Shah starts to deliver in the new England set-up
ALTHOUGH Owais Shah missed out on being named in the England squad for this week's Test against India at Lord's, the Middlesex batsman feels he has finally come in from the cold. The change of regime in the England set-up this summer under
By Pat Mooney
ALTHOUGH Owais Shah missed out on being named in the England squad for this week's Test against India at Lord's, the Middlesex batsman feels he has finally come in from the cold.
The change of regime in the England set-up this summer under new coach Peter Moores has undoubtedly benefited the man known to everyone at Lord's as "Ace".
After having limited opportunities over the previous six years, the 28-year-old left-hander has been selected for all four senior sides this summer - Test, 50-overs, Twenty20 and the England Lions (formely the A team).
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Although Shah's Test return was disappointing - he scored just 10 runs in the two innings - the one-dayers against the West Indies have been a personal triumph despite England's woes.
And Shah again reminded the selectors of his undoubted ability in the three-day match against India over the weekend when he scored an unbeaten 77 for the Lions in the draw at Chelmsford.
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"I tried not to put too much pressure on myself by thinking about the Lions game being a life-changing event - my runs with Middlesex speak for themselves," said Shah.
"It was a long wait between by first and second Test caps and I hope I don't have to wait that long again."
Shah looked to be set for a lengthy run in the senior side when he stepped into the third Test in Mumbai last March at a moment's notice and scored 88 and 38 to help England to an unlikely victory.
However, he was immediately discarded by former coach Duncan Fletcher - it seemed his face did not fit.
However, the arrival of Moores has opened the doors to experienced county cricketers.
"It is heartening for people like myself and Ryan Sidebottom being given a go and everyone in county cricket will now be thinking that if they get runs and wickets they will have a chance," added Shah.
Although the Middlesex man admitted he was a little surprised to be included in the one-day squads after his disappointing Test return against the Windies, he is pleased with the way he has coped with his new batting position - at No 5.
Shah responded with knocks of 42, 25 and 51. He also steered England to an unlikely victory in the second 20-over match with an unbeaten 55 from 35 balls at The Oval.
"I just used the experience I have picked up playing for Middlesex and it went well," he said. "That's what I believe I have to do - play my own game."
However, before dreaming of further England duties abroad this winter, Shah needs to pile up enough runs to help Middlesex back to the top flight this summer - starting against Leicestershire at Grace Road today.