Michael reflected firstly on the two recent series against New Zealand. saying that England were poor in NZ, and were possibly a little overconfident. The 2-0 home series win was due to the bowling being much more threatening in more helpful conditions, and to the return of Grahame Swann to full fitness after his elbow operation.
The question was asked about the return of Kevin Pietersen to the team, and Michael thought that if he was not fit then there would be no change. But he would pick KP if he were fit, saying that KP is the best player he ever played with for England, bringing the “x factor” to the team. Fitting KP into the line up means that one batsman would have to go, and Michael thought that would have to be Nick Compton. He would promote Ian Bell to open, maybe even Joe Root.
He thinks that England has the bowling lineup to take 20 wickets and thus win matches, and thinks that if the batters can total 325-350, we will win the series comfortably, 4-0. As always, a good start is important, and the conditions on the morning of the 10 July and the toss will be key to the series.
Bring it on!