Strauss still the boss

It came as no surprise, but when the ODI squad was announced today for the upcoming 50 over matches with Scotland and Australia, much to the disappointment of some sections of the media, Andrew Strauss was retained as captain of the side.

The media clamour for change never ceases to amaze me, what has Strauss done to justify leaving him out of the 50 over side?

I have to say that I agree with this decision. Yes, Paul Collingwood (or Colin Wood, as known by the sports loving PM) has done a brilliant job as the Twenty20 captain, but lets not get carried away with two weeks of cricket.

Strauss captained England to a series win over South Africa in our last ODI series, he has also contributed as much as anyone else with the bat since he returned as captain, he has earned the right to carry on.

With England now apparently heading in the right direction in limited overs cricket, I fully understand that Strauss may well have to up his game to a new level if he wants to remain in the side.

He will come under pressure, which is a good thing as they all should be under pressure to perform, but he still deserves a chance to be a part of it.

Of other selection issues, I wasn’t disappointed to see Ravi Bopara left out, don’t know what he did to earn his recall to be honest. Clearly the selectors prefer Ian Bell and have handed him the chance to nail down a spot in the squad, his rehabilitation to the England ranks is now almost complete.

I was a bit surprised to see Ajmal Shahzad left out, I thought this would be the ideal opportunity to have a good look at him. The selectors must want their strongest side out for the Aussies, and feel that Sidebottom, Broad and Anderson are their best three quicks.

Although maybe Shahzad could have replaced Bresnan for the first couple of games to give his foot a chance to recover more? After all, Shahzad is talked about in terms of being a potential all-rounder.

After impressing in the world T20, Michael Yardy is now the man in possession of the second spinners spot. With next years 50 over world cup being on the sub-continent this is now a key role for England, and I imagine the selectors will be trying to play the two spinners together as often as possible in the run up to the competition.

Finally it was no surprise to see Craig Kieswetter replace Matt Prior behind the stumps, that is one change I can fully understand. Although the clamour to make the same change at test level is just ridiculous (at the moment).

Squad in Full

Andrew Strauss (C)
Craig Kieswetter (WK)
Kevin Pietersen
Paul Collingwood
Eoin Morgan
Ian Bell
Michael Yardy
Luke Wright
Tim Bresnan
Graeme Swann
Stuart Broad
James Anderson
Ryan Sidebottom