Early reaction to World Cup 15
Here are some quick thoughts about each of England's 15-man World Cup squad just announced at The Oval. Your opinions welcome.
Ed Joyce – Profited from Michael Vaughan's injury to become England's first one-day centurion for seven months and could be difficult to dislodge from the opening berth. Also, surprisingly, a reserve wicket-keeper.
Michael Vaughan – Trot out his one-day batting average and recent injury record all you like. Vaughan's record of 27 wins and 18 losses is up there with the best ever. Of course it is a gamble but a recent rule interpretation makes it one worth taking.
Ian Bell – His two half-centuries were the least shouted-about reason for England’s resurgence in Australia, although there remains a worry that nudging and nurdling will be less successful on the smaller fields of the Caribbean.
Andrew Strauss – Form is temporary while class is permanent but patience only goes so far. With Pietersen back, Strauss may begin the tournament on the sidelines, although he hinted at an ability lower down the order in Australia.
Kevin Pietersen - Officially fully-recovered from the fractured rib that cut short his one-day series in Australia, England's best batsman is bound to do well, although he needs to work more at partnership-building.
Paul Collingwood - Mr 110% has gone from the butt of Shane Warne's jokes to the object of his admiration in a few weeks. When Colly does well, England do well.
Ravi Bopara - Let's hope his inclusion as the Theo Walcott of the party is because he can bat in any position between one and six, rather than because he can "do a job" with his medium pace.
Andrew Flintoff – Surprisingly, England's Ashes captain was not immediately made Vaughan's deputy for the duration but he will play a key role either way. He could revert to opening the bowling and a return to top form with the bat would make a huge difference.
Jamie Dalrymple – His Chris Gayle-like off-spin could prove useful in the Caribbean, especially later in the tournament, when slow bowlers could prosper on worn pitches. His batting is a bonus.
Paul Nixon – Whatever your thoughts on the Great Wicket-keeper Debate, the 36-year-old Nixon did a good job during the one-day series in Australia and it was unlikely they would make a change at this late stage. He is not a top-six batsman but that does not seem to matter.
James Anderson - Memories of the 2003 World Cup, when a young Anderson ran through the Pakistan line-up in Cape Town, were beginning to be revived when he rediscovered his rhythm and swing in Australia, although that was before his back problems resurfaced.
Jon Lewis - For a long time dismissed as being too slow for the highest level, Lewis has proved the doubters wrong. An old-fashioned seamer, he could prosper in the Caribbean if the newer pitches are similar to their predecessors.
Liam Plunkett - After a summer out with a side strain he took time to find his best form. He is still inconsistent and may be relieved of the new ball if Anderson and Lewis return.
Sajid Mahmood - If everyone else is fit, Mahmood could spent much of the tournament enjoying the scenery but his pace could still give batsmen the jitters.
Monty Panesar - Perhaps the biggest surprise of the one-day series in Australia, Panesar is the only attacking spinner England possess, and he may need to play an ever bigger role over the next few months.