Ian Baker - My England XI for the first Ashes Test
05 Oct 2010 - 12:22:32
A quiet week on the cricketing front - with the exception being India's sensational one wicket victory over Australia in the first Test in Mohali - and that means a time to look ahead.
There were no major surprises in England's squad for the Ashes and now at work places around the country cricketing fanatics will be scribbling down their own England starting line up for the first Test at Brisbane starting on November 25.
Andrew Strauss (captain) - not a difficult pick, will lead from the front with the bat and could well be England's star performer down under.
Alastair Cook - could well be a difficult tour given his inconsistent international form and perceived weaknesses. But there are no better openers in England at the moment.
Jonathan Trott - super innings at The Oval helped England to regain the Ashes last season. After tough tours in South Africa and Bangladesh, the Warwickshire man was possibly the Three Lions' best batsman of the summer. Needs a good tour though.
Kevin Pietersen - you have to back the out-of-sorts entertainer to get back to his absolute best. He contributed significantly in 2005 and there is no reason why he cannot put a nightmare couple of years behind him.
Paul Collingwood - not always pretty but capable of grinding it out. Remember his 206 at Adelaide or Cape Town rearguard?
Eoin Morgan - classy left-hander offers something that little bit different. Also ice cool under pressure.
Matt Prior - established himself as No.1 Test wicket-keeper although will need to be consistent with the bat or Steve Davies and Craig Kieswetter will be knocking on the door.
Stuart Broad - classy century against Pakistan proves he is a genuine Test all-rounder. Spell at The Oval helped win 2009 Ashes and will love the bouncy Australian wickets.
Graeme Swann - the best spinner in the world and England's potential match winner.
James Anderson - on his day the best swing bowler in the world. The problem is it won't swing down under and he may struggle.
Steve Finn - like Broad will love the pace and bounce. England have gambled on naming a tall pace attack and this may well be where he comes of age.
Ian Bell is very unlucky to miss out in my eleven as injury caught him just as he had put his weaknesses to bed. I still have nightmares looking back on the 2005 Ashes DVD though.