1 December 2010

Bowling changes

As expected the word on the street or any newspaper you read/pundit you (try not to) listen to, Mitchell Johnson's Test career is over for the short term. In his place will be either the rather dull prospect of Ryan Harris or the more intriguing Doug Bollinger. Hopefully you will ascertain from my slightly colourful language who I think the Australians should pick. A Bollinger selection would weaken the batting but would certainly improve the bowling, as he's probably the best bowler to test Trott, Pietersen and Bell, who I'd think would be pretty comfortable facing the right-arm-over bowlers. Bollinger would make all the England batsmen play more deliveries than poor old Johnson.

But I think England should also be making a bowling change - Monty Panesar for Steven Finn. Why? Adelaide is a notorious flat pitch, the Kookaburra ball is pretty ineffective after 20 overs for seamers and the Australians seem to have a plan to combat Graeme Swann. Rather than waste Finn as a containing bowler, Panesar could be used to attack the right-handers which would include a fired-up Ricky Ponting and their best player of spin Michael Clarke. This would take the pressure of Swann and allow him to be more relaxed/threatening. If England need a third-seamer to contain Paul Collingwood would be that man. Finn in return will be sufficiently rested ahead of the third Test in Perth where he would come back into the side.


Aussie Dave said...

I like your logic for the Finn/Panesar change. I just think it would leave you with too few option for seam bowling. I don't think you want to be relying on Collingwood to get through too many overs. Also, I'd be reluctant to chop and change the side, while guys are going well, keep them in there. If you drop Finn now, then try to bring him back for Perth he might just lose that little bit of form and confidence.
As for the Aussies, if Harris was fully fit I would go for him over Bollinger (in a very close call) but I think he's to big a risk injury wise, so Bollinger it is.

Ed said...

I'm with Dave on this one re Finn/Panesar. I like the logic but have 2 reservations....first, I think there's negative connotations to changing your side and it will have implications for Finn's confidence but also others that will know they can be dropped after taking 6 wickets in an innings. And second, although the Aussies have a plan for Swann (I assume everyone he has played has had a plan!), one poor match doesn't mean anything.

I'd like to see Strauss attack more with Swann and have real confidence in him. That may mean his economy rate isn't great but it will mean more wickets because of less defensive boundary fielders, allowing Australia to avoid taking risks.

There's been some talk about how both sides will struggle to take 20 wickets on flat Aussie pitches, but I think the less than attacking captaincy from both sides contributes to that.

Andrew said...

You and your spinners, Dhiraj.
An intriguing prospect, but I agree with those above, England's seamers were solid in Brisbane and the team's confidence is high. Now is not the time to change it.

Also, having only two front line seamers is very risky. It takes one injury, even a minor one, to Broad or Anderson, and England would be down to using Collingwood as a number two bowling option - not wise. Panesar's best hope of a game is either Sydney or Melbourne, but even then, so long as England have only a four man attack, I can't see them risking it.