England Announce Training Group for West Indies Series



Cricket is getting oh so close now, and today England narrowed the initial group of 55 down to just 30. Some of the players who failed to make the cut were included with a view to the shorter format games later in the summer, but there are a couple of players in the 30 that will be looking to make the all-important breakthrough.


Bowlers


James Anderson (Lancashire)

Jofra Archer (Sussex)

Mark Wood (Durham)

Amar Virdi (Surrey)

Olly Stone (Warwickshire)

Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire)

Jamie Overton (Somerset)

Craig Overton (Somerset)

Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire)

Jack Leach (Somerset)

Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)

Ollie Robinson (Sussex)

Dom Bess (Somerset)


Batsmen


Dom Sibley (Warwickshire)

Joe Root (Yorkshire)

Ollie Pope (Surrey)

Dan Lawrence (Essex)

Keaton Jennings (Lancashire)

Joe Denly (Kent)

Zak Crawley (Kent)

Rory Burns (Surrey)


Keepers


Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)

Ben Foakes (Surrey)

Jos Buttler (Lancashire)

James Bracey (Gloucestershire)


All-Rounders


Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)

Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

Ben Stokes (Durham)

Lewis Gregory (Somerset)

Sam Curran (Surrey)


I love seeing the likes of Dan Lawrence, James Bracey, Saqib Mahmood and Olly Stone being given more exposure to the first-team set-up. Moeen Ali's period of social distancing himself from the test side has come to an end, and he'll likely be a strong contender to come straight back into the team, he's highly thought of in the England set-up and historically he has had a lot of success.


Although the expanded squad has allowed England to introduce some fresh blood to the lineup, I don't expect there to be too many surprises come the 8th of July, as England walk out for the first test at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton. However just for discussion sake I've put down below the team I expect England to choose, and then the team I would choose. Leave your comments and thoughts on both in the comments:


Team I think England will choose:


Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Joffra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson


The team I would choose:


Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Dan Lawrence, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes, Joffra Archer, Amar Virdi, Stuart Broad, James Anderson


England have a lot of tough choices, especially when it comes to the bowling unit. I think we'll see some heavy rotation through the series with Mark Wood and Chris Woakes getting at least one test. I think we can learn a lot from Australia in relation to handling your bowling units and ensuring you rotate to keep everyone fresh. My one wild card I allowed myself was the introduction of Amar Virdi, I saw a lot of him in 2019 and he really has that x-factor which I think England are lacking in the spin department.


If you're a regular reader of IEC, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of Dan Lawrence, and I think now's the perfect time to bat him at #4 with Joe Root set to miss the first test.

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