Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Flower and Strauss look for fresh start


When England announced their squad for the two test series against the West Indies last week it had a fresh new look. Uncapped seam duo Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions and Ravi Bopara was picked to bat at number 3.

Yorkshire player Bresnan is 24 and has already played 5 ODI's and 1 T20 international for England. In his first class career he has played 76 matches and taken 195 wickets at an average of 32.10. Bresnan has also got 3 first class centuries and 10 fifties to his name. With Andrew Flintoff ruled out of the series against the West Indies Bresnan wil be expected to contribute with both bat and ball.

Onions is 26 and has already made a bright start for Durham this season. In his Durham career he has played 58 matches taking 169 wickets at an average of 32.35. Onions has been picked ahead of county team mate Steve Harmison. He will be hoping to make an impression at the start of this Ashes summer.

To see how Onions took the news of his call up and how he is settling in click here

Ravi Bopara has been given the troulesome number three role which Owais Shah, Ian Bell and Michael Vaughan have all tried to fill. This does come as a slight shock as previously in test match cricket Bopara has averaged just 24.33. However he did record a maiden test hundred during the winter and having just tuned 24 time is on his side.

This is Bopara unfortunately being bowled by the last ball of the innings when only 3runs were needed for visotry in the 2008 World Cup Super 8 match against Sri Lanka:



This selecton shake up is a refreshing approach from England's new captain and team director. Instead of making experienced, risk free selections as they have done in the past this is a positive approach and will put pressure on the current playes to perform or otherwise risk the possibility of being replaced by fresh blood.

Matt Prior retains the gloves and with Flintoff out is likely to bat at 6. Whether his promotion up the order is successful could make or break his test match career.

The two test match series starts on Wednesday, this is the full squad: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, James Anderson, Graham Onions, Monty Panesar.

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