Unchanged Squad for Second Test

The selectors of the England and Wales Cricket Board have named an unchanged England Cricket Team to take on the West Indies in the second Test of the three match Test series where they already have a 1-0 lead over the Caribbean.

The second Test between the West Indies and the number one Test playing nation in the world, according to the ICC Test rankings begin on the 25th of May, 2012 at Trent Bridge, which has always been a happy ground for the team. The hosts have named all the 11 players who helped the team over the line in the first Test match at Lord’s and have fast bowlers Graeme Onions and Steve Finn in reserve just in case.

The only man in the squad whose place in the starting lineup for the England Cricket Team in the second Test looks to be at stake is that of Tim Bresnan who managed to get just one scalp in the two innings that the West Indies batted in and scored a duck the only time he was able to bat.

Geoff Miller, the chairman of selectors of the England and Wales Cricket Board said that there have been many standout performers for the England team in the first Test match and it would be difficult to drop anyone based on performance. But he did add that the team showed guts after being made to work hard to secure victory in the first Test match.

He went on to add that the West Indies is indeed a strong opposition and in spite of the weak batting performance that they showed, they still managed to take the game to the England Cricket Team and this is where one might feel that a tried and tested pace bowler like Onions or Finn could come in handy.

SRI LANKA SQUAD NAMED

The selectors of the England and Wales Cricket Board have retained most of the players from the England Cricket Team that failed miserably during the side’s tour of the United Arab Emirates with middle order batsman Eoin Morgan being the most high profile casualty from the side.

England were thrashed 3-0 by a young and inexperienced Pakistan side in the Test series and being the world number one side in Test cricket as per the rankings released by the International Cricket Council or the ICC, it was bound to be a bitter pill for the ECB to swallow.

Many critics thought that whole sale changes would be ringed around the side but that has not happened and Nottinghamshire Outlaws middle order batsman and spin bowler Samit Patel has been named as his replacement in the side and he will have to fight for a spot in test squad for the England Cricket Team with Ravi Bopara of the Essex Eagles.

England became the number one ranked Test side in the world after thrashing ICC Cricket World Cup champions India 4-0 at home and no one expected them to suffer a similar fate in their very next tour, the first time they had gone on tour as the world’s number one side. But the England players are looking to repay the faith that Andy Flower, the coach has showed in them by beating the Sri Lankan Lions and stamping their authority as the best Test playing nation in the world with the South Africans, currently touring New Zealand breathing down their neck.

Although the England Cricket Team suffered a 3-0 hammering in Tests, they bounced back to win the One Day International series 4-0 before taking the Twenty 20 series 2-1, which will give them hope in the sub continental wicket.

ENGLAND UNDER THREAT

The England cricket team’s cherished world number one status is under severe threat after a humiliating 3-0 series whitewash at the hands of a resurgent Pakistan in the UAE.

An unforgettable Ashes victory in Australia over 2010/11 and a ruthless annihilation of India at home last year helped Andy Flower’s team to the summit of the World Test rankings, but their recent capitulation has given nearest rivals South Africa a glimmer of hope.

The Proteas travel to New Zealand for a three-test series next month, and a repeat of the 3-0 score line in their favour would see them replace England in top spot. Moreover, they would receive $175,000 (about £110,000) from the ICC for being the No 1 Test side on April 1.

Severe frailties against spin condemned England to the crushing series defeat – their first ever whitewash at the hands of Pakistan – as in six innings the team passed the total of 200 only twice.

There was not one English centurion throughout the series, while the middle order was uncharacteristically brittle, as exemplified by the fact that none of Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan reached 40 in 29 innings on tour.

The unfamiliar conditions in the UAE – a neutral venue as Pakistan is still deemed unsafe to host international cricket – were always going to make run-scoring difficult, but England’s frequent collapses against the spin of Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman, who took 43 wickets between them, will have alarmed Flower.

The England coach identified his side’s lack of preparation ahead of the series as their downfall, something he will no doubt rectify ahead of another tricky series in Sri Lanka.
South Africa’s performance in New Zealand as they chase the number one spot, however, is something well and truly out of his control.

STRAUSS WARNS AGAINST COMPLACENCY

Andrew Strauss, the captain of the England Cricket Team has urged his players to not rest on the laurels they have already achieved and challenged them to improve their game even more, insisting that they should not take their status as the number one Test team in the world for granted.

Strauss and his men are currently in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, preparing for the upcoming three match Test series against Pakistan, which will be the first time that they take the field since reaching the top of the ICC Test rankings after winning the series against India at home.

According to Strauss, Pakistan have come leaps and bounds in the last few months and already have Test series victories against the likes of Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and he believes that they cannot be underestimated, especially when they are so hungry for success against the so called top sides of Test cricket.

Strauss also stated that the England Cricket Team must be aware of the Pakistan side and be at their absolute best in conditions that they have not encountered before and will be playing for the first time.

Strauss also added that the only way to remain on top was to improve with each and every game and be as hungry as they were a year or two ago, stating that the number one ranking meant nothing if they couldn’t beat Pakistan. Strauss said that the number one ranking was nothing but an acknowledgement for their efforts on a piece of paper and any team could take that spot away from them if they did not perform.

However, Strauss also believes that the current England Cricket Team have the mental strength to hold on to that position and win matches in difficult situations and is confident of a series win against Pakistan.