Shah "shocked and surprised" at Test call-up

Published: Tuesday, September 30, 2008, 14:37 [IST]
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London: Elated after being named in the India bound squad for the two-Test series to be held later this year, middle order batsman Owais Shah today said he was ''kind of surprised'' to be included in the 15-man England team.

''I got a phone call from Geoff Miller this morning saying I was selected and I was a bit shocked,'' Shah told Sky Sports.

''I wasn't expecting it but I'm very pleased that I've been selected to go to India as part of the Test team. I'm just really happy to get the opportunity to play for England.

Hopefully I can take that chance this winter.'' Shah was preferred over another middle-order batsman Ravi Bopara, who was in the squad for the Oval Test against South Africa.

Shah had made his Test debut in Mumbai during the 2006 tour of India. He scored 88 and 38 and made a vital contribution to level the series. However, after that he has played only one Test and that is against West Indies at Lord's in 2007.

''I had a reasonable Test match [on debut],'' he said. ''I quite enjoyed the challenges of the subcontinent. Obviously you've got the spin bowlers over there being very good in Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. The conditions are also quite tough.

It's very warm out there and you have to take plenty of fluids on board. I was subject to a lot of cramps the last time I played there.'' However, former skipper Nasser Hussain was not happy over the selection of Shah in the place of Bopara saying that there was a ''slight inconsistency'' in selection.

''If you remember the last Test squad that was announced against South Africa at The Oval, Ravi Bopara was in it,'' Hussain said. ''He made the 13 but not the actual side, but how come he isn't good enough to be in the 15 now?''


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