1 October 2012

Selection issues for England


Unusually for England over the last decade there doesn't seem to be much consistency in selection lately.   In Tests, Jonny Bairstow had the first chance of the summer before Ravi Bopara came in and when Bopara was unavailable for personal reasons, James Taylor was given a chance ahead of Nick Compton, who was also overlooked when Pietersen was left out with Bairstow preferred.   Now the Test touring squad for the winter includes neither Bopara or Taylor, but includes Bairstow and Compton...and Eoin Morgan who hadn't featured all summer.
Then in the Twenty20 they're all over the place.   The late selection of Luke Wright over Bopara at 3 has proved a huge success, but they continue to chop and change with Patel and Briggs, Bresnan and Dernbach, while also changing their keeper to Bairstow today.   Whatever happens in the rest of the tournament I find it hard to work out a circumstance in which Dernbach should be picked over Bresnan on merit.   And I felt Patel had every right to be annoyed, which he apparently was, when he was left out of the New Zealand match....Briggs then performed fine and was dropped for Patel today.
It's not brilliant tactical thinking...it's a muddled strategy and, although Twenty20 is to a certain extent a lottery, it would be a huge surprise if England qualify for the semi-finals, let alone get further than that.   If that leads to Broad's removal as captain then that would at least be one change that - in my opinion - would increase England's Twenty20 prospects moving forwards.   Anyone (else) who can keep a level-head under pressure would be good!

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Peter Lamb said...

I agree, the whole England cricket scene has been a shambles recently. I think they've all been distracted by the Pietersen affair, and if the rumours are right, unfortunately it looks as if KP's selfish and arrogant behaviour will go unpunished: personally I'd cancel his contract and invite him to go back to South Africa.
Returning to your thread, how anyone with any cricketing knowledge can pick Bopara for anything other than carrying the drinks is a total mystery. Bresnan is a better bowler and a better batsman than both Bopara and Dernbach. I agree that Dernbach is much overrated: he would do better to concentrate on bowling a smaller variety of balls accurately rather than no one (including him) having any idea where the next ball is going.
I presume it was a team decision to field first in the crucial game against Sri Lanka? Bad mistake in my view, having to chase only put more pressure on a fragile and inexperienced batting lineup.

Ed said...

Yep, agree totally about the toss. Broad made the wrong decision in the last practice match, which meant lost momentum going into the tournament, and then again v Sri Lanka. No idea if it was a "team" decision, but I'm not a fan of him as captain as you can tell.