Panesar recalled for Ashes
London - England recalled spinner Monty Panesar and fast bowler Chris Tremlett when they named a 16-man squad for their defence of the Ashes in Australia here on Thursday.
Left-arm spinner Panesar, one of the few successes of England's last tour of Australia, which saw them lose the Ashes 5-0 in 2006/07, has not played a Test since featuring in last year's Ashes opener in Cardiff where his tailend batting helped England to an unlikely draw.
Since that match Panesar, 28, a veteran of 39 Tests, has been replaced as England's frontline specialist spinner by off-break bowler Graeme Swann.
Panesar, who moved from Northamptonshire to Sussex at the start of the season, is now set to travel to Australia as Swann's deputy.
Tremlett, a lanky fast bowler in the mould of Steven Finn, played the last of his three Tests in 2007 but has won also won selection on the back of a successful move, having led Surrey's attack after joining from Hampshire.
Steven Davies edged out World Twenty20 winner Craig Kieswetter as the back-up wicketkeeper to Test incumbent Matt Prior.
Otherwise the squad, to be captained by Andrew Strauss, was as expected with batsman Kevin Pietersen recalled after being omitted from the recent one-day series win over Pakistan because of a poor run of form.
England have not won a Test series in Australia since Mike Gatting's men triumphed 'Down Under' in 1986/87.
"We believe we've selected an outstanding Test squad for what will be a fiercely contested Ashes series in Australia," said England national selector Geoff Miller.
"In order to retain the Ashes we will need to play to a very high level and we believe we've selected a squad to do just that."
Miller, himself a former England spinner, said of Panesar's recall: "We feel that following an excellent season with Sussex, Monty Panesar deserves his opportunity to assume the role as England's second spinner behind Graeme Swann. "Monty has gone away and worked on his bowling since his last England appearance and he continues to be an attacking threat."
Turning to Tremlett, Miller said: "We feel Chris Tremlett's inclusion will add a real threat of pace and bounce to our bowling attack given the conditions in Australia.
"Chris will be vying for a place in the final team amongst a confident attack including James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn."
Strauss, hoping to follow in Middlesex predecessor Gatting's footsteps, added: "I am excited by the Test squad we have selected for the upcoming Ashes series as I firmly believe we have a number of match winners across all areas of the squad."
The Ashes tour comes after a scandal-marred home season which saw England's series against Pakistan overshadowed by 'spot-fixing' allegations and Strauss added: "It's exciting to have the Ashes as our sole focus from this point on and I know every member of this Ashes squad will be relishing the challenge of retaining the Ashes in Australia."
England will also take a 'shadow' 16-man performance squad to Australia and this will be based in Australia in the lead up to the first Ashes Test in Brisbane through until the start of the third Test in Perth.
England Ashes squad:
Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wkt), Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan, Chris Tremlett, Monty Panesar, Steven Davies (wkt)
England's tour fixtures:
November 05: Western Australia v England XI, Perth
November 11: South Australia v England XI, Adelaide
November 17: Australia A v England XI, Hobart
November 25-29: FIRST TEST, AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND, Brisbane
December 03-07: SECOND TEST, AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND, Adelaide
December 10-12: Victoria v England XI, Melbourne
December 16-20: THIRD TEST, AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND, Perth
December 26-30: FOURTH TEST, AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND, Melbourne
January 03-07: FIFTH TEST, AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND, Sydney
January 10: Prime Minister's XI v England XI, Canberra
January 12: FIRST T20, AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND, Adelaide
January 14: SECOND T20, AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND, Melbourne
January 16: FIRST ODI, AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND, Melbourne
January 21: SECOND ODI, AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND, Hobart
January 23: THIRD ODI, AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND, Sydney
January 26: FOURTH ODI, AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND, Adelaide
January 30: FIFTH ODI, AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND, Brisbane
February 02: SIXTH ODI, AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND, Sydney
February 06: SEVENTH ODI, AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND, Perth