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Fletcher defends selection policy

Fletcher defends selection policy

England coach Duncan Fletcher has defended the decision to pick Ashley Giles over Monty Panesar in the first two Ashes tests.
Fletcher said selection issues weren't only up to him. British newspapers have widely panned the choice of Giles, who had spent an entire season out of the game, instead of Panesar as England's spinner.
England lost the opener in Brisbane and then collapsed at the end of the second test in Adelaide for a second straight defeat. Giles' best figures so far are 1-46 in the second test.
"I'm not the sole selector on this tour, or at home," Fletcher was quoted as saying in The Times on Thursday. "Sure, there is a lot of anger that we didn't pick Panesar.
"I could have taken the easy option, but we have to sit down and say, with all the knowledge we have around our group, 'What is the best side to win the test match?' We will discuss what is the best plan for Perth."
The third test starts Dec. 14 in Perth.
The Daily Mail newspaper said England captain Andrew Flintoff vetoed the selection of Panesar. Flintoff, Andrew Strauss, Geraint Jones and Paul Collingwood are part of a group that discusses selection and game-plan issues with Fletcher, the paper said.
England head of selectors David Graveney backed Fletcher, who has been coach since 1999.
"People have this idea that Duncan drives all the ideas," Graveney was quoted as saying in The Guardian. "But selections aren't solely his decisions. There was one mad hour that cost us at Adelaide but that is not all on him. We are all in this together."
Graveney said he was consulted about the team makeup for the first test but not the second.
"I can assure you that Duncan is even handed," he said.
British newspapers have also criticized the decision to choose Geraint Jones as wicketkeeper ahead of Chris Read and pace bowler James Anderson instead of Sajid Mahmood.
Fletcher also said former captain Michael Vaughan was continuing his comeback from a knee injury but wouldn't put a date on his comeback. The batsman is likely to play in England's two-day game against Western Australia state this weekend.
"He needs to be very confident of the knee and there is not much time for him between the third and fourth tests and even the fifth test," Fletcher said. "Until he is confident we won't consider him."


Updated : 2021-10-24 17:52 GMT+08:00