England recall Bell for Pakistan (bbc)
England recall Bell for Pakistan
Bell was dropped for the series against Sri Lanka
England have recalled batsman Ian Bell for next week's first Test against Pakistan in the absence of injured all-rounder Andrew Flintoff.
Jon Lewis and Sajid Mahmood were named in a squad of 13, with Matthew Hoggard a doubt because of an injured hand.
Andrew Strauss will captain the side at Lord's on Thursday, while Flintoff recovers from an ankle injury.
Steve Harmison returns after missing the first series of the summer, the 1-1 tie with Sri Lanka, with a shin injury.
Bell was dropped for the three-Test series to make room for the impressive Alastair Cook, but is likely to bat at six against Pakistan after hitting 74 in this week's tour game.
JONATHAN AGNEW'S VIEW
England could extend the already disturbingly long tail still further and play an extra seam bowler or they could bat Ian Bell at number six
Jonathan Agnew column
He and Paul Collingwood are likely to be asked to bowl medium pace in the absence of Flintoff.
"You can't replace the irreplaceable so you either weaken the batting or the bowling," said selector David Graveney.
"The scenario is that Ian Bell will play and he and Paul Collingwood will supplement the four-man attack.
"Bell fully justifies being called in and I'm sure he knows there is a lot of competition, not just against Pakistan but also in the winter."
England are sweating over the fitness of senior pace bowler Hoggard, who cut his bowling hand badly on Saturday, needing six stitches.
"We'll give him the maximum amount of time to prove his fitness," said Graveney.
"It's a nasty injury on his bowling hand but hopefully he will be able to bowl on Thursday.
"He would be a huge loss, particularly when Freddie's not available."
England squad: A Strauss (capt), M Trescothick, A Cook, K Pietersen, P Collingwood, I Bell, G Jones (wkt), L Plunkett, M J Hoggard, S Harmison, J Lewis, M Panesar, S Mahmood
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