July 23, 2014

India in England 2014

England's status quo cannot prevail

Jos Buttler coming in for Matt Prior could be the only certain change to the England XI for the Rose Bowl Test, but save for the wicketkeeper's spot, more places deserve to come under scrutiny. England should not select players who are not 100% fit and that includes Stuart Broad and on form alone, Ben Stokes' position cannot be taken for granted, writes Mike Selvey in the Guardian.

Whether, with the exception of Buttler for Prior, the XI who take the field remain the same is another matter: they ought not to be. There is always a school of thought that suggests those who got things into a mess deserve the chance to rectify it. After a fashion, this is how Cook's continuation as captain, and indeed player, might be viewed. It is certainly the stance that he takes, although he does not use the word "deserve". He does not wish to be seen quitting on a job for which, as captain, he is taking responsibility not just for his recent failings but those of others, senior colleagues largely, as well

In the same paper, Vic Marks writes that Buttler should be allowed time to settle into his new role and even make a few mistakes along the way, given that he took to wicketkeeping fairly late.

Buttler kept wicket at school but it was his batting that astounded and won him a contract at Somerset. His first games for the club were as a batsman, who could strike the ball with staggering purity - and as a quite breathtaking outfielder. Only when England called up Somerset's regular keeper, Craig Kieswetter, to their one-day side did Buttler take the gloves for the county. Initially he did this more out of duty than unbridled enthusiasm.

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