Stuart right on course

If England are to have any chance at the World Cup then they will need both Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson on the top of their game, taking wickets and spearheading the England attack.

Neil Fairbrother
Stuart right on course

They certainly haven’t been working in the temperatures they’ll experience in the next few weeks but the England ODI squad that travels to Sri Lanka on November 16 have been hard at it in Loughborough this week.

They have been working both physically and on their cricketing skills.

Although not in the squad Stuart Broad has been there for the three days and his recuperation from surgery at the end of the summer is well on track which is great news for all concerned.

The one worrying bit of news that has come out over the last 48 hours is that Jimmy Anderson is not fit to travel to Sri Lanka.

Fingers crossed he will be ready to join the squad early in the new year to travel to Australia and then on to the World Cup.

If England are to have any chance at the World Cup then they will need both Stuart and Jimmy on the top of their game, taking wickets and spearheading the England attack.

The trip to Sri Lanka will be very difficult and although it is rainy season there you would still imagine the wickets to be slow, turning affairs, which probably won’t suit us and, to my mind, it is not great preparation for the World Cup.

Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes have all enjoyed their break since the end of the season and all three of them are really looking forward to the winter cricket ahead.

Again if we are to get through to the latter stages of the World Cup all three of them will have big parts to play.

I’m also delighted for both Joe and Stuart to have been announced in the ICC World Test XI for 2014.

They have both had fantastic years and that augers well for the very tough Test schedule that England have in 2015.

There was great news for James Vince last week when he was once again picked in the England Lions squad for some high-intensity winter cricket.

The tour to South Africa takes on even more significance, I think than usual, as there are certainly spots to be had for the squad that will tour the West Indies after the World Cup in 2015.

James has had another prolific season and was, in my view, very unlucky not to be selected in the England one-day squads that were picked for the end of season games.

I’m sure the wickets in South Africa will suit James’ style of play and it’s a great opportunity for him to enhance his already growing reputation.

Paul Collingwood has a very busy few months ahead on the coaching front.

He is joining up with the UAE World Cup squad over the next couple of weeks and helping them with their preparations.

Then, as the World Cup begins, he will re-join the Scotland squad, who he had such a great time with last winter, for their World Cup journey.

Paul is very excited by both opportunities and I’m sure these types of engagements will stand him in great stead for when the time comes to hang up his boots.

On another bright note for England, it’s great to see the Australians struggling (getting thumped in fact) out in Dubai and Abu Dhabi against Pakistan.

I’m sure this will bring their confidence levels down a peg or two which can only help as we look ahead to the 2015 Ashes series.

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