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Wrap stars up in cotton wool

WE may be just two weeks into a two-and-a-half month tour but the England selectors have already reached their first dilemma.<br /><br />So far this week we have seen our best fast bowler, Jimmy Anderson, our best all-rounder Stuart Broad, No1 spinner Graeme Swann and key batsmen Paul Collingwood and Alastair Cook all go down with injuries &ndash; a major worry so early on.<br /><br />All five of these players are crucial to England&rsquo;s Test side so you can expect them to be wrapped up in cotton wool over the next few weeks &ndash; even if that is at the expense of the one-day side.<br /><br />At the same time, it seems KevinPietersen is making a great recovery from his Achilles tendon injury, playing in the last two tour games, but he too will be regularly assessed to ensure it&rsquo;s not too much, too soon.<br /><br /><strong>OUT OF ORDER</strong><br />With England&rsquo;s bowling attack looking particularly vulnerable, Durham&rsquo;s Liam Plunkett was called up to the squad yesterday for the first two one-dayers, which start on Friday.<br /><br />Injuries have unfortunately limited Liam&rsquo;s England career in recent years, but he is an improving bowler, good bat and a decent athlete, and surely wouldn&rsquo;t have been too far from a call-up at the start of the tour.<br /><br />Already we have seen a bit of needle between the sides following Sunday&rsquo;s 20-over match in Pretoria where South Africa coach Mickey Arthur criticised the &ldquo;criminal&rdquo; treatment of Adil Rashid by stand-in captain Cook after pulling him out of the attack after just one over.<br /><br />For me, Mickey Arthur is completely out of order here. I don&rsquo;t know what game he is trying to play but he should concentrate on his own players and his own team.<br /><br />The South Africans seem content on trying to unsettle England using psychological warfare and mind games, but I believe that shows a weakness in their make-up.<br /><br />England have kept their heads down and responded professionally, although I&rsquo;m sure they&rsquo;ll be a few wry smiles in the camp, knowing they&rsquo;ve clearly got the South Africans riled.<br />