Nottinghamshire’s Ryan Sidebottom has missed out on a place in the England squad for the first npower Ashes Test beginning in Cardiff on Wednesday.
Sidebottom was in competition with Steve Harmison and Graham Onions, the selectors’ choice, to serve as the fourth seamer.
County team mates Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann are both expected to be named in England’s final Eleven having been named in the 13 man squad.
"I feel like a kid on December 1st when it's so close to Christmas and I can't wait for the first day in Cardiff to come along,” said Swann, the World’s leading Test wicket taker in 2009 with 26 victims.
"It's going to be very exciting and probably very close. It could rest on one outstanding performance from one key player.”
National Selector Geoff Miller spent two days at Trent Bridge monitoring Sidebottom in Nottinghamshire’s LV County Championship game against Lancashire.
“We are in a nice position where we have got people who can come in at one or two minutes notice,” said Miller.
“We were keen to show consistency in selection and retain the nucleus of the side that performed so well against West Indies in the Test series earlier this summer.
"Graham Onions has made an excellent start to his Test career and gives us a different option when we consider the make-up of our bowling attack and the type of conditions we will encounter."
England squad: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior, Andrew Flintoff, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Jimmy Anderson, Monty Panesar, Ian Bell, Graham Onions