In this post I look at the England squad announced for the second Ashes test at Lord’s, which starts on Wednesday. There are also of course plenty of photographs for you to enjoy.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE SQUAD
Archer had to come in, especially with Anderson and Stone both injured. I am not happy about the continuing presence of Broad and Denly, although if the latter is put in as Burns‘ opening partner that looks better than playing Roy right at the top of the order. In place of Broad I would have Lewis Gregory, whose ability to swing the ball and all-round skills fill some of the hole left by James Anderson, while his all-rounder status means that he cannot be considered as that impossible thing, a “like-for-like” replacement for Anderson. I would not feature either Buttler or Bairstow (the proverbial gun to the head proposition would see me select Buttler at test level) preferring Foakes as keeper and wanting a second genuine spin option, one of the following:
- Matthew Parkinson, the young Lancashire legspinner (even though as a batter he is as the old saying puts it “the ferret who follows the rabbits”).
- Dominic Bess, Leach’s regular spinning partner at “Ciderabad” aka Taunton.
- Amar Virdi, who recently took 14 wickets in a match for Surrey.
- Helen Fenby – her action took all the commentators by surprise the other day (and brought her four cheap wickets) – perhaps it will have the same effect on Steve Smith (surely something can unsettle him).
Still, the selectors have at least done the bare minimum that they had to after the Edgbaston debacle – jettison Moeen Ali.
Now for my usual sign off…