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England may rest bowlers, says Andrew Strauss

James Anderson bounces South Australia's Michael Klinger
England paceman Anderson picked up two wickets on Saturday

England have confirmed they may rest key bowlers for their final warm-up game before the start of the Ashes series, against Australia A.

Captain Andrew Strauss confirmed the entire squad would travel to Tasmania before a decision was made.

"The options we've got are that some of them play in Hobart, or that some of them head up to Brisbane and get acclimatised," Strauss told the BBC.

"We're going to sit down with them and see how they feel about their bowling."

Strauss, fresh from a century in the draw against South Australia, added they would make a decision "in the best interests of the side".

606: DEBATE
Alfie

It would be a surprise if England decide to field the expected Test attack in Hobart, given the need to keep their first-choice attack fresh, and to allow players who have not yet featured on tour a chance to play before the Test series gets under way.

Of the bowlers expected to play in the first Test, James Anderson has already suggested he would prefer to head to Brisbane, while Steve Finn is believed to be keen to play in the Australia A game, which starts on Tuesday.

Strauss kept his cards close to his chest over the likely attack for Hobart, saying: "The key is, what is the best preparation for our bowling attack to be at their best in that first Test match?

"At the moment we're all travelling down to Hobart and then we'll make a decision once we're there as to what's the best composition for the side to face Australia A, and then on the back of that whether guys can go up to Brisbane and get used to the humid conditions up there."

England's warm-up against South Australia was curtailed by rain and Strauss admitted that "ideally" he would have preferred his bowlers to have a longer work-out.

But he added: "Things have gone pretty much according to plan, the bowlers have done a very good job on two flat wickets to bowl the opposition out, so I think they're quite buoyant and happy with the way the ball's coming out.

"We're in a reasonably relaxed state as a group generally, so we're in a good position; we've just got to decide what the best way of preparing for that Brisbane Test is."

Opener Alastair Cook returned to form with an unbeaten century in England's second innings in Adelaide and Strauss said he was "delighted" with the way Cook played.

"It wasn't just the runs he got, I thought he looked brilliant, his footwork was very good and crisp and he timed the ball well," said the captain.

"Obviously he'll be feeling better about himself and hopefully in a really good frame of mind to have a massive series.

"In a side you want as much stability as possible and most of the batters have had a good run out in one innings or another."

Listen to the Ashes live on Test Match Special on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW and online (UK users only) - series starts 25 November 2010. Archive: Relive past Ashes series



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see also
England openers hit tons in draw
13 Nov 10 |  England
Australia selectors drop Hauritz
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Friday's Ashes gossip column
12 Nov 10 |  Cricket
England prosper in Ashes warm-up
12 Nov 10 |  England
Australia's Ashes tourism hit for six
12 Nov 10 |  Business
England 'gambling' over Cook form
11 Nov 10 |  England
Swann relishes build-up to Ashes
10 Nov 10 |  England
Flower has faith in batsman Cook
09 Nov 10 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket


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