In choosing our Test squad we wanted to show faith with the same group of players who have performed extremely well for England over the past two years. Although we lost the series, there were some encouraging individual performances from players who are new to Test cricket and we are keen to continue their development.
I don't know what the situation is with the Australian team but they seem pretty settled. In the same way that there were plenty saying last summer that they did not want to be in the side that loses the Ashes, there'll be more wanting to be in the team that regains them. We are under no illusion about how determined Australia will be.
Darren asked the selectors not to consider him for the tour of Pakistan for personal reasons and we respected his wishes. With Liam Plunkett and James Anderson performing well in Pakistan and Simon Jones now available for selection again, the selectors feel the priority is for these players to gain as much experience of one-day cricket as possible ahead of the World Cup.