13 September 2006

England selects

The squads for the English cricket tour of Australia have been announced. Injuries have ruled out Michael Vaughan and Simon Jones, while there seem to be some doubtful starters, eg
Ashley Giles who hasn't played for months, among those who have been selected. The selectors have prudently named a backup "Academy" squad which will be based in WA as a kind of travelling replacement pool.

I wouldn't write the English off so far in advance but on paper the team looks weaker than that which won the Ashes last year: the only possible improvements I can see are (assuming Read is preferred to Jones)
in the wicketkeeping
and maybe (if Giles is unfit and Panesar can spin the ball as he's done recently) the spin bowling. I won't make any further predictions, but will hope for a competitive series. England should be able to give Australia a good run for its money, but whether it can do enough to hold on to the Ashes (ie at least draw the series) is another matter.

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