General News | 27th October 2008
England Triumph In Stanford Opener
England captain Kevin Pietersen will consider calling on Graeme Swann to fill the second spinner’s spot after watching his side scrape past Middlesex in the Stanford Super Series.
Swann watched the fixture from the sidelines but Pietersen was the most expensive of the England bowlers, conceding 27 runs in four overs.
Ryan Sidebottom, Stuart Broad and Samit Patel all produced economic displays to defend England’s total of 121-4.
"It was not probably something I was thinking too much about at the start of the tournament but having watched the last two fixtures it would be stupid of me not to have a look at it (playing two spinners),” said Pietersen.
"I am not good enough to bowl as the second spinner so it is an option we will think long and hard about. It's definitely something to consider.”
Stuart Broad seems assured of his place in the climactic game against Stanford Superstars because of his consistency with the ball and ability with the bat and Ryan Sidebottom must battle with Jimmy Anderson and Steve Harmison for his place.
Harmison missed the Middlesex game through injury but will push for a recall along with Swann.
“I see myself as a solid selection, but I know that I've got to try to cement my place in the team again and it's not going to be easy,” said Sidebottom, who has recovered from the back, hip and groin injuries which aggravated him throughout August and September.
“In international cricket, you have to bowl at 100 per cent all the time, something you don't have to do in county cricket.
“I'm enjoying the pressure I'm putting myself under to get back into the side. Every net session is an opportunity. There's tremendous pressure on places.”
Stanford Super Series Fixtures
27 Oct: Trinidad & Tobago v Middlesex
28 Oct: England v Trinidad & Tobago
30 Oct: Stanford Superstars v Middlesex
1 Nov: Stanford Superstars v England