England selector Ashley Giles has told talkSPORT it’s vital the right squad is picked for this winter’s Ashes series.
The England team has become a settled and successful unit under Andy Flower, but there will still be some tough decisions to make when the party is selected to tour Australia.
And Giles knows it’s vital to get them right.
He told the Weekend Sports Breakfast: “The two Andys – Strauss and Flower – are making our job as selectors easy. They’ve got a good thing going on with the team. Everyone’s very fit and clearly playing for each other and to a good plan.
“Everybody has to play for their place. But when you’re selecting tour parties, having a wider pool of talent makes for tricky conversations and I’m sure there will be some when we come to picking Ashes team.
“This is the most realistic chance we’ve got to win the Ashes in Australia for a long time so it’s important we get things right.”
One man who will be key to England’s hopes Down Under is Kevin Pietersen. The South African-born batsman has been struggling for runs and is set to return to his native country to play for Natal ahead of the Ashes.
And Giles is delighted to see the out of form star working so hard to get back to his best.
“Kevin is very passionate about playing for England and there’s no doubt he’s one of our best players,” he added. “He’s not been in the best form but that will return. I’m very pleased he wants to go to South Africa and get some cricket under his belt.
“He understand the importance of his role in the Ashes series and anyone who wants to work hard at his game will always get the thumbs up from me and the selection panel.”