England named a 16 man squad for their 7 match ODI series in Sri Lanka, which is this November. Alistair Cook will remain captain despite his poor form in the format and leading his team to defeat against Sri Lanka and India this summer. It was also confirmed that Cook will lead the side in the World Cup which starts in February.
The main news was that Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor has been recalled for the first time in over a year. He has been in great form for his county in one day cricket this summer, averaging nearly 90. It gives Taylor a late chance to stake a claim for a World Cup place in Australia and New Zealand.
There was also a recall for Ravi Bopara, who was dropped for the recent ODI series defeat to India. It is thought that his slow medium pace bowling will be an asset in Sri Lanka and his ability to score runs in the middle order. His form dipped in his last series against Sri Lanka but he would like to add to his 1 century so far in a 108 match career. He averages just over 31 but for a man of his experience, he really needs to be more reliable in England’s middle order.
Bopara comes into the side in place of Gary Ballance. Ballance impressed in test cricket this summer scoring 3 centuries, but only managed to play once in the ODI series against India. While he might still be considered for the World Cup, it is of the opinion that he is more of a test specialist which is why he was omitted from this squad.
Stuart Broad is the only World Cup certainty missing from this squad. The pace bowler has been injured as of late which is why he missed the series against India. He recently underwent knee surgery but should be fit in time for February.
Without Broad, in leaves England’s seaming options a bit light. Apart from Anderson; Finn, Stokes, Woakes and Jordan have all struggled as of late and neither bowler has been able to nail down his place in the starting XI.
In spinning conditions, in might be a little surprising that they’ve only gone with one frontline spinner in the squad. James Tredwell is that man with Moeen Ali an option with his part-time spin. They perhaps could have added another spinner if Ali’s bowling doesn’t go to plan.
England are not in good ODI form and Sri Lanka will prove a massive challenge in conditions they usually struggle in.
England squad in full:
Alastair Cook (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler (wk), Steven Finn, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes