January 25, 2009

England in West Indies 2008-09

Sacrifice the solution to the non-stop slog

Jamie Alter

Fixture congestion means that Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff should not play in the IPL this year, writes Vic Marks in the Observer. Andrew Strauss knows all too well that the success or failure of his period in charge is disproportionately dependent on this pair. In the short term, barring Flintoff colliding with a pedalo or Pietersen with Andy Flower, the relationship between captain and his key players should not be a problem.

In the Sunday Times, Simon Wilde says that England return to the Caribbean armed with a battery of pacemen they hope will repeat the feats of the fondly remembered Fab Four.

Wilde also traces how Brendan Nash, West Indies’ first white player since 1973, has cracked the Caribbean barrier.

Once England's net sessions were over in St Kitts, the Independent's Stephen Brenkley didn't find it hard to sit down Graeme Swann, who is in pole position to be England's No 1 spinner. Brenkley finds it 'fascinating' to hear about the dark days when Swann felt like giving up. He also finds out that Swann enjoys banter with Andrew Strauss.

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Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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