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The TWC summit: England ODI selection

August 20th, 2008 by Sam Collins in England, One-day cricket, South Africa in England and tagged , , , , , ,

The next few months spell the first crucial phase of Peter Moores’ England tenure, with the ODI series against world No2’s South Africa followed, in theory, by the Champions Trophy in Pakistan. Already 18 months into the four-year cycle leading up to the next World Cup, after an initial upturn in fortunes under the new coach if anything England appear to be regressing as a one-day outfit. With a new captain and his new ideas, England must show against the South Africans that they are at least moving in the right direction before some serious questions are asked of Moores and his staff.

Here, our panel pick their best England ODI XI, conveniently ignoring selectorial omissions and Paul Collingwood’s ongoing ban.

Edward Craig

Deputy editor of The Wisden Cricketer
Shah, Flintoff, KP, Bopara, Collingwood, Bell, Broad, Swann, Foster, Anderson, Tremlett

That is a balanced side that could score quick runs, take lots of wickets and has the most in-form keeper in the country to stand up to Collingwood, Bopara and make the most of Swann’s extra spin.

Daniel Brigham

Assistant editor of The Wisden Cricketer
Key, Cook, Shah, KP, Bopara, Colly, Flintoff, Foster, Broad, Swann, Anderson
Key and Cook give England a great balance at the top of the order. The middle order is a great balance of big-hitters and gap-finders. Foster is the best one-day keeper in the country and gets very useful runs. The pace attack will take wickets and contain, while Collingwood and Bopara can break partnerships. The top 10 are all capable of scoring one-day fifties.

Rob Smyth

Freelance journalist and fitness fanatic
Bell, Mustard, [Bopara, Flintoff, Pietersen, Collingwood, Shah, Wright], Swann, Broad, Sidebottom.

A rigid batting order in one-day cricket is hideously antiquated, so Nos 3-8 switch according to the circumstances of the contest. If its 20 for two chasing 180, perhaps Collingwood comes in at No4. If it’s 190 for one in the 36th over, Pietersen comes in at No3. If you lose an early wicket against Sri Lanka on a flat deck, Flintoff comes in at No3 to steal a march on the spinners, and so on. Mustard plays as the only natural pinch-hitter in this country. All things being equal, Bopara gets the chance to develop in the key position of No3, and must be persisted with for richer or poorer. There remains an attitude in this country that is demeaning or even emasculating to bat below No5 in one-day cricket - see Pietersen’s comments on Shah - but the fact is a significant number of games are won and lost by Nos 6-9. This line-up gives England a very short tail full of wrist and muscle, brain and brawn, and biffers and scamperers.

King Cricket

Blogger extraordinaire
Mustard, Flintoff, Bell, Pietersen, Bopara, Shah, Collingwood, Mascarenhas, Swann, Broad, Anderson

Yes, Flintoff opening. We first decided this 18 months ago and still think it’s as good an idea as any when it comes to openers. Ian Botham said the same the other day, so in reality it must be a bad idea - but let’s gloss over that. Flintoff’s not picked as a pinch-hitter. He’s being told to bat properly as he’ll still hit it over the infield, regardless.

Mustard partners him. You want two aggressors in your top three and it’s better to be doing the attacking with no wickets down than when the first wicket falls. England have never grasped this simple fact.

Collingwood at seven? It’s not a dead batting spot. When was the last time England lost four wickets or fewer in a one-day international?

Anderson and Broad have been very good and Mascarenhas warrants a place. His pornographically lusty hitting is handy down the order, but he’s a canny bowler who’s not easily fazed as well. Collingwood, Bopara and even Pietersen offer further bowling options.

It’s an unnecessarily long batting line-up. That isn’t deliberate.

Sam Collins

Web editor of www.
Mustard, Bell, Shah, Bopara, Pietersen, Collingwood, Flintoff, Mascarenhas, Broad, Swann, Anderson.

Nine batsmen, seven bowlers and a new captain in old KP.

Mustard smokes Prior in the one-day arena - Prior does not hit straight enough to succeed as an opener in this format. KP drops down the order to allow him to influence games in the final 25 overs, with the flexibility to move up the order if wickets do not fall early. Flexibility is the byword in the top-order, with Shah and Bopara equally capable of domination and consolidation. Bell gets a chance as Mustard’s partner while Key waits.

Flintoff roves dangerously depending on form, and Mascarenhas’ exceptionally consistent hitting makes his current omission baffling. Penetration remains a worry in the bowling, but these are the best we have, with Sidebottom or Mahmood, Patel, Wright and Key making up a squad of 15.

Posted in England, One-day cricket, South Africa in England |

53 Responses to “The TWC summit: England ODI selection”

  1.   King Cricket says:

    Bit disappointed that none of us pressed for a recall for Robert Croft or Mark Ealham.

  2.   Sam Collins says:

    In retrospect that was a HUGE mistake. I will bring back Croft to open at the expense of Bell. And Joey Benjamin instead of Anderson while I’m at it.

  3.   Paddy Briggs says:

    If you can play you can play. England should have a squad of the BEST 15 or 16 cricketers who are qualified to play for England. From that squad they should choose the XI who it is believed are the best equipped (individually and as a team) to win a particular match - be it a Test, and ODI or a Twenty20. There is no such thing as a Test specialist or an ODI specialist or a Twenty20 specialist. There are only good players, and less good players. In the recent history of cricket there are NO examples of any players from any country who have hacked it well at Test level, but couldn’t hack it in the shorter from of the game. None. Michael Bevan was perhaps the last - and I think that he could have been a terrific Test player had Aus Test cricket not been so strong.

    So let’s forget the myth that we need One-Day specialists. We don’t. England’s failed One Day history is littered with so-called specialists who do sod all. In principle I would pick the same team for a Test match as for an ODI. But I accept that there may be circumstances when you might wish to finesse it a bit. Swann rather than Panesar (perhaps) for example. But if Shah is a world class batsman then he is worthy of his place in the Test side. If he isn’t then he isn’t worthy of his place in the One-day side. Etc.

    No more bits and pieces second-raters please. Pick the best.

  4.   Sam Collins says:

    I don’t really understand your argument Paddy. Are you suggesting we have all picked a load of ODI specialists?

    With the exception of Mustard and Mascarenhas (whose first-class figures suggest he is certainly more than a bits-and-pieces player) every one of those players (perhaps Wright excepted although in time he will be) is there or therabouts for the Test team. Those who do lean towards the ODI format all hit the ball a sufficient distance to make their inclusion excusable.

    To suggest opening the batting with old ‘no-shots’ Strauss and Cook in an ODI is nigh on laughable.

    If your beef is not with us, then why with the England selectors? Samit Patel is an interesting inclusion, and has been getting good reviews for a couple of years now.

    I think you have your words mixed up in the middle of your post, but there are players who have been successful in the shorter form of the game and less so at Test level (Neil Fairbrother, Chris Harris, Brad Hogg, Nathan Bracken, Alan Mullally, Paul Collingwood (controversial), Shahid Afridi.) Off the top of my head.

    Please enlighten us with your own selection.

  5.   Daniel Brigham says:

    Paddy, if you did really mean that no world-class Test players would make poor one-day players, what about: Langer, Hoggard, Butcher (although i think he was good enough), Slater, Hussain, Thorpe (no ODI hundreds), Panesar, Vaughan …

    I agree in principle that your best players should be able to play both formats, but the subtle differences needed in technique are such that one format can often suit some players more than others - even world-class players.

  6.   Suave says:

    There’s also the players who never get near the ODI side, look at michael Slater and Justin Langer..

    I’ll throw my hat in as a selector.

    Andrew Strauss; Averages 58 in List A, and can score at a decent clip if he stays in. See 2005 Natwest trophy.
    Ravi Bopara. Has opened for Essex averages 53 and 26 with bat and ball.
    Ace Shah. Is ace.
    Kevin Pietersen. Is not, but is class.
    Usman Afzaal. Averages 40 in the worst side in the world at present. decent left arm spin too.
    Fred Flintoff. Is a behemoth.
    James Foster. Best OD wicketkeeper in the world. Any one disagrees it’s a hulk smashing.
    Tim Bresnan. Bowling brilliantly this season and can hold a bat.
    Stuart Broad. Much better at ODI’s than tests. Can’t bat for shit in this format so far this year though.
    Greame Napier. Big hitter late on, or to kick start an innings in the middle order. late 80’s pace, and bags of wickets for The Mighty The Essex.
    James Anderson. I’m liking him this summer.

    Spin is over-rated. There are 9 people who can hold their own in pyjama bowling, so no swann for me. Although he is 12th man.

  7.   Paddy Briggs says:

    I don’t like posting XIs - all too easy - and facile as well (not the same thing!). But to back up my post here is a sixteen person squad of current players from which I would be happy to select an England side for any form of the game:

    1. Strauss
    2. Cook
    3. Bell
    4. Pietersen
    5. Ramprakash
    6. Shah
    7. Collingwood
    8. Flintoff
    9. Ambrose
    10. Sidebottom
    11. Broad
    12. Anderson
    13. Panesar
    14. Swann
    15. Harmison
    16. Foster

  8.   Sam Collins says:

    I’m sorry Paddy, I just can’t take anything you say seriously when you keep including Ramprakash in your squad.

    It’s like Mr Naylor’s Rashid obsession- one old, one young - both equally ridiculous at the present moment.

  9.   Daniel Brigham says:

    Ramprakash?! May as well get Hick in as well.

    Ramprakash’s three-month inability to get to his 100th hundred from his 99th shows that he still can’t handle any kind of pressure; that he has scored two more in two games since then backs this up further.

  10.   Suave says:


    No way should young Adil be near the ODI side, but the boy’s not that bad. He’s averaging 31 and is Yorkshire’s highest wicket taker in the championship for the season, after a truly shocking start. And as Len The Yorkshire Kitman attested just recently, on my wonderful site, he’s got five games left at spinners paradises, Scarborough and Hove.
    For the test side, he should be taken along for the ride to India.

  11.   Sam Collins says:

    Don’t get me wrong Suave, I’m not having a go at Rashid. It’s more the attitude in our country to thrust proteges into the limelight prematurely. If handled properly and with due diligence, I’m sure he’ll become an important player for England, although Terry Jenner for one seemed unconvinced about his potential as a legspinner.

    The boy is only 20, legspinners don’t mature until 23 or 24, so we must let him be, and allow him to work himself out of the inevitable form-dips away from the spotlight as he has this season.

  12.   Suave says:

    Fair point, Sam..

    I’d send him to India to train more than anything, and if I recall he did very nicely out there last season. If not, then send the boy to Wizard Jenner, and see what he comes with then.

  13.   Gary Naylor says:

    Re the team, I like Rob’s selection and reasoning. A hitter / keeper as opener is a prize worth pursuing and Mustard hasn’t shown that he’s not up to it.

    Rashid? Interesting. He has 41 FC wickets at 31 for Yorkshire this season, although his batting isn’t as good as last year. Only Harmison, Shreck and Tomlinson have more wickets in the First Division. Rashid is 20, but he has 39 FC games, which is more than plenty of non-England players have before debut.

    The prize of a wrist spinning all-rounder who can field is gigantic. Plenty said KP wasn’t ready but he was. Rashid is more towards KP on the talent spectrum than Schofield. I want to see what the lad can do.

  14.   Chris Rotsey says:

    Rashid needs time to grow - get him to India this winter and if he isn’t playing for England, get him some local games so he can learn more about different conditions. He will come good.

    On the keeping front, I would draw a parallel between Foster and Sidebottom - both picked too soon first time round and both have matured well in the much maligned County structure. The problems with Mustard, Ambrose and Prior are all well known. Foster is the best keeper (maybe level with Read) and is a more than useful batsman.

  15.   Sam Collins says:

    Gary- drawing a parallel between Rashid and KP is completely inappropriate. KP was a unique, self-assured batsman who had had four long years in county cricket (on the back of several in SA domestic cricket) and was 25 when he made his debut. Rashid is a fragile, physically immature 20-year-old legspinner in his third season in the game, who has already suffered several stress-fractures, and has just come out of a prolonged dip in form and is taking wickets against tired batsmen at the end of a long season. It is worth remembering that at the same stage in his career KP was also a spinning allrounder. I’m sure you will see what the lad can do, but hopefully, in the short term, that will involve you travelling up to Yorkshire.

    Chris- agree with you on Foster - he also has the much underrated ‘go to war’ effect about him. It may sound ridiculous, but by looking battled-hardened and like a good bloke, Foster already has a march on Ambrose and Prior. If any of us were facing our biggest test, would we want William Hague and Ian Hislop’s bastard lovechild yapping around by our ankles? I think not. Nor for that matter some faux-aggressive small-time Sussex wideboy who can’t catch. Prior is partly forgiven because of his runs, and would be my choice (Foster aside, because lets face it, they’re not going to choose him) for the Test team. As far as ODIs go, I don’t see what Mustard has done wrong. NZ and SL are hardly the easiest place to begin life as an international opener, and he appears to have a bit about him.

  16.   Paddy Briggs says:

    Could somebody please tell me the name of ONE PLAYER (just one) who has been a successful ONE DAY SPECIALIST (= not usually in the Test side) over a sustained period for England (say 25+ ODIs)?

  17.   Sam Collins says:

    Nick Knight.

  18.   Gumbo says:

    Neil Fairbrother

  19.   Gary Naylor says:

    Sam - There were plenty who said KP wasn’t ready. They are different cases, but there are parallels.

    Tired batsmen? They don’ty play much anyway, and they’ve spent an awful lot of time watching it rain. There’s something seriously wrong with any batsman who is mentally or physically tired on August 21 2008.

  20.   Paddy Briggs says:

    Nick Knight played 17 Test matches and Neil Fairbrother 10. They were terrific players and were unlucky not to have played more Test cricket. They weren’t One Day specialists - they were cricket specialists.

  21.   Sam Collins says:

    Fair point Gary, rain-wise, but it’s still a long season.
    I still don’t buy your parallels. Batting and legspin are completely different disciplines. We have to let Rashid get used to succeeding at county level, in the way that Pietersen was able to. I do not see how you could term 41 wickets at 31 as ’succeeding’ in the grandest sense.

    Paddy- that is garbage. Neither Knight nor Fairbrother could cut it at Test level, as their respective averages of 23 and 15 testify, from a sizeable number of games. What is the point of asking a question, only to move the goalposts when it is answered?

  22.   Daniel Brigham says:

    Paddy. That Knight and Fairbrother played the majority of their careers during a period of English cricket that allowed almost anyone to hold a bat for England, yet both still averaged 23 and 15 in Tests shows they weren’t good enough to play Test cricket.

    They certainly weren’t unlucky not to have played more Test matches - they were given enough time to show what they could do, and failed to warrant a consistent place.

    You asked the question, people gave you good answers so you’ve moved the goal posts.

  23.   Gumbo says:

    Fairbrother and Knight good enough for Tests?

    Next, Paddy, you’ll be saying Ealham was.

  24.   Suave says:

    You could also throw in Vikram Solanki, over 50 ODI’s without a single test.

  25.   SimonC says:

    Paddy, you’re moving the goalposts. First you want one (JUST ONE) player who specialised in ODIs, then when presented with two, you dismiss them as being “unlucky not to have played more Tests”. Knight averaged 23 in his 17 tests and Fairbrother averaged 15 in his 10. Both averaged 40 in ODIs. It’s all very well your saying you would’ve backed them to come good in Tests, but it renders the entire argument circular.

  26.   SimonC says:

    Damn you, Mr Brigham.

  27.   Daniel Brigham says:

    Damn me

  28.   King Cricket says:

    Adam Hollioake?

    Sam and Gary: Rashid has taken 12 one-day wickets in his whole career. We’re picking the one-day side.

    KP was averaging 50 in county cricket and had hit three hundreds in a week for England A when he was called up for the one-day side.

    There was good reason to believe KP’d succeed. That’s not so true of Rashid. Hopefully next season it will be.

  29.   Sam Collins says:

    I’m with you KC.

  30.   Paddy Briggs says:

    They are my goalposts and they are still firmly where I planted them! To recap. At any one time England probably has around 15 or 16 cricketers of international standard. In their day Nick Knight and Neil Fairbrother would certainly have been in that squad. (By the way that squad is your centrally contracted player squad it goes without saying). For every game of any type you make a selection from that squad for a particular match. If it’s a One Dayer you might favour the Nick Knight’s talent ahead of (say) Andrew Strauss’s. But you might not. You look at the pitch, at the opposition at the wicket… Whatever. My contention is that all 16 of your squad are capable of performing well whatever the form of the game. There wouldn’t be there if they are not.

    What I want to avoid is the bloody nonsense of picking bits and pieces dross for One Day games (and Tests as well - thanks Mr Pattinson). I don’t want Ian Blackwell, Jamie Dalrymple, Ed Joyce, James Kirtly, Mal Loye, Darren Maddy, Phil Mustard, Paul Nixon, Chris Schofield, Jeremy Snape, Jonathon Trott, Michel Yardy, Kabir Ali, Gareth Batty, Glen Chapple, Rikki Clarke, Jon Lewis, Alex Loudon… etc, etc ad infinitum… (and that’s just the last two years) in an England shirt because of the myth that they are One Day specialists. They aren’t good enough!

  31.   King Cricket says:

    Think a good many of those were picked for one-dayers with a view to their maybe subsequently making the Test side.

    That’s a point in itself. England do tend to use one-dayers as a bit of a testing ground for international cricketers. That plays a part in why they’re generally crap at the shorter format.

  32.   Daniel Brigham says:

    Fairbrother and Knight weren’t good enough for Test cricket, no matter what the pitch or the opposition were like.

    They were, however, very good at ODI cricket. This makes them one-day specialists at international level, unless i’m missing something. Which I’m not.

  33.   D Charlton says:

    Paddy - i agree with you in principal, ideally the best players play both forms of the game and you have the same team. Sadly, it just doesn’t work in practice.

    I don’t think the England selectors pick ODI-specialists, for the sake of it.

    It’s just that when they used to pick Hoggard, he’d get whacked for 10 an over, so they pick Luke Wright instead…who can bat as well.

    We basically don’t have that squad you are after. It doesn’t exits. I reckon you’ll blame the system.

    (But we will have it in a few years when all those Kolpaks qualify to play for England.)

  34.   Sam Collins says:

    You’ve hit on something there KC. Fletcher loved doing that, bedding them in to international cricket in the one-day game. He did it with Strauss, successfully, and Key, less so, among many others. I mention that because ironically Key is obviously a far more proficient ODI batsman now and can’t get a look in.

  35.   King Cricket says:

    It does highlight that Test cricket’s England’s priority - which is fine.

    However, you do wonder if they were as serious about one-day cricket as they claim to be, whether they’d be so willing to give one-day caps out to more marginal players.

  36.   Daniel Brigham says:

    What do you mean marginal? Ronnie Irani was a fine player.

  37.   SimonC says:

    “What I want to avoid is the bloody nonsense of picking bits and pieces dross for One Day games (and Tests as well - thanks Mr Pattinson).”

    Well, that’s fine an’ all, but it’s a completely different argument. The players you object to are largely below international standard in whatever form. People are disagreeing with you because you’re arguing (in the face of ample evidence) that there’s no such thing as an ODI specialist, which is plainly bunk. Argue that rubbish players are frequently misidentified as such, however, and you’ll find far fewer dissenting voices.

    On the “ODIs as testing ground” point, not only do England not care about ODIs so much, there’s far more of them to play with. If we play India three times at Tests and seven (seven!) times at ODIs, it’s pretty natural that the latter are going to see more experimentation. Awarding a Test cap is a real commitment; an ODI inevitably less so.

  38.   Paddy Briggs says:

    Once again let me remind sceptics of an international match a few years ago. England needed to score 50 runs off a few overs to win (can’t remember exactly how Many). Anyway they got them at 10 runs an over off 5. Twenty20. No. ODI? No. It was a Test match. And the practitioners? Vaughan (24*) and Trescothick (23*). If you can play you can play!!!!!!!

    Sorry Simon C there really is NO SUCH THING as an ODI specialist. There really isn’t”! The best cricketers in the world (have so or we 16 in England - I hope so) can adapt to any form of the game. Just like Tres and Vaughaney did at old Trafford. That was (if you insist) a Twenty20 cameo in a Test match.

    The best batsmen can balance attack and defence. So can the best bowlers. Who are the top 10 batsmen in the world in test matches at the moment? I’ll tell you. Chanperpaul, Sangakkara, Hussey, Ponting. Yousef, Jayawardena, Hayden, KP, Younis Khan, Sehwag. And which of them is not in or close to the top 10 in the world for ODIs. None. They are all there.

    If you can play - you can play !

  39.   Sam Collins says:

    Well what do you call Knight and Fairbrother then Paddy? Their records clearly show that they were poor Test players yet international class one-day players.

    Using the best players of this generation as examples does not prove your argument, clearly the BEST batsmen in the world can play both forms.

    I think you’re going round in circles here.

  40.   Daniel Brigham says:

    So, erm. What about knight and fairbrother? How come they couldn’t play well at Test level after both been given good chances?

    Vaughan and Trescothick are, behind KP, the best two England batsmen of their generation, making your point invalid.

    In principle, you’re right Paddy. If a player’s good then in the majority of cases they should be good at both forms of the game. But there are exceptions, and many people have listed these exceptions.

  41.   SimonC says:

    “And the practitioners? Vaughan (24*) and Trescothick (23*). If you can play you can play!!!!!!!”

    That’s one example, involving one player (Tresco) who was undoubtedly a one-day treasure in a match situation where we had nine wickets in hand to get a total of 50. What’s that got to do with the price of eggs?

    Picking the absolutely outstanding international players of the last decade gets you no further either; England would kill for any one of the players you listed, in any form of the game. Sure: truly, truly world-class performers are likely to do well at whatever form of the game. Where you’re completely wrong is asserting that England have 16 such players to choose from. We’ve got at most two. You find us six Pietersens and four Freddies, and then I’ll agree that we don’t need specialists.

    Even teams cursed with an overabundance of genius pick specialists. Which Test player should Nathan Bracken have displaced? Conversely, should he never have taken the field for them in ODIs? Are Australia, the outstanding side of the last decade, completely off their nut in picking such players?

  42.   Paddy Briggs says:

    And the point, and I’ve been unassuming in making it, is that until we have a domestic system that produces 16 or so world class players we will muck around with paper tigers. If we are lucky these second -raters will deliver us one decent performance (Solanki’s marvellous 106 five years ago at The Oval against South Africa for example). But that is not how you become the best team in the world.

    So how do you become number one? Well first you get a domestic system totally and utterly and uncontroversially focused on England being the best. Do we have that at the moment? Ha!

    Then you select the best of the best and you give them the confidence that you believe that their talents are adaptable to any form of the game. Doesn’t guarantee a place in any side of course. But you are in the squad and you are in the frame.

    “Hello Steve, it’s Peter Moores”. “High Pete”. “Steve I want you in your current great form in England’s One Day side v South Africa next week.” “Fine Pete I’ll be there”.

    Then you build in that squad, especially with the Captain, the will to win and the dynamics and the respect that makes them a team. “Michael, we’d like to give Darren Pattinson a run at Headingley.” “F&*& off, Geoff - never heard of him.”

  43.   Sam Collins says:

    Show me a country who has 16 world-class players Paddy.

  44.   SimonC says:

    “And the point, and I’ve been unassuming in making it, is that until we have a domestic system that produces 16 or so world class players we will piss around with paper tigers.”

    I think you’ve been rather too unassuming in making it, because I had literally no idea that was your point. I thought we were talking about the existence or otherwise of one-day specialists. It must’ve been when you said “there is no such thing as a Test specialist or an ODI specialist or a Twenty20 specialist.”

    If your basic argument is that we should get 16 players who are so much better than everyone else that their relative individual skills become moot, then I say, “great!”

    I’d like a pony, too.

  45.   Paddy Briggs says:

    Here’s one - there are others…

    Ponting, Hussey, Hussey, Symonds, Hayden, Clarke, Clark, Lee, Johnson, Bracken, Watson, Katich, Haddin, Hogg, Hopes, Tait….

  46.   Gumbo says:

    Bracken, Haddin, Hogg, Hopes and Tait world-class. You sure? Bracken in the one-day side, yes. But not in the Test side. Johnson is way off being world-class yet as well, but has the potential. That makes 10 world-class players.

  47.   Gary Naylor says:

    King Cricket - I don’t think Rashid should play ODIs. Sam raised my view of him in a different context and I replied.

    Was KP ready? Here’s an example of the debate

    If we wait for Rashid to be absolutely ready, he never will be. It’s a judgement call. I say sooner rather than later - others don’t.

  48.   Paddy Briggs says:

    I’m winning! Harmison back in the ODI squad! Excellent news. If you can play you can play. All this nonsense about so-called One Day specialists. There are only good cricketers and less good cricketers. Harmy is a good cricketer and on form a very good one. Glad he is in the squad. I hope that he stays there and that we cast aside the second rate so-called “specialists” and substitute players of real talent in future - like Harmy.

  49.   Gumbo says:

    What the buggery has Harmison got to do with specialists? He played in the ODI side until he retired. You know what that means don’t you? England couldn’t actually pick him.

  50.   SimonC says:

    Stop Press: Harmison realises all the money’s in limited overs cricket; makes self available for ODI selection again; disproves existence of Nick Knight.

    Poor old Nick. Undone by incomprehensible logic. Whip-round to buy his widow flowers? Paddy should contribute most, I feel.

  51.   D Charlton says:

    Trescothick has mooted a T20 return to the England side (i’m sure i read it somewhere).

    For the three-lions on his shirt, you see, nothing else. Pride in his country.

  52.   Paddy Briggs says:

    I agree with Simon C. Perhaps the only good thing to come out of the Stanford grotesquery will be that every cricketer qualified to play for England will be available for selection. Even Tres??

    If so, then the next step is to build on the “One Captain” decision to create a “One Squad”. And in the squad will be England’s best 16 cricketers. And Tom Cobley and the rest (see earlier post) won’t be in it!

  53.   » Rob Smyth: Middle-order fluidity is the future The Wisden Cricketer: The world’s no1 cricket magazine says:

    [...] logical extension of such a perception, as was argued on these pages last week, is to abolish the idea of batting positions and embrace the idea of batting [...]

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