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Strauss takes captaincy stranglehold

NATIONAL selector Geoff Miller insisted there was “never any doubt” that Andrew Strauss would continue as England’s one-day captain despite missing out the World Twenty20 triumph.

Strauss was confirmed as skipper for the five-match series with Australia this month, fronting a 13-man squad, which includes a surprise selection for back-in-favour Ian Bell and the addition of big-hitting wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter at the expense of Matt Prior.

It was suggested the selectors may opt to keep Strauss for the Test arena and promote Twenty20 captain Paul Collingwood to skipper the 50-over side after leading the team to success in the Caribbean last month.

But Miller insists Strauss is still the number one choice for the one-day role, both on and off the field.

“From a quality point of view, he is a top-class 50-over batsman – so there was never any doubt,” he said. “I think I was misinterpreted earlier in the week when I said we are discussing all points. He is definitely our 50-over captain.”

Kieswetter’s fast runs at the top of the order gave him the nod over Prior for the first time in the 50-over format, while Bell is preferred to Ravi Bopara after averaging over 56 for Warwickshire in their Clydesdale Bank 40 campaign so far this season.

Fit-again Tim Bresnan is also recalled at the expense of Ajmal Shahzad.

SQUAD: Andrew Strauss (captain), James Anderson, Tim Bresnan, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Craig Kieswetter, Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright, Michael Yardy.