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Strauss tight lipped on selection

England captain Andrew Strauss won’t reveal the name of the new opening batsmen that will partner him in Friday’s World Cup clash with Bangladesh.

South African-born Kevin Pietersen, who opened in the tournament’s first four matches, had to go home three days ago to receive a hernia operation. I’m perfectly clear in my mind on who will open, however I won’t say anything before the game has been played, Strauss said.

Thus far, the list of replacements includes Ian Bell, stumper Matt Prior, and the man-of-the-match against South Africa last weekend, Ravi Bopara. Just ahead of Friday’s day and night game in Chittagong, Strauss added that the lineup all the way through, and not just for the openers, isn’t yet confirmed.

Strauss and his partner-in-crime, team coach Andy Flower, must pick a new opener in for the remainder of England’s involvement in the limited-overs competition.  In addition to losing seamer Stuart Broad to injury, the exit of Pietersen was another huge blow for the lions’ hopes of having a successful campaign.

Although drawn to do so, Strauss also refused to pass comment on the speculation that England might select what would be a third slow bowler through off-spinner James Tredwell – who would partner Graeme Swann and Michael Yardy.

We’ll pick the right side, insisted Strauss, and we must judge exactly how the wicket is going to play. If they beat Bangladesh and the West Indies overcome Ireland, England will be guaranteed a quarter-final place.



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