LONDON (AFP) – Graham Onions was recalled by England on Saturday as they boosted their bowling options by naming five seamers in a 13-man squad for the first Test of the Ashes series against Australia at Trent Bridge next week.
Durham paceman Onions won the last of his nine Test caps against the West Indies at Edgbaston last year. He was joined in the squad by Yorkshire seam-bowling all-rounder Tim Bresnan, who missed the recent home series win over Australia while he recovered from elbow surgery.
Also in the squad were pace trio James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn.
Broad missed England's warm-up win over Essex with a shoulder injury, a match where key off-spinner Graeme Swann was struck a painful blow on the right arm having had surgery on his right elbow earlier this year. But both bowlers were passed fit.
As expected, Nick Compton was left out of the squad after England national selector Geoff Miller had preciously said Joe Root would be promoted to open the innings, something the 22-year-old does for Yorkshire but has yet to do at Test level, alongside captain Alastair Cook.
Somerset opener Compton, grandson of England great Denis, scored back-to-back hundreds in New Zealand earlier this year but was omitted after a poor return series against the Kiwis that saw him manage just 39 runs in four innings.
Meanwhile star batsman Kevin Pietersen returned to the Test squad for the first time since March following a knee injury.
England will be bidding to win their third straight series against Australia -- something they last managed in the 1950s -- when the first Test of a five-match campaign starts in Nottingham on Wednesday.
"We are satisfied with our preparations so far ahead of the first Test with both Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad recovering well from the injuries they picked up earlier this week," Miller said in an England and Wales Cricket Board statement issued Saturday.
"The squad will continue their hard work over the next few days and will be eagerly anticipating the start of the series on Wednesday at Trent Bridge."
Former England off-spinner Miller added: "This is an incredibly exciting period of cricket coming up against Australia and we know we will need to play to our full potential throughout the entire Investec Ashes Series if we are to retain the Ashes.
England 13-man squad for first Test against Australia:
Alastair Cook (Essex, capt), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Kevin Pietersen (Surrey), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Matt Prior (Sussex, wkt), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Steven Finn (Middlesex), James Anderson (Lancashire), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Graham Onions (Durham)