National selector Geoff Miller says England will need to “play excellent cricket” to beat South Africa in the upcoming three-Test series (England 11/10, South Africa 21/10, draw 14/5 – Series betting with bet365).
England have named Ravi Bopara in their 13-man squad for the first Test at The Oval, which starts on Thursday, and they will hope to come out on top to stay at the summit of the Test world rankings.
Miller knows they will be challenged over the three games but wants England to get off to a good start (England 17/10, SA 29/10, draw 11/8 – First Test odds with bet365).
He told BBC Radio Five Live: “We have played some very good cricket over the last couple of months in all formats to win series against the West Indies and Australia – and after a month of limited-overs cricket, preparations are now under way for what is sure to be a very competitive Test series against South Africa.
“We know we will need to play excellent cricket to win this three-match series, and the squad will be determined to start with a strong performance this week during the first Investec Test and set the tone for the rest of the series.”
Also included in the squad are Steven Finn and Graham Onions, who will compete with Tim Bresnan for the final bowling berth, while James Anderson and Stuart Broad return after being rested.