India in England 2014 August 11, 2014

Supporting cast a concern for England

England need to find better support acts for James Anderson and Stuart Broad to compete in 17 Tests over nine months next year
  shares 39

Over the course of England's two overwhelming victories against India which have earned them a 2-1 lead just weeks after, as Alastair Cook termed it, "being at rock bottom", James Anderson and Stuart Broad have taken 21 wickets. That is despite Broad missing one innings due to his broken nose. Moeen Ali, seemingly still a part-time spinner in the eyes of the India batsmen judging by the lack of respect they have played him with, has bagged 12 at the Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford.

So far, so very good. But the supporting cast of pace bowlers has not been so convincing. Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan have taken four wickets in 93 overs. India's hari-kari batting in the second innings at Old Trafford meant England got away with having not much more than half a bowling attack.

This is not to be overly critical of Woakes and Jordan, two bowlers learning their way in Test cricket and two bowlers who have many fine attributes, but just as a number of boxes are being ticked in the rebuilding of the England side there remains some question marks.

The final Test of this series, starting at The Oval on Friday, will be England's last game in whites until the middle of April when they take the field at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. It will mark the beginning of a nine-month period where England will play 17 Tests.

The notion of a single first-choice attack is no longer possible: a battalion of pace bowlers will be needed for England to sustain a challenge against West Indies, New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan and South Africa. Some support spin for Moeen Ali will likely be needed, too, but that is another debate.

With Liam Plunkett ruled out of The Oval - meaning his comeback season will finish with four Test appearances and 18 wickets at 34.44 - and Broad set to play despite his fractured nose, it could be that the pairing of Woakes and Jordan are given another chance to ride in the slipstream of James Anderson and Broad.

England's two senior bowlers have lifted their performances exceptionally after miserably failing to exploit homemade conditions at Lord's. You could also say that it is exactly what they should be doing as a pair of quicks with 637 Test wickets between them and one, in Anderson, eight wickets away from being his country's leading Test wicket-taker.

But they are the most precious commodities of this England side, especially Anderson at the age of 32 even if he has seemed to find a new lease of life post the issues with Ravindra Jadeja, and they need strong support if they are not to be burnt out. There will more than a few crossed fingers until the outcome of Broad's knee surgery is known.

With Anderson off the field for a period on the third day at Old Trafford and Broad in hospital, Cook had no choice but to alternate Woakes and Jordan while Moeen did his work at the other end. In terms of the match position - if not the poor forecast - Cook had a comfort zone to work with, but it was a concern to see how the young seamers appeared to lose the notion of line and length. Maybe it was partly the desperation to finish the game quickly, and Jordan did appear to be trying too hard, but it was a missed chance for either of them to make a strong statement about demanding a permanent place in the pace line-up.

Those better versed in judging the technical aspects of fast bowlers have picked up technical issues with Jordan, but even with a rudimentary knowledge of the mechanics of bowling it cannot escape notice the number of deliveries, especially at the start of a spell, which disappear down the leg side.

Not that it was all poor. Woakes, who deserved some reward at the Ageas Bowl where he performed a holding role perfectly, set up M Vijay nicely for the nip-backer that trapped him lbw. Woakes' action appears to be more solid and repeatable and his work over the last 12 months has pushed him topside of fast-medium.

Jordan, after being denied a wicket due to a no-ball (he consistently pushes the front line) wrapped up the match with a swift one-two against Nos. 10 and 11: the bouncer to take Varun Aaron's glove and the yorker, via the pads, to clean up the hapless Pankaj Singh.

It may be that India's resistance is now well and truly broken, but it could also be the case that The Oval will provide a surface with less pace and bounce than Old Trafford where they could have a last chance at redemption.

Ben Stokes and Steven Finn are the other two pace options in the squad. Both bring wicket-taking threat and while control is not the main skill of either the evidence of the last two weeks is that an attacking mindset bears fruit. Given the seriousness of the problems Finn has been through, there will be some trepidation whenever he returns.

But so long as The Oval surface does not resemble a sluggish dust bowl there could be no time like the present against an India side whose fight was left in the Lord's dressing room.

Andrew McGlashan is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY kitten on | August 14, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    @Lexington North....You made very valid points regarding England's recovery. It is not England performing really well, it is India performing disastrously. Make no mistake, Australia and SA will be a different kettle of fish, and even NZ will not collapse the way India did. So let us look at the situation in perspective. Anderson, before the test in Southampton, was not very effective, and so was Broad. At Lords they were abysmal, to say the least. But when India started playing badly, that is when everything started to happen, England capitalised, and we all know what happened in those two tests. Broad has got problems of his own, his knee is being operated upon, and we have to see what happens after that. The batting seems safe at the moment, but hasn't been really tested, as India doesn't have the equipment to do that. The true test will come when England take on better opponents, so until then we should not jump up and down with our achievements.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | August 14, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    Woakes and Jordan are both 25 years old. Woakes has played 3 test matches and Jordan 4. Of course they're not the finished article yet. However, they never will be if they're not given the opportunity to learn at test level. Both have other attributes that are valuable; Woakes is a very decent bat, a genuine allrounder with a FC average of 38 and 8 centuries. Jordan is an excellent slip fielder, especially to the slow bowlers- not a skill commonly found even in test cricket. He's also a useful bat, though not at Woakes' level. They are both hard workers and give 100%.

    Give them a few more tests and they'll start to feel comfortable and the performances will come. This continual impatience when a young player doesn't immediately make an impact is very unproductive. Young players are an investment in the future and like any investment have to be given time to grow.

    Add in Stokes, Finn, Reece Topley of Essex and a few others and England has lots of potential going forward.

  • POSTED BY Antidisestablishmentarianism on | August 13, 2014, 0:00 GMT

    Extraordinary - we've just won two Tests after a year's drought, and we're considering at least three changes! Some sort of stability might be good for England here. We've already seen the potential of Robson, Woakes and Jordan at Test level, they're young and they should be given a fair spell in the side. When England are winning matches we shouldn't be talking about dropping people.

  • POSTED BY whirlaway on | August 12, 2014, 22:49 GMT

    I think Stokes should replace Jordan. And if Broad is not playing, England should opt for Finn. The combination of Anderson, Finn, Stokes, Woakes and Ali will be good enough to get 20 Indian wickets in 4 days or even 3 days.

  • POSTED BY StJohn on | August 12, 2014, 20:42 GMT

    …but I see Onions is now injured too, so maybe not at the moment...

  • POSTED BY StJohn on | August 12, 2014, 20:39 GMT

    Two words: Graham Onions.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | August 12, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx (post on August 12, 2014, 11:08 GMT): I think everyone around the world, regardless of which team they support, would love to have tests much more equally divided. It's catch 22 as well whereby too many tests can lead to burnout, and don't get me started on rankings etc. It seems that a team/player that aces a few games, but then doesn't play for ages or as much as others STILL hovers around the top of the rankings, whereas teams/guys that play much more games are more likely to even out and get stuck in the middle or even (near) bottom. That's the trade off right there.

  • POSTED BY TheChap on | August 12, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    Hmmm - I think the English seam bowling cupboard is reasonably well stocked. Provided Finny gets his mojo back, and Stokes can be backed to score runs again (that was the only reason he was dropped from the team for me). You've got a good pool to choose from there.

    However, Jordan seems to have some technical issues to address - his run up in particular, and perhaps he looks a bit too musclebound - that said he's a prospect no doubt. Woakes needs to be locked in a room with Jimmy Anderson and made to suck up all the craft and guile that Jimmy has learned - he's the most similar in terms of pace and swing that we have to Anderson, and Saker and Moores need to move on it. Add in guys like Bopara with bat and ball and it's all good.

    The opening slot is a problem - Robson is far too rigid and stiff at the crease, and I think he will struggle. Compton is probably worth another go now he may be accepted a little more into the dressing room than on debut. Hales next cab off rank perhaps..

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    India's capitulation since Lords has been dramatic to say the least. Their top order is not firing at all and with Vijay and Rahane losing form as well, there's no one left to stay and occupy the crease. Ashwin showed signs of it, which amazes me all the more why he was left out in the first place. England hasn't been overly convincing, more a case of India playing so badly at the moment has flattered England's progress. Anderson and Broad have been top-draw, Mo Ali has been the surprise package, but still not convinced with Woakes and Jordan. Woakes bowls a good, steady line with some shape away from the right-handers, but hardly threatening, more suited to the shorter formats and Jordan has been spraying it all over the place. Robson looks uncertain at the top also, so maybe Carberry or Compton gets another run before the Ashes. There's Hales, Vince or Lyth to consider, but will they be ready for test match level by next summer?...The only change on Friday is Finn for Jordan.

  • POSTED BY navneethp on | August 12, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    England must plan for their fast bowling future now that the series is almost sealed with Moen bowling like Murali. They should rest both Anderson and Broad. See how they would survive post the Anderson & Broad era. They should not rest on their laurels like India did when they had the FAB 4. After the FAB 4 retired India have struggled just like Australia struggled after Warnie and Mcgrath retired.

  • POSTED BY kitten on | August 14, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    @Lexington North....You made very valid points regarding England's recovery. It is not England performing really well, it is India performing disastrously. Make no mistake, Australia and SA will be a different kettle of fish, and even NZ will not collapse the way India did. So let us look at the situation in perspective. Anderson, before the test in Southampton, was not very effective, and so was Broad. At Lords they were abysmal, to say the least. But when India started playing badly, that is when everything started to happen, England capitalised, and we all know what happened in those two tests. Broad has got problems of his own, his knee is being operated upon, and we have to see what happens after that. The batting seems safe at the moment, but hasn't been really tested, as India doesn't have the equipment to do that. The true test will come when England take on better opponents, so until then we should not jump up and down with our achievements.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | August 14, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    Woakes and Jordan are both 25 years old. Woakes has played 3 test matches and Jordan 4. Of course they're not the finished article yet. However, they never will be if they're not given the opportunity to learn at test level. Both have other attributes that are valuable; Woakes is a very decent bat, a genuine allrounder with a FC average of 38 and 8 centuries. Jordan is an excellent slip fielder, especially to the slow bowlers- not a skill commonly found even in test cricket. He's also a useful bat, though not at Woakes' level. They are both hard workers and give 100%.

    Give them a few more tests and they'll start to feel comfortable and the performances will come. This continual impatience when a young player doesn't immediately make an impact is very unproductive. Young players are an investment in the future and like any investment have to be given time to grow.

    Add in Stokes, Finn, Reece Topley of Essex and a few others and England has lots of potential going forward.

  • POSTED BY Antidisestablishmentarianism on | August 13, 2014, 0:00 GMT

    Extraordinary - we've just won two Tests after a year's drought, and we're considering at least three changes! Some sort of stability might be good for England here. We've already seen the potential of Robson, Woakes and Jordan at Test level, they're young and they should be given a fair spell in the side. When England are winning matches we shouldn't be talking about dropping people.

  • POSTED BY whirlaway on | August 12, 2014, 22:49 GMT

    I think Stokes should replace Jordan. And if Broad is not playing, England should opt for Finn. The combination of Anderson, Finn, Stokes, Woakes and Ali will be good enough to get 20 Indian wickets in 4 days or even 3 days.

  • POSTED BY StJohn on | August 12, 2014, 20:42 GMT

    …but I see Onions is now injured too, so maybe not at the moment...

  • POSTED BY StJohn on | August 12, 2014, 20:39 GMT

    Two words: Graham Onions.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | August 12, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx (post on August 12, 2014, 11:08 GMT): I think everyone around the world, regardless of which team they support, would love to have tests much more equally divided. It's catch 22 as well whereby too many tests can lead to burnout, and don't get me started on rankings etc. It seems that a team/player that aces a few games, but then doesn't play for ages or as much as others STILL hovers around the top of the rankings, whereas teams/guys that play much more games are more likely to even out and get stuck in the middle or even (near) bottom. That's the trade off right there.

  • POSTED BY TheChap on | August 12, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    Hmmm - I think the English seam bowling cupboard is reasonably well stocked. Provided Finny gets his mojo back, and Stokes can be backed to score runs again (that was the only reason he was dropped from the team for me). You've got a good pool to choose from there.

    However, Jordan seems to have some technical issues to address - his run up in particular, and perhaps he looks a bit too musclebound - that said he's a prospect no doubt. Woakes needs to be locked in a room with Jimmy Anderson and made to suck up all the craft and guile that Jimmy has learned - he's the most similar in terms of pace and swing that we have to Anderson, and Saker and Moores need to move on it. Add in guys like Bopara with bat and ball and it's all good.

    The opening slot is a problem - Robson is far too rigid and stiff at the crease, and I think he will struggle. Compton is probably worth another go now he may be accepted a little more into the dressing room than on debut. Hales next cab off rank perhaps..

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    India's capitulation since Lords has been dramatic to say the least. Their top order is not firing at all and with Vijay and Rahane losing form as well, there's no one left to stay and occupy the crease. Ashwin showed signs of it, which amazes me all the more why he was left out in the first place. England hasn't been overly convincing, more a case of India playing so badly at the moment has flattered England's progress. Anderson and Broad have been top-draw, Mo Ali has been the surprise package, but still not convinced with Woakes and Jordan. Woakes bowls a good, steady line with some shape away from the right-handers, but hardly threatening, more suited to the shorter formats and Jordan has been spraying it all over the place. Robson looks uncertain at the top also, so maybe Carberry or Compton gets another run before the Ashes. There's Hales, Vince or Lyth to consider, but will they be ready for test match level by next summer?...The only change on Friday is Finn for Jordan.

  • POSTED BY navneethp on | August 12, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    England must plan for their fast bowling future now that the series is almost sealed with Moen bowling like Murali. They should rest both Anderson and Broad. See how they would survive post the Anderson & Broad era. They should not rest on their laurels like India did when they had the FAB 4. After the FAB 4 retired India have struggled just like Australia struggled after Warnie and Mcgrath retired.

  • POSTED BY nursery_ender on | August 12, 2014, 14:05 GMT

    Posted by Paul Rone-Clarke on (August 12, 2014, 12:54 GMT) I would be very tempted to bring Compton back until Hales or Vince has improved or Robson himself has worked out where his off stump is and learned to leave those wider deliveries.

    Leaving the wider ball that turned out to be an inswinger won't have helped in that regard.

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    Woakes has great control of the moving ball. He gets a little seam movement more than that, has a good inswinger and outswinger. In the right conditions I think he is one for the future. Jordan worries me a little and is the one I think should make room for Finn if Finn is fit. Robson is the other weak point. I would be very tempted to bring Compton back until Hales or Vince has improved or Robson himself has worked out where his off stump is and learned to leave those wider deliveries.

  • POSTED BY MarkTaffin on | August 12, 2014, 12:12 GMT

    Woakes and Jordan are not the supporting cast. They are the supporting cast TO the supporting cast of Plunkett, Finn and Stokes, any of which should play ahead of those two, so its no surprise they disappoint.

    The opener should be Compton; Carberry shouldn't have been sent to Oz in the first place, Robson left in county cricket for a few more years (as Lees should now), Vince bats at no 4 in CC2 so they thought of him or Hales against Mitch and Rhino with a new all doesn't inspire confidence. If they won't go back to Compo, then it should be Lyth, though the 5 Tests before Oz are not the easiest start to a Test career.

  • POSTED BY Uticensis on | August 12, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    It takes time for most players to adjust to Test cricket. Woakes has played 3 Tests and Jordan 4. The time to start expecting them to deliver is when they've played 25-30 games in different conditions (and match situations) around the world, not now.

    Stokes is an underrated bowler who bowls a heavy bat-jarring delivery and gets settled batsmen out with a bit of swing - a bit like the young Jacques Kallis. He also has that extra edge of competitiveness that you need at this level. I'd settle on him as 4th seamer given his batting potential. The third, ideally, should be Finn or Plunkett right now; but Finn is still leaking too many runs and Plunkett's injured. I'd back Jordan over Woakes. The latter will always take stacks of county wickets but his bowling, indeed his whole game, lacks a sense that there are higher gears he isn't accessing yet. Jordan, on the other hand, sometimes suggests awesome (and still untapped) ability.

  • POSTED BY 200ondebut on | August 12, 2014, 11:28 GMT

    The third seamer behind Broad and Anderson needs to be the Country's next best bowler not the nest allrounder. The best allrounder can be the fourth seamer in the current team set up. I'd go for Finn and Stokes ahead of the other options.

  • POSTED BY PeerieTrow on | August 12, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    Good assessment of the situation @SirViv1973. Like you I don't think they'll go with Compton or Carberry for tests, but Carbs might get a run in the ODI squad. He has been smiling a lot more around the Bowl of late, and his smile is the same sort of indicator as the CGC limp when he walked to the crease. With regard to the youngsters; without an insight into the selectors' thinking it's impossible to say which they'd go for, but they're all really high quality, so whoever the lucky one is he needs to work really hard to keep his competitors back in the counties.

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 11:14 GMT

    I see Bresnan was in the wickets the other day.... Just a thought like...

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | August 12, 2014, 11:08 GMT

    17 tests in nine months!? That's ridiculous. England get too many tests. You can talk about 'burnout' and all the rest of it, but playing that many tests is an unfair ADVANTAGE. At that rate, in three years you could already have a 50 test veteran so your team develops quicker. No wonder why the likes of Cook and Pietersen were able to get to play 100 test in less than 8 years while it takes others 10-12 years to play that much. Unfair distribution i reckon.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | August 12, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    @humdingers, Robson hasn't made a significant contributon 4 several inns now & he probably needs a decent knock here if he is remain the preferred choice 2 open with cook in the wi. There a lot of options 4 eng at the top of the order. They could go back 2 Compton or Carberry though I doubt they will, lyth has had a great summer or they could plump for a young gun such as vince or lees. There's also a gathering clamer 4 hales, who is likely 2 finally get his chance in the 50 overs side in the odi series that follows if he does well there then he should go 2 the wc & if successful there I could see him getting a chance against wi.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | August 12, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, my concern in regards to broad that a fractured nose will cause him breathing difficulties, which could impact his performance. A lot will depend on the next couple of days, and what the medics think. If in doubt he gets rested, rather than have him unable to play.

    In which case Finn plays in his place, and we get to see how far hes progressed.

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    I think both Woakes and Jordan have huge potential and they are by no means the finished article yet. England should - and will - show patience with their development. Thankfully, the days of England management chopping and changing sides from test-to-test are gone, and gone for good.

  • POSTED BY notimeforcricket on | August 12, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    you sense that Plunkett will be the kind of guy who gets a game when conditions suit. he does seem to have the heart for it and is a good lower order batsman. People forget how young Finn is. He is way ahead of Anderson at the same age and will come back. Woakes seems to have improved dramatically in a year. If 3 of your bowling attack (Ali, Woakes, Plunkett, Broad, Jordan, Bresnan etc etc) can bat, it is good news. Anderson's batting has also improved. It takes years (other than for the super talented) for a bowler to crack test cricket. Realistically, Anderson for the first 6 years of his career struggled. Incredible that he averages under 30 now having been in the high 30s for the first half of his career. I can't see how Jordan is going to take wickets consistently at test level. he does not seem to hve any obvious weapons but his fielding is incredible.

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 6:30 GMT

    My selection would be Compton, Cook, Ballance, Bell, Root, Ali, Buttler, Overton, Broad, Anderson, Finn

    Woakes will never do anything than take the odd wicket economically and Jordan has much to do although he is potentially the best of the bunch of back-ups. Let's give Overton a try - he has pace and no little desire which, in a final test of a series will go a long way to showing if this kid really has the potential. Finn is a no-brainer for me; pace, bounce and movement is what batsmen the world over fear the most and England continue to ignore it for the safety first option; how he didn't make the final XI at Old Trafford is beyond me. Let's see the Indians hopping about and wearing a few.......

  • POSTED BY venkatesh018 on | August 12, 2014, 6:03 GMT

    Steven Finn, Liam Plunkett, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Ben Stokes & Stuart Meaker(in that order) are the best bets for third and fourth seamers outside of Broad and Anderson.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | August 12, 2014, 3:55 GMT

    @Sexysteven on (August 12, 2014, 2:25 GMT), you do realise that England are only one game up in this series, right? If Broad was rested when fit and England ended up losing the game and thereby drawing the series, the criticism would go far beyond "Cook missing a trick".

  • POSTED BY on | August 12, 2014, 3:03 GMT

    England just need to bat it out and you can be sure India will be coming in spinning. I'd drop Jordan and put in someone who can bat a bit - Bopara's always been good against spin and can bowl long periods to keep Broad and Anderson fresh. We should also get Root to turn his arm over a bit more. I would drop Robson - he's not ready, and move Root or Bell up to open.

  • POSTED BY Sexysteven on | August 12, 2014, 2:25 GMT

    It's got to be said the support cast isn't backing up broad and Anderson that's why I'm surprised they are risking broad for the final test would of been agood opportunity to rest broad in order to get more out of the support cast in order to get them up to standard before the ashes next year cos they will need more from the support cast if they want to be competitive in the ashes so England have missed a trick that's for sure but you expect that with Cook as captain

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 12, 2014, 1:26 GMT

    England shouldn't lose focus and think that they are back to their previous best just by winning this series. There's plenty of work needed yet to compete against some of the other nations.

  • POSTED BY Humdingers on | August 12, 2014, 0:24 GMT

    Not sure about Robson. Yes he has scored runs against SL and to an extent India, but that is a different proposition to SA and AUS.

  • POSTED BY Chase_HQ on | August 11, 2014, 22:30 GMT

    Both did well and I felt there's been too much criticism directed at them. Concerns include high economy rate, but they usually were bowling when India were aiming to counter attack. Jordan is talented and needs to keep bowling - not sure if the technical issues are so pressing - more of a form / mood bowler who needs encouragement.

    Like Woakes and he offers a lot with the bat too. Feel he bowls from too wide of the crease - a little closer and he'll get more value for his outswing (like Onions). Presumably someone has spotted this?

  • POSTED BY on | August 11, 2014, 21:41 GMT

    It sometimes feels like people have forgotten Anderson's torid Ashes series in 2007, or Broad Jr getting carted for six sixes in an over by Yuvraj. Neither of these players had a smooth route to the top and nor will their replacements.

    All four of the 2005 seam attack had their places questioned at several stages in their career. Incidentally, that was a series that Anderson missed out on, relegated to the role of perenial drinks carrier whilst his temprament was questioned and an army of coaches fiddled with his action. Finn, Stokes, Jordan et al. will hopefully have learned from those experiences, and hopefully so too will England.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | August 11, 2014, 20:50 GMT

    Is this surprising? There's no quality in the England squad, that's why they are rated 6th or wherever they are. The Ashes next summer will be horrible, like baby fur seals being clubbed by an unstoppable beast that is the Australian cricket team. Well I suppose it will be nice to watch the skills of the Aussies.

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | August 11, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    England should try the following combination in next game

    1. Robson 2. Cook 3. Ballance 4. Bell 5. Root 6. Buttler 7. Stokes 8. Ali 9. Broad/Woakes 10. Anderson 11. Finn

    From next series they can try Ali as opener instead of Robson, because they can't keep Ali out due to his bowling; and bring another middle order batsman like Morgan.

  • POSTED BY ajj_sin on | August 11, 2014, 19:14 GMT

    Surprised that Stokes is not getting another chance. He took 7 wickets in 2 test matches as the fourth bowler even though his batting did not click but even as a bowler he was doing much better than jordan and woakes ( on lesser supportive wickets). It's only a matter of time when he regains his touch in his batting. Even though I am an Indian cricket supporter, it would be nice to see positive batsmen like butler and Stokes in this Squad. In addition to test gems like Cook, Bell, Root, these two guys provide the best balance to the side.

  • POSTED BY RodStark on | August 11, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    I'm not too worried. We've seen Plunkett, Jordan, Stokes, Woakes, and Finn in the squad this year, and I'd be pretty content with any of them for different reasons. Beyond that there is still a bunch of younger ones who have played for the Lions or in limited overs for England--and of course Bresnan. As long as Broad and Anderson are around, I think we'll see a lot of change in the support cast depending on who's currently in form and who/where we're playing. What is more urgent is whether one of the support cast can develop into the attack leader in the next couple of years to finally replace Anderson when the time comes. Finn looks the most likely but must be handled carefully.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | August 11, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    Last winter was very revealing when it came to the developing Eng's bowling resources. Steve Finn went rapidly backwards and was in pressing need of remedial therapy at the beginning of this summer. Middlesex -- presumably Gus Fraser -- is responsible for achieving that, not England. He's back in contention. Then, what happened to Boyd Rankin? He seems to be making steady contributions this year, without any really eye-catching performances. Is he still a contender? Stokes, if he can begin to score some runs again, is clearly in the frame. As for Woakes & Jordan, have they been given enough time? There are peripheral possibilites: Jack Brooks at Yorkshire (49 wks@ 28), never mentioned these days. Why not? I have my own idea about England's thinking when it comes to quick bowling resources. I'll share it. It's the hunt for the mystical miracle man -- the complete allrounder. As with the w/k postion, the selectors like each-way bets. Jimmy, lad, you might not have got a look-in today!

  • POSTED BY on | August 11, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    Bring back Tim Bresnan, he seems to be bowling quite well, and he bats as well as Jordan

  • POSTED BY xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on | August 11, 2014, 16:02 GMT

    Some welcome perspective here and a salutary warning amid the collective rush to climb back on the high horse.

  • POSTED BY Harlequin. on | August 11, 2014, 15:55 GMT

    I assumed articles like this would come out. Yes, Woakes and Jordan haven't really taken many wickets, but there are a few buts:

    It is only a few games since Plunkett took a 5-fer

    The new boys are still learning

    It is fine to rely on a couple of bowlers whilst new ones are learning. SA rely on Steyn, Pak rely on Ajmal, SL on Herath.

    If you could have asked at the start of the summer for 1 English bowler to do well, 90% of England fans would have asked for Swann's replacement to take wickets. This happened.

    The concern for me is not in talent, because there is plenty of that in the bowling ranks, it is whether England have the coaching resources to develop them into test-class bowlers.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Harlequin. on | August 11, 2014, 15:55 GMT

    I assumed articles like this would come out. Yes, Woakes and Jordan haven't really taken many wickets, but there are a few buts:

    It is only a few games since Plunkett took a 5-fer

    The new boys are still learning

    It is fine to rely on a couple of bowlers whilst new ones are learning. SA rely on Steyn, Pak rely on Ajmal, SL on Herath.

    If you could have asked at the start of the summer for 1 English bowler to do well, 90% of England fans would have asked for Swann's replacement to take wickets. This happened.

    The concern for me is not in talent, because there is plenty of that in the bowling ranks, it is whether England have the coaching resources to develop them into test-class bowlers.

  • POSTED BY xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on | August 11, 2014, 16:02 GMT

    Some welcome perspective here and a salutary warning amid the collective rush to climb back on the high horse.

  • POSTED BY on | August 11, 2014, 17:25 GMT

    Bring back Tim Bresnan, he seems to be bowling quite well, and he bats as well as Jordan

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | August 11, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    Last winter was very revealing when it came to the developing Eng's bowling resources. Steve Finn went rapidly backwards and was in pressing need of remedial therapy at the beginning of this summer. Middlesex -- presumably Gus Fraser -- is responsible for achieving that, not England. He's back in contention. Then, what happened to Boyd Rankin? He seems to be making steady contributions this year, without any really eye-catching performances. Is he still a contender? Stokes, if he can begin to score some runs again, is clearly in the frame. As for Woakes & Jordan, have they been given enough time? There are peripheral possibilites: Jack Brooks at Yorkshire (49 wks@ 28), never mentioned these days. Why not? I have my own idea about England's thinking when it comes to quick bowling resources. I'll share it. It's the hunt for the mystical miracle man -- the complete allrounder. As with the w/k postion, the selectors like each-way bets. Jimmy, lad, you might not have got a look-in today!

  • POSTED BY RodStark on | August 11, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    I'm not too worried. We've seen Plunkett, Jordan, Stokes, Woakes, and Finn in the squad this year, and I'd be pretty content with any of them for different reasons. Beyond that there is still a bunch of younger ones who have played for the Lions or in limited overs for England--and of course Bresnan. As long as Broad and Anderson are around, I think we'll see a lot of change in the support cast depending on who's currently in form and who/where we're playing. What is more urgent is whether one of the support cast can develop into the attack leader in the next couple of years to finally replace Anderson when the time comes. Finn looks the most likely but must be handled carefully.

  • POSTED BY ajj_sin on | August 11, 2014, 19:14 GMT

    Surprised that Stokes is not getting another chance. He took 7 wickets in 2 test matches as the fourth bowler even though his batting did not click but even as a bowler he was doing much better than jordan and woakes ( on lesser supportive wickets). It's only a matter of time when he regains his touch in his batting. Even though I am an Indian cricket supporter, it would be nice to see positive batsmen like butler and Stokes in this Squad. In addition to test gems like Cook, Bell, Root, these two guys provide the best balance to the side.

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | August 11, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    England should try the following combination in next game

    1. Robson 2. Cook 3. Ballance 4. Bell 5. Root 6. Buttler 7. Stokes 8. Ali 9. Broad/Woakes 10. Anderson 11. Finn

    From next series they can try Ali as opener instead of Robson, because they can't keep Ali out due to his bowling; and bring another middle order batsman like Morgan.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | August 11, 2014, 20:50 GMT

    Is this surprising? There's no quality in the England squad, that's why they are rated 6th or wherever they are. The Ashes next summer will be horrible, like baby fur seals being clubbed by an unstoppable beast that is the Australian cricket team. Well I suppose it will be nice to watch the skills of the Aussies.

  • POSTED BY on | August 11, 2014, 21:41 GMT

    It sometimes feels like people have forgotten Anderson's torid Ashes series in 2007, or Broad Jr getting carted for six sixes in an over by Yuvraj. Neither of these players had a smooth route to the top and nor will their replacements.

    All four of the 2005 seam attack had their places questioned at several stages in their career. Incidentally, that was a series that Anderson missed out on, relegated to the role of perenial drinks carrier whilst his temprament was questioned and an army of coaches fiddled with his action. Finn, Stokes, Jordan et al. will hopefully have learned from those experiences, and hopefully so too will England.

  • POSTED BY Chase_HQ on | August 11, 2014, 22:30 GMT

    Both did well and I felt there's been too much criticism directed at them. Concerns include high economy rate, but they usually were bowling when India were aiming to counter attack. Jordan is talented and needs to keep bowling - not sure if the technical issues are so pressing - more of a form / mood bowler who needs encouragement.

    Like Woakes and he offers a lot with the bat too. Feel he bowls from too wide of the crease - a little closer and he'll get more value for his outswing (like Onions). Presumably someone has spotted this?