Willis: Gurney offers something different

England

Former fast bowler Bob Willis has endorsed talented left-armer Harry Gurney's inclusion in England's squad for next week's one-off ODI against Scotland at at Mannofield Park in Aberdeen.

Former fast bowler Bob Willis has endorsed talented left-armer Harry Gurney's inclusion in England's squad for next week's one-off ODI against Scotland at at Mannofield Park in Aberdeen.

Gurney was selected for the tour of the Caribbean earlier this year, but did not play a game. A solid stretch of form at first-class level, however, has seen the left-arm fast bowler retained.

Batsman Gary Ballance and all-rounder Moeen Ali have been retained, while openers Alex Hales and Michael Lumb were overlooked. Seamer Stuart Broad was not considered due to persistent patella tendinitis.

"Gurney offers something different. He hasn't had a revolutionary start to the season for Nottinghamshire but he is a very highly-regarded performer," Willis told <i>Sky Sports News</i>.

"That different angle that he provides is very important. We've seen players – Mitchell Johnson being a case in point – have success bowling over or around the wicket, that is something that Gurney can do as well.

"He may have to wait his chance behind some of the more experienced players but I do think that, particularly with Mick Newell now as a selector, that he's got a decent chance of getting in."

Batting coach Graham Gooch, meanwhile, has been removed. Former Test cricketers Mark Ramprakash or Graeme Thorpe have been tipped to replace Gooch, but Willis is adamant a successor is not required.

"I don't believe they do. I would have thought that having reappointed Peter Moores in the top job and then having hooked Paul Farbrace away from Sri Lanka, that should be enough expertise to carry England through to the next Ashes series," he added.

"I remember there being 36 people in the team photo before the tour of Australia – 17 players and 19 back up staff. I think Peter has got to trim that number down. These players have got to start thinking for themselves."

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