Sunday, September 10, 2006

Countdown to Ashes squad

My Ashes squad would be:

Andrew Strauss, Marcus Trescothick, Alistair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Chris Read, James Foster, Matthew Hoggard, Steve Harmison, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Sajid Mahmood, Monty Panesar and Ashley Giles.
If Trescothick can't make it, I'd plump for the plump Robert Key. This is almost identical to the 16 Dominic Cork would take with the difference being he would take Geraint Jones as second keeper when I would go for James Foster whose keeping has been described as 'exceptional' by no less than an authority than Bumble the man who would have been the missing piece of the jigsaw to Channel 4's exemplary coverage of years, now sadly, gone by.
As reserves I'd have Ed Joyce, Geraint Jones, Liam Plunkett, Jamie Dalrymple, Robert Key (Owais Shah if Key is named instead of Trescothick) and Alex Tudor (if fit)

Update: Tim de Lisle, a man who knows his onions (cricketing rather than purely Durham) suggests there may be a recall for either Mark Butcher or Mark Ramprakash. Butcher is not a bad call and on reflection his experience (anyone remember *that* innings at Headingley?) would probably make him a sounder choice that Key. Ramps? In the word of the Churchill dog: No, no, no, no.

I like Barry's Ashes squad - well balanced if a tad conservative - but just can't see it beating the aussies this time. No Jones or Vaughan, a half fit Flintoff, Harmison thousands of miles from home, a tail that's unlikely to put up the kind of dogged defence of 2005 (thinking Gilo in particular), unlikely that new bowlers will repeat last year's heroics (can anyone really see Mahmood having the same impact as Simon Jones?)etc etc. My heart says drawn series and England retaining Ashes, my head is saying 3-1 lose.
Mahmood should do alright on Aussie bouncy pitches.
Who would u have instead?
Happy to oblige. These boys would most certainly bring home the bacon:

1. Mark Lathwell
2. Wayne Larkins
3. Graeme Hick
4. Bill Athey *
5. Richard Blakey +
6. Jim Troughton
7. Mark Ealham
8. Ronnie Irani
9. Ian Salisbury
10. Peter Such
11. Martin Macague
ugghhhhh. u have done well to maintain ur anonymity. i have loads of work to do sadly so can't do my all-time worst XI. oh f*ck it, i do.
by the way though larkins was a sorted bloke.
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