Fringe players must show form - Strauss
Views: 3 | | March 14, 2012 11:32 AM
England are set to play two Tests against Sri Lanka, with the first Test due to get under way on March 26 in Galle.
They have two warm-up matches to prepare and will kick off proceedings against a Sri Lanka Board XI on Thursday as they look to recover from the 3-0 mauling by Pakistan in the recent Test series in the UAE.
England's batsmen were woeful on that trip and were unable to deal with the twin spin threat of Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman.
While the Sri Lankan spinners are not in the same class as their Pakistan counterparts, spin will still play a big part against the islanders and England have included four slow bowlers in their squad.
Andy Flower has generally been loyal to players and given them a chance to atone for previous woes but Strauss has made it clear that there could be places up for grabs and insists that early tour form will count when the selectors pick the side for the opening Test.
Ravi Bopara looks set for a battle to take Eoin Morgan's place at number six and Strauss is keen for the Essex man to stake a claim.
"The challenge for Ravi and others is to put their name in the hat and say pick me," he told reporters. "You always want to see how people are adapting to conditions and what sort of form people are in.
"No one is guaranteed to play in that Test match. Ravi has had to wait very patiently. He was in the UAE and didn't get a game and he's shown some good form in the one-dayers and he has a good chance of playing."