Bowler call for England World Cup squad is mission impossible for Ed Smith… there is no odd man out and someone is going to be very unlucky
- Ed Smith has a selection headache on his hands for England’s World Cup squad
- There’s no obvious odd man in the bowling equation but someone must miss out
- Mark Wood and Jofra Archer will both be hard to ignore given their sheer pace
- There are arguments to include Liam Plunkett, Chris Woakes and Tom Curran too
There is going to be one very unlucky England cricketer next Tuesday when Ed Smith reveals the World Cup squad.
I confess that I wouldn’t want to be in the selection meeting because I have no idea who the odd man out in the bowling equation should be.
Before I watched Mark Wood on Friday I was a bit worried about him coming back in because generally after a long lay-off his pace is down.
Mark Wood was still hitting close to 90mph as he returned from a long lay-off on Friday
But are England that good that a 90mph bowler can be overlooked? Every single one of the attack has done something that has said ‘keep me in’.
Look at what Jofra Archer and Wood did here, bowling with fire and hostility, look at what David Willey did with his wide yorkers in Southampton, at what Liam Plunkett has done in the middle overs for the past three years, at Tom Curran’s character in his death bowling or at Chris Woakes with both new ball and old this past week.
England have been recognised as a team with batting as its main strength but the bowling is going in the right direction at the right time.
England selector Ed Smith (left) and coach Trevor Bayliss watching over a training session
Jofra Archer, similiar to Wood, will be hard to ignore for World Cup squad given his raw pace
The addition of these two genuinely fast lads — remember that as recently as January, Olly Stone was picked ahead of Wood for the tour of the Caribbean —provides that X factor, that wicket-taking potential.
You can’t stand and slog people like Archer and Wood out of the ground. You might do it once but not on a regular basis.
It will be the most difficult of calls but I hope they don’t fudge it by picking them all and leaving a batter out. Smith and his selectors need to make the call.
Tom Curran bowled superbly on Friday and is one of several seamers who also deserves a spot