Tuesday, February 28, 2006

England Cricket: My inexpert advice for the 1st Test line up

My England line up for the first test:

G. Jones

Lets jump right in.

A lot of positive words are spoken about Cook, and he hit a double century against the Aussies for Essex in a tour game last summer, so that bodes well for the team. And he’s only 21, so it’s a good opportunity to see the potential he has, let’s look positively at this shall we? Strauss needs to hit the ball with the bat to the right places more on this tour.

Bell and Collingwood both did very well in Pakistan, and their patient, more measured approach will serve them and the team well on the Indian wickets. The only quandary I have here is in what order to play them. Do you play them together, in hope they can build a good score together and occupy the crease for a long period, which will give Pietersen and Flintoff more license to play a bit more freely later on? Or do you mix them up with the latter two? For example Bell, Pietersen, Collingwood, Flintoff? So you have at one end the more patient player slowly accumulating runs, and at the other end the more flamboyant and free scoring player? Tough call.

I would play two spinners, as the consensus is that the wicket is going to turn, though how well Blackwell and Panesar will turn the ball is a matter to be seen in due course. Blackwell has earned his spot with his performances with bat and ball in the warm up games and can fill the Giles role (hopefully)

Monty has been one of England’s most economical bowlers thus far, and has taken a few wickets. I don’t see the point of playing Udal, as he hasn’t featured in the warm up games, and England need to look to the future and develop a specialist spinner for the test side. Panesar is young and can develop further (not least his batting and fielding), so throw him in at the deeper end of the proverbial pool.

An arduous series awaits, lets keep our knees crossed.

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