By BV Swagath
England have rested all-rounder Stuart Broad for the 5-match ODI Series at home against South Africa. Broad will lead England though in the 3-match T20I Series which will follow after the One Dayers. Star batsman Kevin Pietersen hasn’t been named in the squad as the ECB was still not over in its discussions with him.
Talking on resting Stuart Broad, National Selector Geoff Miller on the ECB website has been quoted to have said: “Stuart Broad has an important period coming up leading our T20 side and with a three-match series followed closely by the ICC World T20 we feel a two-week break from cricket is in the best interests of both Stuart and the team.”
Regarding Kevin Pietersen’s omission, Miller said: “Kevin Pietersen’s future involvement is still being determined and he was therefore not considered for selection in either squad.”
On the overall team selection, Geoff Miller said: “All players in the 14-man NatWest ODI Series squad were involved in the recent series victory against Australia. We will be looking for this side to build on the recent success we have had and to show further signs of improvement against a strong South Africa side.”
Meanwhile, Ravi Bopara, who had missed out the last two Tests against South Africa due to personal reasons, has been named in the 14-man Squad led by opener Alastair Cook. The 27-year-old Bopara, who has been out of action for a while, made a comeback of sorts in competitive cricket by playing against Netherlands for his county Essex in the Clydesdale Bank 40 tournament. Bopara could only score 1 though and isn’t quite match-ready. Fortunately for the Essex cricketer, Gloucestershire on request by either him or the ECB has decided to play him in a warm-up match against South Africa this Wednesday.
The first ODI between England and South Africa is to be played on the 24th at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
England Squad for NatWest ODI Series: Alastair Cook (Captain) James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Craig Kieswetter, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott and Chris Woakes
England Squad for T20I Series: Stuart Broad (Captain), Jonny Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter (Wicket Keeper), Michael Lumb, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Graeme Swann and Luke Wright