Understudy tourists

England will soon have to pick its squad for the winter tours and the three understudy roles up for grabs are those of top-three batsman, wicketkeeper and spinner. My calls for Bob Key were largely dismissed, so I’ll move on to the ‘keeper, who will start as Matt Prior’s back-up, but may get a crack if the Sussex man drops Sangakkara on 0 and becomes Murali’s latest bunny.

It seems England now have an embarrassment of riches at keeper with several stumpers scoring regular runs this season. Foster, Ambrose, Mustard, Read, Jones, Batty have all scored well. Read and Jones have likely had their turn, but Foster may be due another one? Ambrose has been excellent too. Tricky. Mustard must be in line for ODIs, because he’s brilliant at the top of the order for Durham. It’s a shame for Steven Davies that Worcestershire have hardly played this season.

Spinners are more of a quandary. I don’t agree that Pietersen and Vaughan can fill in the gaps. We need a genuine spinner to support Monty, especially in Sri Lanka. The problem is that, as ever, there are no English spinners topping the charts, although I can’t see what Graeme Swann has done to upset the selectors. He would do alright. Adil Rashid has great potential and can bat too. As can Alex Loudon. But would any of them bowl out Sri Lanka? I’m at a loss.

Bring back Shaggy?!

Udal, Loudon to tour Pakistan

Thoughts on the squad? Shaun Udal and Alex Loudon both in the party.

Squads

England squad Michael Vaughan (capt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Ashley Giles, Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard, Geraint Jones, Simon Jones, Alex Loudon, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Andrew Strauss, Chris Tremlett, Marcus Trescothick, Shaun Udal.

England one-day squad Michael Vaughan (capt), James Anderson, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Ashley Giles, Steve Harmison, Geraint Jones, Simon Jones, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Liam Plunkett, Vikram Solanki, Andrew Strauss, Chris Tremlett, Marcus Trescothick

National Academy Squad Gareth Batty, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Rikki Clarke, Alastair Cook, James Dalrymple, Steven Davies, Mark Footitt, Ed Joyce, Robert Key, Sajid Mahmood, Liam Plunkett, Chris Read, Owais Shah, Tom Smith, Luke Wright, Mike Yardy