England hope they have "covered all bases" by adding Paul Collingwood to the squad for the second npower Test match against Australia at Edgbaston on Thursday.
Adverse weather in the Birmingham area - including last Thursday's tornado - has persuaded Duncan Fletcher, the coach, and Michael Vaughan, the captain, to bring the in-form Durham all-rounder into consideration as an additional batting option should conditions favour seam bowling.
Chairman of selectors David Graveney said there was a possibility England would opt for a four-man bowling attack - thus putting in doubt the chances of Warwickshire left-arm orthodox spinner Ashley Giles playing - but that all concerned would wait to see what the elements had in store between now and the start of the match.
Graveney said: "There has been some extraordinary weather around Birmingham this last week and we're just covering all the bases.
"We've already got additional bowlers there. Fortunately the weather seems to be improving but nobody is to know how well the wicket will dry between now and Thursday morning, so we've called 'Colly' into the squad.
"It's a damp-looking wicket, hopefully it will dry out and it will be a good Test match wicket.
"Playing with four bowlers is clearly an option, it would be wrong for me to deny that - that is an option and that is the reason for Paul to be there.
"The success we've had in the past 18 months has been built on playing with five bowlers but these are slightly different circumstances and we think we're doing the right thing in getting all our options down here.
"But let's see what the wicket looks like. Paul is in form and has played against Australia before but the priority is to see how the wicket dries out and how it looks on Thursday morning."
Collingwood, an England one-day regular, has been in outstanding county form. He notched 190 against Derbyshire in the Championship before hammering 181 and 105, both unbeaten, against Somerset. He emerged with credit from the NatWest Series and NatWest Challenge matches against Australia and Bangladesh.
Former England allrounder Dominic Cork said of Collingwood's call-up: "The selectors are obviously a little bit worried about the pitch.
You don't call up Paul Collingwood if you think it's going to spin. They've brought Collingwood into the squad because they think it's going to seam and it gives them ' another batsman' option."
Graveney has urged England to avoid a repeat of the errors which blighted their performance in the first Test if they are to gain revenge over Australia at Edgbaston.
The hosts were competitive at various times but paid for a host of dropped catches. Kevin Pietersen put down Michael Clarke on 21 in the second innings - he Australian scored 91 and took the match out of England's reach as they slumped to a 239-run reversal with a day left.
Graveney is aware that England will have to be firing on all cylinders on what is likely to be a slow and low pitch after the rain deluges.
Australia's captain Ricky Ponting, meanwhile, has indicated that an unchanged team will be named - despite Michael Kasprowicz's late attempt to displace Jason Gillespie. Kasprowicz took five wickets in a seven-over spell of the drawn match with Worcestershire at New Road, finishing with five for 67.
But Ponting was also happy with Gillespie, saying it was "the best he has bowled on tour" as he took two for 45 from an unbroken spell of 12 overs with the new ball.
Ponting said: "Michael Kasprowicz has done everything he can to put his claims forward but, having said that, Jason Gillespie did as well in his first spell.
"It is going to be another tough decision come Test match time but, if you look at the way Jason bowled today, and the way we performed in the first Test, you'd probably think it would be unlikely that we'd change the team.
"Jason wanted to keep going. He bowled very well early on. He shaped the ball nicely, got a couple of edges and beat the bat a few times and he just wanted to keep bowling."