Strauss rested, Cook takes charge... and I'm on the flight home
ENGLAND captain Andrew Strauss will be "rested" from the tour party which departs for Bangladesh on February 13. Seamer Jimmy Anderson is also staying home to have his knee injury monitored.
But Graham Onions - mysteriously dropped for the final Test which was lost by an innings against South Africa yesterday - and Adil Rashid both find themselves dropped from the one-day squad for Bangladesh.
Chief selector Geoff Miller said of the Strauss decision: "He's been rested to get his mind together again. We have to look towards the future as well. This is an opportunity for Alastair Cook, to find out if he's future material for the England captaincy.
"We're giving Andrew a break so he can refresh himself after an arduous 18 months. It's about the mental state as well. It's happened before - Graeme Smith and MS Dhoni have both had a break for their countries.
"The majority of the unit are going out there apart from the captain and a little problem with the knee for Jimmy Anderson. The senior players will respond to Cook's captaincy. It's not something we've done lightly. The players are all aware of the situation.
"Andrew has been involved in the Ashes series and South Africa was a very difficult tour. The series we've just had has been very tough. He has to get ready for another big summer and another Ashes coming up this winter in Australia.
"He'll be very disappointed with his batting average in South Africa. He's gone away and come back refreshed before. I have no doubt Andrew will do exactly the same this time, he'll be like he was of old.
"We've given Alastair the opportunity to be involved in team meetings, he's taken on the official vice-captaincy. We feel he deserves the opportunity to show he can do it in the international arena. We feel he could be the future international captain.
"We just felt it was the right time to give Andrew a break, to work on his game."
While Strauss is rested, Paul Collingwood will travel despite playing through a series of injuries in South Africa: Miller explained: "We considered every person. We don't make these decisions lightly. Paul will go out and he'll captain theTwenty20 with a world Twenty20 coming up. We wanted Paul out there to continue in his rich vein of form. We didn't offer him a break. Not at all.
"We understand that international cricket is so intense. But we will cross bridges when we come to them. There is no vice-captain for this tour.
"We've got a lot of senior players there if Alastair gets injured."