Thursday, October 8, 2009

Owais Shah can't understand axing

Owais Shah has admitted he is struggling to work out why he has been dropped from the England one-day squad for the series against South Africa next month. Shah's was the notable omission from the 16-man limited-overs party, despite his attacking 98 off 89 balls against the hosts in the recent Champions Trophy.

After a difficult home series against Australia, where his running between the wickets and poor fielding compounded a series of wasted innings, it looked as though Shah had redeemed himself at the start of the Champions Trophy with a crucial 44 against Sri Lanka, and his thrilling effort against South Africa which included six sixes.

However, later in that match he dropped a simple catch off Graeme Smith - although England still secured victory - and finished the tournament with scores of 3 and 0 against New Zealand and Australia, as England went out in the semi-finals. Shah's place in the squad has gone to Alastair Cook, who is recalled after finishing the domestic season strongly with Essex.

"I feel I performed reasonably well in helping England to get to the semi-final stage [of the Champions Trophy], but obviously I've been overlooked," Shah told Sky Sports News. "I was told I haven't performed consistently enough. I thought I was playing well. Sure, I didn't have a great series against Australia in the summer, but I was hitting the ball reasonably well. I started the Champions Trophy reasonably well, I was really confident, especially performing well against South Africa."

Shah is currently in India as part of the Delhi Daredevils squad at the Champions League Twenty20, but his international future now looks extremely doubtful as England plan towards the 2011 World Cup. The selectors had hoped Shah - who is one of the best players of spin in England - would play a key role in that tournament which will be held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh but at the age of 30, he may have missed his chance.

"I feel I'm playing well and have plenty to offer the one-day team, but I guess I just have to wait and see what direction the selectors go," he said. "I'm just extremely disappointed not to make the team."

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