No real surprises with the England Squad named for the 1st Ashes Test at Cardiff starting on Wednesday. The only real decision the selectors seemed to have to make was whether or not to bring back Steve Harmison after his performance for England Lions against Australia.
In the end they opted to leave Harmison out and go with the eleven that played the warm up match at Edgbaston – widely expected to be the eleven who start on Wednesday – with Ian Bell and Graham Onions as cover.
Bell seems to have satisfied the selectors who asked him to go back to Warwickshire to score runs and show more hunger for his place, while Onions would appear to have held off the threat from Harmison by virtue of his performances against West Indies earlier in the season.
Another reason behind Harmison missing out could be that the selectors now see Stuart Broad as a main strike bowler who offers them bounce and aggression, also Andrew Flintoff can play that role leaving the selectors the option to go for a bowler who offers them a different variation.
Squad in Full
AJ Strauss (C) – 61 Tests, AN Cook – 43 Tests, RS Bopara – 6 Tests, KP Pietersen – 52 Tests, PD Collingwood – 48 Tests, MJ Prior (W) – 18 Tests, A Flintoff – 74 Tests, SCJ Broad – 17 Tests, GP Swann – 7 Tests, JM Anderson – 37 Tests, MS Panesar – 38 Tests, IR Bell – 46 Tests, G Onions – 2 Tests.
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England V Australia 2009 Ashes Betting.