Time to Tred carefully
Mark Butcher says that England should resist any temptation to play James Tredwell against Bangladesh.
Last Updated: 10/03/11 1:49pm
England should resist the temptation to play three spinners in Friday's World Cup Group B match against Bangladesh, says Mark Butcher.
Skipper Andrew Strauss gave nothing away when asked at a press conference whether James Tredwell would join Graeme Swann and Mike Yardy in the starting XI for the Chittagong clash.
Tredwell, 29, played the last of his three one-day internationals against Australia earlier this year but Butcher told Sky Sports that now is not the time to recall the Kent spinner.
"I'm a little bit stunned, to be honest, that it has even got into the public domain but as it has I suppose it is worth talking about James Tredwell and his relative merits," said Butcher.
"He made his Test debut in Bangladesh and bowled very well, very adequately. England eventually bit the bullet and played two spinners in Test matches over there and came in and did a very adequate job.
"He's one of the best spinners knocking around in county cricket - I'll definitely give him that - in terms of experience and canniness he's right up there with any of your other English spinners on a day-to-day basis in county cricket.
"I still don't see him playing, though, I really don't. I think England have got to play their best bowlers - whoever they are, play them.
"Ok, they've already decided to play two spinners in the games that they've played up until now; stick with that and get Chris Tremlett in.
"James Anderson had a good game against South Africa and Tim Bresnan's a top bowler. Go with three quicks and two spinners and play your best bowlers. Don't worry too much or start reading too much into conditions."
Meanwhile, Eoin Morgan is expected to take to the field in Chittagong after being flown in as a replacement for the injured Kevin Pietersen.
The 24-year-old mounted a strong challenge to be included in the original party of 15 and Butcher says that England have missed his unorthodoxy and firepower.
"Not only that," he added. "He's cool under fire. I think particularly back to the India game when what they needed was someone to come in and keep a cool head and be able to see them home.
"Eoin Morgan has done that pretty much since he came out of the egg as an England player - he's looked like a guy who has played 150 one-day internationals.
"Yes, he can play the extraordinary shots - he's got power, placement and all of those other things but he's also very, very cool under fire and England have missed that so far."
Pietersen's absence means that England's selectors must once again choose a new opening partner for Strauss and Butcher believes it could well be worth giving wicketkeeper Matt Prior another go.
"There was a lot of talk about whether Ian Bell should open the batting instead of Pietersen in the first place," he reflected. "Will he move up there or will they look to put Prior up there, who opened not very successfully in Australia, it has to be said, in order to keep the middle-order together.
"I think they might move Prior up to leave Bell where he is and allow Morgan to slot in behind there and keep Ravi Bopara at six.
"I wouldn't mind seeing Bell up at the top; Morgan is going to play and he's going to need to be in a pressure situation at some point. Have him at five with Bopara moving up to number four.
"It does mean that England are back in the same old position of having six specialist batters, with Prior being one of those, and five specialist bowlers and they might look at the line up and 'we're one short' - but that's what happens when you don't have a specialist all-rounder in your team."