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England have recalled James Taylor and Ravi Bopara into their ODI squad for the upcoming limited overs tour of Sri Lanka in November.
It has also been confirmed that Alastair Cook will carry on as England’s ODI captain even though they recently lost their last two ODI series against Sri Lanka and India at home.
“We debated all the positions in the team and Alastair’s was no different, but we are 100% committed behind Alastair Cook to captain not only in Sri Lanka but also the World Cup,” national selector James Whitaker said. “He’s had his ups and downs the summer but he shown immense dignity and fortitude and we are 100% behind him.”
As of right now, Taylor has only represented England in two ODIs, the last of which came in September 2013, and scored 26 runs at an average of 13.
However, he was included in the squad following his superb performance for Nottinghamshire in this year’s Royal London One-Day Cup, where he amassed 444 runs, which included three centuries and one half-century, at an incredible average of 88.80 in seven matches.
In terms of Bopara, the national selectors and head coach Peter Moores will be looking for him to improve on his ODI record for 2014, which stands at 237 runs at a dismal average of 23.70 and seven wickets at less than impressive average of 41.57.
One of the big omissions from the squad is batsman Gary Ballance, who only played one ODI against India during the five-match series, which England lost 3-1.
Despite only scoring seven runs in that match, Ballance enjoyed a lot of success with the bat in the five-Test series against India as he accumulated 503 runs, which included two centuries and two half-centuries, at an outstanding average of 71.85.
Pace bowler Stuart Broad will also miss the tour since he is still recovering from undergoing knee surgery earlier this month.
“With the World Cup less than five months away, we are very aware that our one-day cricket needs to develop quickly if we are to arrive at the competition ready to compete with the very best sides in the world,” Whitaker said. “This tour to Sri Lanka allows the players and management to focus fully on improving skills in limited-overs cricket ahead of final selection for the World Cup. While conditions in Australia and New Zealand will differ to those the squad experiences in Sri Lanka, we can still make significant strides forward as a side during the series.
“Congratulations to James Taylor who has been rewarded for his outstanding form for Nottinghamshire this season and fully deserves another opportunity in the international arena. While Gary Ballance will I’m sure be disappointed to miss out on this tour he knows he remains a very important part of our plans.”
England ODI Squad: Alastair Cook (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes