13 May 2007

England omit Bopara and include Prior

Well it wasn't a huge surprise that Moores has gone with Matt Prior as keeper, given the Sussex connection, although I feel very sorry for Paul Nixon given his good performances in the winter. And there was no captaincy surprise as Strauss had been widely tipped for the captaincy, despite support for Collingwood on Cricket Burble.

But Liam Plunkett has managed to sneak in again at the expense of Simon Jones and other candidates like James Anderson, which is a difficult decision to fathom, unless you consider his age. The selection of Prior over Nixon and the inclusion of Plunkett suggests that Moores already has one eye on the future, and he can do this without to much fear given the opposition are West Indies. But despite this policy of looking to the future there was still no space for Ravi Bopara.

Having selected this squad, which included Owais Shah as cover if Kevin Pietersen isn't fit, I hope Moores bats Prior at 6. Flintoff has proven that he isn't a Test number 6 and the conclusion from this selection is that Moores believes Prior can make it as a Test number 6. Bopara would have been better choice for number 6 in my opinion, and given his Academy connection to Moores, it's a little surprising that he hasn't got a look in.

England: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Matt Prior, Liam Plunkett, Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard, Monty Panesar, Owais Shah.

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