England must make bold selections and play positive cricket if they want to retain the Ashes, former Australian cricket captain Ian Chappell said on Monday. Chappell expects Australia to win back the famous urn they lost last year for the first time since 1987 but believes the choice of Andrew Flintoff to replace injured captain Michael Vaughan was a step in the right direction for England.
“I thought they made the brave choice going with Flintoff even though there are doubts over his fitness,” Chappell said. “I initially thought the captaincy would put too much responsibility on his shoulders but now I think it was the right thing to do.”
Chappell said England had reaped rewards for positive selections before the 2005 Ashes series, opting for Kevin Pietersen in the middle order instead of the far more experienced Graham Thorpe. “I felt they would go with Thorpe but opting for Pietersen proved to be an inspired move and he contributed hugely to England winning the series with his attacking batting,” he said. “People say he has a suspect technique but I have looked closely at him. Although he has weaknesses like any attacking player he has plenty of strengths to his game as well.”
Chappell says it is important England show faith in young left-arm spinner Monty Panesar ahead of the experienced Ashley Giles and stick with their best wicketkeeper, Chris Read, instead of going back to Geraint Jones. “As soon as I hear the names of Giles and Jones coming back into the selectors’ thoughts I will start to worry for England,” he said.
“Panesar showed against Pakistan that he is a real attacking bowler who will get good batsmen out like Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden,” Chappell added. “Reid is clearly the best wicket-keeper in England and he should play.” Chappell also hopes Australia captain Ponting leads his team more decisively than he did in England last year.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Tuesday, September 26th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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