Khan has to wait for Test de­but

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Classified - by Mike Rees

KENT pace­man Am­jad Khan has been over­looked for a start­ing place in Eng­land’s open­ing Test against In­dia in Chen­nai to­day (Thurs­day). The 28-year-old was called into the 15-man squad as re­place­ment for the in­jured Ryan Side­bot­tom but skip­per Kevin Pi­etersen has opted for the three-pronged pace at­tack of An­drew Flintoff, Steve Harmi­son and James An­der­son and spin­ners Graeme Swan and Monty Pane­sar. Cap­tain Kevin Pi­etersen re­vealed watch­ing Aus­tralian off-spinner Ja­son Kre­jza, who claimed 12 wick­ets on his Test de­but in Nag­pur last month, con­vinced Eng­land two spin­ners was the best way for­ward. He said: “It’s a de­ci­sion we have come to be­cause we think the wicket could spin. We’ve had a look at it and it prob­a­bly gives us our best and most at­tack­ing op­tion.” Mean­while, for­mer Kent pace­man Martin McCague has paid trib­ute to Khan for forc­ing his way into the Eng­land set-up. Khan, who made his Kent de­but in 2001, has fought his way back from a ca­reer-threat­en­ing knee in­jury and McCague, who played three matches for Eng­land and took four wick­ets when he made his Test de­but against Aus­tralia in 1993, said: “Am­jad has worked very hard to come back from the in­jury which ruled him out for the en­tire 2007 sea­son. “It is hard to break into the Eng­land squad when you come from an un­fash­ion­able county like Kent. “He hits the bat a lot harder than you think and, when he gets it right, is up there with the quick­est bowlers in the world.” McCague, who took 388 first class wick­ets dur­ing his 10-year Kent ca­reer which ended in 2001, added: “It was a long time ago when I made my Eng­land de­but but it is a great hon­our to have those three lions on your shirt. “The se­lec­tors have got to look for­ward. Am­jad has ob­vi­ously made a good im­pres­sion and it is great news when a Kent player rep­re­sents Eng­land.”

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