all the injuries clear up.

"Ryan's developed his game at Nottinghamshire and swung the ball much more than he did when he previously played for England," he told BBC Five Live.


Andrew Flintoff
We are confident Freddie will play a full part as a cricketer for England before the end of the summer

Graveney on Flintoff

"Also the point I've always made is it's not a closed shop and shows to anybody out there in county cricket that if you put the performances in we'll watch and hopefully you'll get your chance.

"Those who are currently in the team, and this is not a threat, are not bomb-proof. There are people knocking on the door and hopefully we can get to a situation where lots of people are competing for a small number of positions."

Meanwhile, Graveney is convinced Flintoff will be able to bat and bowl before the end of the summer.

The 29-year-old has had several ankle operations in recent years and there have been suggestions he might give up bowling in one-day cricket to lessen his workload.

But Graveney added on the Sportsweek programme: "There's been a lot of speculation whether Freddie will continue being one of the leading all-rounders in world cricket.

"Without building up hopes in one way and being pessimistic in another, we are confident Freddie will play a full part as a cricketer for England before the end of the summer.

"He has a number of weeks to get over this latest operation and we would anticipate him taking part in all forms of cricket."

England team for third Test: Michael Vaughan (capt), Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Matt Prior (wkt), Liam Plunkett, Steve Harmison, Ryan Sidebottom, Monty Panesar.
 
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