The countdown to the Ashes is well and truly on. The English summer has now concluded and the squad for the winter tour to Australia has been announced. The word excitement doesn’t even do it justice.
Referring to the England squad for the greatest test of all, there weren’t too many surprises. The most notable inclusions being Steven Davies as the second wicket keeper, Monty Panesar as the second spinner and Chris Tremlett in as another bowling option.
These three selections are all justified too. Davies has been extremely impressive in the ODI series against Pakistan and this, combined with his heavy run scoring for his County, means he is a solid back up for Matt Prior.
Panesar deserves to be back in the fold too. It seems to have passed people by that he has taken quite a lot of Championship wickets this summer. He has played in Australia before too, with relative success, so this weighed heavily in his favour.
As for Tremlett, not many would have given him a chance at the start of the summer. He had just moved to Surrey and was simply aiming to get his career on track. With 48 County Championship wickets though, he has caught the eye again. Throw in the fact that he has height, pace and bounce – something the Aussies aren’t too keen on facing – and you have yourself a very valuable bowling option.
It is likely, of course, that none of these three will play in the first test at Brisbane on 25th November. England have a settled side after a fantastic couple of years and an extremely productive summer.
The likes of Andrew Strauss, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann have proved themselves as regular match winners. Then there is Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Matt Prior and Steven Finn who have had excellent English summers.
On top of this you have Alistair Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood all due to come good. They haven’t been at their best in the last few months, but what better time to improve than in an Ashes series?
This list doesn’t even include the regular heroics of Eoin Morgan or the ever improving consistency of Tim Bresnan. Basically, the squad is strong and has what it takes to defeat the Australians.
With Strauss and Andy Flower at the helm, you just know they are going to be prepared for battle too. So, bring on November, bring on Brisbane and bring on the Australians. This England team is one to be reckoned with.