England Drop Bell For Briggs
England’s selectors have resisted making wholesale changes to their limited-overs squads following the disastrous Test leg of their tour of the UAE, with Danny Briggs’ call-up at the expense of Ian Bell the only major change from the ODI squad that toured India. Tim Bresnan returns to take his place in both squads after missing the Test series due to injury.
England National Selector Geoff Miller defended the largely unchanged nature of the squad, saying, “It is important that these players continue to develop their skills so that we are able to make strides in limited-overs cricket, particularly on the subcontinent.”
All of which means that the likes of Jonathan Trott, Ravi Bopara, James Anderson and Kevin Pietersen all retain their places despite delivering mixed returns in recent times, while a call-up continues to elude players of the calibre of James Taylor and Joe Root, who has impressed on the Lions’ recently concluded tour of Sri Lanka.
However, the squad does contain some exciting faces with the wicket-keeping duo of Jos Buttler – who has been in spectacular form for the Lions, averaging 81.5 over the course of the five-match series against Sri Lanka A – and Jonny Bairstow expected to feature more prominently than they did in India.
The selection of Briggs is perhaps a nod towards the success of Abdur Rehman as much as anything as the two are both similar types of left-arm spinner – relying on a wicket-to-wicket line of attack and unerring accuracy rather than excessive and flighted spin, something that has already bought Rehman success on the low, slow pitches in the UAE.
The other question that England will have to answer prior to their warm-up match against the Lions on Friday is that of who will partner captain Alastair Cook at the top of the order. Craig Kieswetter has done so in the past, but he dropped down to number five for Lions with Samit Patel taking his place at the top in what is quite possibly an indicator of England’s future plans.
ODI squad in full: Alastair Cook (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wicket-keeper), Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Craig Kieswetter (wicket-keeper), Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott
T20I squad in full: Stuart Broad (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wicket-keeper), Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter (wicket-keeper), Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann
© Cricket World 2012