England are part way through their ODI series against Australia and I think it’s fair to say, they haven’t been the most successful thus far. Australia have a decent enough side to challenge England, but at Old Trafford England were categorically beaten. England played just three front line bowlers in order to squeeze an extra batsmen in the side, but I can’t see this method working. The balance of the side is all wrong. England looked to have a balanced side in the ICC Champions Trophy, with many of the players having test match pedigree, taking them all the way to the final. But now, Ashley Giles has completely gone the other way and tried to include too many all-rounders.
Many of the players that have featured in the recent ashes series, in which England beat Australia,* have been rested, meaning that England can’t play their full strength side. However this shouldn’t mean that the balance of the side should change. If we say that Cook, Bell, Broad, Swann and Anderson are rested then this is what my team would be if I was Mr Giles.
Michael Carberry – He has been knocking on the door after an outstanding season in the limited overs format for Hampshire and I just can’t ignore him. He is experienced, with the ability to play defensively to see off the new ball or attacking to increase the run rate and make use of the early powerplay. His addition will also make the sky commentators happy.
Kevin Pieterson – A certainty in any England side. He is the most talented England batsmen ever. I have put him up to open to make use of the power play in the first 10 overs.
Jonathan Trott – Mr Dependable. The stats say he is England best ODI player and at number 3, if a wicket falls early, he can steady the ship. I expect Trott to bat through the innings, holding it together while the more dynamic players in the side bat around him.
Joe Root – A relatively new addition to the England set up, Root has fit right in. His batting is classy, with his back foot drive being a personal favourite. In addition, he offers a useful spin option with the ball. He is less of a certainty in the ODI side, other options were Samit Patel which would mean Morgs and Ravi moving up the order however I went with Root because I feel he has greater potential and would benefit from more international cricket.
Eoin Morgan – Captain Morgs. An unbelievable one day player, he can hit the ball anywhere with great power. His quality against spin as well as his ability to hit boundaries to win a game at the back end of an innings makes him a key player in this England side. He also has an Irish accent.
Ravi Bopara – A recently improved cricketer, he is a useful addition to the side. He can finish game with some lusty blows and can bowl some more than useful overs as well. I also like Ravi’s sense of humour
Jos Butler – when you think of Jos Butler you think ramp shot over the keeper for 6 but he is actually a far better cricket than that. He is a reliable keeper as well as a proper batsmen, able to build an innings with maturity. Despite this he is in my side primarily to give it a whack.
Graham Napier – The wildcard in my team. I can’t understand why he hasn’t played for England before. The closest he’s got is the Lions squad but in my opinion he is far better than that. He is getting on a bit in terms of age but why should that affect anything? He can bowl fairly quick, sometimes hitting 90 mph in short spells and I would want him to bowl at the death with yorkers breaking the oppositions toes. Don’t forget his batting. He will give an old fashioned slog to cow corner, being a useful addition down the order.
James Tredwell – easy pick. The second best spinner in England and when you’re second to Graeme Swann, that’s something you don’t mind. Using subtle changes of pace, he thinks batsmen out.
Steven Finn – Leader of my attack, will open the bowling and feature at the death. He is high in the international ODI rankings because of his combination of pace and accuracy.
Boyd Rankin – The new boy. He has impressed me enough to earn a place in my side. You know what you get with Rankin – pace and bounce. I’d give him the new ball to rough up the opening batsmen – my strike bowler. He also has an Irish accent.
*I appreciate many of you know that England beat Australia but I don’t want to forget that England beat Australia.