In the wake of England's hammering of the West Indies, the selectors have found themselves in a bit of problem: If everyone is fit to play - who to pick?
With the 'horses for courses' selection of Ryan Sidebottom playing so well at Headingley, surely he cannot just be put out of the window for the next test, however if Hoggard proves himself fit enough for Old Trafford, can we afford to go in with two swing bowlers?
Also, maybe a good dilemma could be who to get rid of out of Plunkett or Harmison if Sidebottom is picked again. Neither played fantastically well but neither sprayed it around as much as they did a Lord's. Both proved they can bowl good wicket-taking balls and Harmison clocked up around 94mph showing he can still bowl dangerously fast.
Lets say Flintoff is fit to play again, do we go in with a four or five man attack? For me a 4 man attack including Panesar is fine, but we have seen in previous years that the selectors, coach and captain like a 5-man attack. If a 5-man attack was picked, which batsman would go? Collingwood would be the obvious man, but his form is too good, so for me Bell. However, if a 4-man attack is chosen, which bowlers do we go in with? Sidebottom and Hoggard are too 'samey' if we only go for 3 seamers (including Flintoff), but how can you drop Sidebottom? Plunkett and Harmison will be asking what they have done wrong aswell to be dropped. So the selectors have a lot of thinking to do.
If you ask me, providing Flintoff was fit enough to bowl 20-30 overs a day, I would play a 4-man attack, with the two swing bowlers, Hoggard and Sidebottom making up the rest of the seam attack, with Panesar obvisiously being the spinner.
I would pick this side to play at Old Trafford;
This may appear a huge risk, playing 2 swing bowlers and having no varitaion, but although their performance was greatly improved, Plunkett and Harmison were still too wayward and more county appearances can only help. But the batting (although it hasn't come under much pressure so far) is greatly improved, with Flintoff at 8.