Sri Lanka in England 2014

Moeen, Robson, Jordan get Test calls

David Hopps

June 5, 2014

Comments: 170 | Text size: A | A
No real surprises in young England Test squad

Moeen Ali struck nine fours and three sixes in his century, Durham v Middlesex, County Championship, Division One, Chester-le-Street, 1st day, June 1, 2014
Moeen Ali is one of three uncapped players in the Test squad © PA Photos

England's post-Pietersen era, unveiled in Test cricket for the first time, has a serious and well-planned look about it. From the chaos of an Ashes hounding, England's selectors have managed to produce a squad that seems entirely logical. The new order is not just new, it is also extremely orderly.

There is no pin sticking in England's 12 for the first Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's, no sense of floundering around as there would have been a generation ago. Three uncapped players - Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan and Sam Robson - all seem carefully introduced and worthy of selection.

Pietersen himself might remark on a shortage of batting flair. This is a side that will seek to bat long and responsibly.

Liam Plunkett might be regarded as a bit of a punt - nobody can be entirely sure how he will respond to his first Test call up for seven years - but he has been bowling consistently quickly for Yorkshire and, at 29, should have enough experience to cope with the additional pressure a Test summons will bring.

Sam Robson is the baby of the squad, but even he is approaching his 25th birthday and his move through the England ranks has been so well planned, and his own approach to batting is so methodical, that his first Test call up as Alastair Cook's opening partner seems entirely sagacious. "Lovely lad, fit, focused, disciplined," was how the chief selector James Whitaker put it. And five hundreds for England's development sides last winter.

An old stager returns, too, in Matt Prior, an Ashes vice-captain who was dispensed with for the final two Tests in Australia but who returns as Cook's dressing-room sergeant major. Prior is perhaps England's biggest gamble. They were desperate to select him and it would have needed Sussex's regular medical updates to warn that they had had to install a stair lift outside the Hove dressing room for him to be discounted.

A return to classier wicketkeepers of a certain age - the excellent James Foster prime among them - have been discounted. This selection team is not revolutionary. Such selections, as persuasive as they seem to onlookers, can disturb dressing room morale. Random = dangerous.

Whitaker insisted that England had no qualms about Prior. "Our No. 1 priority for selection criteria is that someone is 100% fit," he said. "Very few people go through their international career without a little bit of a blip. Matt is no different. He comes back as just the sort of character we want in that team."

Nevertheless, Prior's season with Sussex has been severely disrupted by his long-standing weakness in both Achilles and what little wicketkeeping he has had has reflected as much. He has only batted three times in the Championship, but from the moment he made the first Championship hundred of the season in early April - 125 against Middlesex at Hove - the selectors, with full encouragement from the captain, Cook, knew the course they wished to take.

Casual observers, in particular, will regret the omission of Jos Buttler, who has lifted England's mood like no other player this season, but his keeping remains rudimentary and it is best that he is allowed to address it. Prior will have to put his body - and reputation - on the line.

If England felt obliged to gamble on Prior, they took the opposite view on Ben Stokes. Only two Championship matches was not enough to gain selection. "Ben Stokes is very much part of England's future, but with barely 30 overs under his belt we want to see him bowl more overs and get more stamina into his body," Whitaker said.

England squad

  • Alastair Cook, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior, Sam Robson, Joe Root, Chris Woakes

Stokes, at least, does not seem to have suffered long-term damage from thumping a dressing room locker; it is to be hoped that England took the precaution of covering every hard surface in County Durham in foam rubber before advising him of his omission.

There are only seven survivors from that fateful Ashes squad. To run through some of the names in England's last Test, against Australia in Sydney, is to recognise the extent of the changes: there is no Jonny Bairstow, Boyd Rankin, Scott Borthwick, Michael Carberry.

Graeme Swann has retired, Monty Panesar, muddle-headed, needs to regain trust before he will be considered as a permanent replacement and, while any right-thinking person should wish Jonathan Trott well in his attempts to return to the professional game, England's attention seems to have turned elsewhere. From England's rock to a hard place in no time at all.

No player is more unfortunate to miss out than Samit Patel; even the presence of his Nottinghamshire coach, Mick Newell, on the selection panel has not been enough to win him recognition. England are more bent upon Moeen Ali, even though Moeen's runs have been made in Division Two, understandably believing that Moeen's offspin is more serviceable than Patel's left-arm slows, or indeed the leg spin of Borthwick.

There was an argument for Patel's inclusion at No. 5, but England's selectors have chosen a top five of serious intent. Gary Ballance, a nuggety cricketer, gets the vote alongside his Yorkshire team-mate Joe Root. Patel, or indeed Eoin Morgan, might have added some flair to the England batting line-up in the absence of Pietersen, but Morgan's form in both short game and long has been middling after he chose to miss the IPL to push his England Test claims. Morgan might quickly revert to the conclusion that he is essentially a one-day specialist.

Yorkshire's coaching staff, as Whitaker was quick to indicate, have worked wonders with Plunkett. Martyn Moxon, who knew Plunkett at Durham, had enough faith in his skill to advocate his signature when Durham released him in October 2012; Jason Gillespie cleared his head again, encouraged him to make use of his physique by bowling fast, and his ability to bowl occasional unplayable balls has once again come to the fore.

It is the nature of things that Yorkshire have been so successful with Plunkett that their Championship challenge could now be undermined as a result, so it was refreshing to hear Whitaker recognise the good that can be done at county level - a necessary shifting of the relationship that deteriorated during the tenures of two southern African coaches, Duncan Fletcher and Andy Flower; Fletcher, in particular, regarded the county game as a repository of slack habits and spent as little time observing it as he could.

"Well done to Martyn Moxon and Jason Gillespie and all the guys at Yorkshire who have made Liam successful," Whitaker said. "They have asked him to run it and feel good and feel good in himself again. He has bowled some really quick spells, 90mph or so."

It was Plunkett's display against Durham at Chester-le-Street which gained most attention - the match was covered live on Sky - but as Whitaker pointed out that his performance against Middlesex at Lord's, venue for the first Test, was even more impressive. Plunkett outbowled Steven Finn, who at least can draw some confidence from Plunkett's own story that his own recovery of his best form is already underway.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by CodandChips on (June 8, 2014, 7:22 GMT)

@R_U_4_REAL_NICK Unfortunately Onions has been injured for a while. However I fear he, like James Taylor, will never get picked.

Posted by SLSup on (June 7, 2014, 18:06 GMT)

Can a Test team ranked 7th (per ICC that will not reveal HOW it determines the ranking - except to tell us the duration it is effective when countries play different NUMBER of Tests during the SAME duration) beat a Team that is currently ranked 4th?

Can a new fangled ENG team - no matter how determined they may be to prove their critics wrong - manage to get 300 on board twice if necessary to pose a threat to SL (who is more likely able to do it)?

If we look at average performances by batters/bowlers for ENG and SL, it is clear SL is ahead on overal, average capablities but will that necessarily translate into SL being the more favoured currently though they are ranked 14 pts and 3 slots lower in ICC rankings? Will SL be considered underdogs despite this?

Wonder why Farbrace has gone from a near 100% wins with SL to approx 30% with ENG and from being quite visible in SL dug out to almost non-existent in ENG dug out. And THAT during a format that he was more familiar with.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (June 7, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

@R_U_4_REAL_NICK, I was never a great fan of Plunkett when he was in the Eng set up under Fletcher and he seemed to sink without trace some yrs ago. However It would appear that the move to Yorks has worked wonders and I do expect him to play ahead of Woakes. By all reports his is speed is up at 90mph the season and he's taken 24 wickets in the CC so far so he warrants selection on his bowling alone. He was always seen as a bowler who could bat a bit but & I think the fact he's got a few runs this season is a bonus. The trouble with Borthwick is that although he's doing well with the bat for durham he's not been bowling much & has only taken 6 FC wickets this summer, so he would only be seen as a part time bowler at the moment & Ali is still a better batting option. IMO Borthwick needs to leave Durham if he is to further his test ambitions he needs to be playing on a home ground which offers a bit more assistance to his bowling & a county where he is 1 of the 4 main bowling options

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (June 7, 2014, 16:23 GMT)

You know, thinking about it further, I'd maybe have gone for Borthwick instead of Plunkett. The only justification I can think of for Plunkett is that he offers something with the bat as well as bowling seam; but if that's what England are concerned about then why not go for Borthwick who is a legspinner that can bat!? If Plunkett is simply there as back-up should one of the other seamers get injured, then where the heck is Onions who should in all seriousness be one of the first names down for playing a home series, never-mind as an afterthought / back-up.

Posted by Meety on (June 7, 2014, 1:09 GMT)

Sl always struggle away from the sub-continent, so will still be underdogs for this clash, BUT gee how much has England changed in 12mths???? How ironic, that England select an Ozzy to sure up the top order batting?? Will be interested to see if Jordan can translate ODI form into the Test arena, doesn't always happen. Would like to see Woakes get a run. Really only 4 world class players in that squad. Maybe by the end of the series there will be a different view, but right now, I would say a very modest squad.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (June 6, 2014, 17:51 GMT)

The absence of a frontline spinner worries me, but Magic Monty has nobody to blame but himself, and there are no other standout candidates yet. Biggest surprise to me was the recall of Liam Plunkett; I'm wondering could he be squeezed into a team as a surprise all-rounder? His batting has really improved of late, whereas his bowling alone I do not think is enough to justify a seamer's slot in the test team. Be interesting to see what England try with this.

Batting-wise, I'm not really surprised. Compton can feel hard done by, but Robson is overdue a chance and should deliver. Ali was always going to be there in my mind, and I just hope they keep Root down in the middle where he belongs and have Bell or Ali at 3. As I said in another thread, Prior is still my first choice keeper-batsman as long as he's fully fit and gets back to form; otherwise, it's time to move on. All-in-all, it's a squad worth a chance, but a few holes/question marks remain and could bite England.

Posted by 2MikeGattings on (June 6, 2014, 15:56 GMT)

@Sam Carr, the issue with Prior is that his fitness is in doubt and he has very little chance to show form after a horrific winter that ended with him dropped. He is not the man in possession, what has he done to deserve a recall? With Bairstow seemingly discarded there is a case for considering other names, especially after watching Buttler miss stumping after stumping.

I have a bad feeling that Prior has been picked as a specialist vice captain.

And why so dismissive of Borthwick, who did little wrong against Australia, and who Mushtaq considers one of very few genuine prospects?

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (June 6, 2014, 15:13 GMT)

Dropping Bairstow could come back to haunt them...

Posted by Rahulthevirufan on (June 6, 2014, 14:43 GMT)

My question is Is Moeen really the best spinner available in England and what has happened to James Taylor.

Posted by   on (June 6, 2014, 12:35 GMT)

To those questioning Prior's inclusion 75 tests averaging over 40, in a team with only 2 other proven test batsmen! I'd pick him as a specialist batsmen. The fact most of his young rivals keeping is so bad that Prior is still better on one and a half legs as Cook and Moores have alluded to is for them to sort out. I suggest getting Bruce French involved he completely revolutionised Prior's keeping. Get him working with Butler, Bairstow and Kieswetter so they are an acceptable standard for Tests. Dropping a top test batsmen like Sanga could be cost you a match!

Posted by SirViv1973 on (June 6, 2014, 11:59 GMT)

@JG, I agree regarding Root when I saw his debut knock in Nagpur I thought we had found a real gem. Since then apart from the 100's at Lords & Leeds last yr respectivley he hasn't shone the way I thought he would. I don't think it would have been a shock if he would have been left out here. With Ali Likely to debut & Ballance only in his 2nd test I think the fact there were no other experienced batsman in the frame has had a hand in his selection along with the fact he can bowl a few overs of spin in the absence of a frontline spinner. I think he may be asked to bat at 3 in this series with Bell at 4, Ballance 5 & Ali at 6 I would prefer to see him swap with Ali & bat at 6 as that was where he seemed to do so well when he first got in the side. I think the move up the order to open in the ashes came too soon(I said as much at the time) given the run he's had since his 100 at Lords last year i'm not sure the responsibilty of being up at 3 will be good for him.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (June 6, 2014, 11:36 GMT)

Seems to be a lot of debate regarding the wicket keeper issue. So i'm just going to weigh in with my thoughts. I believe in the modern game a wicket keeper has to be able to both bat & be good with the gloves. I think the days of having a Bob Taylor batting at 10 because he's the best available gloveman have long gone. Foster has been unlucky that he hasn't got more opportunity he may well have been capable of a test in ave in the low 30's which is probably about the minimum you need from a keeper nowadays. As for Read he did have a good run in the side a decade ago & no matter how good a keeper he may have been a test of ave of less than 19 is nowhere near good enough in this day and age.

Posted by   on (June 6, 2014, 11:34 GMT)

There are some very odd comments on here. First of all anyone who advocates Tremlett being anywhere near an England squad has not seen him bowl for some time, he will not play for England again, nor should he. Read or Foster in place of Prior? Only one of those names has any chance of being considered a test match batsman and there is benefit in offering him a final chance to prove that before moving on, Read's horror show against Chris Cairns still makes me shudder to this day. James Vince needs to score runs for an entire season and then show good form for an entire winter for the Lions before he should be considered (I am a Hampshire fan). Borthwick a frontline spinner? Not yet, probably not ever. The only thing I would have done differently is had a squad of 13 with a frontline spinner chosen, just to have someone in and around the squad to have a look at in the nets. Why Kerrigan seems to have been discarded after 8 poor overs when he averages 27ish in county cricket is a mystery.

Posted by android_user on (June 6, 2014, 10:30 GMT)

The selection of a specialist wicketkeeper is disruptive to team morale? Did I read that right? With such a strong batting lineup, Read and Foster can both forget about playing at International level. There is no excuse not to have picked either and yet they are both overlooked for a mostly fit guy who scored some runs weeks ago...

Posted by RossyNewton on (June 6, 2014, 9:39 GMT)

Very good squad. Very impressed. Woakes is a better bowler and batsman than Stokes. Plunkett better than Rankin. Jordan looks like a class act. Only disappointments are no Taylor or Borthwick (who is a frontline leg spinner and scored 200 for Durham last game). Very long batting line up, probably have Broad at 10! My XI Cook, Robson, Bell, Ballance, Root, Woakes, Prior, Plunkett, Jordan, Broad, Anderson

Posted by JG2704 on (June 6, 2014, 9:37 GMT)

No huge issues with the squad. Obviously no frontline spinner. I wonder if they may try 2 part timers. Stokes maybe is unlucky but they probably feel he's not 100%. I suppose others who may consider themselves unlucky are Vince , Lyth , Patel and Borthwick. I wonder if Root may be looking over his shoulder? As a batsman/part time spinner you have 2 players who can do the role not in the squad and Root - after a promising start has hardly nailed down his place

Posted by grant1976 on (June 6, 2014, 9:04 GMT)

Does anyone have a view on what the batting line up with be: Cook, Robson the Root or Bell or Balance or Moeen at 3? who bat's 4/5/6?? Feel a bit sorry for Vince and Samit Patel. I guess the selectors have taken the opportunity to look a little longer into the season before they pick a specialist spinner... they will need one at some point. Big chance for someone to make a claim over the new few Championship games.

Posted by   on (June 6, 2014, 8:47 GMT)

Prior's selection is misguided. OK, so Buttler isn't Test standard yet, but Read and Foster are. Plunkett is the other dodgy selection. Other than that, it looks OK.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (June 6, 2014, 8:11 GMT)

Great squad for England but there are alot of good players who missed out. Should be wins at home v SL & India. Then next year australia come to the home of cricket & they haven't won in England for a very, very long time. No problem.

Posted by S.Jagernath on (June 6, 2014, 7:51 GMT)

These changes are good. James Taylor has somehow got lost along the way, Taylor looked disciplined in the games he did play. England needs to look away from James Anderson immediately or very soon, a bowler who can be slammed around on flatter surfaces the way he was in Australia is not the kind of bowler you want in the long run. Stuart Broad is very experienced & capable too, he can lead the attack. Hopefully, Alistair Cook has a partner for the long haul in Sam Robson, maybe Cook can regain his form again soon.

Posted by Sachit1979 on (June 6, 2014, 7:37 GMT)

I don't see reason to pick Woakes over Stokes and Plunkett over Tremlett. I think Tremlett did not get enough chances to prove his metal.

Batting looks very inexperienced and weak but still Ballance would be a talent to watch.

Posted by   on (June 6, 2014, 7:24 GMT)

Is this another new era, there has been so many "new eras" I have lost count

Posted by kingkarthik on (June 6, 2014, 7:17 GMT)

Oh England, England.... Lest we forget that it was under the same Fletcher and Flower regime that the English team reached some of its greatest heights in the last decade. Transformed being perennial whipping boys to becoming serious contenders. Admittedly, both Fletcher and Flower overstayed their tenure, they did more positives than negatives. We will soon see this English team unraveling against the better teams. Wonder if Whitaker will be so upbeat then. Remember what the last county cricket loving man delivered? An embarrassing loss against the Dutch and elimination at the first round of the World T20. There are no players in the present English set- up who merit world class status. Yes Anderson and Cook are good, especially in English conditions, but that is just about it. Why Moeen Ali? What has he done of note? Jeez, Samit is equally bad.

Posted by android_user on (June 6, 2014, 6:48 GMT)

With Robson set to open with Cook, I would prefer Bell at three, then Ali, Ballace and Root.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (June 6, 2014, 6:10 GMT)

Congratulations to the three debutants! To reach the top of your sport is an excellent achievement, as is reaching the top in any walk of life. The three are lucky to be playing Test cricket for England in this era: each can expect a fair crack of the whip -- a number of Tests in which each can build an international reputation to sit on top of the fine domestic record that has got them to this point. Once in, there have to be good reasons for being pointed towards the exit in the modern era. Quite right too. Of the rest, Matt Prior (the beating heart of the successful England of not so long ago) has to prove that he still merits a place on performance as well as the reassurance value he brings to his captain. Of course, he knows Jos Buttler is ready to go once he's served his apprenticeship with Lancs. If form + fitness is MP's concern, then fitness is Broad's.This is it, then. I'd like to think that those who have already had their honeymoons (e.g. Root) now repay patience.

Posted by landl47 on (June 6, 2014, 5:37 GMT)

The surprise to me is that there are only 12 in the squad. 4 seamers and 2 part-time spinners should work against SL.

Posted by   on (June 6, 2014, 5:24 GMT)

Well, well, well how long will England keep making the mistake of picking players like Prior. He was found out something woeful in Australia, his keeping was by far substandard & batting not much better. I must say that keepers in England must be very ordinary if you have to keep picking Prior. The keeping coach probably needs to be looked at as well. Buttler is by far a better keeper & batsman than Prior. Go with the younger player

Posted by Udendra on (June 6, 2014, 4:49 GMT)

What if a player gets injured?

Posted by   on (June 6, 2014, 4:22 GMT)

where is poor Micheal Carberry?

Posted by proudpommy on (June 6, 2014, 3:37 GMT)

I think this is a wise move for the future of English cricket. In this game there is no time to dwell on mistakes or past performances. Australian cricket has been a prime example of this! After the retirement of all of their key players they had to rebuild the team with young lads who still had a lot to learn. Now they are number one is the world and nobody can come close to them. This new look English team shows one of poise and control. No erratic behavior will cost this team again. Great move, looking forward to the future

Posted by IndianInnerEdge on (June 6, 2014, 3:17 GMT)

Whatever happened to that Compton guy? all in all, should be a good series with SL. And when India come around - with India's pathetic bowling attack-dosnt matter whom you select as batsmen, its going to be a run fest. I support indian cricket but also am realistic enough...:)

Posted by android_user on (June 6, 2014, 3:05 GMT)

Samit Patel must have been in the squad. He is more than a handy batsman and you get a spin option too.

Posted by lardster on (June 6, 2014, 1:32 GMT)

Prior looked very rusty at Hove this week. More of the same and Buttler will be ushered in.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (June 6, 2014, 1:26 GMT)

Robson's inclusion is welcome, however England should have also invested in youger promising batsmen like Vince and Taylor too. Prior is a mistalke, he has had his day, time to give a younger man a break. Also Ali is not a world class spinner. England should use this summer against teams like Sri Lanka and India who have relatively poorer records in England (as compared to Aus or SAF) to rebuild their side to take on all conditions.

Posted by   on (June 6, 2014, 1:11 GMT)

Disappointed for Lyth. Thought he'd hit form at the right time. I hope he doesn't go he way of Hidreth, always being a contender but never quite getting a chance. Would have loved to have seen James Vince or James Taylor in instead of Root, but he is the "golden boy" of English cricket after all...

Posted by   on (June 6, 2014, 0:32 GMT)

Have to feel for Michael Carberry, I think he did more than most in Australia to show he has the technique and temperament to be a test opener.

Posted by   on (June 6, 2014, 0:07 GMT)

I would like to see Morgan & Rankin playing for Ireland; with them in Ireland can be a reasonably competitive side. They (Ireland) deserve it.

Posted by MarinManiac on (June 5, 2014, 23:11 GMT)

No Foster because England don't want to "take a backwards step." Well, look what Australia did last year with Brad Haddin and the aging Chris Rogers. Now they are the #1 team in the world. Thanks in part to the skills and nous of those old soldiers. Sometimes teams actually need some old pros around, and what a great opportunity to bring the best keeper in the country into the team. And let's face it, his batting isn't exactly terrible, is it?

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 21:46 GMT)

Liam Plunkett will be the game changer. It is a real shame he wasn't given a proper game al these days!

Posted by blackcapsfan3 on (June 5, 2014, 21:38 GMT)

What the hell, why is there no stokes ahead of woakes. where is borthwick? this makes no sense that there is no front line spinner

Posted by android_user on (June 5, 2014, 21:04 GMT)

please reconsider KP England cricket need him

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 21:02 GMT)

Pathetically weak team, nothing else is suffice to describe it. The Aussies must be licking their lips with the prospect of another 5-0. Pathetic administrators, useless captain, failed coach and a team which lacks international class. KP must be laughing from the sidelines.

Posted by Chris_P on (June 5, 2014, 20:20 GMT)

@SirViv1973. I don't think you are giving your team enough credit. They did, after all, beat India in their own back yard with many of this squad there. I haven't been following the county circuit in great detail however most of this side seems to been selected on form. Can understand the Prior doubters, but it was just 12 months ago he received the outstanding test player award from England. No other keeper has stood up & demanded selection & Prior had been an integral part of this squad for a long time. Really looking forward to some test cricket.

Posted by android_user on (June 5, 2014, 20:14 GMT)

Robson will open with cook and Ali should bat at 3 where he bats for Worcestershire, then bell 4 and root and Ballance to follow. prior 7, Jordan 8, plunkett 9, broad and Anderson to finish

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (June 5, 2014, 20:11 GMT)

Dropping Bairstow was a mistake - but not as bad as not picking a proper spinner. Imagine if the game goes to the 5th day SL 400 to win... last day so seamers are useless game depends on spin... what have we got? Joe Root to bowl 45 overs and Mooen Ali to bowl 45?

Posted by SirViv1973 on (June 5, 2014, 18:52 GMT)

@Daffid, For most of 2011 Bresnan was a standout performer for Eng but sadly since his injury in 2012 he hasn't been the same player. I'm not sure the previous regime saw him as undroppable . I think it was more the fact that there was no one else around who could really perform the containing role. Since the injury it could be argued that Eng have persisted with him too long in all 3 forms of the game and I am glad that the current regime seem to be moving on without him.

Posted by wapuser on (June 5, 2014, 18:44 GMT)

I don't this is a strong England side.they would have selected Strokes because he played exceptionally good cricket in ashes..I don't understand why prior is still in the team.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (June 5, 2014, 18:43 GMT)

To those annoyed with Prior's inclusion. I think he has walked back in due to the lack of any real viable option. Buttler was clearly being considered but i'm glad he wasn't selected as exposing him to test cricket at this stage of his career could have ruined him. Although I still think Bairstow may be an option at some point he's had a lot of opportunity (particularly with the bat) and he hasn't taken it. Lots of calls for Foster but he is 34 and doubts remain about his batting ability at this level. Given the fact he didn't replace Stewart in 03, Read in 04 or Jones in 07, when he was at a good age for test cricket it was always odds against at this stage of his career. Keiswetter may also have been mentioned but is still seen as something of a short form specialist without safe hands! Then there is Davies who has pretty much ruled himself out by not keeping for Surrey.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (June 5, 2014, 18:25 GMT)

The selection of Woakes dosen't make any sense to me. Although he's put on half a yard of pace I still don't see him troubling the best batsman in the world often enough. To pick him only makes any sense if he is going to play as the 5th bowler & bat at 6 or 7. This Eng team is nailed on to have 6 batsman plus Prior at 7 which means if Woakes plays he would bat at 8 & play instead of Jordan or Plunkett who are both better bowlers IMO. I therefore strongly suspect he will end up being 12th man something he's been doing for the past fortnight during the ODI series. I'm not sure what cricket Warw have on that the moment but surely he would benefit playing for them rather than carrying the drinks.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 18:23 GMT)

For Morgan and Taylor to miss out is a real shame, I wouldn't have included Ali. Is he a better batsman alone than Taylor? Worried about the Prior selection, I would have saved him for India series and gone with Foster for these two Tests. Glad to see no Bresnan, nor Patel. For all this about Patel being in form, he was never good enough in the first place when he had his chance and his bowling is no better than even Root's. He must be quickly forgotten about. Interesting to see who goes when Stokes returns. My team for India would be;

Cook, Robson, Root, Bell, Morgan, Stokes, Prior, Jordan, Plunkett, Broad, Anderson. 12th man - Taylor

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 18:23 GMT)

Having seen Moeen bowl recently I agree with George. It is the most dramatic improvement I have ever seen in a bowler. He is the "Robert Johnson" of the bowling world. He went away, talked to an expert, came back and it's like he's a new bowler. He was OK before, but his improvement since just January is staggering. What I would say is that he seems to be trying his new actions (Plural: he has developed more than just a dooisra) in games, and for the first 4 weeks of the season it was bit rusty. It's a far better tool now

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 18:22 GMT)

England and their selectors and above all Peter Moores are very weak, very timid and extremely unadventerous and thus may well pay with defeat to Sri Lanka. Bringing back Matt Prior makes absolutely no sense after being dropped in a disastrous Ashes series but it shows that perhaps the selectors mistrust any other county keepers. Prior is not even really fully fit. James Foster should have been considered.

Posted by 09wiledw on (June 5, 2014, 18:15 GMT)

@Sanchez, I agree with daffid mate, Woakes may have a decent first class record but he is not test standard, also there is no real need for his batting in this squad, they bat so deep.

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (June 5, 2014, 18:06 GMT)

This looks a very good side to me and should do well in England to begin with. I am not sure if the similarity in looks to Hashim influenced the selectors to include Moeen ! No he is good even without the added quality. This bowling attack is also good and in Jordan they have cricket's 'Jordan'. I am sure the world will see and hear more of this man from here on. So all in all a tremendous job by Whitaker and co.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 17:57 GMT)

@Codandchips, didn't Taylor make a stack of runs in Sri Lanka?

Is Onions injured?

It seems like a team picked to win a game of cricket now with a slight twist towards what is coming up. The selectors seem to be in no mans land, but then there is probably no glaring omissions.

This is going to be a good series.

Posted by himmat on (June 5, 2014, 17:52 GMT)

Simply put - I don't see this England squad winning the series against Sri Lanka.....!!

Posted by bobmartin on (June 5, 2014, 17:33 GMT)

I see we still have the diehards rooting for Pietersen... Well guys.. I've got news for you... it aint gonna happen... not a snowball in Hell's chance... So can we please move on. Now back to what's happening in the real world.. This squad might well be good enough to beat Sri Lanka... and maybe even India. although I wouldn't bet on that..... but isn't it just papering over the cracks which will be well and truly exploited in the next Ashes series unless we get out fingers out. I guess it will take another humiliation before the selectors will cast their eyes further afield than the annointed few...

Posted by android_user on (June 5, 2014, 17:07 GMT)

Tylor and Finn n must be there in the squad. very bad and sad.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 17:05 GMT)

Sri Lankans must be licking their lips. England line up is so fragile. Batting line up is so weak and bowling line up is nothing to write home about. Come on Sri Lanka go for it. All three forms are their within your grabs.

Posted by android_user on (June 5, 2014, 16:57 GMT)

@SirViv1973 : completely agree with you Sir.England are not learning from their mistakes.They are still filled up with pride ego & I think even the selectors can't focus on their job after KP incident.They are in dissarray & we need to give ECB a bit time to be fully conscious after the loss of KP,Swann & Trott.This time I feel India would be able to take the revenge & I have hopes from herath,mathews and sanga. what u think?

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (June 5, 2014, 16:53 GMT)

Line up for me. 1. Cook 2. Robson 3. Bell 4. Root 5. Ballance 6. Ali 7. Prior 8. Woakes 9. Jordan 10. Broad 11. Anderson

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 16:51 GMT)

With Cook and Bell as the only proven test Batsmen you can see why they were desperate to pick Prior. The batting does look a bit fragile but Sri Lanka's bowlers don't look overly threatening in English conditions. Maybe a good opportunity for some cheap runs for the new batsmen. The batting line up is going to be long as well, only Anderson is a proper tailender. I'm also uncertain about Woakes but assume he'll be 12th man and I would have picked Patel over Ali but they won't cause he's too fat for them. Not sure what's stranger his refusal to drop 2 stone to satisfy the selectors or their refusal to pick him. Strange as a lot of fine test players Inzaman, Ranatunga, Gatting, Boon to name a few carried a few extra pounds

Posted by CodandChips on (June 5, 2014, 16:50 GMT)

@SirViv1973 I also would have liked to have seen a front-line spinner. My choice would have been Kerrigan. He has been the stand out spinner in county cricket over the last few years and he is the leading English spinner in terms of wickets in division 1 this year. While for now we may be able to get away with no spinner, come the West Indies and Sub continent we'll need at least 2. Maybe the tests in West Indies is when we'll see spinners. There will be dusty pitches out there but the opposition won't be anywhere near as challenging as say playing Sri Lanka or India away.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 16:48 GMT)

ah, this is selection to bring back the good old days, when alan butcher, paul parker and the like were brought in because they were jolly nice chaps and they had had a good county career, only to become one-test wonders. sam robson will probably play more than one test, but he's in the same mould. what did nick compton do to put himself outside the palle? only play his heart out, as far as i can tell. for the rest, it looks like a bunch of competent players unlikely to tell cook he's doing the wrong thing, and some crocked and out of practice real test players (and liam plunkett). the only thing they've done right is not bother to pick a spinner. oh, hang on, monty's playing well - but then cook doesn't rate him. i'm so glad i support south africa and won't have topretend that this shower has a hope against a decent test side

Posted by asraruwant on (June 5, 2014, 16:41 GMT)

Its a pretty Good Squad considering the Team they are playing against, Moreover England needs to look ahead. The following will be the playing Eleven in my opinion in the batting order 1) Alastair Cook 2) Sam Robson 3) Ian Bell 4) Joe Root 5) Gary Ballance 6) Moeen Ali 7) Matt prior 8) Stuart Broad 9) Chris Jordan 10) Liam Plunkett 11) James Anderson.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (June 5, 2014, 16:11 GMT)

It worries me that we haven't selected a spinner. I know the options aren't great but I would have at least liked to have seen Monty or Kerrigan in the squad. I've just seen Whittaker on tv saying we don't really need a spinner in June in Eng, but this time last yr Swann was taking 10 for against NZL. It looks as if one of the lessons from the winter in Aus has not been learnt. Last summer we prepared pitches to negate the 1 area where it was perceived that Aus may have had an advantage (seam bowling). We prepared slow low pitches to help out Swann, & negate the Aus threat, then when we got to Aus where there was a bit of juice in the surfaces we got smashed. It looks like we may do the opposite this summer & ask for pitches with a bit of juice & a bit of grass on top as our seamers should be better than Ind & SRL. However when we go away to SRL we will have to play on raving bunsens with no spin options of our own & will probably get smashed again!

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 15:43 GMT)

Same boring old England trying to pick the worlds safest team, flair is good, but to England anyone would think flair is a sin. Taylor has flair and a great technique but lets just take the safe option. Samit has personality so that rules him out of selection. As for Broad, I think he is one of the most overrated bowlers in the world, he does nothing for games on end then gets 4 or has a good spell and seals his place for another 10 tests. Id love to see England take a risk (there only previous risks involved KP) be bold thats what makes a great team. Or just keep picking good teams without taking the next step

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 15:42 GMT)

I don't see this squad as a winning squad... Cook and who is going to open the batting... Perhaps Ian Bell... Then No.3 Ballance, No.4 Root, No.5 Moeen Ali, No.6 Prior. This batting line up is very weak... With no Pietersen, and Jonathan Trott in Test side, England looks very weak... and certainly they can no more be a good side at international level

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 15:15 GMT)

@Dafffid The only problem with your argument is ALL the statistical evidence. I know stats are only so useful but when they're all against you it does weaken your argument.

Bresnan more useful than Bopara/Root (TB ODI averages 20 bat/37 ball, RB 31/37, JR 35/54)

Woakes is 'bits n pieces', there are better batsman and bowlers (CW First class averages - 38/25) The vast majority of English batsman have FC averages below 38 and even more English bowlers have bowling averages above 25.

Posted by 2MikeGattings on (June 5, 2014, 15:08 GMT)

Probably a decent call to shoehorn Prior into the side given that there are so many new faces in the squad. Obviously it's a gamble on his fitness. Jonny B has clearly fallen well down the pecking order not to be selected as cover.

Robson deserves his chance, Plunkett has been knocking on the door. Moeen just about edges out Borthwick but it's hardly a contest of titans. Too bad for Foster - the best keeper to spin in the country.

Posted by bobmartin on (June 5, 2014, 15:01 GMT)

"Whitaker insisted that England had no qualms. "Our No. 1 priority for selection criteria is that someone is 100% fit," he said. "Very few people go through their international career without a little bit of a blip. Matt is no different. He comes back as just the sort of character we want in that team." That just about sums up the whole England selection ethos where fitness appears a more important critera than form..... Now that's what I call moving forward... No wonder there is this air about being in the England side.. as being one of the select few... If you are one... you are IN.... if you're not... no matter how good you are.. your are OUT...

Posted by CodandChips on (June 5, 2014, 14:55 GMT)

@zummerrset @Balladeer thanks for the responses. I reckon Bell wil bat 4, and the others will be put around him. Can't decide whether Ballance or Root at 3. As I said before though, Ali can certainly bat 3. My choice would be ask Bell to take on responsibility for once.

Also agree with you guys that the batting order of the bowlers is harder to pick. I think it depends on Woakes or Plunkett. If Woakes plays (which I see as unlikely, as I said before England have found their Jonny Baristow for 2014), he should bat 8. I'd have Broad above Jordan in this format, but bat Jordan higher in white-ball cricket. Plunkett will probably bat below Jordan and Broad.

I'm still gutted no Taylor. But at least Hampshire keep their best players while Worcestershire lose their star man. Samit Patel may be gutted but Ali convinces me more. Would have preferred Borthwick or Kerrigan though. Lyth over Robson. Roland-Jones missing out frustrates me.

But in all honesty, not a bad squad. No real complaints

Posted by PrasPunter on (June 5, 2014, 14:37 GMT)

What are the odds of us retaining the Ashes next year against this team ?

Posted by Dafffid on (June 5, 2014, 14:30 GMT)

Curious that Bresnan - who at times seemed deemed undroppable by Flower - is now already completely omited from all conversations, even the one day team where he'd have been more useful than Root/Bopara. He wouldn't be in my test side, but his name is notable by its absence even from discussions on absences.

As for the pick - meh. Not sure what Woakes is doing in there. There's better batsmen, and much better bowlers, why must they keep picking 'bits and pieces' players? Although it's a 1/100 he'll be carrying drinks anyway

Posted by mensan on (June 5, 2014, 14:14 GMT)

I am glad Carberry is out. He was never international class.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

Yet again they have wicket-keeper problems and they pick Prior who has played little cricket this season and ignore Foster who is without doubt the best in the country if not in the world,unbelievable.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (June 5, 2014, 14:12 GMT)

Oh c'mon Ben stokes needs to be includes!!!

Posted by Balladeer on (June 5, 2014, 14:10 GMT)

@TheMysteryMan: I think that the consensus would say that this is a pretty good team. Bell, Broad, and Anderson are all internationally proven; Cook too, although he is out of form right now. No one would deny Jordan his place. Robson and Ballance have been on the cards for a while, given their performances at county level, and Plunkett gets in for the same reason. Regarding Prior and Ali, the simply fact is that we don't have anyone better for their spots right now: Buttler may be exciting but has yet to excel at first class level, and Borthwick hasn't bowled enough really.

That leaves Woakes and Root. I'm not sure what to think of Woakes, but he's filling in for Stokes I suspect. Root is the only potential case (it seems to me) of selectors' faith being potentially unjustified: you can't deny that he's had some excellent innings, but he can be inconsistent. With Vince and Taylor nipping at his heels, he needs to find that consistency.

Posted by shillingsworth on (June 5, 2014, 14:10 GMT)

@haqster499 - England didn't 'destroy the Aussies at home'. The 3-0 scoreline flattered them and plenty would disagree with your assessment of their strength. The players you mention have been given plenty of encouragement but the rest is down to them. Taylor hasn't scored enough runs this year, Finn needs more time to rebuild his game at county level, Onions is injured, Bresnan struggled in Australia and isn't the bowler he was. Compton perhaps has a case, but so does Robson and the others selected. Until they've played, we've no idea about England's 'bench strength'. We're about to find out now.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 14:09 GMT)

Cleanshoes 86. A captain who opens can more or less choose his opening partner. Why would Cook not go with someone who has shared century partnerships (and one double) with him. If Cook wanted Compton to open with him, no doubt he would get his way.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 14:07 GMT)

I feel for James Taylor, when is he ever going to get his chance. His Lions stats are awesome

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 13:48 GMT)

We now have a team where only Cook, Bell, Broad and Anderson are true international class, and there are questions about the form of each of them. How would our uninspiring squad fare against this line-up?

1.Hales 2.Compton 3.Carberry 4.Pietersen 5.Taylor 6.Stokes 7 Patel 8.Bresnan 9.Foster 10. Finn 11. Panesar.

Posted by Vinod_Fab on (June 5, 2014, 13:42 GMT)

Kulasekara and Ajantha Mendis is enough for this ENG side.. Bell really needs to bat out of his skin to avoid the embarassment in home..!!..I really don't want to see ENG becoming like 90's and early 2000's. What Vaughan, Freddie,KP,Jimmy,Swanny,Broady,Bell,Collingwood,Harmison,Strauss,Gooch and Fletcher brought to ENG should not be sinked like this way..!!.. ENG supporters feels cheated in very odd way..!!. Viv like cricketer comes once in generation and they have one(KP) who must have felt sitting behind the bars counting..!! Whosoever commented in this article,keep ur hand in the heart and say can this side ever beat SA,AUS,PAK(in pak) or for that instance IND, I sincerely thinks no will be the answer..

Posted by 11_Warrior on (June 5, 2014, 13:40 GMT)

is there any specialist spinners in the side?

Posted by GHemrajani on (June 5, 2014, 13:35 GMT)

Why Prior? This would be a good time to introduce someone else.

Posted by TheMysteryMan on (June 5, 2014, 13:34 GMT)

Not being from UK, I have question for british folks. Are these really the best 11 players in the country? Not talking about proven talent like Bell, Anderson, Cook, Prior. But the other boys. I have seen lot of these players in International circuit (though very limited matches between them), and I seriously wonder whether these players are actually the best England has for now or they have been picked on recent form. With exception of Gary Ballance who looks giant on paper (but has been little disappointing in international cricket), none of the others have exceptionally great First Class or List A records. Not criticising anyone here, but just a question I have seeing this unfold from the outside. And mainly due to the fact that in past English selections had left me head scratching many times.

Posted by Vinod_Fab on (June 5, 2014, 13:30 GMT)

Bizzare selection strategy again..!!... ENG is very lucky that they are playing against SL or else 2-0 would be defly on the cards.. Still SL can win if they play out Jimmy and Broady and with some attacking instinct...!! IND have great chance to win the test series which will be next to SL series..!!.. It's been very sad ingut feeling when i think that AUS is preparing hard to encounter spin in sub continental conditions whereas ENG are digging their own grave by omitting Kevin Pietersen.. Resurgence of Kevin Pietersen is surely around the corner.. KP for ASHES, WC and SA Series..!!

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 13:20 GMT)

I cannot imagine why anyone would fork out £100 for a seat or £25 for a sky subscription to watch this side. There is a single player who fires the imagination. Having none himself, this is probably Moores' ideal team.

Posted by Buckers97 on (June 5, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

So England will be; 1.Cook (c) 2.Robson 3.Bell 4.Root 5.Ballance 6.Ali 7.Woakes 8.Prior (wk) 9.Broad 10.Jordan 11.Anderson. Well, if England really want to rebuild, they would pick this team with Woakes in it. He should be part of the future. He is a talent.

Posted by Rajeshj on (June 5, 2014, 13:09 GMT)

The England and Indian teams have almost the same type of problem.. they have players who play royally at home, but sink without a trace outside home comforts... May be this team could serve them slightly at home, but elsewhere it would be blown away.. Root was terrible in Ashes, but still he is in team now, whereas Carberry played reasonably better and still not given another chance.. Prior was quite pathetic in Ashes, but still gets a chance now.. And Dobell says that this is an extremely orderly selection.. quite laughable.. I think this series with SL is going to teach ECB another lesson about better team selection...

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 13:08 GMT)

This squad does nowt to inspire. Excepting Broad, the survivors of the Ashes are all on notice to improve. The batters all did worse than KP. Anderson has been unimpressive since he did the marathon spell early in the team's home Ashes series. And newbies are newbies. I'll put my hopes in Plunkett. BTW, watching Ballance over the winter in Oz -- he looks good against pace but he can't play spin, gets really nervous, runs dry up, gets out. SL and India have spinners ...

Posted by cricraz on (June 5, 2014, 13:06 GMT)

The only reason Prior was picked is because he was the guy supporting Alastair Cook and Andy Flower in the Pietersen saga. This is just a show of support for loyalty! The selection is not about the best keeper-batsman but more about loyalty. Samit Patel should have been selected instead of Woakes. He could have competed for the number 7 spot v/s Jordan. Woakes and Prior are the only 2 bad selections. Root and Jordan are lucky to be selected. If they fail, they have opened the door for Taylor and Stokes .

Posted by coatsie89 on (June 5, 2014, 13:05 GMT)

Not a bad squad. Vince done very little up until this season in longer fom so don't know why he is even mentioned. Kerrigan masively bottled an opportunity. Borthwick never going to be an international class spinner. Woakes not got it at test level. People moaning about Moeen's another English spinner that bowls a doosra. Exactly, doesn't exist. Only change, should move on from Prior if this is the new era but he has earned his opportunities. Jordan one to watch, guaranteed.

Posted by zummerrset on (June 5, 2014, 13:02 GMT)

@CodandChips Yes, who will bat at 3? - a far more interesting conundrum than who will be left out. Personally (as the unlucky Compton is not selected - probably too stoic and his character appears to upset the management) I would like to see Bell make that place his own - adds a bit more fluency to the top 3 especially as I understand that Robson could fall into the 'stodgy' category too. However I do expect that they will go with Cook, Robson, Root, Bell, Ballance, Ali, Prior and then the bowlers. They could swap Ballance and Root but I am sure that Bell will remain 4. Does Broad come in before Jordan?

Posted by haqster499 on (June 5, 2014, 12:58 GMT)

A year ago - I thought England was one of the best teams in the world. Beating India in India, destroying Aussies at home. So it begs the question last year's bench strength - where is Steve Finn, Trott, Compton, Onions, Bresnan, Taylor?

There are 2 many good English cricketers who are on the sidelines not being given enough support and encouragement.....

Posted by android_user on (June 5, 2014, 12:53 GMT)

very good squad

Posted by Balladeer on (June 5, 2014, 12:48 GMT)

@CodandChips: I don't see the point in jiggling people around, when you've effectively got someone who plays in each position in their counties. Cook/Robson/Ali/Bell/Ballance can all slot right in, and Root has put on some of his best work for England at number 6. Prior at 7, then the four seamers - ironically, slots 8-10 seem the most difficult to choose.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 12:45 GMT)

excellent decision with Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan and Sam Robson.

but why prior over butler ?????????????????

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 12:41 GMT)

Stokes has played plenty of cricket:-

23, 2/70, 0/21 Durham v Middlesex Chester-le-Street 1 Jun 2014 FC 5, 1/5 Durham v Notts Nottingham 30 May 2014 T20 1/25, 1 Durham v Lancashire Chester-le-Street 29 May 2014 T20 3/70, 61 Durham v Notts Nottingham 25 May 2014 FC 47, 4/23 Durham 2nd v Derby 2nd XI Brandon 21 May 2014 Other T20 35, 0/30 Durham 2nd v Derby 2nd XI Brandon 21 May 2014 Other T20 54, 2/22 Durham 2nd v Notts 2nd XI Nottingham 19 May 2014 Other T20 0/30, 39 Durham 2nd v Notts 2nd XI Nottingham 19 May 2014 Other T20

Typical Moores selection, guys picked on first class averages and not test class. Ballance is very lucky. Not convinced by Jordan either.

Posted by bighit14 on (June 5, 2014, 12:41 GMT)

where is Butler? I think he deserves another chance

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 12:38 GMT)

Surprised they've picked Prior with no cover. He needs a score in these two games me-thinks. As fast as Plunkett might be bowling it will be interesting to see if he can put it in the right areas consistently enough to trouble test class opposition. I thought Lyth might have done enough this season to warrant a mention. Samit Patel must be wondering what he needs to do to get a call-up! "Character" (or being mates with the right people) seems to carry more weight than performances these days.

Posted by CodandChips on (June 5, 2014, 12:20 GMT)

I wonder who will bat 3. Ballance did so in the ODIs but bats 5 for Yorkshire. Root had a go in Australia but is deemed unsuitable to open and batted 4 for Yorkshire this year. Ali bats 3 for Worcestershire but it looks like he'll bat 6. I think Bell should take some responsibility for once and bat 3.

Posted by real_gone_gadd on (June 5, 2014, 12:00 GMT)

The most annoying thing about this article is the mention of Kevin Pietersen in the first line. He's gone, for get bout it, let go and move on!

Posted by tallgrass on (June 5, 2014, 11:59 GMT)

rizwan1981 - friendly bowling attack? think? the problem with english cricket is too much talk hardly any action!

Posted by Lord_Flashheart on (June 5, 2014, 11:55 GMT)

As a Yorkshire fan, I'm disappointed that Gurney, Taylor, Patel and Hales weren't picked. ;)

Woakes - Probably not good enough yet. Taylor - Probably not good enough...might always be the nearly man. Stokes - Probably a flash in the pan. We'll see later in the summer.

Posted by cleanshoes86 on (June 5, 2014, 11:52 GMT)

Usman Sharif - Let's leave Finn well alone for at least a few more weeks (might be a consideration for the India series). Give him more time bowling for Middlesex and getting his confidence back.

The guy had a shocker over the winter and has been seemingly royally mucked about with by the England coaches. Now he has gone back to his old run up and technique I think he should be given some more time to bed it in and continue his form.

Plunkett is a good alternative to Finn at the moment in terms of pace.

Posted by amitgarg78 on (June 5, 2014, 11:49 GMT)

"Just the kind of character"? Prior showed enough of it in ashes. Trouble is, he ain't scoring runs and exposing the lower order. Needed to beef up the middle order in my view coz it's playing that's going to win you games not just character....

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on (June 5, 2014, 11:46 GMT)

Root? That's all you need to know about this squad, he is the specialist in failure. New coach, same awful selections. Prior? The guy has been out of form for a year and a half, did no one notice? Lots of better players left out. If I were an England supporter I would be livid. Moores international inexperience is showing already. Does he really think he can pick a second rate county side to challenge the likes of India? Wow.

Posted by hambat on (June 5, 2014, 11:46 GMT)

Interesting selection. IMO, England would be better to have Bell and Root at 5 and 6 so they can take the second new ball. Let Ballance and Moeen go in earlier to face older balls.

Posted by cleanshoes86 on (June 5, 2014, 11:33 GMT)

Michael House - Cook isn't a selector so what makes you think it is he who has an issue with Compton. OK I'm sure he has an informal input into selection but it seems it is the selectors who have the issue with him.

It is only one innings I admit, but Compton looked terrible when I watched him against NZ at Lords last year.

I guess his current form could mean an option at 3 but i think it's right to go with Robson in the opening spot for now - he's young and has been in form.

Posted by CodandChips on (June 5, 2014, 11:33 GMT)


"Excellent. Carberry returns to Hampshire, Moeen Ali gets called up, Briggs is overlooked as is Vince, surely Hampshire have their best chance for a while to get promoted this season (even with the loss of Abbot to SA Test duty)"

Brilliant. Though Briggs was never really in the frame. Once again we benefit from our players being overlooked. THough this time it's fair enough, unlike with Jimmy Adams, Mascarenhas

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 11:30 GMT)

Good selection as far as Matt Prior is concerned. But I think a genunine fast bowler or spinner in Finn or Tredwell could be a much better option than Woakes. England need to rebuild team with genuine players... I want to see English team on top inside a year

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 11:23 GMT)

For the 'armchair selectors' this was always going to be an unpopular squad who ever was picked. By my count there were 23 players being discussed on twitter/forums etc. alone. Given that probably only 4 of those were certs, that's 19 players into 7 or 8 places. Prior over Buttler is fine for me - as the expression goes, 'form is temporary, class is permanent.' Buttler is England's future test 'keeper, but perhaps not quite ready with the gloves yet. Good to see Plunkett get another go. Feel for Carberry and Compton - neither of whom have done anything wrong, but Robson also deserves his chance. Stokes also unlucky, but he will feature again in the very near future. Just needs a few more overs under his belt.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 11:23 GMT)

Phil Davies: Brooks from Yorkshire wouldn't be a good option as the spinner because he is a seam bowler

Posted by rizwan1981 on (June 5, 2014, 11:22 GMT)

A bit hash on CARBERRY - He was sent down under for a tough series and had the second highest aggregate(behind KP ) and now is dropped when he could have make some easy runs at home against a friendly bowling attack on familiar pitches.

Posted by cleanshoes86 on (June 5, 2014, 11:21 GMT)

Cook, Robson, Ali, Bell, Ballance, Root, Prior, Jordan, Broad, Plunkett, Anderson for me. Not been overly impressed with Woakes when I have seen him play and Jordan, Broad and Plunkett can all bat so don't see the need for a bowling all rounder. Plus we should be able to rely on the top 6 to do their job and bat! Any runs after that should be a bonus.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 11:21 GMT)

Who would the Sri Lankan opening bowlers least like to face, Robson or Compton? The answer is obvious. Nick Compton is averaging 47 this season against the strongest county attacks. He has 2 test hundreds and a fifty under his belt. What is Cook's problem with Compton? The dumping of Kevin Petersen already puts a question mark against Cook's man-management skills. His outburst about the Mankading incident raises questions about his judgement. England needs a new captain, preferably one without a down on Compton. Stuart broad is the man.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 11:11 GMT)

There was talk a couple of days ago that Ajmal has taught Moeen to bowl a doosra at worcestershire. If he actually tries and succeeds who knows who might become a number one spinner in the England side.

Posted by Big_Chikka on (June 5, 2014, 11:02 GMT)

plunket is a great selection based on form and therefore problem with his selection or for that matter anyone else, root lucky i think, would have liked to see him find form on the county circuit. but this is the selection and wish them all well......hope its a hard contest.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 10:54 GMT)

I just don't think that Woakes is good enough for test cricket, but I hope I'm proved wrong. Surprised at Plunkett but then again wasn't it Moores who recalled Sidebottom who proved pretty successful after his first short spell of one cap.

Posted by geoffboyc on (June 5, 2014, 10:53 GMT)

Glad to see Liam Plunkett given a go while he's in good form. He bowled a couple of really quick and hostile spells in the recent Roses game and Gillespie's coaching seems to have brought him on again. Also a bit mystified by Taylor's absence from the squad but I feel he's being held in reserve for later in case Root or, more probably, Ballance don't cut it. Unless, of course, he did something the management didn't like on a previous outing with the team?

Posted by Stevros3 on (June 5, 2014, 10:49 GMT)

Stokes has not been discarded, just if you don't have a specialist spinner you NEED a 4 seam bowlers who can bowl lots of overs 30 odd overs (across 2 games)since breaking a hand is not enough.

I see Woakes being 12th man as Cook probably won't be 100% confident in his bowling from his test debut (to be fair to Woakes this season his bowling has looked more like it, after last season)

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 10:45 GMT)

It will be interesting to see if they go with four outright seamers in Anderson, Broad, Jordan and Plunkett, or feel the need to have the neither-here-nor-there all-rounder Woakes in the lower middle order as some sort of a batting safety net. I'd definitely go with the former option as I don't think Woakes is anything special by Test standards, plus Jordan, Broad and Plunkett can all swing a bat at 8, 9 and 10.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 10:42 GMT)

Not too far off what I expected, There could have been more changes but its a decent mix of youth and experience . Ail is his counties main spinner (When Ajmal isn't there) and is fast improving, probably has bowled more overs this season than Borthwick at Durham so I wouldn't say England haven't got a spinner like some people are.

Ben Stokes is a little unlucky, played about the same amount of cricket as Broad and Prior. Plunkett is an interesting choice, He offers something different with the extra pace he has found this season although its between him and Woakes for 12th man.

Posted by ragebe on (June 5, 2014, 10:41 GMT)

Excellent. Carberry returns to Hampshire, Moeen Ali gets called up, Briggs is overlooked as is Vince, surely Hampshire have their best chance for a while to get promoted this season (even with the loss of Abbot to SA Test duty)

The number of Australian, South African and Irish players in the England set-up, make the national team(s) of less and less interest to the average cricketer/supporter.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 10:35 GMT)

Taylor should count himself unlucky but I'm sure he'll get his chance. I've never seen Brooks but his stats with Yorkshire are great. Not worth a go as the spinner?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 5, 2014, 10:31 GMT)

Certainly still a lot of questions to be answered. I can understand their not selecting a specialist spinner for the first series of the summer but I'd be surprised if we see the same for the later series. I would have said that Plunkett was the most like 12th man but with Ali being more batsman than bowler they may not feel that Woakes batting is so important if they consider Plunkett the better bowler. We may not get to see Woakes play then, if Stokes is likely to get selected again once he's proved his fitness.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (June 5, 2014, 10:30 GMT)

I think the wise men have picked Joe Root as the Specialist spinner which is tragedy for the deserving Tredwell. Onions must be used to this humiliation by now. Matt Prior is reaping rewards for being "a team player" whatever that means. The keeper will be a walking wicket against Kulasekara's inswingers. Good luck to Moeen Ali and Robson. Hope they do well.

Posted by MeijiMura on (June 5, 2014, 10:29 GMT)

It's a backward move for England to have dropped Stokes, the sole positive from the disastrous Ashes Tour Down Under whilst the re-selection of Prior is disappointing given there is a ready-made replacement in Buttler. Those two omissions in addition to the ongoing absence of Trott and KP mean that this is not only a dour-looking England squad, but a decidedly weak one as well. The single positive to come out of the selection changes appears to be the inclusion of Robson, yet as he is unproven at the highest level it remains to be seen whether anything will come out of it in England's favour.

Posted by Kirstenfan on (June 5, 2014, 10:26 GMT)

Why would you not select Stokes? Stand-out player in Aus, and now not selected, for a non reason! Only England are capable of such conservative selection, hope they get beaten for negativity!

Posted by cleanshoes86 on (June 5, 2014, 10:16 GMT)

If you take the selector comments at face value Stokes has not been discarded!

They just want him to have a couple more games at county level to get match fitness. The only issue I have with that is they should have said the same to Prior. Stokes is only 23 and bowls though, so can imagine they just want to be extra careful with him given he's still young.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 10:16 GMT)

England without spinners..! pacy bouncy tracks waiting for us! we are ready englishmen!

Posted by android_user on (June 5, 2014, 10:15 GMT)

Why is James Taylor being ignored? he's clearly one of the best prospects for England lo f term, when it comes to middle order batting. he did well in the performance program but doesn't get a test chance. He could be England captain one day if he does well at Notts.

Borthwick may be doing well with bat, but is he really a good enough leg spinner at the moment?

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (June 5, 2014, 10:06 GMT)

Corporate Eng take a year to look at a player, then a year to select him, by which time he has lost form… like robson… Lyth would have been the non corporate choice, for a start he's english, and for another start he's in red hot form, red hot form NOW, this minute, the minute you are selecting the team… just like Plunkett, lets hope liam gets a go instead of the more 'safe' diluted corporate selection on offer, the drinks carrier. Not a bar-emptier in sight… A sterile corporate environment gives a sterile corporate performance…

Posted by rezmata on (June 5, 2014, 10:06 GMT)

So one of the Chris's will be 12th man then. No specialist spinner! - If the pitch does not offer bounce or movement England are doomed!!!!!!!

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (June 5, 2014, 10:04 GMT)

Robson Root and Balance talk about a snoozefest but all very predictable. I'd personally much rather watch Lyth Samit and Taylor. Interesting that Giles on Sky few weeks back said "Samit has all the skills but certain standards are expected" as in he's still not fit yet no one ever mentioned Ballance's weight, I know he's lost a lot but still hardly looks fighting fit seems bit double standards. Happy to see Jordan and Plunkett in the side at least those two guy adds some excitement and character to the side, disappointed no Butler and surprised Stokes has been discarded.

Posted by Broken_F-ing_Arm on (June 5, 2014, 10:04 GMT)

I havent been following english cricket at all since they left our shores (Australia) a few months back. So forgive me if my critisisms are uninformed Englands highest scorer from the ashes, gets permanetly dropped cause he looked unintrested in Sydney, the whole team looked unintreseted in SYdney and Melbourne. Jimmy is not worth sticking with, past his best and when he has an off day, he is really bad as he just mopes around and stops giving effort. Surely Stokes must be injured, england cant be that stupid. Robson is a good pick though (although im not to happy about a born and raised aussie playing for england) he is a very good player

Posted by jackiethepen on (June 5, 2014, 10:02 GMT)

Moeen Ali a call too far. He didn't do that well in the West Indies or Bangladesh. What is the preference for? We need a proper spinner.

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 10:02 GMT)

Why no Scott Borthwick? He did nothing wrong on debut in Australia and has just posted a double ton for Durham.

If he was good enough to be selected in Australia and he did fine, why not keep him in the team?

Posted by zummerrset on (June 5, 2014, 10:02 GMT)

So is it going to be Root or Ballance at 3?

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 10:00 GMT)

England must decide on jonny Bairstow, what they want from him. Else they will lose another player who was once considered a bright prospect. Give him the long rope. Same for Stokes. Class is permenant, form is temporary, they say. Likewise, even being in practise is also a petty thing for real champions. England are facing India & Australia at home in next 15 months. Both teams looking to improve on their recent English records, both have undergone upward transformation since their last visit here. England should fast gather their best XI before its too late.

Posted by bestbuddy on (June 5, 2014, 9:59 GMT)

Has Moeen Ali really been selected as the first choice spinner? He managed barely half as many wickets as Simon Kerrigan for instance last season - and it was his best season ever with the ball to boot. England will have to play 4 seamers in addition to Ali if he is picked. I expect one of Plunkett/Woakes to miss out

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 9:59 GMT)

Might just be me, but I really don't see Chris Woakes as a test player (ODI's yes). Not quite enough with either bat or ball to justify selection. He gets the 12th man place as far as I'm concerned.

Btw, there are 6, not 5, players dropped from the last test: count 'em.

Posted by cleanshoes86 on (June 5, 2014, 9:52 GMT)

Don't understand complaints re Plunkett.

People complain that county form doesn't count for England selection but then moan about Plunkett being selected as he was not good enough first time round. He seems to be in really good form this season so they pick him. Isn't that what people want?

Posted by drfarnsworth on (June 5, 2014, 9:49 GMT)

Looks like a tour match team, compared to this time last year. I think England have taken this "rebuilding" thing a bit too far. Australia kept giving players debuts and within a couple of years it was pretty much back to the usual (besides a couple of retirements) due to injuries and poor form. I think no frontline spinner is a bad decision.

Not that he has to prove anything, but KP should play a couple of first class matches while this team is struggling against Sri Lanka and India. Nevertheless, looking forward to a good season of Test cricket after too much limited overs nonsense!

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 9:49 GMT)

vince taylor stokes ... and no specialist spinner .. interesting plunkett in time i suppose stokes and woakes could both play prior .. im not shocked though as moores loves him bit of a backward step with him as we are "building for the future" as that was the kp excuse for me jordan is a one day bowler not convinced by ali ballance either

Posted by Westcountryman on (June 5, 2014, 9:48 GMT)

Many, many congratulations to Moeen Ali on a richly deserved call-up. Entirely see the logic behind Robson's selection too, though I can't help still feeling sorry for Nick Compton. Jordan's inclusion was a no-brainer. Would love to have seen James Foster given another chance to show his class at this level, but accept thatm if Prior's fit, he has to be in.v

Posted by LeeJA on (June 5, 2014, 9:48 GMT)

Exciting fresh line-up... maybe they've learnt from the ODI's that more change is needed than just a couple of tweaks.

Robson is an excellent prospect and scores BIG doubt he has learnt opening with Rogers at Middlesex

I'd like to see Ali and 3 and Bell back to his best position at 5 with Root back to the position that he has seen most success for England: Cook, Robson, Ali (where he comes in for his county), Ballance, Bell, Root, Prior, Woakes, Jordan, Broad, Anderson

Long batting line up, 4 front line quicks, 2 spin options... balance of youth and experience. No short term options with question marks over them (Carbs, Compton, Tredwell) - focus well and truely on the future

Posted by MarkTaffin on (June 5, 2014, 9:44 GMT)

OK, Stokes gets a hundred and a 5-fer in his first four Tests and gets dropped. Prior, who's been hopeless for a year and is barely fit, gets recalled. Ah, the England selectors. They can always be relied on.

Posted by Balladeer on (June 5, 2014, 9:43 GMT)

@zummerrset - Agreed with your order. The Root/Ali thing is interesting, because Ali bats at 3 for Worcs. (I think?) and did so in the WI ODI series while some of Rooty's best scores came at six, and they'll probably put them the other way around. As for the "all-rounders", Broad in before Jordan, surely? Jordan's never batted before at test level, whereas we know Broad can tonk it about occasionally.

@Mervo - Stokes looked like a flash in the pan during the Ashes to me, while Woakes didn't get a full chance. Also, Stokes seems more of a batsman, and Woakes more of a bowler: England have their top six, including Ali as a batsman who bowls, so it makes more sense to emphasise the bowling.

Posted by Patchmaster on (June 5, 2014, 9:42 GMT)

Woakes seems a very odd selection, with little match fitness and average form. Apart from being 'fit' what exactly do the selectors see in Prior ? All that TV audiences saw in Prior was very poor body language, very poor batting and average keeping. So why is he called up ? I'd rather see see Robson and Compton opening the batting.

Posted by CodandChips on (June 5, 2014, 9:40 GMT)

Funny that the reason for Woakes over Stokes is lack of bowling. How many overs has Woakes bowled the last 2 weeks? England have found their Jonny Bairstow for this year.

Glad Buttler can develop both his white-ball and red-ball games at Lancashire for a bit.

As I said in my previous comment I'm disappointed no Taylor. But he hasn't scored the hundreds this year.

Roland-Jones would have been a good shout but I'm the only guy who rates him. Plunkett or Woakes are good bowlers, and whoever plays will be exciting to watch.

Posted by CliffM on (June 5, 2014, 9:39 GMT)

Suggest you re check your arithmetic here:

"From the XI which played England's previous Test, in Sydney, there are five players who are dropped: Stokes, Michael Carberry, Kevin Pietersen, Jonny Bairstow, Scott Borthwick and Boyd Rankin."

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 9:39 GMT)

Plunkett hasn't played a test for 7 years - if he wasn't good enough in that time, I struggle to understand how he's going to be of benefit now. Robson I can understand but his domestic form is patchy added to the pressure of his debut - tricky one that. I don't see the 4 guaranteed big individual scores in that order so let's hope the coin falls favourably on each first morning.

Posted by arup_g on (June 5, 2014, 9:38 GMT)

Glad to see they have picked Robson - he is clearly the future long term opener with Cook if he plays well enough.

Looks like it'll be - Cook, Robson, Ballance, Bell, Root. Ali, Prior, Woakes, Broad, Jordan and Anderson

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 9:38 GMT)

If you look at the squad excluding chris woakes it looks pretty solid.Playing all 4 seamers shouldn't be a problem as broad and plunkett can bat.Woakes isn't really needed.

Posted by Mervo on (June 5, 2014, 9:28 GMT)

Seems Stokes was a bit of a flash in the pan. England seem to be a bit desperate these days to find players

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 9:26 GMT)

So I guess it'll be two out of three of Ali, Woakes and Plunkett... probably Ali for the spin option, Woakes to stiffen the batting? I'm not sure if you'd really want to go with Plunkett and have four front-line seamers, because one of them will be underbowled. So perhaps: Cook, Robson, Root, Bell, Ballance, Ali, Prior, Woakes, Broad, Jordan, Anderson. It certainly bats deep, although it isn't classically balanced.

Posted by NRC1979 on (June 5, 2014, 9:25 GMT)

I am surprised Ben Stokes hasn't made it. He has had more game time recently than Prior and Broad since his injury. Do England see Plunkett as a potential allrounder now or is Woakes the direct replacement for Stokes? Let's hope the sun doesn't come out next week then and we have to rely on Ali to spin them out!

Posted by zummerrset on (June 5, 2014, 9:25 GMT)

Interesting - pleased they have refrained from playing Bresnan (although he has never dome too much wrong). I imagine the 12th man will be either Woakes or Plunkett. Lower batting order strong but in which order? My gues they will go with Cook, Robson, Root, Bell, Ballance, Moeen, Prior, Woakes, Jordan, Broad, Anderson. If Plunkett instead of Woakes plays I guess he would bat 10 with Jordan and Broad moving up a batting place. Does Jordan go in before Broad?

Posted by Guhah on (June 5, 2014, 9:23 GMT)

Where is KP? It strange they are still ignoring the best man though he is still committed to play competitive cricket for england.

Posted by niks_smarty on (June 5, 2014, 9:23 GMT)

Srilankan tiger will roll over like drum on this England team!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 9:20 GMT)

Gee, Robson would've been a perfect, long term foil opening with Warner. Well done Cricket Australia!

Posted by CodandChips on (June 5, 2014, 9:20 GMT)


Woakes for Stokes is probably fair enough given Stokes has been inured and Woakes has better first class stats, and Stokes was selected for the Ashes because he's more suited to Aussie conditions, so fair enough Woakes plays. Woakes has had a good season with the ball but poor with the bat. He hasn't played much cricket though in the last 2 weeks. I assume it'll either be him or Plunkett, based on the conditions.

No real other surprises for me. Would have liked Lyth but Robson was always gonna get picked.

Patel may feel hard done by.

Gutted that still no James Taylor

Glad no Hampshire players picked.

Posted by Jellybeanz on (June 5, 2014, 9:19 GMT)

Interesting that there's no Stokes in there. Assuming Moeen will play, it's a straight shoot-out between Woakes and Plunkett for the fourth seamer's spot.

I'd like to see Plunkett given an opportunity - he's been bowling thunderbolts all season. I saw him bowl against Middlesex at Lord's last month, and he was at least as quick as Finn in that match. Not to mention he's handy with the bat too.

Posted by SDHM on (June 5, 2014, 9:18 GMT)

No Stokes?! Fitness can't be used as an excuse considering Broad & Prior (completely underservedly) have been picked. Utter joke.

Posted by Balladeer on (June 5, 2014, 9:18 GMT)

No Kerrigan? Unsurprising, but with Moores at the helm, just a little disappointing. Part-time spinners it is, then. SA have done okay without a big spin option, but then, they're SA...

Posted by   on (June 5, 2014, 9:16 GMT)

where is stoaks?tremlett?

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (June 5, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

No spinner no hope. And, Woakes? He was given a few games before and looked TERRIBLE...

Posted by 14abhijeet on (June 5, 2014, 9:10 GMT)

It will be tough series for them and they will get back KP for Indian series.

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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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