Panesar returns for Pakistan Tests
The England selectors today announced a 16-man Test squad for the series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates commencing next month.
Test captain Andrew Strauss will again lead the squad in what will be England's first Test series since being crowned the number-one Test team in August.
A number of players will be returning to the Test squad from injury, including Stuart Broad, Eoin Morgan (both shoulder) and Chris Tremlett (back), as England face their first Test tour since retaining the Ashes in Australia last winter.
National selector Geoff Miller said: "This is an important series given it is our first Test series since hosting India in August this year and we expect a stern challenge against a Pakistan side that will be accustomed to playing in the UAE.
"We believe we've selected a very strong squad with a number of key players looking to return from injury including the likes of Stuart Broad, Eoin Morgan and Chris Tremlett.
“All three have missed a significant period of cricket recently but continue to make excellent progress and will be looking forward to having a substantial impact during this series. To have three world-class players of their calibre returning to the squad is an enormous boost for the Test team.
"We've been very pleased with the preparations undertaken by a number of players during what continues to be a lengthy break from international cricket. Several players including Andrew Strauss, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett are attending training camps with the England Performance Programmes in South Africa and India.
“With a long lead-in period once the squad arrives in Dubai there will be a substantial amount of preparation time to acclimatise and adapt to the conditions.
"This series sees Steven Davies once again deputise as wicketkeeper to Matt Prior while Monty Panesar, who has been playing cricket in Sydney recently, has been selected as the second spin option along with Graeme Swann.
"Monty's selection comes off the back of a strong domestic season with Sussex and with the potentially spin-friendly conditions of Dubai and Abu Dhabi in mind.
"Ravi Bopara has another opportunity to show his growth as a Test player and we believe he will continue to add depth to our batting stocks for what promises to be a highly competitive series."
England Test squad versus Pakistan:
Andrew Strauss (Middlesex, captain)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Ravi Bopara (Essex)
Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Alastair Cook (Essex)
Steven Davies (Surrey, wicketkeeper)
Steven Finn (Middlesex)
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)
Monty Panesar (Sussex)
Kevin Pietersen (Surrey)
Matt Prior (Sussex, wicketkeeper)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
Chris Tremlett (Surrey)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)