Nasser Hussain (captain), Usman Afzaal, Martyn Ball, Mark Butcher, Marcus Trescothick, Graham Thorpe, Michael Vaughan, Mark Ramprakash, Richard Dawson, James Foster, Ashley Giles, Warren Hegg, Richard Johnson, Matthew Hoggard, James Ormond and Craig White.Mumbai (from):
Paras Mhambrey (captain), Wasim Jaffer, Vinayak Mane, Bhavin Thakkar, Amul Muzumdar, Kunal More, Abhijit Shetye, Sairaj Bahutule, Rajesh Pawar, Ramesh Powar, Avishkar Salvi, Rupam Malviya and Sushant Manjrekar.Copyright AFP 2001
Mumbai: England open its tour of India on Sunday trying to separate the men from the boys to stand up to the rigours of the Test series ahead. The two-day limb-loosener against Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium here will give captain Nasser Hussain and coach Duncan Fletcher an opportunity to assess the potential of the under-strength tourists.Former captain Michael Atherton's retirement and the non-availability of senior pros such as Alec Stewart, Darren Gough and Andrew Caddick for various reasons, have made the current squad one of England's most inexperienced ever.Only Hussain among the touring party has played an international match in India before - his One-day debut during the Nehru Cup in 1989. Hussain, with 63 Tests, and Graeme Thorpe, with 69, are veteran batsmen, but seven players have played fewer than 20 Tests and four none at all.Fletcher indicated the tourists will field their best team on Sunday, but the subsequent first-class matches at Hyderabad and Jaipur will be used to determine the line-up for the first Test starting at Mohali on December 3."We picked guys for the tour we thought would come out best," Fletcher said."Now we've got to come out and just see how good they are in these conditions. Really you don't even find out in the nets, you find out in the middle."The team management's immediate priority will be to assemble an attack that can stand up to India's batsmen on traditionally slow wickets that are often a graveyard for bowlers. Take away all-rounder Craig White and left-arm spinner Ashley Giles, both recovering from injuries, and England is left with five specialist bowlers who have just seven Test wickets among them.Giles, the squad's leading spinner with 26 wickets from eight Tests, is unlikely to be risked for the first two matches as he attempts to regain full fitness after an Achilles-tendon operation.That leaves two untested off spinners Richard Dawson, 21, and Martyn Ball, 31, fighting for the second spinner's slot. Similarly, Matthew Hoggard, Richard Johnson and James Ormond will use the warm-up games to earn a right to bowl alongside White in the Test series.The home team for the opening 90-overs-a-side match is unlikely to cause the tourists a sleepless night.Apart from superstar Sachin Tendulkar and Ajit Agarkar, who are away in South Africa, Mumbai will be without the injured Test duo of Vinod Kambli and Nilesh Kulkarni. But the game is important for opener Vinayak Mane and leg spinner Sairaj Bahutule, who are hoping to win Test call-ups.