1 June 2010

One match v Bangladesh means little

While it's great that England won emphatically in the 1st Test at Lords, it would be wrong to make sweeping insights off the back of it. Yes, Bresnan didn't bowl superbly (and he shouldn't be opening the bowling in Tests) but equally he was England's best bowler in the winter so one poor match means little. And Finn looked good for his excellent returns but superior batsman will be able to play the bouncing ball better than Bangladesh, and he wasn't exactly express pace - he bowled one ball in the match over 90mph and was often in the lower 80s.

Classic over-reaction from both the professional and amateur media though, and sadly poor old Bresnan doesn't get another game to convert those that have slated him as it seems that he was bowling for at least part of the Lords Test with a stress fracture in his foot. Sidebottom has been brought in and, if he's fit enough, seems like an excellent choice to open the bowling with Jimmy Anderson. (I am tempted to have a go at arguing that Hoggard should be playing, but feel I'd be wasting my breath!!).

As they're lacking a Test-class all-rounder, England need to establish what their plan is and this summer will help them do that. By the time they reach Australia, they need to know if they have 4 bowlers that can carry nearly all the bowling in a 7 batsman team (Swann needs to be in superb form for that to be viable), or if they will play with 5 bowlers (Prior needs to be batting well). At the moment I'm in favour of the latter, knowing that England have a number of batting bowlers. This means that although Matt Prior may need to bat 6, they should be capable of decent partnerships right down the order. An order of Bresnan, Swann, Broad, Anderson, Sidebottom, for example, should be capable of chipping in some half centuries down to number 9 as they did in the 2007 Ashes.

But they have plenty of time to experiment yet and they need to learn from each game without ever making decisions based on one game - I'm sure Flower and Strauss know that whatever observers keep trying to tell them.

No comments: