England have named a 13-man squad for the first Test against the West Indies starting this Thursday. Predictably, Bopara and Patel have missed out. In their place come Jonny Bairstow and Graham Onions. I’m quite pleased with this squad; I’d be pretty happy with almost any realistic XI that could be picked from this. Bairstow, as I said the other day, probably deserves the call-up and I am always happy to see Onions in the squad.
I suspect that Bairstow will get the nod at number six with probably Finn being the third seamer. This series looks like it will be a good one in which to test out the young batsman and Finn has had a very impressive winter and deserves another chance to show what he can do at the highest level. The ongoing ‘problem’ for England is that there are currently no fewer than three different people who probably deserve an extended chance as third seamer. This is one of the reasons why I would still like to see Prior at six and Bresnan at seven and Finn at eleven. Strauss and Flower seem set against that, however. With that in mind, hopefully Bairstow will have a productive series and secure the number six spot for the near future.