12 February 2008

Taufel making a break for it?

The obvious thing to blog about is England's latest debacle, so starting with something else....could the IPL be about to make Simon Taufel an offer he can't refuse? It seems that some observers think so, and from his comments it sounds like Taufel is keen not to travel so much and look at some other opportunities. Why not make a shed load of money for a few weeks away each year and then look at what options you have back home for the rest of the year - I'd go for it.

It's not possible to avoid the England performance any longer - what a disaster! I was in favour of keeping the team the same for the last match, but there's not much choice but to make a change - or changes - now....this piece on Cricinfo is particularly harsh on Bopara, even though he made the 3rd highest score. Bopara's main sin was running out Cook, but then his team mates have hardly proved great runners, with 6 run outs in 2 games, and the England set up have overlooked Bell's weaknesses in that area for years.

Looking at the failings in each department, the batsman have failed twice, and the bowlers once, so somehow it seems a little strange to consider changes from number 7 downwards, but that's perhaps what is required. The obvious change is to bring Mascarenas in for Bopara, but I can't help thinking that the batting is more of a concern, and most of the batting places are sown up. The constant loss of Mustard before we've scored 50 is something that could be addressed now, whether it's him that plays, or Ambrose. So how about a refreshed line up of:


with Swann coming in for Wright, Broad or Anderson if it's a wicket that demands a spinner.

I still have faith in Bopara to come good - his running has never been great - he ran out Dalrymple on debut - but he has shown that he can bat sensibly under pressure. By dropping him after such a short time in the Test team, we seem to have somehow ruined a young man's confidence that was sky high after the series against India last English summer. The question is when he'll come good again, rather than if.

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