England v Australia: Ashley Giles defends under-fire squad
England v Australia: Ashley Giles defends the make-up of his squad ahead of the third ODI against Michael Clarke's men on Wednesday
Ashley Giles has defended his England players in the wake of growing criticism against the make-up of the squad for the current five-match series against Australia.
National selectors chose to rest a number of key individuals, including Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Graeme Swann and skipper Alastair Cook, with the Ashes series just over two months away.
However, Giles believes the squad at his disposal is one that should excite the paying fans.
Speaking ahead of the third ODI at Edgbaston on Wednesday, Giles said: “This is an exciting side to come and watch.
“(There’s) Kevin Pietersen, Michael Carberry is an exciting batsman at the top of the order; then Jonathan Trott, Joe Root, Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Steven Finn – there are some good names to watch. Then you have the youngsters.
“I’d hope the cricketing public would want us to bring through some of our young cricketers and expose them to what is the almost the harshest of environments, which is playing Australia.”
England were criticised after they slumped to an 88-run defeat by Australia on Sunday – just the tourists’ second victory over their rivals in any format all summer and Michael Clarke’s first on tour.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan is one man, in particular, who has pointed the finger.
After the announcement of the squad, he tweeted: “I would have only rested captain Cook. Plenty of time to rest from September 16th – November 21st? Can’t sell tickets then rest five star names.
“No problems resting players but I think supporters who have paid good money to watch the best should get a small refund.”
Giles responded to those comments, saying: “It’s harsh – I think it was said in haste by Michael.”