The Ashes 2009

Adams calls for Ramprakash reselection

Cricinfo staff

August 10, 2009

Comments: 68 | Text size: A | A

Mark Ramprakash completes yet another hundred, Surrey v Middlesex, The Oval, May 6, 2009
Mark Ramprakash has scored hundred after hundred for Surrey in the past few seasons © PA Photos

As England prepare for their must-win fifth and final Ashes Test, the clamour to recall Mark Ramprakash to strengthen a failing middle-order has increased, with Geoff Miller, the national selector, refusing to rule him out of contention, while Surrey's manager Chris Adams has described him as "the best batsman available for England".

Ramprakash, 39, has played 52 Tests for England, the last of which was in 2002. Since then, he has been in consistently sublime form for Surrey, culminating in becoming the 25th player to score 100 first-class centuries. Still fit and showing no signs of slowing down, even in his 22nd year as a cricketer, Ramprakash has again passed 1000 runs for the season and is averaging 100.75, albeit in the second division of the Championship.

"I'm not ruling anybody out," Miller told BBC Radio 5 live. "What we have to do as selectors is measure the quality of what they are doing in domestic cricket and whether they can do it internationally. There's a lot more pressure in Test cricket, it's a different game altogether.

"The players we have in the side are good enough to be international players. It doesn't necessarily mean, all of a sudden, that they are not good enough. We stay loyal with the players unless we feel it's completely necessary to make those changes.

"We will sit down and work out the best way forward."

England's middle order, however, is testing the selectors' loyalty. Contributing a paltry 16 runs for six dismissals in 17 overs at Headingley, the call for change is now deafening. Ravi Bopara made an impressive start to his career, with three hundreds in consecutive matches against West Indies earlier this year, but against Australia he has been found wanting, with 105 runs at 15.00. England's lower-order fared better; Graeme Swann managed 168 at 33.60, while Stuart Broad cracked 168 with two fifties.

Meanwhile, Ramprakash continued to make a compelling case for his reselection after hitting another hundred this week - an unbeaten 134 against Derbyshire, his 108th first-class ton. It follows his 274, made at The Oval against Leicestershire last week.

"If I was an England selector picking my best side, he'd be in it," said Surrey's cricket manager, Chris Adams. "He is playing the best cricket of his life. He has done so for three years. I believe strongly he has been the best batsman available for England for those three years.

"I know Kevin Pietersen would have something to say about that but from what I've seen from Mark this year he is an exceptional batsman, a batsman at the top of his game." Adams' comments echo those of Alec Stewart who today said Ramprakash was "the best player in the country by a mile".

Another name that will doubtless be mentioned is Marcus Trescothick, who became the first man to reach 1000 runs in the Championship this season, and has made 1330 runs at 78.30. He, however, has poured water on his possible reselection, and while his county captain, Justin Langer, believed he would be the ideal pick, he was doubtful whether it could possibly happen.

"It would be a massive call [to select Trescothick]," Langer told Cricinfo, "but he is a great player and you can't believe how well he's batting at the moment. I would not be surprised at all if he got a call asking whether he would play [at The Oval], but that would open up a big can of worms.

"Would it just be a one-off?" he asked. "Would he just play Tests that weren't overseas? Then you might get a situation where other players ask to not go on overseas tours. You've also got to think about the message you're sending to the younger players out there. Tres and Ramps are sensational players, though. I can't talk highly enough of them."

Jonathan Trott, who was in the squad for Headingley, has made 877 runs at 97.44, including three hundreds, but it seems unlikely England will opt for a Test debutant for a must-win encounter.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 1948 on (August 13, 2009, 18:44 GMT)

after a gap of 7 years,Ramprakash re called to join the England team in crucial time to play against Aussies,we hope he plays well in the must win match,now he is nearly 40 years ,let us see how he performs in the up coming test .

Posted by SrinR on (August 13, 2009, 13:17 GMT)

England should bring in conscription - call of duty in the case of Trescothick. They should force him to front up and take his place to do battle for England. This is a golden chance for England to shame Ponting, don't miss it.

Posted by cloudmess on (August 11, 2009, 16:09 GMT)

In the 1st 3 tests, England were not bowled out for less than 376. This against a decent bowling attack (who dismantled SA in the winter), and on sporting pitches that twice saw the Aussies scuttled for the less than 300. As Geoff Miller implies, you don't suddenly sack half a team after one bad match -the old way of picking inferior players on a whim, who then do even worse (shades of 1988 & 89). Bopara needs a rocket and to be told to work on his defensive technique. Ian Bell is a class player, still averages 40 in tests, against Ramps' 27. He scored 53 in the previous test. Collingwood saved the Cardiff test, without which the Ashes would already be gone. I have a feeling one "cosmetic" batting change will be made to please the media and masses, and either Bell or Bopara will go. If that is really necessary, the best of the limited alternatives is Key. He has the bottle. But he is never going to score a 100. It is a real shame about Tres - I would have shooed him in.

Posted by terry_2k6 on (August 11, 2009, 12:28 GMT)

To all those who support the call for Mark Ramprakash to the XI for the 5th Test, I salute you. 7 years is a long time in cricket, & his record throughtout is outstanding, currently in the 2nd Div or not. So he didn't have a good run in his last dig in the English Team, so what?? Bell only failed against the WI 5-6 months back & he's already back in the side. I've also said it before, Bopara is NOT of test quality, never has been, never will be. 3 hundreds against the WI's mean nothing. We all remember Chris Gayle's take on that series by arriving 2 days before & then not worrying if Test's lost their primacy. Bopara has to go if England want to win. 105 runs in 7 at 15 @ NUMBER 3-not good enough. Vaughan would have scored more than that, plus he has a mental toughness few could match. If you go on current form, Ramprakash HAS to play, he knows its not longterm & wouldnt expect to remain, but he deserves the chance based on form. In his last test, he scored 133 v AUS! BRING BACK RAMPS!

Posted by tomjs100 on (August 11, 2009, 11:25 GMT)

In the last 4 seasons, Ramps has hit 6,681 runs @ 91.52, with 29 centuries! Apart from this year, those runs have been made in div1 of the championship - better than anyone else in the country. Come on selectors, give the old lad a chance.

Posted by SubhashK on (August 11, 2009, 10:05 GMT)

Isn't it always the same !! The present line up doesn't quite measure up, so there are calls to bring back the "oldies". Ramps suffered from it in his early days - never given the extended run he deserved when he first broke on the scene but now there are calls for his return at 39. He wouldn't let the team down but surely it would not be the right decision for the future of English Cricket.

Posted by Jasonharcourt on (August 11, 2009, 7:49 GMT)

Ramps and Tresco have played well precisely because they know they have no pressure to perform for England selection so can just enjoy themselves. Key is not the answer, his form has been patchy at best.

Trott and Shah for me must come in.

Posted by Sanjiyan on (August 11, 2009, 6:37 GMT)

If Vaughan can get bowled by a 3 year old im not sure hes the man for the job. After reading all the replies it seems quite sad that all these names that are being called for have never(except for the odd exception) been selected even though they are so called run machines. If you look at the top tier countries they have huge reserve stock which all are good enough to make it on test level. Also the frailty of the English lineup is nothing new so why not give other blokes a chance? It is indeed harder to get out of the english team than it is to get in it.

Posted by faraz_baig on (August 10, 2009, 22:48 GMT)

Bring back MICHEAL VAUGHAN...He's a class act.. He should have been picked first up in the series, poor lad

Posted by pedmond on (August 10, 2009, 21:26 GMT)

I feel that the England selectors should pluck up the courage to drop the 'famous' players and go for the reliable and sensible choice it's all a matter of pride and the way that they have marketed the ashes. To drop the most hyped up playes would be a blow but weigh that up against actually having a chance of winning the Ashes. I know what one i would pick.

Posted by wgtnpom on (August 10, 2009, 21:25 GMT)

The point of the upcoming selection meeting is to pick a team to win the Oval Test and therefore the Ashes. This is the most important thing BAR NONE in English cricket and if that means recalling Ramprakash, Trescothick, Key as a one-off to bolster a pretty shell-shocked top order, then go for it. No-one, not even those guys themselves, believes they have a long-term future in the England side. So what? The side that played at Headingley will be so low on confidence now that they may as well surrender the Ashes before the start, because they're not going to win. So gamble - if it doesn't pay off, at least we thought outside the square. And what if it does??!! AFTER the Ashes are won or lost, THEN pick a side for the South African tour with an eye on the future - but don't try and win the Ashes and future-proof the side at the same time - that will only have one outcome. As Brian Johnston used to say - "IT'S THE ASHES!!" Nothing else matters until the series is over.

Posted by scritty on (August 10, 2009, 20:27 GMT)

Other sides pick players until they are almost 40, and they aren't "old knackers". Look at Hussey and North - the ages when they were first picked. Jayasiriya, Kumble, Kallis, Tendulkar, Dravid..all THE BEST..all over 35. Bopara ? Strutting show pony with only a onde day defence.

England's management is constantly looking forward. But forward to what ? They have been looking forward for as long as I can remember.

Lesson 1. Pick the BEST TEAM AVAILABLE. That goes for any sport at any time. Anything else is counter competative, ageist and defeatist. Englands "looking forward" has never reached any sort of fruition, and has left a trail of shattered FC careers in it's pointless wake. Pick the best team NOW. And the best team includes Ramprakash (I can't see how Tres can play - I would like him to, but disn't he announce his official retirement from Tests some time back?)

Posted by scritty on (August 10, 2009, 20:19 GMT)

@ why450. I have to disagree. When Bell was called up we all went "Oh no, not "little boy in a mans game"..He acts exactly as he looks. What you see internationally with Bell is what you get. He is useless under pressure.

Ramps has a better than average record against the Aussies in tests. and nothing to lose, no "long term career" to fret over, just a game or two two show what we have all missed.

In the last 15 years, since 1993 when Gooch stood down as captain England have had 3 run machines. Hick, Ramprakash and Key. These are guys that just score and score. Did they all just "fail" ? All three ? In the same way ? Would they all have failed if they were Australian or played for South Africa ? I don't think so, they get the best from the most talented players at their disposal. Englands 3 stand out batsmen of the last 15 years have all been failed by our rubbish system.

So from where I sat, everyone wanted Ramps, and I for one was always against "Bottler Bell" and said so.

Posted by taffofepsom on (August 10, 2009, 20:13 GMT)

I know this is a one off test and we need to try anything to win it. That said I don't think dropping players now will work. If Ramps is good enough he should have been selected from the start. We've seen what he's like under pressure and it would be wrong to shove it on his shoulders again. He's a great county player, one of the best, but so was Hick. Test cricket, especially the ashes, is about bottle. Time to tell the team that. They have got themselves into this situation and now have to show they have the balls to get out of it. If they fail then no one should expect a phone call in the Winter. I am a Surrey follower and would love to see him pull on the England shirt again but not in this circumstance. The squad selected, barring injuries,should see it through. Grow a pair England.

Posted by Budapest on (August 10, 2009, 20:00 GMT)

Against the West Indies in 1991 England went into the last test 2:1 down and desperately needed to win at the Oval. There were wholesale changes - 5 of them - Jack Russell was dropped - Alec Stewart replaced him with bat & gloves, Hick lost his place to Robin Smith, Lamb dropped to allow for Botham, Pringle for David Lawrence, the spin of Richard Illingworth for a certain Philip Tufnell (6 - 25 first innings: 1 - 150 in the second). Botham, around 36 then and playing for Durham got 3 key wickets and hit the winning 4 after a first innings ('couldnt get his leg over' Agnew/Johnson moment) 31 while helping Robin Smith to a century and extending their first innings to 419. Ramprakash played that game 18 years ago. He'll know what is wanted on his home ground this time. Sure Pietersen isnt fit enough to play? Flintoff? My 11 - Trescothick, Strauss, Cook, Ramps, Collingwood or Pietersen, Prior, Flintoff or Broad, Swann, Sidebottom, Anderson or Harmison, Onions (the 'or's depend on fitness)

Posted by omki_1204 on (August 10, 2009, 19:54 GMT)

Look at who is in form at the moment, that is where the ECB aren't able to distinguish their ambitions for the team and the individuals. It has been a few weeks since the Key 270; bear in mind this was playing in Division 2 against Division 2 bowling attacks. Michael Carberry has just hit 136* against Lancs (Div. 1) and Ed Joyce 183 on Weds against Notts (Div.1) in swinging conditions at Horsham. To be competitive, England need to score a huge total in excess of 550. The bowlers are more than capable of taking twenty wickets if the batsmen produce a total for them to work with effectively. Here is an outside claim for a batting place, Luke Wright.In fine form with the bat for Sussex this season with 3 (Div.1) 100s at Dur&Yorks. Broad, few wickets in this series for the expense of many runs. His batting impresses, but he is there as one of five bowlers; you cannot play him as a front-line batsman at number 7/8. ICC Official Daddy is keeping him in the team with some back room politics.

Posted by gottalovetheraindance on (August 10, 2009, 19:48 GMT)

this situation is as crucial as its mind boggling. its the ever classic tooth & claw saga of experience & performance vs talent & potential. this scenario pops up from time to time however it gets extremely pressuring in a tense situation. and in the test cricket world right now theres nothing more tense and pressuring than an ashes series decider. my advise to the selctors is to think hard and long on their decisions. double check instincts /gut feelings and avoid personal biases/preferences review and preview pitch outfield and weather conditions even more important is that they steel themselves for the onslaught of the conquences of their decisions and the millions of people waiting to either pat u on the back or to accuse berate and scream we told u so. remember the odds of england being in a position as favouble r slim until the battle returns to english soil in probably another 4 years. as their chances in the land down under are almost nil. good luck england

Posted by Ruri on (August 10, 2009, 19:48 GMT)

Drop Bell and Bops for Ramps and Trott. Simple fix. Flintoff for Harmison. Bell and Bops don't deserve the last shot anymore. Anyone pushing for Rob Key is blindsided by the fact that Rob Key is called upon so often, but with very little talent to prove for it. He is a chubby, overweight cricketer who would fare as badly as Bops.

Ramps is in the 2nd Division but is much more technically sound than Bops/Bell, and might have gotten better with his temperament issues, especially after that salsa and all. Trott is a coolheaded bloke in comparison to Bell, who looks like he is going to soil himself whenever Johnson (of all people) is in delivery stride.

Posted by Mr.Bogs on (August 10, 2009, 19:39 GMT)

There is an abundance of talent out there, but good 'ole England always picks the same names.....whether in form or not! Ramps.....bring it on, why not! My other choice as well would be Lumb, awesome batting ability and BALLS to go with it, something England is severely lacking........BALLS!

Posted by abhi.2009 on (August 10, 2009, 19:20 GMT)

ITs high time that Mark Ramprakash must be bring irrespective of the people who talk about his age 39 who stupidly talk about botham and husssain etc returns without thinking that Mark has been the best batsman at dosmetic level and he has not quit international cricket yet like others people and during past few years he has become probably the last man to complete 100 first class century which now is 108 . Though is still unlikely he may be called but still one thing must be proved that age has nothing to do its the class of the person and the form which he is in and how it can be benefical to his team whichmust be think and ist always not necessary to give chances to young players and if a chance is given to an older player it also does not mean that there is scarsity of good young players . the only aim should be while selecting a team is to select 11 best players who can win the match for their country and Mark can be one of them then why cant he be in the team .

Posted by Maxgilli on (August 10, 2009, 19:12 GMT)

I do not think any changes to the England team will have any affect on the outcome of the final test. I think England batting line up is one of the boring and most painful to watch batting line up in the world, barring KP. I think this is the main reason that KP is hyped to such an extent in England. He is a good batsman, who can attain greatness, but still not great, but good old England seems to celebrate him like none other because he is the bastman who can score a run a ball in the entire nation. Of the current top 5 England batsman, I think nobody will find a place in any of the top 3 sides now, Aus, SA, Ind, leave aside starring in the playing XI. Mark Ramprakash is a proven test failure and if England thinks that the runs he scores in second division county cricket matters, then I think the English selectors should get a reality check. Three Cheers to Ponting and man to take the Ashes back to Austalia where it really belongs. PS. I am not an Australian.

Posted by YoBro on (August 10, 2009, 18:48 GMT)

Bring in Graham Thorpe...he is the only one with technique solid enough to counter the Aussies. The next in line would be KP, but he's too injured to play. All the others are hogwash.

Posted by r1m2 on (August 10, 2009, 18:35 GMT)

I think England has nothing to lose by selecting Ramps. Ramps should slot into KP's position in the order. Bell should be given the boot for the last time. I don't think Bell is off form. Give him Bangladesh right now, and he'll score a massive ton, no problem. Give him Australia and South Africa or anyone else slight bit intimidating, and he'll be clueless. He's got a good enough technique for test cricket, but he hasn't got the balls to stand up to real test class bowlers. Bopara should remain at #3 as one last chance. I think Bopara hasn't got the technique to survive against moving ball, especially in Tests. However, he's not a wuss like Bell. At any rate, since technique is not the only criteria for a quality test batsman (Ramps averages 27 in 52 Tests), Bopara should be given a last chance to prove his worth. Harmison should be swapped with any of Fred/Sidebottom/Monty. That I think is more obvious change. So, only real change that makes sense to me is Ramps for Bell as swansong.

Posted by why450 on (August 10, 2009, 18:13 GMT)

Just to follow up, why when Pieterson was ruled out nobody called for old Ramps but everyone looked to Bell. Bell now fails in two innings and suddenly everyone knows ramps is the best player in county cricket. Why not drop cook as well, he had more games than Bell in the series and failed in both innings as well. England need to look at their bowlers. The continued selection of Swann shows that England have no back bone. He is a BOWLER not a BATSMAN. If he took as much wickets as he scored runs he would be fine. There is always too much hype over Harmison and Broad should focus more on his bowling and leave the batting heroics to the professionals who can't seem to get it right. I am not an English man but West Indian and i always knew that Bopara would be found out when he played against Australia, Shane Warne said before the series started and i smiled. I guess this is a form of payback for those three centuries i had to watch by Bopara.The sleeping Giant has awoken what will u do?

Posted by 1983worldcup on (August 10, 2009, 18:07 GMT)

Mr. Geoff Miller, I am also 39, play every Sunday in my local park for my pub team and bowl leg spin. can I come too please?

Posted by ihaq1 on (August 10, 2009, 17:59 GMT)

It seems that ramprakash has been playing in teh second division..key never looks good with his chubbiness and the consensus seems tobe trott and carberry...collingwood and flintoff being all rounders should play at six and seven with three top bowlers ie anderson, onions and broad/harmison..if batting is the problem go in with five batsmen ie strauss, cook, carberry,trott, bell, prior, flintoff, collingwood/swann and three fast bowlers...if flintoff is ill than replace him with collingwood and make him bowl outswingers...trescothick still does not want to play...if the selectors go with minimum change than they could just replace bopara with either trott, carberry or shah...without flintoff u need four fast bowlers and that leaves space only for five batsmen...than drop collingwood...

Posted by why450 on (August 10, 2009, 17:41 GMT)

England making such big chops to the team are less likely to win than they look right now. All that happened is that Austraia bowled better, there batting was the same as the entire series and england bowled poorly. Stick with the same team except for harmison anf Flintoff should be there.

Posted by hyperbole on (August 10, 2009, 17:32 GMT)

Dear oh dear oh dear. The paucity of English batting talent really has reached world class levels if the only real candidate for the number 3 slot is a guy with 2 hundreds for ENGLAND in 52 tests. Ramprakash is a very good player, but not at the highest level and should never be considered. My team? Strauss, Cook, Bell, Collingwood, Bopara, Prior, Broad, Swann, Onions, Panasar & Sidebottom. Harmison quartering the oranges I'm afraid; the man is so gormless it beggars belief. Yes I know Prior & Broad are two places too high, but there really is very little talent out there. The illustrious england management will probably go Strauss, Cook, Ramps, Collingwood, Prior, flintoff in a wheelchair, Broad, Swann, Onions, Panasar & the Gormless One. Oval prediction? Aussies to win by an innings & plenty after amassing 600+; Harmison 1-145 and never plays for england again. Flintoff 1-145 and is unable to walk again!

Posted by Jojy.John.Alphonso on (August 10, 2009, 17:18 GMT)

Just bring Ramps onboard. Its his home ground and he is currently playing the best cricket of his life. An so what if its only 2nd division?? I strongly feel that he needs that one last chance to showcase his talent.

Posted by Vanchy on (August 10, 2009, 17:09 GMT)

What next ... Botham to be enticed out of retirement...... What balderdash.... Back your players and get them to deliver and deverlop a good bench strength .... ERasier said than done but i would rather lose two series including an ashes than seelcting geraitrics with nothing to offer the team.... English cricket and their follies.....

Posted by mumbaiguy79 on (August 10, 2009, 16:53 GMT)

Why not even consider Gatting or Gooch? The English team looks wrinkly anyway.

Posted by Rugbydave on (August 10, 2009, 16:53 GMT)

For The Oval, we need the best team and that must include Ramprakash (and Trethscothick if he felt able to play). There is a huge amount of ageist prejudice against Ramps. When I was young, the selectors memorably made three, all successful, who many thought were passed it: Compton, Washbrook and Sheppard. Boycott said Ramps has had his turn; and belittled his centuries in county cricket, including the recent 274. This misses the point that selection is nothing to do with whether or not its his turn; and everything to do with selectingt the best side. Success in county cricket is what makes players worthy of consideration for Test selection. There is no other route for Ramps, Key, Trott or anyone else. Last point: we need to select a team primarily to win, not to build for the future although that is a reasonable secondary aim. Rest Bell and Bopara for Ramps and Trethscothick or Key.

Posted by RichieRich1979 on (August 10, 2009, 16:52 GMT)

Bopara should go back to Essex and work on his technique, you play flintoff. then I would go for Carberry, he is the man in form, is an opener so will not mind batting 3, he scores his runs at the Rose Bowl and all of his runs have been in Division 1 of the county championship It is far easier for Ramps to score runs in division 2. 2 out of the past 3 seasons Secondly the pressure of a test match, there is one thing a county team having 1 or 2 goodish bowlers, however test cricket there is no let up and if Ramps puts the same pressure on himself as in the 90's he won't cut it, even though I would love him to. His time has past. Trott has scored his runs at a flat Edgbaston. Key playing for kent in division 2 hasn't exactly stood out of the crowd. Bowlers win you test matches so you have to play Panesar... Looking forward to a great game at the Oval!!!

Posted by MartinAmber on (August 10, 2009, 16:45 GMT)

Seeing as everyone's at it, my top six would be:

Strauss, Cook, Key, Collingwood, Bell, Prior.

I reserve judgment on Bell until we've seen him at number five, where he has a far better average.

I reserve judgment on the bowlers till we know whether Flintoff and Anderson are fit.

Reserving judgment is under-rated. I wish our media would reserve theirs.

Posted by finisher on (August 10, 2009, 16:29 GMT)

Forget youth as of now. if england to wants to win the ashes, for the last test they have to make changes in middle order. openers are ok.. but really bopara and bell are struggling so is collingwood. bring who are in form county player.. if it ramprakah or key or anybody.. but make sure the best team play.. bowling is englands strength.. 70-80% fit flintoff is better than harmison..

Posted by Sanjiyan on (August 10, 2009, 16:25 GMT)

What a farce this is...The english team is hardly anything to get excited about but the best batsman in england is actually a 39 year old who hasnt even been considered for selection the past few years is hilarious. Lets say this move comes off right and then what? Thanks ramps you saved us now get back to county level. What an insult that would be for him..

Posted by Arijit_in_TO on (August 10, 2009, 16:09 GMT)

Adams calls for Ramprakash reselection: This is a joke, right?

Posted by Nampally on (August 10, 2009, 15:55 GMT)

At this late stage England have very little to tinker the team except for one or 2 players. Ramprakash would be a good stop gap but a younger person is preferred.My England team would be: Strauss, Cook, Shah, Ramprakash, Broad, Collingwood, Bopara, Flintoff, Prior, Swann, Anderson/onion. Bopara should be dropped down in the order to #7 with Broad or Swann promoted to #5. Only other choice for middle order batsman is J.Trott. England is lacking in talent, young or old, due to poor emphasis on player development.As a result most of the established players are taking it for granted that eheir place is safe. Australia have found in Watson, North and McDonald excellent new talent. They also found a good spin bowler in Hauritz. This is much under rated team with a very strong batting. If the Aussie bowlers perform they will beat England or most teams in the world. Media hype has put this team down but media would be proven wrong.

Posted by tomjs100 on (August 10, 2009, 15:52 GMT)

The last time the selectors picked Ramps, it was as a makeshift opener, which is not what he does. He was also averaging about 47 in FC cricket back then. Since 2002, which is when he last played for England, he has averaged above 100 twice (with this season on course to be the third time) knotched up 100 FC hundreds, and has pushed his FC average up to 54.5. Surely, in a must win match, a veteran who has been playing out of his skin deserves a call up on his home ground.

Posted by jaguar_vel on (August 10, 2009, 15:36 GMT)

ramprakash deserves a place atleast in final test..if england are looking for victory with the absence of pietersen..

Posted by BellCurve on (August 10, 2009, 15:34 GMT)

To keen and able sledgers such as the Aussies, Ramprakash will be manna from heaven. His age. His test record. His dancing. And in the 2nd innings, his 1st inning score.

Posted by Nytten on (August 10, 2009, 14:47 GMT)

I wish England could play 3 Indian players,

Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxhman. That would have given us a great middle order.

Ramprakash is a great player, but I don't think he will click, he has never clicked in the international circuit. Trescothick could be an interesting option, but we need Flintoff and KP badly.

Posted by beefy on (August 10, 2009, 14:46 GMT)

i think bopara should have been dropped after the 2nd test and there should have been a repalcement maybe key,trot,hildreth or even ramprakash who is in prime form at the moment and also collinwood should bat down the order after prior cause prior is in very good form and he has all the shots in the book,i also think that strauss should be more aggressive even with a lead of over 200 runs he was not attacking the aussie batsman in the 3rd test in spite of been 2 down for 70 something where england had a very good chance of winning that test anyway i think that england can still win the ashes but they gotta change their attitude and the captain should think aggressively not trying to defend 102 runs and the bowlers bowling all around the place we should remember that ponting came into the series out of form but thanks to the england bowlers he was gifted with 150 runs in the first test and we should also understand that in a series like this we will not have the best umpires in the game

Posted by rampampam on (August 10, 2009, 14:43 GMT)

Scoring centuries in Enlgish League and playing Australia or international circket is a big difference. I can bet RP will be out of the team the way he came in. This is the problem with English crciket. The selectors, board dont trust their current bunch of players. England has lost only one test. The press, ex players, commentators have their knives out. Geoff Miller was a disaster when he played for England himself. The selectors should be supporting this current bunch of cricketers and not saying to the media which loves such statements.

Posted by dialga_438 on (August 10, 2009, 14:43 GMT)

Ramps must play. Full Stop.

Posted by Adarsh_T20fan on (August 10, 2009, 14:24 GMT)

Well, I believe that bringing in Ramprakash will be a very good placement made by the ECB, though I strongly suggest that he should come in for Ravinder Bopara, as Bopara has been not been performing well in this series. I also beieve that Robert Key will be a very good batsman and will be a great asset, though I think he must replace Ian Bell. A more aggressive soluion wolud be Owais Shah in for Ian Bell instead of Robert Key, as he would be a great replacement for Pietersen. Flintoff will be good, maybe in for Harmison. My team world be: Strauss, Cook, Ramprakash, Shah, Collingwood, Flintoff, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Onions. The reserve should be either Ian Bell or Harmison. - Adarsh

Posted by geepharm on (August 10, 2009, 14:05 GMT)

ignore youth at your peril! however setting that aside, did brian close not come in at 45 ? horses for courses, pick on merit pick on for now, get ramprakash in, bell and bopara out. Consider credit crunch et al would we continue with the same bankers?

Posted by Nuna_Boy on (August 10, 2009, 13:47 GMT)

If you are gonna make wholesale changes, why not transpose the English mens team with the womens team. They seem to be all conquering at the moment.

Posted by beech78 on (August 10, 2009, 13:41 GMT)

Bopara lacks technique? Over-rated! Comments which are inane I'm afraid. Its always worried me about the constant negative sentiments (Even when he hits 3 centurys on the spin we shrug it off as only Went Indies) its a bit ugly and downright sinister. It was stupid to put him at No.3 where in the end it negatively affected his stroke-play and confidence.

It's true Ramperkash IS the best batsman around and has been for years but it reeks of desperation to bring him in now at such a crucial point.

Best to bring in some of the' bandwagon' suggestions brought in to the Middle order for easy runs (refer to our lower order) on the good batting surface at the Oval.

Posted by Waikato_FC on (August 10, 2009, 13:40 GMT)

Anyone else find it ironic that Shaun Udal is also pictured? ... If Swanny fails maybe he'll get recalled as well ... Ridiculous and pointless, Ramps was NEVER good enough and he won't be good enough now. Bell is the man for the future and hasn't been given enough time in this series to make a decision.

Posted by ihaq1 on (August 10, 2009, 13:39 GMT)

well u must see what happened in the last match and the pitch u will play on...bopara has failed quite a lot so has broad...u need a very good opening attack and good batsmen at 1-5...whether u replace bopara with ramprakash or trott will not matter if u get out like u did in the last teh toss and bat first and bring in trott and play aggressively...anderson, onions, broad and flintoff...a spinner if the track is dry and expected to turn...u must study the australian bowlers and how to play them...strategy matters...getting out twice under 450 is not the right way...the australians will come at u fast and aggressive and u must study how to deal with that...harmison for broad might be teh answer...u dont rebuild a side in teh last test...prior too hasnt palyed too faults and weaknesses and remedy them as fast as u can...

Posted by SridharSampath on (August 10, 2009, 13:35 GMT)

StaalBurgher is absolutely right in saying that 'Football has strangled the youth out of English cricket'. But what he - and several others in this forum - need to understand is that Eng faces a 'MUST WIN' situation at The Oval to regain the Ashes. Therefore the idea of recalling Ramprakash or Trescothick on a purely one-off basis shouldn't be ridiculed. I would more or less go with the team selected by HOTCHA but his contenton that a half-fit Flintoff would be an asset is dead wrong. Hopefully he would make the team after proving that he is atleast 90% fit. This is the time for all English supporters to back the team to the hilt instead of lashing out in anger. I believe England can still get it right. A big defeat at the Oval would put English cricket back to the dark decade of the 1990s in the context of their rivalry with the old enemy. I really wish that doesn't happen.

Posted by peeeeet on (August 10, 2009, 13:03 GMT)

why stop at ramprakash!! here's my team of ex-international county veterans (some have retired this year though) - 1. marcus trescothick 2. mark butcher 3. michael vaughan [c] 4. mark ramprakash 5. stuart law 6. john crawley 7. paul nixon [wk] 8. dominic cork 9. glen chapple 10. shaun udal 11. andy caddick reserve players - jason gallian, mal loye, ali brown, robert croft, craig white, mark ealham, chris silverwood

Posted by HOTCHA on (August 10, 2009, 12:57 GMT)

Get Ramps in - even if it is for one Test match only. He is clearly the best man for the for the brittle top order, along with Key. Dump Bell and Bopara. Play two spinners. Swann is good, and Panesar still has the ability to run through a side. A half-fit Flintoff would be an asset, so don't leave him out, again. My team for the last test would be Cook, Strauss, Key, Ramprakash, Collingwood, Flintoff, Prior, Broad, Swann, Onions and Panesar. Reserve: Sidebottom

Posted by wilkojr. on (August 10, 2009, 12:55 GMT)

Next thing is that Australia are going to bring in Warne and McGrath back in again.

Posted by cricsans on (August 10, 2009, 12:53 GMT)

Play your best XI if you want to win a game. England cannot select players from the Zimbabwe domestic league - they can only pick players from the English domestic circuit.

Let the likes of Cook, Bopara, Bell, Collingwood go to county cricket and score 1000 runs at 60 per innings.

If Ramprakash is fit to play, he should be played.

All this nonsense about team building.... Nasser Hussain as a skipper - through his tenure - kept complaining that his team didn't have the experience. Well, if you don't take care of your experienced players - this is what happens. When Ramps played Test cricket, there were no central contracts and no proper management.

If Bell and Collingwood can have central contracts and 99 chances... Ramps's age shouldn't be held against him. Mike Brearley was 39 and averaged 22 with the bat when he was called back to lead in the 1981 Ashes series. What happened to England in that series?

Posted by mosse on (August 10, 2009, 12:44 GMT)

Actually as i view the others comments i think that there are some geniunely good batsmen in England excluding Ramps. James Hildreth, Marcus Trescothick, Ian Trott, Michael Carberry, and lets not forget about forget about Usman Afzaal.

Posted by adrian77 on (August 10, 2009, 12:42 GMT)

You pick your best players, its as simple as that - and the fact is, Ramps has proven himself the best batsman in county at them moment - by a fair margin. English selectors should be focused on one thing at the moment - winning the Oval test. Post ashes, and having an "old guy" in the team shouldn't be the concern. If its a short term fix, then its perfectly fine if it helps them win the ashes. To all those Ramprakash critics, I would point out the fact that he played his best test cricket against Australia - averaging 42 - compared to his overall average of 27 or something. Also lets not forget that the last test he played against Australia was at the Oval - and he scored 133. Bopara has to go - there is no question in my mind, the last test showed quite glaringly that he is a broken man against Australia. But lets not stop there. Bell also must go. Strengthen the middle order with Robert Key at no. 3 and Ramps at no. 4. Colingwood has enough credits next to his name to keep his plac

Posted by Howzzat07 on (August 10, 2009, 12:37 GMT)

This just in: Ian Botham will be selected for the fifth test.

Posted by Tom-T on (August 10, 2009, 12:20 GMT)

As long as they drop Bell and Bopara, I'd be happy if they play just about anyone. Ramnprakash, Trott, Hildreth, Boycott's granny - anyone.

Posted by ABP235 on (August 10, 2009, 12:11 GMT)

It will be interesting if England selectors opt for the 39 year old Ramprakash after excluding a 35 something Michael Vaughan at the beginning of the series and a younger Owais Shah. I cant believe England have run out of a test class batsman despite having such a vast county cricket set up. Look again, selectors, find some younger blokes for the next series in place of the old, tried & tested 'Bells' and 'Peppers'.

Posted by delboy on (August 10, 2009, 12:08 GMT)

Ramps, would be stupid to accept any rumoured belated call from England. If age is no longer a factor, Boycott is surely a better choice at least he has ALL the answers. Cricket is like that, sometimes the opposition just play much better than you do. So why reverse a strategy which allegedely focused on 'youth' and the future of the game? Carberry, Trott are also possibilities although I would hope Carberry would avoid being the test equivalent of Ed Joyce; and choose the WI over England. What happened at Headingley can happen at the Oval..With or without Flintoff, Pietersen and/or Ramprakash. The result will not be determined by past statistics, form or the team on paper but the one which plays the better cricket.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (August 10, 2009, 12:08 GMT)

CONTINUED: England must accept that based on the percentage of elite-sports youth that get involved in cricket they only have enough to compete for 4th spot in international cricket. The call for Ramprakash is a sign of the denial English cricket is in. They probably do have the best guys in their team right now. Not much more they can do. More often than not they will lose - because of the football effect - NOT because of team selection. Don't go swopping old geezers in. 50/50 that he will come off, but then so will Jonathan Trott who is only 29 and might actually play a few years afterwards if he does actually score a ton.

I say again England losing is not about team selection. They got the right guys there, but you might have to accept that you are just not producing enough elite talent.

Wow, they scored lots of tons against West Indies on 4 drawn pitches. Brilliant. Way to kid delude yourselves again. Was the same with the NZ series and then running into SA.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (August 10, 2009, 12:01 GMT)

I am sorry, but this is idiotic. Have a look around the County scene and tell me how many Aussie and SA batsmen you see that couldn't quite make the international grade but are devastating county bowling attacks? Quite a few - please just put his achievements into perspective. Now you want to bring back Ramprakash who is 39 years old, hasn't faced international level bowling in 7 years and has no long-term future in the England side? Sure he might score a ton but what then? Do you drop him? How long do you stick with him if he gets a few low scores? England will paint themselves into another selection quandry if they decide to do this. The odds of Ramprakash doing well is the same as Bell, Collingwood of Bopara - except that you can actually work with the younger guys over a period of a few years. The real issue here is that England needs to accept that they don't have enough sport-talented people in cricket. Football has strangled the youth out of English cricket.

Posted by tomjs100 on (August 10, 2009, 11:54 GMT)

If England are to win the ashes, they need to drop Bopara, whose lack of technique has been fatal to their prospects. Ramprakash clearly has technique, and is vastly experienced. It's true Ramps didn't perform to expectation when he last played for England, but a lot of time has passed since then, and his run scoring in domestic cricket has become ever more assured and consistent. Give him another go - this is a must win match, so pick the best team, and Ramps would be in mine, batting at 3.

Posted by MrJames on (August 10, 2009, 11:47 GMT)

He is playing in the SECOND Division

Posted by mithoauau on (August 10, 2009, 11:31 GMT)

that is just pathetic, bring nasir hussain and Mike Atherton as well .........

Posted by mosse on (August 10, 2009, 11:29 GMT)

I would also include Ramps in my English team. England currently don't have batsmen that can bat a whole day to secure a draw or chase down a big target and Ramps will bring experience yet with runs. I think Ravi Bopara is to over-rated, He is gone after that golden-duck at Edgbaston, Lost all his form from hs Three-consecutive hundreds, hit a wall. Wake up selectors!

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