England have named their squad for the tour of Sri Lanka, and itâ€™s pretty much as predicted:
Vaughan, Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Collingwood, Shah, Bopara, Mustard, Prior, Broad, Hoggard, Anderson, Sidebottom, Swann, Panesar.
Some initial thoughts:
1) Itâ€™s pretty harsh on Chris Tremlett, who hasnâ€™t really put a foot wrong yet for England. Unless â€“ gasp! â€“ theyâ€™re punishing him unfairly for his indifferent one-day form.
2) If the selectors were going to drop Strauss they should have replaced him with another opener, rather than naming three number sixes and promoting Vaughan, who doesnâ€™t even want to open.
3) If both of Harmisonâ€™s practice games get rained off, where does that leave him?
4) Either Broad or Swann has to bat at number eight. Which means that, cruelly, one of Anderson or Sidebottom has to sit out. Or both, if Harmison waltzes back into the team. In other words, all three pacemen from the India series could be left out in favour of someone who wasnâ€™t even good enough to make the side at the time. Hmmm.
5) The fact that Mustard has been named in the full squad, rather than placed on standby in Chennai, is hardly a resounding vote of confidence in Prior. Is Mustard, in fact, the reserve opening batsman?
What are everyone elseâ€™s thoughts?