Tuesday, August 04, 2009

England Making Strong Bowling

England strengthens their bowling options by adding the names of Ryan Sidebottom and Steve Harmison in a 14-man team for the fourth Ashes Test in opposition to Australia at Headingley starting this week.

England, who lead the series 1-0 with two matches left, also added uncapped batsman Jonathan Trott in the squad for the match starting on Friday.

Graeme Swann will present captain Andrew Strauss with the spinning option on what is normally a seamer-friendly pitch.

Harmison could swap Andrew Flintoff the all rounder's knee grievance rule him out, while left-arm seamer Sidebottom comes into the squad just as in Stuart Broad's place has come under risk after a poor series with the ball.

"We will need to watchfully review the pitch and the overhead circumstances at Headingley before finalizing our 11 for this Test and the enclosure of Stephen Harmison and Ryan Sidebottom will give us different types of pace bowling alternatives," said by the ECB's national selector Geoff Miller.

"Both players have been in good form for their counties in recent weeks and as selectors we are charmed that contest for places in the side are so well-built."

Miller said they would not scuttle a conclusion on the 31-year-old Flintoff who finished up wicket-less at Edgbaston but hit form with the bat, with a confident 74.

"We will carry on to strongly monitoring Andrew Flintoff's fitness in the build-up to Headingley," said by Miller.

"His right knee will be reassessed by our medical team for the next 48 hours and no concluding pronouncement on his availability will be taken until closer to the start of the Test match."

England's team executive Andy Flower said the inclusion of South Africa born Trott did not mean Ravi Bopara's place at number three was under menace.

Flower said "We might want the additional batsman,” "Ravi will bat at number three absolutely at Headingley but Trott will be there if we want to pick a sixth batsman if Flintoff is wounded."

"We have planned for the possibility if Flintoff does pull out but he is pretty positive he will be okay," added Flower on Flintoff's likelihood of getting better from the physical exertions of Edgbaston. "He is a burly bloke, he has a strong body and a strong mind and a strong will and he definitely wants to play these last two Test matches."

Team for the 4th Test:

Andrew Strauss (capt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison, Graham Onions, Matt Prior, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott.

No comments: