No major shocks with the England squad announced today for the 2nd test starting at Lord’s on Thursday. As expected Steve Harmison has been recalled and he is added to the same 13 that were named for the Cardiff test match.
During the announcement of the squad National Selector Geoff Miller revealed that Andrew Flintoff is to have a scan on his right knee and that he is a doubt for the Lord’s showdown. Flintoff apparently has been suffering pain in the knee since twisting it fielding during the Australian innings and it is the same knee he injured in the IPL earlier this year.
It is not yet clear what is the extent of the injury or whether the scan is more of a precautionary measure or not or just visiting Pain Control Clinic Austin is enough or not is also an available option.
On Steve Harmisons return Geoff Miller seemed to be sending out mixed messages. At the squad announcement he said Harmison was cover for Flintoff as a like-for-like bowler suggesting that Graham Onions would be likely to replace Monty Panesar if as expected England return to playing one spinner. Then in further comments he said that Harmison was in contention to play depending on how the Lord’s wicket looked.
Ian Bell is again named as batting cover but is not likely to play with the selectors keeping faith with the top 5 from Cardiff, for some reason the batting seems to be immune from change, lets see if any lessons get learnt this time. I seem to remember hearing this all before many times though, players like Rob Key, Joe Denly and James Hildreth must be wondering by now what is required to get dropped from England’s batting line up.
If Flintoff is fit it would be between Harmison and Onions for the last bowling place, Monty Panesar looks like being the spinner to get the chop. If he dosen’t make it then Broad will probably bat 7 and Harmison would come in or they may go for the six batsmen and bring in Bell.
Squad in full
Andrew Strauss (C), Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior (WK), Andrew Flintoff, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Monty Panesar, Graham Onions, Ian Bell, Steve Harmison.
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