2 May 2008

Is Flintoff at 7 really news?

It's great to hear that Vaughan is happy with Flintoff at 7 rather than 6, but I love the way that's reported to be a surprise! Interestingly this article doesn't mention the likes of Collingwood or Vaughan himself bowling. In English conditions Collingwood is at least half a bowler so the quoted scenario of Panesar bowling 25 overs on the first day if you only pick 4 specialists seems incredibly unlikely to me.

The prospect of 7,8,9 comprising of Flintoff, Ambrose and Broad (in whatever order) is an exciting one from the point of view of lengthening our tail, but I hope we pick the best possible side rather than overly focussing on the batting ability of our bowlers. A quartet of Flintoff, Sidebottom, Hoggard and Panesar is the best we have right now and it will be interesting to see if that's the 4 that get picked.

Here's a question for you though - how do these 2 options compare:

1. No 6 averages 45, no 7 averages 30, no 8 averages 20 = 95
2. No 6 averages 35, no 7 averages 32, no 8 averages 30 = 97

With the right players, option 2 allows you to play a 5th specialist bowler. I trust that the England management are doing the appropriate statistical analysis....