England continue to balance plans future and present with the 13-man squad chosen to take on Bangladesh in three NatWest Series one-day internationals.
They are 1/8 firm favourites to win the opening match of the series on Thursday July 8th, and even with an experimental side, they should comfortably beat Bangladesh.
It has transpired that Kevin Pietersen had been prescribed a rest anyway, along with Graeme Swann, even before he succumbed to a thigh injury against Australia at Lord’s on Saturday.
The names subsequently announced on Sunday morning did not include Ryan Sidebottom either, after he failed to break into a team unchanged throughout in a 3-2 NatWest win over Australia, which concluded with back-to-back defeats against the world’s number one nation.
Off-spinner James Tredwell is the like-for-like replacement for Swann, and Jonathan Trott returns because of Pietersen’s absence – but is likely to be below his fellow Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell for a top-order spot.
Tredwell is 6/1 to be England’s leading wicket-taker of the series, while fellow spinner Michael Yardy is also available at 6/1 to claim the most Bangladeshi scalps.
Eoin Morgan retains his place in the squad following his outstanding performances against Australia, and he is a very enticing 5/1 to be England’s top runscorer of the series.
National selector Geoff Miller, who reported Pietersen’s injury is thought to be “slight” rather than “major”, has said that the selection policy is designed to ensure England know their best options in the longer term, and that they also have the right personnel to beat Bangladesh.
Who do you think will be the thorn in Bangladesh’s side? Stuart Broad is 9/4 to take the most wickets in the series. See the full Top Series Wicket Taker market.