Miller puts off squad selection for South Africa

England have postponed selection of their Test and one-day squads for this winter's full tour of South Africa until after the Champions Trophy, thereby sparing themselves the possibility of embarrassment on several fronts.

National selector Geoff Miller was due to announce both parties on Wednesday, even as Andrew Strauss and his team were preparing for their opening Champions Trophy match against Sri Lanka in Johannesburg 48 hours later. But common sense has kicked in with the decision date being put back a fortnight or so.

England's Test squad for a four-match series in South Africa during December and January should not take too much picking, given this summer's Ashes success. But two Twenty20s and five one-day games come first – and, following all the recent thumpings by Australia, that party needs more thought than ever.

Had Miller and Co stuck to the original plan of making their South Africa tour choices known this week then several members of the Champions Trophy squad could have found themselves out in the cold – hardly a great confidence-booster ahead of group games against the tournament hosts and New Zealand as well as that opening fixture with Sri Lanka.

On the other side of the coin, Miller's panel might have been left with egg on face by a South Africa party discard suddenly finding top form and turning into England's star performer at the Champions Trophy.

There is certain to be at least one change for November's one-day tour, provided Kevin Pietersen recovers sufficiently from Achilles tendon surgery after spending three months on the sidelines. And it is reasonable to assume that Jonathan Trott (certainly) and Ian Bell (possibly) would be in the frame for Champions Trophy selection if England were doing their picking for that tournament now. Competition regulations meant they had to announce a squad of 15 before Trott shot to national prominence by scoring an Ashes century at The Oval.

Changes in personnel can be made where the Champions Trophy is concerned – but for reasons of injury and not form. For example, it was Andrew Flintoff's knee operation, rather than a lack of potency in the pace department, that allowed Graham Onions to join the squad after deadline day.

With Luke Wright now on the mend after having his left big toe crunched by a bowling machine yorker last week and Stuart Broad (knee) expected to be fighting fit again by Friday, England will take their current 15 to Johannesburg tonight. But how many members of that group return to South Africa in a month or so rather depends on performances in the Champions Trophy.

England's odds of 12-1 (and 20-1 with at least one bookmaker) to triumph in the eight-team tournament suggest that not many people are expecting too much out of the ordinary over the next couple of weeks.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living