26 May 2008

England batsman played Vettori well

In my post yesterday I was worried that Vettori would win the game for NZ, but also said that England had superior batsman to New Zealand. That, along with the fact that the heavy roller was requested to deaden the surface, helped England pull off what was a good victory considering the position they'd put themselves in.

Should the team be changed? It seems that Bell and Collingwood are considered under pressure, and deservedly so. But personally I'd keep them both for the next Test. Bell was one of the Wisden players of the year in 2008 and averaged 50 (real average 48) in the series against NZ away, so he's hardly out of form. And while I'm the first to jump on his back as he seems to go missing whenever we really need him, he shouldn't be dropped at the moment.

Collingwood is struggling right now but I'd like to see him retain his place for the next Test. Bopara is snapping at his heels given that he's also a part-time bowler and a good fielder and I'm a big fan of Bopara's, but again it's the wrong time to consider dropping Collingwood. He's going to captain England in the ODIs after the Tests and it would destabalise that team to drop him now. I also think he'll come good - nothing can be guaranteed, but if England back him in the way they have Strauss in the past during a bad run, then there's no chance of him getting dropped just yet.

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