National selector Geoff Miller believes England’s squad for Thursday’s first Test against Pakistan is evidence of the strength in depth his side enjoy.

In-form Essex batsman Ravi Bopara was edged out by Eoin Morgan, while there were also no places for bowlers Tim Bresnan or James Tredwell in the 12-man party.

James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Ajmal Shahzad and Steven Finn therefore make up a strong pace bowling quartet, with Graeme Swann included as the spin option.

Miller told BBC Radio Five Live: “We have got good competition and healthy competition for places, so there were always going to be issues and some difficult decisions.

“We have continued with Ajmal Shahzad, who is bowling really well, and Steven Finn comes back after his strengthening programme.

“Bopara has been playing really well but we want to see a bit more from Eoin, he played well for Middlesex in his last game. Yes, we want to win this match and win this series but we have an eye on the winter and we have got to make sure that the equation is sorted, so Eoin keeps his place.’’ Irishman Morgan was given his first chance to shine in the long form of the game in the two-Test series against Bangladesh, and has been given another opportunity to impress by the selectors with a view to playing a role in the Ashes series this winter.

Kevin Pietersen has been included despite his inability to get any meaningful match practice for a month due to Hampshire opting not to include him in their domestic plans after he announced he would leave the county at the end of the season.

Broad and all-rounder Paul Collingwood have returned after being rested for the Bangladesh series, while Ian Bell misses out because of a broken bone in his foot, suffered while fielding in a one-day international against the Tigers earlier this month.

Miller said: “We have picked a very strong squad for the first Test against a Pakistan side that will be high on confidence following their recent win against Australia.

“We’ve been encouraged by the form shown by a number of England players involved in LV= County Championship matches this week, and those that are coming back from injury or rest, such as Kevin Pietersen, have been working very hard ahead of the first Test next week.

“Ian Bell’s untimely foot injury during the NatWest Series was obviously a disappointing blow, but he is now focused on his rehabilitation. Ian’s absence provides other batsmen with the chance to impress against a world-class Pakistan bowling attack.

“We wanted strength in depth and gradually we are getting that. We feel this is the right side to take on a Pakistan side who are fairly buoyant now after beating Australia.’’ England squad for the first npower Test against Pakistan starting on Thursday, July 29 at Trent Bridge: A Strauss (capt), J Anderson, S Broad, P Collingwood, A Cook, S Finn, E Morgan, K Pietersen, M Prior (wkt), A Shahzad, G Swann, J Trott.