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Seventeen not too many for England: Maynard

January 27, 2005 12:00 IST

England assistant coach Matthew Maynard on Wednesday defended the large number of players in the squad for the seven one-day internationals against South Africa.

"There's the odd niggle (injury) and it was a very tough Test series, so we wanted as many players as possible," Maynard said of the 17-man squad.

"You can never have enough bowlers and one-day cricket is all about who bowls best, so they will all come in handy."

Test bowlers Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones have both been added to the one-day squad and will compete with fellow seamers Alex Wharf, James Anderson, Steve Harmison, Kabir Ali and Darren Gough for places in the side.

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"Matthew Hoggard was the bowler who the South Africans altered their batting line-up to protect their captain (Graeme Smith)
from, so we thought it would be a good idea to add him," Maynard told reporters.

South African-born all-rounder Kevin Pietersen was also added to the squad, two weeks ago, and will be looking to fill the gap caused by Andrew Flintoff's return home for ankle surgery.

"Kevin Pietersen slotted in very well at number five in Zimbabwe and showed lots of promise," Maynard said of England's previous tour, in November.

The former England batsman added they would be looking to Paul Collingwood, Pietersen, Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick to share a 10-over ration in Flintoff's absence.

England, 2-1 winners of the Test series, begin the limited-overs part of the tour with a day/night match against South Africa 'A' in Kimberley, 500 km south-west of Johannesburg on Thursday.

England will be without Harmison, who is waiting for the calf injury which dogged his Test campaign to heal.

The first of the seven one-dayers with the full South African side is on Sunday.

Ken Borland
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