Andy Flower and the England selectors have not been afraid to make big calls. James Anderson didn’t play in the World Twenty20, Kevin Pietersen was dropped last summer and Steven Finn left out during the Ashes after taking 14 wickets. They made another in Melbourne on Sunday when Paul Collingwood, England’s most capped one-day player, was omitted for the first match against Australia.
Although Andrew Strauss said Collingwood remained firmly in their plans for the World Cup – the final 15-man squad will be named on Wednesday – he added that there would be no quick return. This omission wasn’t dressed up as rotation or resting, this was a clinical dropping because Collingwood isn’t currently part of England’s best one-day side.
Full story: ESPNcricinfo
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England will stick with four bowlers for the fourth Ashes Test in Melbourne but coach Andy Flower has hinted paceman Steve Finn could be rested.
The 21-year-old is England’s leading wicket taker in the series with 14 but was expensive in the third Test and looked exhausted to many observers.
“I think we expect a lot of these young men, to come in and shoulder a lot of responsibility,” said Flower.
“A five-Test series is hard on everyone – for the fast bowlers even more so.”
Full story: BBC Sport
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An enthralling day of action moved the third Test along in fast forward at the WACA with Mitchell Johnson reviving his career and Australia’s Ashes fortunes with a brutal 6 for 38 to dismiss England for 187. However, the home side didn’t extend the advantage without further top-order failures as Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett caused problems although by stumps Shane Watson was unbeaten on 61 and the lead was 200.
After eight days of England dominance this one went comprehensively to Australia and how desperately they needed it. If the visitors had batted throughout the day the Ashes would have been hard to save, but by the close Australia’s belief was being restored after the efforts of their most mercurial cricketer. Johnson’s morning burst of 4 for 7 knocked the stuffing out of England’s previously prolific line up. The whole feeling of the series changed with each booming inswinger and all ten wickets fell for 109.
Full story: ESPNcricinfo
Steven Finn has had a super start to his first Ashes series, and with the news that Stuart Broad will be heading home injured, Strauss will look to his Middlesex team-mate even more for key breakthroughs.
We caught up with Steven after his wicket of Mike Hussey had set England on their way to victory at Adelaide.