With the World Cup now dominating thoughts, England had to remind themselves yesterday that there is still a one-day series in Australia to win. They must try to do so tomorrow without the three bowlers who will be primarily charged with taking them to global glory by the first Saturday in April.
The tourists' leading spin bowler, Graeme Swann, will miss the next four matches of the Commonwealth Bank Series, starting with tomorrow's fixture at the Bellerive Oval, with a knee injury first sustained two years ago. Although the rested Jimmy Anderson and the injured Stuart Broad rejoin the squad on the morning of the match, neither is yet available for selection.
Matt Prior, the wicketkeeper batsman who was originally dropped for this series but has now rejoined the party after being surprisingly picked for the World Cup, will play as opening batsman. He will replace Steven Davies for whom there is no place in the World Cup and now only a place as reserve in this squad.
Swann has been advised to rest for 10 days after he was hit on his left knee by a ball during the Twenty20 international at Adelaide a week ago. He has been struggling with swelling since. When the knee was initially struck in similar circumstances it caused bruising that led to a small growth of bone fragment.
Anderson, who has been in England visiting his wife and their newly born daughter, is expected to return for the fourth match of this series in Adelaide on Australia Day (Wednesday). Broad has been recovering from the abdominal injury that forced him to miss the last three Tests.
"We wanted him out here to be out of the English winter and to get a better idea of what he is capable of doing," said Andy Flower, the team's coach. "We can therefore make a better judgement on when exactly he can play his first game in India."
Australia S R Watson, B J Haddin (wk), M J Clarke (capt), S P D Smith, M E K Hussey, C L White, D J Hussey, M G Johnson, X J Doherty, B Lee, D E Bollinger.
England A J Strauss (capt), M J Prior (wk), I J L Trott, K P Pietersen, I R Bell, E J G Morgan, M H Yardy, T T Bresnan, J C Tredwell, A Shahzad, C T Tremlett.
Umpires T Hill, P Reiffel.
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