13 February 2011

England 1st team for the World Cup

Assuming the walking wounded make it for the 1st match of the World Cup I'd be going with:

Strauss, Trott, Bell, Pietersen, Bopara, Prior, Collingwood, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Anderson.

If Collingwood finds batting form I'd bring him higher in the order because otherwise you've got four loose flashy players in a row. Yardy can consider himself unlucky and could come in for any of the bowlers on spin-friendly wickets, which some will be.

It's difficult to get concerned about the World Cup at this stage - if England make it to the knockout stage I'll take an interest then! Believe it or not, that's not until 23rd March! Three thoughts for you coming into the World Cup:

Limited squad numbers

I assume there's a very good reason for having a set number of players in a squad but off the top of my head I can't think of one. If the national board can pay for accomodation and flights, wouldn't it be easier to allow them as many as they need or want? That way the likes of Mike Hussey could grace the later stages of the competition....with it being 6 weeks in total, there is the prospect of some of the world's great players watching the final stages from home, fully fit. That seems daft, given that everyone - spectators, players and sponsors alike - want to see the best players available contesting the World Cup.

Warm up matches

Warm up matches need to be against local first class sides - warm up matches between international sides are just World Cup matches without anything riding on them. Completely pointless!

ODIs in general

Although he was quick to deny it, it's been claimed that Kevin Pietersen was considering retiring from ODIs after the World Cup. If he isn't, he isn't, but some will do eventually if the ICC don't take the decision to end ODIs and go back to two forms of international cricket. Twenty20 is where the money is and Test cricket is where the real skill and quality cricket is. Difficult though it is, the ICC and member countries need to take the decision to bring ODIs to an end.

Who will win? I'm going for Sri Lanka given that they're on home turf (until the final anyway). But there's any number of teams that can win it and with the final just the one match it's impossible for anyone to predict with any accuracy.


Pete V said...

I agree with most of what you say ...except why end ODI's? Anyone who has seen all of this recent Ashes series would surely agree that the Test were the highlight, followed by the ODI's, then the 20/20's. The problem was that there were too many ODI's. In an Ashes series, my solution would be to have a 5 match ODI series and no 20/20's

Ed said...

I'm with you Pete, but I don't think the majority are with us. The longer format of the game the better for me, as there's more chance of the best team winning.

Top 3 reasons for Twenty20 over ODIs:

- It brings a previously untapped group of spectators to the game (and their money).
- It's easier to watch for those at school or work as it can be played in the evenings.
- It's where the money is for the players (partly as a result of the above).

If things stay as they are, I can see international sides playing more and more of their A side for ODIs and/or players retiring from ODIs to go for money in Twenty20s and prestige in Tests.

Ed said...
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