England Cricket Springs Yet More Surprises
England have once again sprung a surprise with the announcement of their squad for the First Test against the West Indies which begins at Lord's next Wednesday. Graham Onions of Durham and Tim Bresnan of Yorkshire are called up while there is no place for the likes of Bell, Shah and Vaughan.
The surprises don't end there though as both Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann have been selected, giving rise to the thought that the selectors still don't know which one is their number one spinner.
After a waiting on the sidelines of more than series, Owais Shah's services are dispensed with after just a handful of test matches while Ravi Bopara, who has spent more at time at the IPL this spring than on the county circuit will bat at the vital position of No. 3.
Bopara will have to produce and have to produce quickly, his ability at the position has to be questioned and with Ian Bell already scoring two hundreds this season his decision not to go the IPL has been vindicated. There can be no doubt that if Bopara fails while Bell and Vaughan score for their counties, the calls for their call up will become louder and louder.
The inclusion of so many bowlers must also be a cause for concern. While Onions has started the season well, the need for five bowlers in Andrew Flintoff's absence is clear for a side that has habitually failed to take 20 in the opening test of the summer.
That fact that six specialist bowlers (aside from Bopara and Collingwood) have been chosen shows that the selectors are unsure as to who can take them.
It will be interesting to see who takes to the hallowed turf next week, as contrary to national selector Geoff Miller's belief, England don't have time to build a squad for the summer, Australia are on their way and England don't seem to even know who their first choice 11 will be.
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