Bold Pietersen puts faith in Flintoff and Harmison
In announcing this 11 for The Oval - and its batting order in particular - Kevin Pietersen has already made his own statement.
Only two matches ago at Headingley, Michael Vaughan said Andrew Flintoff's future lay in batting at number seven - regardless of the balance of the team.
Now Pietersen has very obviously promoted his all-rounder, with the ringing endorsement that he has great faith in him.
KP also made the point that he and Peter Moores, the coach, are "singing from the same hymn sheet", a reference, no doubt, to the widely held belief that they have not always done so recently.
It does appear to have a better balance, but the key question is whether Flintoff is still suited to batting and scoring runs consistently at number six, and whether the move was made in order to protect Tim Ambrose, who looked out of his depth in that position at Headingley.
Certainly Stuart Broad's return to bat at eight adds depth to the batting line-up, and from what I saw from Steve Harmison bowling in the nets today, Pietersen should have some real firepower to aim at the South African batsmen.
It is also worth noting that in playing five bowlers, Pietersen has been given more options which should assist his inexperience in the field, and this also gives Harmison some cover so he can, hopefully, run in and bowl free of tension.
Graeme Smith had some fascinating observations to pass on. We must appreciate, of course, that it suits him to make Pietersen's first match in charge as difficult as possible.
But his remark that Pietersen can continue to bat as he likes "until he bumps his head" caught my attention.
What he meant was that all will be well until KP gets out playing a switch hit, or going for glory on 94. What would the reaction be not merely from the crowd and media, but from his players within the dressing room? Only time will tell.
Pietersen revealed that he called a team meeting on Tuesday in which every player was allowed his say. The most striking thing he wanted us all to notice from now, he told me, is the pride and passion his players will show representing their country.
At first glance, you would expect England cricketers always to be fiercely proud and patriotic, but they play so much these days that Pietersen clearly felt that everyone needed a reminder.
As always, though, his team will not be judged on words but on action - and especially, in this case, on how well they bat.