World Cup Squad: England

17 01 2011

England’s world cup campaign kicks off a little over a month away although for many players this Wednesday will be an important day. This is the day that the original squad of thirty is pared down to a more manageable fifteen. Much of the squad picks itself, but, as we are approaching a tournament that conceivably England could win, we thought perhaps we would take a look at the various borderline selections.

Batting

In many ways, the batting picks itself with Strauss as captain, Trott, Pietersen, Bell and Morgan all being shoo-ins. After being dropped for the opening game of their current ODI series, Paul Collingwood may be feeling worried although it is unlikely, given his fielding and bowling, that they would even consider going to India without him.

Wicket-Keeper

The man in possession, Steven Davies, is almost certain to be selected as the only wicket keeper despite Matt Prior’s competing claims. As ever the wicket keeper spot is causing debate amongst English fans with many not convinced by the youthful Davies claims yet we firmly believe that he is the right man. Attacking, fluent and confident, we believe it will be a surprise should he fail to make the spot his own.

All Rounders

This is where the selections start becoming tricky. In the current squad playing Australia are two all rounders (if for the purposes of this you classify Bresnan and Collingwood as specialists who contribute with their weaker suit), Luke Wright and Michael Yardy.

Yardy continues to bemuse. He is a man who, if you looked at his record in the domestic game, would by rights be a more amusing pick than the current Aussie fall guy, Xavier Doherty, yet somehow he continues to do a job while adding ballast to the lower order. He therefore is an automatic pick. Competitors for his place – notably the rotund Samit Patel – it can safely be assumed will not get a look in.

Luke Wright, on the other hand, is clearly a favourite of Andy Flower and previous England coaches, For us, the fans, he is yet to convince, rarely scoring runs and even more rarely bowling a meaningful spell. At times it appears he is a professional number 7 batsman – good for a quick 15 but almost never anything more telling.

Instead of Wright we would take Adil Rashid. Ignored for the academy and Ashes squads but still a consistent performer over the last two years and a hard hitting batsman to go with his leg spin, it is possible that if given the opportunity Rashid could be the surprise package of the tournament.

Bowlers

Again England are in a position where many of the names pick themselves. Bresnan, Anderson, Tremlett amongst the seamers are virtual certainties, whereas Swann is never going to be anything else apart from the premier spinner and go to man.

To go with this front line attack we would also take Shahzad and Tredwell, both of whom have shown they will not let anyone down at this level. Shadzad in particular may push Tremlett for a first team spot as his brand of fizzing swing could be effective on the flatter pitches of the sub continent.

Compulsive Hooker Preferred Eleven: Strauss, Davies, Bell, Pietersen, Morgan, Collingwood, Yardy, Bresnan, Swann, Shahzad, Anderson. Reserves: Rashid, Shahzad, Trott and Tredwell.

Thoughts?

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