Well at the moment they have several lets so dive right in shall we.
England have played the last two games without a genuine opener. The issues with this has been only too evident.
While KP continues to put his ‘faith’ in Bell and Prior, Cook warms the bench.
Why? Is it because of his strike rate? To me this is not important at the moment.
What England need are good solid starts in the early overs so that when KP and Flintoff get to the wicket their job is not one of rebuilding. But of working the singles and keeping the momentum going.
To me Ian Bell has no place in the ODI team. A ODI opener needs to be slightly flexible in his game, Bell is anything but.
Prior can provide the early gusto when needed.
Drop Bell bring in Cook to partner Prior.
Whats England obsession with trying to convert Owais Shah into a no3 batsmen? True he plays the role for his county. But this is a different ball game.
KP has the experience. He is the best batsmen in the team. There is no better spot for KP to bat in than no3.
Owais at 4 and Freddie at 5. To me that’s more solid.
The next question is going to be about Collingwood.
Should he play? Then at what position.
If not who should replace him ?
I like Collingwood. He is a fighter and has a tendency to prove everyone wrong when you least expect him to. That is the kind of performance England need on Thursday. No6 is ideal for him.
Sending in Ravi Bopara at no8 is a bit of a joke. He is a very good batsmen and has a good temperament for the shorter game. England need to be flexible in their batting line up. In the off chance that they get a good start, Bopara could be sent up the order to take advantage of power plays. If rebuilding is needed maybe Collingwood could be sent up.
I believe your best batsmen should get the maximum number of overs to face. There is no point in holding them back to slog in the late overs or when the asking rate is beyond 12.
So that leaves us with
IF England were to have learnt anything from the Australian tour to India it should have been that in India you need a proper spin option. Samit Patel is not bad. But he is hardly world beating. Against SA he looked good because SA are not the best players of spin to begin with.
And the myth that India plays off spin less effectively than the dark arts were put to the test by Jason Krejza.
Do England have an off spinner on tour ? Well Hello there Grame we dint see you son.
He’s not getting any younger. I say chuck him in there and see what he’s got. Plus he can handle the bat so England are not really losing anything by picking him over Samit.
The fast bowling is safe in the hands of
Freddie, Jimmy, Broad and Harmision.
A fit Sidebottom could throw up an interesting debate for England. Mitchel Johnson bowled quite well against the Indians and troubled them with his angle.
Sidebottom could just be the last piece of the puzzle for KP. If he were to come in I would think either Jimmy or Harmison would have to step out. Considering Broads exploits with the bat.
England are not a bad side. But right now they are playing the wrong team and getting beaten soundly for it.
KP has to lead from the front and you cannot led India off the hook when you have them 3 down for nothing.
England need a win on Thursday to stand any chance of avoiding a 7-0 drubbing.
They can make it easy or hard for themselves. The choice is theirs.