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CRICKET: England spinners ready to Batt-er Windies.


GARETH BATTY wants to team up with Ashley Giles and jump on the bandwagon of England's spin bowling revolution.

The Worcestershire off-spinner was yesterday called up to the England squad for Thursday's third Test against the West Indies at Old Trafford.

Slow bowlers are suddenly in fashion following the superb performances of Giles in the first two Windies Tests. The Warwickshire left-armer has bamboozled the visitors and taken 18 wickets.

Now Batty wants to get a piece of the action on an Old Trafford pitch that has proved responsive to spin this season.

He said: "Ashley is a quality bowler and he has done some great things for England this summer.

"At last he has been getting the rewards he deserves because he has bowled well for years without much luck.

"I love playing for England and want to make the most of every chance I get. I bowled in the Caribbean and it would be great to get the chance at home. I don't want to be remembered as just the man who let Brian Lara reach his 400."

Batty played in five Tests last winter but has yet to feature in a five-day game on home soil.

Chairman of selectors David Graveney said: "We have picked him to give us cover and as an extra spinning option as recent matches at Old Trafford have indicated that the pitch may be responsive to spin.

"We will need to look at the wicket before we make a decision on the final 11."

There were few surprises in yesterday's squad, with Mark Butcher ruled out after failing to recover from a thigh injury.

Butcher had hoped to play in Saturday's Twenty20 finals for Surrey but failed a morning fitness test.

England are becoming increasingly frustrated at Butcher's inability to recover from his thigh problems.

He said: "I have given up trying to project when I am going to be back. I tore a thigh muscle and then tore it a second time.

"I am having to err a little bit on the side of caution because they can just keep recurring."

Paceman Simon Jones may be recalled to the side at Old Trafford after missing out to James Anderson in the last Test at Edgbaston.



MICHAEL VAUGHAN ..Yorks, c MARCUS TRESCOTHICKSomerset ANDREW STRAUSS..Middlesex ROBERT KEY..................Kent GRAHAM THORPE........Surrey ANDREW FLINTOFF......Lancs GERAINT JONES............Kent ASHLEY GILES........Warwicks MATTHEW HOGGARD....Yorks STEVE HARMISON......Durham SIMON JONES........Glamorgan JIMMY ANDERSON........Lancs GARETH BATTY............Worcs


APPEALING FOR A PLACE: Off-spinner Gareth Batty
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 9, 2004
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