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Vijay's Blog: Flintoff to captain England
by Vijay Jeedigunta
Sep 14, 2006
England Announces 16-member Ashes Squad. Flintoff to Lead.

As expected England named Andrew Flintoff as the captain of the 16-member squad that will be touring Australia this Winter to defend the Ashes. No major surprises too in the touring party. A 14 member squad which will be based in Perth under the supervision of National Academy Director, Peter Moores is also named. In case of any emergency replacements that England may need during this difficult tour the members of this squad would be available immediately to don the national colors.

Flintoff will be leading the team for Champions Trophy that precedes the Ashes during which three key players, Ashley Giles, Steven Harmison and James Anderson were expected to prove their fitness. Two members of the last years Ashes triumph Michael Vaughan and Simon Jones are excluded from the squad as they are still nursing their injuries and are not expected to recover till the start of 2007 season.

Ashes Squad: Andrew Flintoff (captain), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Ashley Giles, Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard, Geraint Jones, Sajid Mahmood, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Liam Plunkett, Chris Read, Andrew Strauss, Marcus Trescothick.

Champions Trophy squad: Andrew Flintoff (captain), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Rikki Clarke, Paul Collingwood, James Dalrymple, Steve Harmison, Ed Joyce, Sajid Mahmood, Jon Lewis, Kevin Pietersen, Chris Read, Andrew Strauss, and Michael Yardy.

Academy Squad: Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Rikki Clarke, James Dalrymple, Steven Davies, Ed Joyce, Robert Key, Jon Lewis, Graham Onions, Matt Prior, Owais Shah, Tom Smith, Chris Tremlett, Michael Yardy.

Only four members from England's Previous Ashes tour of Australia, Marcus Trescothick, Ashley Giles, Steven Harmison, Matthew Hoggard will be making a return trip whereas just four players Martin Love, Darren Lehmann, Andy Bichel and Steve Waugh who played during those series for Australia may not find a place in this winters Ashes campaign. Robert Key who played in 4 tests in 2002/03 will be available as part of the National Academy. None of these five players have put up any noteworthy performances during that tour as shown in the table below:

Eng- Player Ashes 2002/03

Age on 23/11/06

M Runs HS Ave 100s 50s 0s Runs Wkts Best 5WI 10WM Ave Cts Sts

Steve Harmison

28 4 47 20* 7.83 - - 1 455 9 3-70 - - 50.55 1 -

Robert Key

27 4 141 52 17.60 - 1 1 - - - - - - 1 -

Matthew Hoggard

29 3 12 6 2.40 - - 2 375 6 4-92 - - 62.50 1 -

Marcus Trescothick

30 5 261 72 26.10 - 1 1 - - - - - - 5 -

Ashley Giles

33 1 17 13 8.50 - - - 191 6 4-101 - - 31.83 2 -


On paper, this looks as the weakest English team ever that is being given the enormous responsibility of defending the Ashes which England regained last year after 16 years. If we compare the test career records of Englands 16 member squad and three members of the Academy squad who played test cricket before to that of Australias current contracted players and the 18 members of the DLF cup squad, who are expected to be available for the Ashes, it is clearly evident that Australia has almost double the experience in all departments of the game. Englands 479 combined test match experience yielded 21121 runs as against Australias 44169 runs in 993 tests. Australians have amassed 118 centuries and 171 fifties against England's 46 hundreds and 92 fifties. Englands 835 wickets with 25 5WI & 2 10WM pales in comparison to Australias 2094 wickets 98 5WI & 15 10WM hauls. Even in fielding Australias 943 catches & 35 stumps are way too ahead of Englands 471 catches and 10 stumpings.

No doubt Australia will be fielding their best eleven to avenge their defeats of 2005 Ashes and will be trying their best to inflict a whitewash on England. Only thing that may come to Englands rescue during their trip down under is their youthful enthusiasm as 17 of the 26 Australian Test prospects for this winters Ashes will be above 30 ( 8 of them above 35) when the test series kicks off at Brisbane on Nov 23rd, 2006. For England only four members of the touring party (Giles 33, Trescothick, Collingwood & Geraint Jones all 30) will be in their 30s. Jon Lewis is the only member of the National Academy who will be at an age of over 30.

See the tables below:(ODI indicates played in ODIs only. FC denotes played in first class cricket and not in ODIs or Tests for the Country)
 
Test Career Records of the Members of England Squad for the Ashes 2006-07:
Eng- Player Ashes Squad Age on 23/11/06 M Runs HS Ave 100s 50s 0s Runs Wkts Best 5WI 10WM Ave Cts Sts
James Anderson

24

13

89

21*

14.83


-


-


-


1353


41


5-73


2


-


33.00


4


-

Ian Bell


24


18


1287


162*


47.66


5


7


3


64


1


1-33


-


-


64.00


18


-

Paul Collingwood


30


15


1027


186


41.10


2


3


-


245


1


1-33


-


-


245.00


20


-

Alastair Cook

21


9


761


127


54.40


3


3


-


-


-


-


-


-


-


7


-

Andrew Flintoff


28


62


3127


167


32.92


5


22


14


5827


186


5-58


2


-


31.33


44


-


Ashley Giles


33


52


1347


59


20.72


-


4


8


5544


140


5-57


5


-


39.60

32


-

Steve Harmison


28


45


505


42


11.50


-


-


15


5127


179


7-12


8


1


28.81


6


-

Matthew Hoggard


29


58


414


38


7.81


-


-


15


6607


222


7-61


6


1


29.76


23


-

Geraint Jones


30


31


1109


100


25.79


1


6


-


-


-


-


-


-


-


119


5

Sajid Mahmood


24


5


63


34


15.80


-


-


-


498


15


4-22


-


-


33.20


-


-

Monty Panesar


24


10


51


26


10.20


-


-


3


1037


32


5-72


2


-


32.40


2


-

Kevin Pietersen


26


18


1597


158


48.40


5


5


2


76


1


1-11


-


-


76.00


11


-

Liam Plunkett


21


6


69


28


8.63


-


-


4


601


16


3-17


-


-


37.56


2


-


Chris Read


28


13


55


55


20.30


-


1


5


-


-


-


-


-


-


37


5

Andrew Strauss


29


31


147


147


46.40


10


7


4


-


-


-


-


-

-

39


-

Marcus Trescothick

30


76


5825


219


43.80


14


29


12


155


1


1-34


-


-


155.00


95


-


 

Test Career Records of Academy Squad Members who are expected to be called in as replacements in case of any emergencies for England during the Ashes :

Eng-Player Academy Squad Age on 23/11/06 M Runs HS Ave 100s 50s 0s Runs Wkts Best 5WI 10WM Ave Cts Sts

Robert Key

27

15

775

221

31.00

1

3

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jon Lewis

31

1

27

20

13.50

-

-

-

122

3

3-68

-

-

-

-

-

Owais Shah

28

1

126

88

63.00

-

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Matt Prior

24

ODI

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Chris Tremlett

25

ODI

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jamie Dalrymple

25

ODI

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Ed Joyce

28

ODI

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Stuart Broad

20

ODI

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Michael Yardy

25

ODI

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Ravinder Bopara

21

FC

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Rikki Clarke

25

FC

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Steven Davies

20

FC

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Graham Onions

24

FC

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Tom Smith

20

FC

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-


Test Career Records of Australian Players who are expected to be available for the Ashes :
Aus-Contracted-Prospect Player Age on 23/11/06 Mat Runs HS Ave 100s 50s 0s Runs Wkts Best 5WI 10WM Ave Ct St

Nathan Bracken

29

5

70

37

17.50


-


-


-


505


12


4-48


-


-


42.08


2


-

Stuart Clark

31

4

31

13*

10.33

-

-

1

394

21

5-55

1

-

18.76

2

-

Michael Clarke

25

22

1123

151

36.23

2

4

-

75

8

6-9

1

-

9.38

18

-

Dan Cullen

22

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

54

1

1-25

-

-

54.00

-

-

Adam Gilchrist

35

85


5124


204*


48.80


16


22


12


-


-


-


-


-


-


320


35

Jason Gillespie


31


71


1218


201*


18.74


1


2


13


6770


259


7-37


8


-


26.14


27


-

Matthew Hayden


35


84


7326


380


53.09


26


26


11


40


-


0-7


-


-


-


111


-

Brad Hodge


32


5


409


203*


58.43


1


1


-


8


-


0-8


-


-


-


9


-

Brad Hogg


35


4

38


17*


9.50


-


-


-


452


9


2-40


-


-


50.22


-


-

Michael Hussey


31


11


1139


182


75.93


4


4


-


18


-


0-2


-


-


-


3


-

Phil Jaques


27


2


96


66


32.00


-


1


-


-


-


-


-


-


-


1


-

Michael Kasprowicz


34


38


445


25


10.60


-


-


7


3716


113


7-36


4


-


32.88


16


-

Simon Katich


31


23


1260


125


36.00


2


8


2


406


12


6-65


1


-


33.83


15


-

Justin Langer


36


100


7393


250


45.36


22


29


10


3


-


0-3


-


-


-


68


-

Brett Lee


30


54


1033


64


21.08


-


3


9


6636


211


5-30


7


-


31.45


15


-

Stuart MacGill


35


40


347


43


10.21


-


-


11


5387


198


8-108


12


2


27.21


16


-

Damien Martyn


35


65


4361


165


47.40


13


23


7


168


2


1-0


-


-


84.00


33


-

Glenn McGrath


36


119


631


61


7.51


-


1


34


11684


542


8-24


28


3


21.56


37


-

Ricky Ponting


32


105


8792


257


58.23


31


34


8


231


5


1-0


-


-


46.20


120


-

Andrew Symonds


31


10


286


72


19.07


-


2


2


409


9


3-50


-


-


45.44


10


-

Shaun Tait


23


2


8


4


8.00


-


-


-


210


5


3-97


-


-


42.00


-


-

Shane Warne


37


140


2958


99


16.62


-


11


34


17297


685


8-71


36


10


25.25


120


-

Shane Watson


25


3


81


31


20.25


-


-


-


123


2


1-25


-


-


61.50


-


-

Brad Haddin


29


ODI















Mitchell Johnson


25


ODI















Mark Cosgrove


22


ODI















We will be doing more analysis on the members of the squad and their performances in prior Ashes Series during our countdown to the Ashes.


 
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