JAMES Foster has not had his head turned by louder calls for England selectors to pick him for a busy summer of cricket.

That is the view of coach Paul Grayson who says the Essex wicketkeeper, who he describes as the best in the country, deserves to be given a chance by Peter Moores.

With a question mark over Matt Prior’s fitness for this summer’s test and ODI series against India, Grayson says Foster would be an obvious choice, although Jos Buttler is currently the man behind the stumps as England take on Sri Lanka.

“I am Fozzy’s biggest fan,” says Grayson. “There is no doubt he should have played more international cricket and there is no question he would do very well for England. He is the best wicket keeper in the county and one of the best in the world in my opinion.

“He has not been distracted be any of the talk linking him to England and has got on with his job of captaining Essex, scoring runs and dismissing batsmen, which is what he does best.”

Foster, 34, won his last cap in 2002 against Australia in Melbourne and has been on fire at the start of the season. He has a batting average of 41 from his seven first-class matches and 20 dismissals in County Cricket and t20 matches this year.

The first test against India is on July 9 at Trent Bridge.


PAUL Grayson admits he will be left with a t20 selection headache once he has his full squad to choose from.

Grayson has had to do without Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara, who are on duty with England, and Ryan Ten Doeschate, who has been playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.

Bopara and Ten Doeschate are expected to come back into the Essex top order on their return meaning the batsmen who have been filling in will have to take their turn on the sidelines.

However, Grayson says Jesse Ryder and James Foster are unlikely to be left out of his top six so it is up to the other batsmen to show what they are made of.

“The lads have started the t20 season brilliantly but there will be some scrapping in the top six to see who keeps their place. Everyone is pulling their weight so it is not going to be an easy decision.

“We need to carry on our form at Hampshire tonight and we will go from there.”