India in England 2014

Stokes recalled in squad for India

David Hopps

July 2, 2014

Comments: 117 | Text size: A | A
How does Stokes get into the team?

Ben Stokes successfully appeals for the wicket of Shane Watson, Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, 2nd day, December 27, 2013
Ben Stokes was England's star performer during the 5-0 Ashes whitewash © Getty Images

Ben Stokes has been recalled by England for the first Investec Test against India as the only addition to the 12-man squad which was named for both Tests against Sri Lanka.

England have resisted any temptation to respond to pressure for a specialist spinner and have reasserted their belief that the balance of their side in the wake of Graeme Swann's retirement, with Moeen Ali as the only credible spin bowling option alongside four seamers, can be successful in traditional English conditions.

Moeen picked up three wickets in the two Tests although Alastair Cook did not appear to have much faith in his bowling. Adam Riley is being closely monitored at Kent as a medium-term solution to England's spin bowling problems.

Stokes was deemed not to have played enough first-class cricket prior to the Sri Lanka series to retain the place he earned during the Ashes tour of Australia following the broken hand he sustained when punching a dressing-room locker in West Indies.

Since then he has claimed a career-best 7 for 67 for Durham against Sussex - and a 10-wicket haul in the match - although his batting returns have been less eye-catching with 172 runs at 28.66 in four Championship matches.

There will be popular acclaim for the return of one of the few players to enhance his reputation during England's demoralising Ashes tour, but it would be misguided to assume that Stokes will be an automatic pick for Trent Bridge.

He will need conditions in his favour to win selection, either ahead of Moeen if England unexpectedly opt for an all-seam attack on a green seamer or ahead of Chris Jordan if the selectors decide to jettison Jordan as the fourth seamer after two relatively unproductive Tests on flat surfaces against Sri Lanka. As far as Stokes is concerned, the flatter the pitch and the more settled the weather, the better his chances.

Certainly, the national selector, James Whitaker, was careful not to make it sound certain that he will add to his four Test caps. "He is now in a group with Chris Woakes and others and can show what he has got," Whitaker said. "Mainly, he is a vivacious character, he has some x-factor and he is fantastic on flat wickets.

"Ben has done really well over the last couple of weeks. He has bowled over 100 overs and has been in prime form with the ball in the last Championship match. Ben did remarkably well in the Ashes for a young player and he now comes with full vigour into our squad."

Stokes made his debut in Adelaide then scored a maiden Test century in his second outing in Perth before finishing the series with 6 for 99 in Sydney. His subsequent tour of West Indies was difficult for him as he struggled with the bat and it ended with his outburst of frustration.

Woakes, the Warwickshire allrounder, who was consigned to 12th man duties in the two Tests against Sri Lanka, also offers an alternative. He is regarded as a fast-improving cricketer by this group of selectors, he is a former Lions captain at a time when the need for strong leaders is very much in England's thoughts and he has kept his name in mind with a strong display at Edgbaston in the current Championship match against Nottinghamshire, helping to turn the game in Warwickshire's favour with 91 and 5 for 35 in Nottinghamshire's second innings.

Whitaker emphasised that England's selectors will not be rushed into choosing a specialist spin bowler for the sake of it with Swann now in retirement.

"Everybody has become used to the success Graeme had brought to English cricket," Whitaker said. "He was remarkable. We knew we would have to rebalance the team and look at different options about how to go forward into the summer and beyond. We think we have a good balance now for the sort of wickets we play on in England.

"Moeen Ali will help the spin department and so will Joe Root. It is a different way of balancing the team but with four quality seamers as well we have a lot of depth. It is hard to get used to but we have to make it work. We have two or three youngish spinners operating in county cricket who we feel aren't quite ready yet, but in the meantime we have full confidence in Moeen to do a very good job."

It was not always so at Headingley as Sri Lanka turned the second Test to take the series that Cook, England's captain, shared that faith.

"When any new players come into a team it will take a little time for a captain to get confidence in him, to know how they operate and build a relationship," Whitaker said. "We have every confidence that Alastair will do that. Certainly Moeen has shown with the bat how he can fit into this culture and environment and be confident."

Squad Alastair Cook (capt), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Matt Prior, Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, Liam Plunkett, James Anderson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 4, 2014, 10:35 GMT)

@Arun Bose - You say about the SA tour and you're right a 1-0 defeat isn't that bad but what about the NZ tour? We can all go back to moments in games where our team was unlucky etc but facts are facts.

I have said on numerous occasions that Swann would be the hardest player to replace - even before he retired - and have said that we should be blooding a specialist spinner but re

"Please bring back Swann"

it was Swann who retired and not England's choice.

You say you don't go by history but are happy to quote times when teams have failed against India so I'm guessing history doesn't matter when it's against your side but when it's for your side or against other sides Listen there's a difference between supporting your side /even believing in your side and shouting the odds. As I have said , this series could go either way. I would not be surprised if either team won the series big

Posted by JG2704 on (July 4, 2014, 10:35 GMT)

@Arun Bose - You say you've not said anything about India thrashing England but anything between 3 and 5-0 is a thrashing and you have said that on several occasions. I don't know what Eng players are doing at the moment and if they are chilling playing video games at home then that is wrong and I'd like to know where this info comes from. I have said on numerous occasions that I think our players don't play enough county cricket these days but they could argue that it worked between 3 and 5 years ago when they were on their best run. Regardless I don't see it as over confidence - more a case of wrapping up our players in cotton wool. I don't agree with it but I certainly don't see it as over confidence. Why would a team who just lost to SL on home soil be complacent?

Posted by JG2704 on (July 4, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

@Arun Bose ctd - Re India and preparation - there have been several comments throughout the years from Indian fans who believe that India concentrates too much on IPL and shorter formats in general at the expense of progress in the longer format. I'm not disagreeing with many of the criticisms you aim at England as I have said previously I (and others) have said similar things about by side. Just that you seem to be perfectly able and willing to criticise other countries cricket but when others say anything about India you find it insulting.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 4, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

@Arun Bose - You say you've not said anything about India thrashing England but anything between 3 and 5-0 is a thrashing and you have said that on several occasions. I don't know what Eng players are doing at the moment and if they are chilling playing video games at home then that is wrong and I'd like to know where this info comes from. I have said on numerous occasions that I think our players don't play enough county cricket these days but they could argue that it worked between 3 and 5 years ago when they were on their best run. Regardless I don't see it as over confidence - more a case of wrapping up our players in cotton wool. I don't agree with it but I certainly don't see it as over confidence. Why would a team who just lost to SL on home soil be complacent?

Posted by   on (July 4, 2014, 10:20 GMT)

Staples is a good bet for England..

Posted by android_user on (July 4, 2014, 8:39 GMT)

@JG2704- Playing video games at home and chilling when a big series is just around the corner for those players who are out of form just shows how overconfident they are..Well, Overconfidence backfires most of the time..I am not overconfident, I am a firm believer that my team will do better this time.. I haven't said anything abt India thrashing England..I have just said India will win by 4-0 or 3-0 whatever.. But you can't escape the reality, Form is temporary but it can become permanent if you don't do anything abt it like England players and management is doing right now.. They should have played some county games instead.. Well, We should stop this war now and wait for the series to begin and will analyze later after the series.. What you say? Truce? For the moment?

Posted by JG2704 on (July 4, 2014, 8:26 GMT)

@social_monster09 on (July 4, 2014, 4:34 GMT) Don't think most English fans are firmly standing behind our side - just pointing out that others have frailties too.

But you're right - it is a great series as it is so hard to predict because both sides are so vulnerable

Posted by JG2704 on (July 4, 2014, 8:21 GMT)

@Arun Bose - Not one poster on these boards was talking about India before you started with the "Eng think they're invincible/India will win 5-0,4-0 or 3-0" depending on what day it is.

You talk about other fans giving no respect to India (when they are only pointing out India's away frailties) but then it's ok for you to say your team will thrash us even before a ball is bowled? If it's OK for you to point out our frailties (and I'm quite open minded and realistic about England and your criticisms are nothing what we have not said about the England team either)why does it suddenly become disrespectful when others talk about India's frailties?

And may I also point out again that there were no comments about India - let alone disrespectful ones - from English fans before you started the unbecoming comms about thrashing us etc.

PS India won the CL trophy over here and were superb but that is a format where India excels at in any country

Posted by JG2704 on (July 4, 2014, 8:14 GMT)

@Arun Bose - ctd from post(July 3, 2014, 9:40 GMT) and that would be disrespectful to SL. They beat us fair and square. We can all find little excuses for any defeat but I find it best to man up. Re

"You need to understand that NZ tour was their only second abroad tour, They did performed well with the bat and bowlers did well too"

Well the scorecards totally contradict what you say here. In reality NZ won the 1st test and were in the better position in the 2nd test As I said Eng have probs , but I genuinely think you're straw clutching if you think India have no issues - no matter how happy the environment is. You can't have such a poor away record over recent years and have no issues whatsoever

Please publish this time - nothing of offence or untrue

Posted by android_user on (July 4, 2014, 6:08 GMT)

If English, Aussie, Kiwi, Lankan fans doesn't want to give an iota of respect to India then how dare you expect an Indian fan to give respect to your team? Why should we give respect to you when you're unwilling to respect this Indian team? The whole world wants India to lose. Why? What are you gonna gain by that negative thinking? If India beats England then it will feel like they have thrashed the whole world in one punch! Never ever underestimate India, India blown the whole world last year by winning the Champions trophy 2013 in England beating England in the final..Everyone said India has no chance to win it but instead they didn't lose any match in that tournament, I agree that was ODIs but they still defied the world who didn't gave them any chance.. When Indian team is determined then not even the whole universe can stop them.. Please learn to respect Indian cricket.. These players are very capable of turning tabes, Don't uderestimate..

Posted by android_user on (July 4, 2014, 5:32 GMT)

Some English fans are having problems with me posting positives abt my team, I just don't understamd why? I don't think there's anything wrong with supporting one's team and predicting a win for them.. I am not saying England aren't capable to win this series but the reality is that they are in a bad mental state and It's very tough to come out of it and it certainly doesn't improve by playing video games at home.. Form doesn't come back when you want, It comes back when you're playing in the middle.. England are getting overconfident thinking that they will come back in form facing Indian bowlers..You should give respect to the opposition but I haven't found any post saying India can do well, There's just negative comments abt India.. As an Indian fan and that too a die hard one, I had to step up for my team aftr reading so many disrespectful comments abt IND..You must not take your opposition lightly nomatter what in any sport.. If you stop criticising India then I will stop too..

Posted by social_monster09 on (July 4, 2014, 4:34 GMT)

IMO both teams are in same situation. Fans from both countries are stood firmly for their respective teams that's looking good. But it's also true that both teams are going thru transition stage & for the first time in history Poms are not favourite in their own country against Indians. This time due to retirement of some major players from both teams (esp. from England) it's a great opportunity for Indian's to win a series in England. I also agree that apart from all of this English players are not so much weak as many of the Indian fans think. Yes they lost to SL but if that series was of 5 matches then we all know result would be different. I eagerly waiting for both test series Eng vs Ind & SL vs SA. Both series are going to be cracking. Go for it….

Posted by PrasPunter on (July 4, 2014, 4:14 GMT)

Wake up England !! come out of your rustiness !! Recollect how we were same time last year and how we bounced back to beat you 5-0 !! Nothing is impossible !! Go for it !! Yes you can !! Be aggressive, positive-minded and the rest will fall in place !!

Posted by   on (July 4, 2014, 1:29 GMT)


I don't know why Bell isn't at 3 either. I could have sworn I heard him say he wanted to bat there while he was out in Australia. Didn't he say that? And Ballance has never even batted that high for his county side.

That said, not a real big problem the way they're going, how about Joe Root at 5. Just like Chris Rogers said he should be, doubles up, and they went with Chris's suggestion about Sam Robson too and he got a ton too. Ali looks the goods at 6, another ton. Even Prior got an 80 odd.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 3, 2014, 21:38 GMT)

@CodandChips on (July 3, 2014, 16:16 GMT) Can I just point out that most of the commentors are regular posters on our threads and are as critical of our own side as they are of any other side. I genuinely don't think anyone was even talking about India until one person started telling us all that we were in for a thrashing .... and even saying that we are thinking we're invincible despite not one comment even hinting this... It seems it's ok to point out England's frailties (and as a critic I do likewise) but not OK to point out other teams' frailties

Posted by stumpedlloyd on (July 3, 2014, 19:29 GMT)

@ Yorkshire Pudding: Fair point. Not sure whether Bairstow's up for it. From what I hear, Foster's pretty terrific behind the stumps. I've watched, albeit on the telly, Buttler behind the stumps in ODIs and T20s. Frankly, is he terribly worse than Prior? Prior was emabrassing keeping wicket against Sri Lanka.I will readily admit my bias against Prior also has to do with his (alleged) role in the KP debacle. Not that I am all about KP. But, as I said, considering this is India they're facing, watch Cook and Prior blast hundreds against these chaps giving us fans and the selectors false hope that all is well within the English camp once more.

Posted by fguy on (July 3, 2014, 18:27 GMT)

indian fans i would request you not to take digs at england & their fans. both our teams are going through transitions & it is a tough time for both teams so it's no point predicting a scoreline. not to mention, of no use. also, english fans are usually gracious & fair (esp. compared to the fans from southern hemisphere). ppl like JG2704 & CodandChips dont trash talk. yes, there are some bad apples (you know who those are) but we have a few of them too so best just to deal with them the way they deserve ie. ignore them

Posted by Proteas_Power on (July 3, 2014, 17:06 GMT)

A team who lost their 10 matches out of 12 away home is challenging a team to beat him in their home grounds. What a joke!! A most over confident fan I ever seen in my life who's always predicting 3-0, 4-0, 5-0 win for Indian team in his all comments. LOL All Indian fans who are excited & predicted that India will sure win this series all in all just because of us. Because SL win over England was boosted them & they start thinking if they can do that than why not we should do that? My Dear Indian mates difference is in class of players, Difference is in mental toughness & difference is in ability of players in which we S.Lankans are far superior than Indians in every department. That's why what would we do in past you will never do in future i.e. England win by 3-0 or 4-0

Posted by   on (July 3, 2014, 16:45 GMT)

Come on England you blew the series against Sri Lanka. Now you can redeem your self by thrashing India. Be positive.

Posted by CodandChips on (July 3, 2014, 16:16 GMT)

@Arun Bose and all England and Indian fans

Stop having a go at eachother. Seriously. It's pathetic.

Neither side will be a walkover. This should be a great series.

Both sides are in transition. India are slightly later in transition. They haven't historically travelled well but are improving. This side hasn't had much opportunity to prove themselves. And although England have previously been imperious at home, they did just lose a series against Sri Lanka.

Both sides look to be stronger at batting than bowling. England have 4 young players who scored hundreds in their 2nd test matches. India have inexperienced batsmen who have had an excellent impact in test cricket.

England's main concern will be the senior batsmen- Cook, Bell and Prior. India may be concerned a bit by lack of experience, but they have all faced plenty of quick stuff.

Both side's bowling is respectable. India's spinners will come into play, and Kumar should do well.

All in all it should be an even series.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (July 3, 2014, 16:02 GMT)

@Nutculet, Re the rotation of the seamers, I think the 5 are already 6. Whittaker said yesterday that all 6 seamers in the current squad (including Woakes) will be rotated over the 5 tests so I don't think there is any plan to bring back Finn any time soon. However I hope they consider him for the ODIs at the end of the summer.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 3, 2014, 15:42 GMT)

@Arun Bose. I feel exactly the same about my team as you do about yours , so I'm predicting England to win 5-0.

Posted by android_user on (July 3, 2014, 15:25 GMT)

@Yorkshirepudding- What is your problem with team India and me supporting my team? So you're basically saying I shouldn't supprt my team just bcz they cudn't win in SA and NZ? Why? Give me a reason to bash my team cz I haven't found any, Atleast they didn't surrendered like Aus when they last toured India or NZ who were whitewashed in consecutive series in India.. Or Eng when they toured India in 2008 and went off mid-series citing security reasons after 26/11.. I will support my team even in afterlife.. Cz I believe in them.. And my belief won't die even if I die, My soul will cheer for my team from the stands.. I am not like some of my compatriots who are just there when team wins and bang them when they lose.. This is gonna be the career defining series for most of them and it will be redemption for Dhoni as a captain..

Posted by android_user on (July 3, 2014, 15:08 GMT)

@brusselslion- I don't believe in history, History doesn't mean squat in cricket, It changes with every game so I am not gonna look into what happened in SA & NZ cz I cannot change what happened, I can only expect what's gonna happen in the next series and I believe my team will do very well in this series. What is wrong with that? Don't u expect your team to do better in this series? Did I stopped you? Bcz there's nothing wrong in that, What you want me to do? Bad mouth my team just bcz they lost some series? No, That's not how real fans treat their team.. If you can cheer for them in victory then you must stand behind them when they don't win.. You don't just bash them like laundry clothes.. Yes, I believe that they can win it by 3-0 or 4-0.. Why you think they can't? Can you guarantee they can't? If they do win by this margin or any margin would you come here to congratulate them just like u came here to criticise them evn b4 d series started?I will congratulate ENG if they beat us.

Posted by android_user on (July 3, 2014, 14:57 GMT)

@The_bowlers_holding- I am a fan of my team just like you are of your team, I won't post anything negative abt my team cz I believe in them, There's nothing wrong in believing in one's team.. I am not stopping you from believing in ur team.. I am not a stats person who always looks for stats and history to judge how my team's gonna perform, In cricket nothing's certain..History changes everyday in cricket so history doesn't matter, What matters is what you gonna do in the next match or next series.. You can't go back in time and change results, you can only expect to do better in the next game.. So, I am expecting my team to do very well in this series cz I believe in them.. Yes, I am an unofficial spokesperson for my team just like you r for your's and I m gonna b the unofficial spokesperson for my team until I die even in afterlife I will support my team cz I believe in them.. India is my team and I love it nomatter how they perform in what series..

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 3, 2014, 14:35 GMT)

@Arun bose, "SA tour were their first away tour for most of them"

What are you talking about it wasn't the only player for who it was a first away tour was Doolan, all the others had played at least one away tour before. Also SA wickets are very similar to Australian wickets as are conditions, its like claiming Ireland would be an Away tour for England.

Posted by brusselslion on (July 3, 2014, 14:05 GMT)

@Arun Bose: You point out that England lack a specialist spinner, that England might be mentally frail at the moment. Others have pointed to doubts about Cook's captaincy, the inconsistency in performance, etc. Most England fans acknowledge these comments have some substance to them. However, how on earth can you be so confident (3-0; 4-0; 5-0)?

Recent history suggests India are poor travelers - at least, when it comes to Tests. You might argue history has no bearing on current events, however, surely you cannot just dismiss India's poor bowling performance against Leics & Derbys 2nd XIs as being irrelevant? Moreover, you somehow then conclude that India's bowlers will smash through what is, despite its' faults, a much stronger England batting line-up.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 3, 2014, 13:13 GMT)

@Arun Bose. I noticed how you seemed to not mention that Southee and Boult destroyed your so called amazing Indian batting lineup? You kept mentioning how you fended off Steyn etc , but what happened in NZ with India ha ha , everyone knows India are a laughing stock away from India , so have to be deluded to think India will beat England in England 4-0 or 3-0 or 5-0 as you keep posting. You couldn't even beat England on your home soil!

Posted by android_user on (July 3, 2014, 13:13 GMT)

england is going to fight back from the loss of SL. They are going to be hungry to come back to show the world. This team will correct the errors they made. India does not have what it takes to take wickets.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (July 3, 2014, 12:28 GMT)

Arun Bose you seem to be the new self appointed spokesman for team India on these pages, I am not sure where your confidence in India's test (note not ODI) prospects overseas; they drew one test in SA (when Morkel was unable to bowl) and lost in NZ, who were 'minnows' when England drew there. England are entering a period of change which is inevitable after losing down under, they should have beaten SL realistically (no slight on SL but were in winning positions twice) and I predict a winning margin over India of at least 2 tests. India do have decent batsmen, but those comparing the pacers as like for like are deluded; remember Anderson in India, Broad took a hatrick in the last test, Plunkett will be a good tool and Stokes is going to be a red haired whirlwind with bat and ball so good luck. Looking forward to this series and if India win I for one will be congratulating not making excuses.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2014, 11:25 GMT)

The tactic that i am going to suggest is unorthodox from an Indian point of view, but this is just the right time to unleash it.

So, here goes. Traditionally India has had medium pacers and spinners in their team, bowlers which have taken 20 wickets once in a blue moon when playing away (out of Asia). We need to have a bowling unit that takes 20 wickets fairly regularly. The answer lies in bowling FAST, not spin, not Medium pace, FAST. Recently we have got some bowlers who are raw and new to test cricket but possess much potential. I am talking about Shami, Varun Aaron and Yadav here. (I know Yadav is not in the team for England tour, i wish he was there)

These three can form an attack which goes for the wickets with as many slips and close-in fielders as possible. 5 bowlers, an attacking captain, excellent wicket-keeper, good slip fielders. Team : Dhawan, Vijay/Rahane, Pujara, Kohli,Gambhir, Jadeja, Saha, Bhuvi, Shami, Aaron, Yadav.

Posted by android_user on (July 3, 2014, 10:15 GMT)

@JG2704- SA tour were their first away tour for most of them.. But still they fought against the likes of Steyn, Morkel, Philander and Steyn the no.1 bowler in the world didn't get a wicket for like 100 overs.. That's says something abt these boys, The grit, The determination against the best in the world.. They frustrated him all day long..Specially someone like Pujara who was unlucky to get runout in the 1st inn for 25 but then he scored a big daddy hundred in the 2nd innings and Kohli missed to become the only man to score hundred in each innings @Wanderers by 4 runs.. Bowlers bowled SA out in the 1st innings and almost bowled them out in the 2nd.. They have a lot of talent and they will show it in this series and end India's draught of winning abroad..England need to request Swann to come back from his retirement for the country..England needs a specialist spinner desperately.. You cannot deny the importance of a spinner in a test match.. Please bring back Swann..

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (July 3, 2014, 10:08 GMT)

Stokes is a great inclusion. He has the kind of fearless aggression that England needs. I'd put him straight in the team. Not sure what his form is like in the domestic game, though.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 3, 2014, 9:40 GMT)

@Arun Bose - You're right that Eng may have some issues mentally but let's be real here. Australia thrashed us and while we were abysmal Australia were exceptional. The next series they went to SA and won.

The SL series result was bad but realistically it was just one bad day from Eng and an inspirational day from SL that was the difference. Eng could (maybe should) have won the 1st test had Cook been a little bolder re declaring. Yes Eng have problems and I don't think there has been an Eng fan on here who has said everything is rosy but seriously , how can you think that ebverything is rosy re Indian test cricket away from home. Pre 2011 India's away form was decent enough but inc/since 2011 it has been pretty poor. You say the NZ tour was only their 2nd away tour but it was right on the back of the SA tour and it's not like it was their 2nd away tour? It's like me saying SL only beat us because we had no KP,Swann,Trott etc and coming off the Aus thrashing

Posted by siltbreeze on (July 3, 2014, 9:18 GMT)

Completely agree with Rahul_78 - the suggestion that Ali's place might be under threat after his performance at Headingley is just bizarre. And I'm really discouraged by Whitaker seemingly comparing Moeen and Root as part time spinners: Ali has won matches with the ball, has four 5-wicket hauls and averages 32 over the last two seasons, Root has taken a total of 14 first class wickets at an average of 60 and a strike rate of 114.

Posted by tanstell87 on (July 3, 2014, 9:08 GMT)

@Sachin_The_Greatest - perfect...juts what i wanted to say...India have no chance with Rohit at 5 & Jadeja at 8 & Ishant in starting 11...also India wont be able to pick 20 wickets.....Cook & Bell will thrash India bowlers like they did back in 2011...3-0 for England...

my11 - Dhawan- Vijay - Pujara - Kohli - Gambhir(c) - Rahane - Saha - Binny - Bhuvi - Yadav - Shami

Posted by LeeJA on (July 3, 2014, 9:04 GMT)

Despite losing to SL - it was one of those strange types of series' where you realise after that nobody really deserved too much criticism or is deserving to get dropped (bar our out of form opener).

Saying that, Stokes over Jordan seems a logical move - Stokes is playing well at the moment and it further strengthens an already strong batting line up. Despite limited experience, our 1, 3, 6 and 8 will all have hundreds to their name in less than 12 tests between them which shows depth.

Cook is our scapegoat at the moment - but this will make him stronger. MSD can sympathise with his position - a team in transition struggling and the captain being called to be sacked but he appears to have come through the worst of it. I am sure Clarke was treated similarly last year before Lehman and their Ashes win - they were as low down in the rankings as England are now and quickly elevated themselves back to the top. A winning balance can get that.

Posted by PrasPunter on (July 3, 2014, 9:00 GMT)

@JGN704, well-said. Not sure why the indian fans appear over-confident, especially the likes of @Arun Bose. England can only get better from where-ever they are. When Aus lost to NZ in Hobart in '11, everyone thought that the indians would have a walk in the park but what followed was absolute thrashing !! So the defeat against SL can also have a positive influence and who knows , Eng might as well win the series !! So nothing is counted out !! But until then we have to hear these sorts of rants !!

Posted by android_user on (July 3, 2014, 8:39 GMT)

@JG2704- It's about the mental state in which England are right now which makes a difference between India and England, Probably the most significant difference.. England are scared of losing where as India just wants to play good cricket, results will follow.. You need to understand that NZ tour was their only second abroad tour, They did performed well with the bat and bowlers did well too but they cudn't grasp the moment to turn things around but it comes with experience, They fought unlike 2011.. India do not have any ghosts around their back but for England Dracula's breathing on their neck to have a bite or two.. British media has made it worse for them to play in a calm environment.. Cook is under hellfire of media and former England players and It's making his job even more difficult to lead England.. You need calm mind too to win matches which is clearly missing in England dressing room where as India just need to play good cricket.. This is the difference mate..

Posted by Sachin_The_Greatest on (July 3, 2014, 8:16 GMT)

There is absolutely no Chance in world that India will beat England. 1. Openers (esp M Vijay) are hopelessly out of form (he doesn't even belong there) 2. We have a below club level bowler in Ishant Sharma ("Spearhead"), others are just OK 3. Most overrated Spinner in R Ashwin, jadeja is good for 2nd spinner role but not premier spinner. 4. Bizarre selection, only one backup batsman? Arron over Umesh ? Can't see our "attack" taking 20 wickets

and to top everything we have MSD as our captian. 1. who for starters does not think that he is a batsman :O 2. will sing a song that our bowling attack is weak and what does he do pick 2 nad half bowlers (1. Shami , 2 pandey/pankaj singh., 1/2 Jadeja , well we'll not talk abt ishant) 3. He just thinks of stopin runs as means of tacking wickets.

I see no chance of India Winning

Posted by JG2704 on (July 3, 2014, 8:01 GMT)

@Arun Bose - You keep going on about India not being the same team who were thrashed by England in 2011 - this may be true. Eng definitely aren't the same force they were back then. But should you not tone down on it a bit? India may not be the same side but in test matches have they actually improved so much? No one should read much into the result from 2011 or the Australian tour which followed it but if I was an Indian fan I would not ignore the NZ tour which was the team's most recent tour and with I guess most of the same young guns you claim will give us a lesson - and that after being on par with 2nd tier Derbyshire in their most recent match - were also on that tour. So while there is certainly evidence that England are in a bad way there isn't too much evidence that India have improved greatly either.

Posted by android_user on (July 3, 2014, 7:50 GMT)

@Modernumpires- 80? Why don't you say 100 and beat Bradman? Did you look at his shots? Those shots looked like he was playing on a sub-continental wicket..What's his career average though? Mathews hasn't scored anything big against so called toothless attack of India.. He's is as mediocre as Thisara Perera..

Posted by android_user on (July 3, 2014, 7:48 GMT)

For all those day hg "England need to play a spinner" should realise that throughout the county championship their isn't a test quality spinner. Monty lost it for off field reasons. Kerrigan and Borthwick have potential but are too young and we don't want to ruin their careers (Kerrigan may have lost his chance but I don't think he can be judged by 4 overs) and Tredwell despite being England's limited overs spinner couldn't get into the Kent championship team. So who would you play? Batty?

Posted by PrasPunter on (July 3, 2014, 7:48 GMT)

All those fans from india who take Eng lightly might as well brace themselves for some surprise ( one would hope ) !!

Posted by Rahul_78 on (July 3, 2014, 7:23 GMT)

Anybody who is thinking of dropping Moeen is not serious about Englands prospect in the future. What else one needs to do to earn a place in the XI of a team that is looking desperately to rebuild and looking every where for a quality players. Moeen at the moment can get into England XI on his batting alone. If only Cook could have shown more faith in Moeen and allowed him to ball a bit more and provided him decent fields Moeen could have taken more wickets. Since Moeen is lacking his own captains faith can be another reason why he did not ball doosra in tests. It is hard to understand for me as to how the change of the color of ball can discourage you in balling doosra? ECB should look at youngsters like Moeen, Ballance and Robson and give them decent runs to show their talent then backing on old guard of Prior and co who had a miserable Lankan series. Cook has coped fair bit of criticism recently but some of it is well deserved.

Posted by Charlie101 on (July 3, 2014, 7:14 GMT)

I really do not understand this squad - Bell should be at 3 and if he does not want to bat at 3 then Compton or Carberry should be considered . Balance would then have to compete with Ali , Root and Stokes for 5 and 6 . They are not considering Monty and I think rather like Compton he is a victim of the dressing room and he does not fit in as I can not believe the night club incident is still a factor. Cook's head is on the chopping block due to the British media , rightly or wrongly and you would think that he would want the best team available.

Woakes is a fine player but we really do not need an allrounder because we have Stokes , Jordon and Broad who can all be classed as allrounders.

Posted by Anil_Koshy on (July 3, 2014, 7:07 GMT)

Mediocre selection policy will badly hurt the English, they should include somebody with express pace to destroy Indian line, Anderson and Broad are not the same bowlers anymore, instead of Jordan, they should have Finn or Onions in their line up.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2014, 7:05 GMT)

fresh English batting line up with old canny bowlers. It will be a test for all. Indian bowling is toothless so difficult for India to take 20 wkts & win a test match but yes Batsmen will enjoy nice bounce here if they can negate swing early on we can have a good contest here.

Posted by PrasPunter on (July 3, 2014, 6:57 GMT)

so what if india beats eng ? SL has already done it !!

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 3, 2014, 6:46 GMT)

@stumpedlloyd, actually what Cook stated was that Buttler needed to have more time behind the stumps in the 4 day game, and as near a full season doing that at Lancs is better than doing it in 7 tests. As it is Buttlersglove work needs to improve drastically (as Does Bairstows), there will be debates over Bairstow and Buttler for the test keeper over the next 10 years, just like the Prior/Foster/Read debates.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 3, 2014, 6:29 GMT)

@ModernUmpiresPlz, Matthews is a good player but lets wait to see what his numbers settle down to as hes only been skipper for 9 games, and a run of low scores will soon have the 79 average around normal, for an example look at Cooks cumulative Average, for the first 9 games he was in charge he averaged 73, over the next 13 games his average has dipped to 44.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2014, 5:59 GMT)

india team on these wickets of england dhawan rahane pujara kohli rohit dhoni binny jadeja bkumar shami i pandey/ishant/pankaj/varun .ashwinshould only be played according to the conditions .

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (July 3, 2014, 5:52 GMT)

One of the few players to enhance his reputation during the last Ashes? Surely you mean the only player... I can't think of anyone else.

@Arun Bose Mathews is averaging ~80 since becoming captain, if that's mediocre then everybody is garbage.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (July 3, 2014, 5:43 GMT)

I think that there's little debate over the Jordan/Stokes decision. Stokes has to play because he's been sidelined through this early summer. The selectors need to know asap that he's back to his max efficiency. Jordan, meanwhile, has done little wrong for a player beginning his international career. Moreover, with the five Test matches being packed into a six-week schedule, it is certain that there'll be a regular rotation from a pool of Anderson, Broad, Plunkett, Jordan & Stokes, in addition to the likely breakdowns and fitness issues. It wouldn't surprise me if these five become six if Finn shows sustained improvement by the 4th or 5th Tests: the selectors will want to know whether he has a future in the Test set-up and there's only one way to assess that. As for the Indian tourists, I cannot see their attack as a potent force, so if England's scores are north of 450 regularly, then I hope that all concerned don't go into a round of mutual congratulations. It's too early for that.

Posted by PrasPunter on (July 3, 2014, 5:13 GMT)

Go with 4 seamers !! Dont have a spinner for the sake of it. Good luck England !!

Posted by manav599 on (July 3, 2014, 5:04 GMT)

This is Inia's best chance. No spinner in the English side. The pitches in England are not that bad for batting nowadays as was seen in Sri Lanka series. If India does not win this one then definitely they should stop touring or have a review of their management.

Posted by android_user on (July 3, 2014, 4:59 GMT)

@bMike- What are you on? Pass me some of that.. 2011 will not be repeated but yeah the reverse 2011 can happen.. i.e 4-0 to India.. This isn't an ageing team India, This is young and talented team India.. @Sanjaya Dias- These very same bowlers were thrashed by mediocre SL batsman like Mathews..Do you really think they have a chance against Kohli, Pujara, Dhawan, Rahane? You need to wake up fast..

Posted by   on (July 3, 2014, 4:54 GMT)

So while everyone is complaning bout Prior getting more chances, and why it's worth taking a isk of picking Buttler or Bairstow since it can't mean leser trouble, can we spare a moment for "Steven Davis" please!! I mean serously,why are even looking at other keepers! The last I heard of him,his batting has progressed consideraly, and I don't thnk his keeping was ever in doubt! I'm just so surprised there hasn't even been a mention of him so far.

Posted by android_user on (July 3, 2014, 4:47 GMT)

@R_U_4_REAL_NICK- No jitters dude, The pitches are looking dead flat so there must be atleast two draw matches.. That's why 3-0 to India..

Posted by bMike on (July 3, 2014, 4:41 GMT)

Stokes is also recalled.. OMG seems like a huge trashing (similar to 2011) is on the way. .. Go England go.. God may save India..

Posted by wapuser on (July 3, 2014, 4:08 GMT)

Indian batting only good in subcontinent. Interesting to see how they play against top english seam bowlers

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 3, 2014, 4:05 GMT)

English pace attack is mediocre and they dont have spin bowling so their target should be strengthening of their batting unit to an extent, that bowlers may pick wickets due to pressure exerted of high total The same implies on India yet their spin bowling is quite good enough against England

Posted by jimbond on (July 3, 2014, 3:39 GMT)

The English bowling may include (and primarily consist of) Broad, Plunkett, Ali, Woakes, Stokes- all decent batsmen, but not exactly great bowlers, and did someone say that the wickets are expected to be dry and flat? Are the selectors expecting Anderson to take 10 wickets in each innings?

Posted by ravirrs on (July 3, 2014, 3:38 GMT)

Good choice - Ben Stokes was one of the positives for England in Ashes. He is also a good batsmen to come lower in the order. It is going to be tough for India to pick 20 wickets - which they have not been able to do in the last 4 matches.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2014, 3:07 GMT)

Stokes in for Jordan. Prior bat at 8 maybe? Stokes in for his good performance with the ball, Plunketts success gives them that option. Jordan won't be too far from reselection he did alright, heard he looked pretty good.

England got a lot of good things going, if Cook fires up in the first test, England win the series. Even with Ali and Root as the spinners.

Posted by landl47 on (July 3, 2014, 3:00 GMT)

Really no surprises here. Actually, I applaud the selectors for allowing this group of players to get accustomed to playing together. With so many new faces (against Sri Lanka England started the first test with 4 players with one cap between them) it takes a while to build rapport and real team spirit. I saw no lack of quality in the new faces, except that Moeen is not a test-class spinner. However, there really isn't a standout spinner in the county sides at the moment.

Personally I'd pick Stokes instead of Broad unless Broad can show in the nets that he is capable of bowling 88/89mph rather than the 83/84mph he bowled against SL. Jordan can and does bowl in the high 80s, though I'd like to see him hitting 90mph more often. However, it's a good quality side for English conditions, provided it's well-led by Cook. That's the big question-mark going into this series.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2014, 2:36 GMT)

Cook decided to Stoke some fire to cook the 'Bombay Ducks', which had been the fafourite dish for the Englishmen in the colonial days, whenever they visited Bombay Province.

But, everything depends upon how India's opening batsmen bats out the first hour. Whenever India got a decent opening stand, they always performed reasonably well.

However both Vijay & Dhawan suffer from this occasional 'attack' of impetuosity. If they can curb that and survive, it's fine. Otherwise, it is high time to send in Rahane & Pujara to open, both of whom have the patience needed for the first hour! And the techniques to boot. Unless they are facing an exceptional bowler in conditions heavily favourable to the bowler.

Posted by ThePacifist10 on (July 3, 2014, 2:22 GMT)

@Arun Bose

Don't get ahead of yourself. Sure our young batting order is in form and looks to be one of the best in the world but our bowling is still shaky. Shami needs to be fit. Dravid's presence will surely make our guys ready. But England aren't just going to let us hit them. Their batting order is probably looking at our bowling with huge grins, especially Cook! Pankaj and Shami will really have to shock them this time around. Aaron and Binny/Pandey can also perform similar roles.

Posted by hiranya on (July 3, 2014, 2:05 GMT)

Great time for the England batsmen to come back in to form. at least 2-3 hundreds from Cook's bat.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2014, 1:42 GMT)

Stokes is a very good player t is proved beyond doubt it was amply demonstrated against Australian attack but the question is how Cook marshal his resources , this is one that exactly he didn't used properly. against Sri Lanka

Posted by Mervo on (July 3, 2014, 1:32 GMT)

Kiwi, Aussie and SA, developed players. The Colonial team strikes again!

Posted by   on (July 3, 2014, 0:25 GMT)

I feel that England should have gone for a quality spinner instead of Stokes even though I am not disputing the skills of Stokes who will be an excellent asset to the Team however the team require balance. Without a quality spinner, the team is lacking in one area very badly. Moeen Ali can be useful and I am not sure that he could be lethal. England need lethal spinner similar to the capability of Swann. Even Panesar would have been ideal since he performed very well against India.

Posted by android_user on (July 3, 2014, 0:01 GMT)

most of you are saying that Moeen Ali isn't a test match spinner, you can't really say that after 2 tests because that isn't enough time to make a judgement on his bowling. I personally would give him the first 3 tests to show his bowling capabilities alongside his batting class which we all know he has. I'm backing Ali as a bowler as well as a bowler because believe me he will come good. My eleven for the first test vs India would be: Cook Robson Ballance Ali Bell Root Stokes Prior Broad Plunkett Anderson

Posted by ruester on (July 2, 2014, 23:15 GMT)

I wish Kp had the same backing as Matt Prior from the selectors. How badly does he have to perform behind the stumps and with the bat and for how long until he gets replaced? If we are going to get beaten by the likes of sri lanka at home, then I would much rather see bairstow or Butler behind the stumps.

Posted by Prof_Chaos on (July 2, 2014, 22:14 GMT)

Seems to me that both India and England have their own problems. Its going to be much closer series this time around rather than last time's 4-0 result in favor of Eng. I would give it 2-1 to India.

Posted by stumpedlloyd on (July 2, 2014, 22:00 GMT)

@Jamie Moneghan: No, you're not. I agree, Prior doesn't belong in this side. His keeping was atrocious against Sri Lanka - he gave up, what, 31 byes, and dropped an absolute sitter from Sangakkara? He's in there because Cook wants him there. Before the Sri Lanka tests, Cook made it clear that Buttler wasn't up to test standard - apparently Buttler tries to limit the number of byes he allows - which i am sure instilled nothing but confidence in Buttler, and that Prior was very much part of England's future. You're absolutely correct. But for some lucky calls from the umpire, Prior would've had a bunch of ducks. How are young, talented players like Jos Buttler, one of the few players England has who can really take the game away from the opposition in a flash, expected to be ready when they're repeatedly overlooked for mediocrity. On the other hand, Cook, Prior and England are very lucky that it's India they're facing.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 2, 2014, 21:57 GMT)

@those calling for buttler to be included or selected, it should be noted that in the FC game against Sommerset he let 24 byes past him in somersets inings, so hes no where near ready enough for test match cricket.

Posted by Sexysteven on (July 2, 2014, 21:38 GMT)

Good move to bring stokes back he will come in for Jordan that will strengthen the batting without weakening the bowling it's adecent team on paper sure spin is the weak link and the other weak link which could dictate how this series will pan out is captain negative that's more important is his tactics they will dictate how well England play the more negative cook is the worst his young team will play abit more intent from Cook and his young team will improve and should win so this series comes down to the two captains and which one is more positive will get the results

Posted by JG2704 on (July 2, 2014, 21:13 GMT)

Have to agree with comms re the lack of a spinner - it seems a little short sighted. When we next tour a SC country or probably even WI we need 2 specialist spinners with 1 being regular/established. We now also have a problem re Ali. Not sure how he can be dropped but he can surely only be regarded as a part time spinner. What they could do is get a full time spinner in there and then have 1 from 3 (Jordan/Stokes/Plunket) - whoever they think is the most suitable bowler regardless of batting - to accompany Jimmy and Broad

Posted by CodandChips on (July 2, 2014, 20:59 GMT)

@SirViv1973 "No point picking 5 seamers especially when Ali is in the side to bowl as well. 1 of the seamers will just end up not bowling very many overs" As I said that in that comment 5 seamers enables rotation that prevents the likes of Anderson bowling too much and getting exhausted. The problem is Cook is captain, and since the only bowler he has any confidence in is Anderson, I'm sure if 5 seamers plus Ali were picked, they'd all not bowl many overs, except Anderson who'd be bowling mammoth spells.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 2, 2014, 20:52 GMT)

@Arun Bose on (July 2, 2014, 17:03 GMT) Why are you saying about England thinking we/they're invincible?

Not one post so far has even hinted that England are even going to win the series. We all realise we are a vulnerable side , so why keep going on about how India are going to thrash us etc. You may want to check out your own teams recent away performances which barring one test in SA have not been at all good before saying how bad another side is

Posted by wapuser on (July 2, 2014, 20:49 GMT)

Good thing about england team even they are not balance on the ground their management think they are balance.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 2, 2014, 20:49 GMT)

@Arun Bose (post on July 2, 2014, 17:03 GMT): In every new post, you predict a different end scoreline. It started out at 5-0; now it's a mere 3-0... What's happening? Getting the jitters? You also state: "their [England's] main worry is batting but did nothing to solve it"; funny but I thought the newbies (Ali, Robson and Ballance) did alright with the bat against Sri Lanka? Hopefully the senior/veteran batsmen can follow suit and rediscover their form as well. Even you must agree that would be a treat to watch.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (July 2, 2014, 20:49 GMT)

@ Rohini Tharmakulasingham claims "Sub continent batsmen are very good players against spin."

It did not look that way the last time England toured India, did it? The "Sub Continent Spin Specialists" looked more like sub-par club duffers.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 2, 2014, 20:33 GMT)

@Stevros3 on (July 2, 2014, 16:00 GMT) As a Somerset fan I'm glad if they pull players from all our rivals but as a cricket fan you're spot on. Having said that - on this occasion - I make it that Woakes would only miss a T20 match on Tuesday , presuming he'd be released to play the 2nd T20 that week. Personally I like Woakes alot but I wonder if he adds more to the batting than the bowling and I thought he should have been tried in 2012 as part of a 5 man bowling attack at the expense of a batsman but right now I think we're already overdoing the batting depth at the expense of the bowling.

Posted by Cricket_BornForIt on (July 2, 2014, 20:29 GMT)

India can surly beat this English team. Only problem i see is Indian bowlers taking 20 wickets. Any test match if they are able to take it they will be favorite to win the test. My best wishes for the team. I Hope this new boys can break the away win test drought. Key would be 1st test. Even a draw for India would be equal to a win.

Posted by Vilander on (July 2, 2014, 19:13 GMT)

Cook has the best chance to come back to form, he needs to if he has to get going to the sachin/ponting/kallis/dravid class. Would be very interesting he likes Indian bowling quite a lot,otherwise most interesting batsmen are Root and the new one Ali..Plunkett should be fun to watch and Anderson too. From Indian side, Pujara/Kholi/Rahane should be good to watch, if Pankaj/Shami play they would be good to watch too, Dhoni seems to have altered his strategy to bat that should make good viewing. In all excited about the tests, hopefully its well contested.

Posted by rizwan1981 on (July 2, 2014, 19:08 GMT)

The Indians are the BEST BATSMEN IN THE WORLD against Spinners . There is no point in playing an attacking spinner -England better stick to fast bowlers

Posted by android_user on (July 2, 2014, 19:03 GMT)

I don't understand what Hales has to do get into the squad

Posted by Vilander on (July 2, 2014, 17:46 GMT)

Honestly not seeing KP in the England side is such a good relief for an Indian cricket fan.

Posted by   on (July 2, 2014, 17:18 GMT)

All this means essentially is that England's batting depth is getting stronger and stronger...not necessarily the bowling. Moeen is not a Test class spinner. Yet. And the likes of Stokes, Jordan and Plunkett bowl far too many 'four' balls and will go for many runs against India on decent wickets. But England need big first innings totals every time and then give the bowlers space to operate. It may be 1-0 to either side....but it's hard to predict.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (July 2, 2014, 17:09 GMT)

@Jaimie Moneghan, Re Prior IMO the selectors haven't got everything right but they are correct to stick with him. Buttler is improving and by the winter may be in a position to push for the keeper/batsman role but he still needs time. Prior had a poor time against the aussies & wasn't totally convincing against SRL (although I think much was due to him being rushed back to soon from injury) but on what he achieved in the 4 or 5 before last year's ashes series he should be given time to find his feet again in the test arena, as he is still a relatively young 31. I would certainly give him this series and then if he is still struggling for his best form look at the options available for the winter tours, Buttler being one.

Posted by android_user on (July 2, 2014, 17:03 GMT)

Same old England, Bring in pace and think you're invincible.. This is not the aging old team India with weary reflexes and bad eyesight.. This is young and talented Indian team which is capable of blasting woakes, Stokes, Anderson, Broad, Plunkett and Jordan..I will not talk abt Ali bcz I don't consider him as a spinner. He is just slow right arm canon fodder for traditional Indian batsmen..England must bring in a specialist spinner.. And their main worry is batting but did nothing to solve it..If selectors thought that Indian bowling is weak based on these two practice matches then hold on folks, You're in for the shock of your life..3-0 to India easy..

Posted by android_user on (July 2, 2014, 17:00 GMT)

I think India nd England are more or less in the same situation with the fast bowlers. Both teams are packed with talented quicks, who are not in top form currently. Bhuvneshwar can swing it either way, and so can Anderson, Shami has the ability to tilt the balance with one spell and so can Broad, Jordan has immense potential and so does someone like Ishant, and Aaron and Plunkett have pace. I'm not saying is equal, since Anderson and Broad have a lot of experience, but form-wise, they are the same. Both attacks just can't get 20 wickets. If India's batters get scores in excess of 450,then the spanners could come into the spotlight on the fourth or fifth day, which is where England will fall behind, simply cos they don't have a genuine spinner. If Moeen Ali and Root are considered spin options, then Dhoni has Rohit, Dhawan and even Vijay. Jadeja or Ashwin, Either one of them is far too better than the English spin options put together. England NEED a good spinner.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (July 2, 2014, 16:56 GMT)

@Cod & Chips, No point picking 5 seamers especially when Ali is in the side to bowl as well. 1 of the seamers will just end up not bowling very many overs so may as well stick with 4 seamers & play the extra batsman, although I agree Bell needs to be scoring more runs.

Posted by   on (July 2, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

Stokes, Woakes and Jordan? Out of the 3 Woakes is probably the best and it's a toss up between Jordan and Stokes. But all 3 - even 2 of them in a squad of 13? All 3 in ODI and T20, but not in tests.

Posted by   on (July 2, 2014, 16:46 GMT)

Wise choice by the selectors. The majority are making a big issue about playing a specialist spinner, the only problem is there isn't one good enough at this moment in time. The only two that are, one is retired and the other has disciplinary issues. Borthwick and Kerrigan are simply not ready for test level, let alone India's batting line up. Treadwell is a possibility, but not as a wicket-taker, but more of a role to stifle the opposition, but that would be a gamble as India are usually renowed for being very good players of spin. Therefore it's left to Moeen and Root to rotate the seamers. So it's down to playing to their strengths, It's good to see Stokes back, with Jordan probably being the unlucky one to make way in the final eleven.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (July 2, 2014, 16:45 GMT)

@Shaun Adams, I wouldn't read much in to the warm up matches, they are just practice games and don't even have FC status. I don't completely share your optimism that Eng will do well in this series. On paper at least this is a better Ind team that the SRL side we have just lost to. Re Ali you are entitled to your opinion but I don't see him becoming a Test match standard spinner. He is a batsman who can do a job as a 5th bowler but I don't see someone who is going to roll teams, Tuffnell managed that on a few occasions, though was also prone to bowling a fair bit of rubbish as well.

Posted by CodandChips on (July 2, 2014, 16:40 GMT)

Hence for this test: 1.Cook 2.Robson 3.Ballance 4.Ali 5.Root 6.Woakes 7.Stokes 8.Prior 9.Broad 10.Plunkett 11.Anderson

But I'm sure the actual side will be the same as at Headingly.

Posted by CodandChips on (July 2, 2014, 16:38 GMT)

I don't see how Woakes and Stokes fit into the side. Unless England play 5 seamers?

Since there are no wicket-keeping or opening reserves Prior and Cook stay in. But Bell isn't so lucky. He disappeared in Australia. He needs a kick up the back-side.

Bring in Woakes and Stokes for Bell and Jordan. That leaves 5 seamers plus Ali, but I reckon there is more than enough batting to justify this. 5 seamers sounds a bit ridiculous but it allows plenty of rotation of spells and avoids weariness. Stokes and Plunkett would provide pace, therefore avoiding one-dimensionality.

But I hope England don't just stick with the same side for 5 matches. Explore options. Give Lyth and Taylor chances for example.

Posted by 64blip on (July 2, 2014, 16:35 GMT)

@Stevros3 Completely agree re Woakes.

We're not SA. England don't have any seamers in the top ten. They need a spinner and so they need to try one out now. If it's supposed to be Moeen, then bowl him! The trouble, it seems to me, is that Cook doesn't trust any spinner whose name isn't Swann. Very poor treatment of Kerrigan in that second innings last year. Didn't bowl Root at all or Moeen hardly in the last test, even though after an afternoon of mostly turgid, half-track filth, Moeen took a couple of wickets when he came on in the first innings. But in the second innings when nothing was happening, no spinners at all. It's a mess. If it was a football match there'd be chants of 'You don't know what you're doing'.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (July 2, 2014, 16:35 GMT)

I've just had a chuckle listening to James Whittaker talk about the squad when he said 'He thinks the squad has great balance' Personally I struggle to see how a squad with 6 right arm medium fast bowlers, no spinner & no left armer can be viewed as 'balanced'. Regarding the squad itself no surprise Stokes has been recalled & I would expect him to play ahead of Jordan. Absolutely no valid reason whatsoever to have selected Woakes, they can only pick 4 seamers & he is the overwhelming 6th choice. I say it every week but they need to get some sort of slow bowling option into the squad even if he doesn't play, if they think they can get away with not playing a spinner in any of these 5 test matches then they are gravely mistaken.

Posted by CodandChips on (July 2, 2014, 16:33 GMT)


Tbh you can't change much after just 2 tests even if they went badly. I suppose the selectors want to give everyone a fair shot.

It doesn't look too bad. Robson, Ballance, Ali and Stokes all scored hundreds in their 2nd test matches. Root recently scored that double. Plunkett got 9 wickets in his 2nd match back.

However there are some concerns. The established batsmen. Cook has been poor for a year now. Loyalty is admirable but surely it's time to move on. I love Cook but it's painful to watch him struggle. Perhaps he's staying in because the selectors don't want to lose face.

Bell is also struggling. When was his last hundred? He shouldn't escape the firing line.

Prior has hardly covered himself in glory since his return from being dropped. Buttler is improving with the bat in the championship. He shouldn't be indispensable.

Jordan had some good and some bad moments. Broad and Anderson looked weary.

But the biggest concern is no spinner. Especially in this heat

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 2, 2014, 16:30 GMT)

Am I the only one who thinks Prior should of been dropped for Buttler? As seriously Prior's keeping was terrible , and he should of been out for 3 ducks in his 4 innings too. How on earth are guys like Buttler and Co supposed to get any experience when they can't get near the Test team cause of all the YES men in the team.

Posted by Stevros3 on (July 2, 2014, 16:00 GMT)

England treated Woakes terribly over the winter calling him up for various squads making him fly all over the place and clock up thousands of miles. He was not made Lions captain due to any particular leadership qualities (as suggested by the article) but more as a sop to him and his county for dragging him here there and everywhere.

As a Warwickshire fan I'm of the opinion England need to either give him a run in the side or drop him completly for a while. 12th man does him no good week in week out.

His batting is pretty much there, and he's now re-found his bowling consistency this season after adding the extra yard to his bowling England wanted. He is no longer just a Hoggard type swing merchant as his 5 for with the ball not moving off the straight against Notts shows. Either give him his chance or stop stringing him along the lad has done everything the Selectors have asked.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 2, 2014, 15:30 GMT)

Glad Stokes is back, but I do question why Woakes, I don't see him as a test player maybe slightly more ODI. Glad Ali has kept his place as main spinner too, he may be an all rounder and better with bat but I think as he develops his doosra he will get better as a spinner and can be as good as maybe Tuffers but not as good as Swanny. We shall see! Looking rather good for them at the moment though Indias top batsmen haven't fired in warm up games even Kohli and the bowlers haven't done well either, I can see it being a case of us doing well in the tests but then India coming back in the ODIs which is their best format of the game. Overall, England's batting lineup looks great and the bowlers can pack a good punch with the ball at times but Anderson is the key bowler and Broad second, but in the warm up games we have seen worse bowlers dismiss players like Kohli and Gambir etc.

Posted by Rupert147 on (July 2, 2014, 15:14 GMT)

Very uninspiring squad who were not good enough to beat Sri Lanka. Oddly Stokes might struggle to get in the side as they won't know who to leave out amongst the batsmen who got cheap runs against SL The England have an embarrassment of non riches to choose from but as long as their jobs are safe and KP is out then all is good.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 2, 2014, 15:11 GMT)

@Starvybz, unless its left arm over.........

Posted by Starvybz on (July 2, 2014, 15:02 GMT)

the one man who bashes spin all over the place is missing

Posted by   on (July 2, 2014, 14:55 GMT)

My best XI would be, Cook, Sam, Ballance, Bell, Root, Moeen, Prior, Stokes/Woakes, Broad, Plunket, Anderson

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 2, 2014, 14:55 GMT)

@R_U_4_REAL_NIC, I imagine Woakes is there for cover. In regards a spinner it seems Riley down at kent is in the picture.

Posted by Lakpj on (July 2, 2014, 14:54 GMT)

England seems to be making the same mistake of not playing a spinner. M Ali is no way a test level spinning option. if they are going to take this option, then they better prepare pitches that will be heavily in favor of quicks. If that is the case then having Stokes or Prior at 6 too would be helpful.

Posted by suraj712 on (July 2, 2014, 14:48 GMT)

only change for eng in first test vs ind is to bring in stokes for jordan

Posted by   on (July 2, 2014, 14:40 GMT)

England selectors are very independent and transparent.One word to them;Sub continent batsmen are very good players against spin.Moen ali is a batting alrounder.alrounder.He is no way a special spinner in the team.Inclusion of a specialist spinner is definitely an essential subject selectors have to look at.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 2, 2014, 14:36 GMT)

Once again, Chris Woakes being dragged along for the series; may I ask why, when it seems he's never going to play anyway? Must make a cracking cup of tea or something...

If Stokes plays, it will most likely be at the expense of Jordan. I don't really mind/care as in my opinion Plunkett, Jordan, Stokes and I suppose even Broad at most times are too samey for me. From a batting point of view, the squad certainly looks impressive with that extended tail; but my doubts about the bowlers pre. the Sri Lanka series (bowlers all brawn and no brains) firmly remain. Less said about a frontline spinner (or lack thereof...) the better; I think we've exhausted that topic on previous threads, so I beg of fellow posters to leave it for now. No doubt later throughout the series will bring many opportunities to reignite/revisit that topic...

Posted by md111 on (July 2, 2014, 14:29 GMT)

How do you change a losing team? Would like to see Stokes for Jordan in the side. Jordans time I believe will come but with Plunkett the enforcer at the moment and his somewhat erratic performance I think he will make way for the moment. If India get Stokes punching lockers though...

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 2, 2014, 14:26 GMT)

I expect it will be a straight decision between Jordan and Stokes which opens the option of Prior playing at 8 and England having a very long batting line, as I cant see them doing away with Moeen due him being a spinner.

The worrying thing is that it doesn't look like front line spinners are not being considered as this is where England is weakest.

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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