India v England, 1st Test, Ahmedabad, 5th day

England to look at selection - Cook

George Dobell in Ahmedabad

November 19, 2012

Comments: 91 | Text size: A | A

Alastair Cook admitted England would have to reflect on the selection of their side after succumbing to a nine-wicket loss against India in the first Test in Ahmedabad.

England's bowling attack, with three frontline seamers and one specialist spinner, looked ill-suited for a Test played on a low, slow wicket, with the seamers claiming 1 for 254 in the match.

Their batsmen also struggled and, in eight innings between them, England's middle-order of Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Samit Patel contributed just 68 runs. By contrast, Cheteshwar Pujara scored 247 runs in the match without being dismissed and India's two spinners claimed 13 wickets between them.

While Cook admitted the problem, in part, was simply that several players had underperformed, he also conceded that the team management would have to reconsider the make-up and balance of the side ahead of the second Test which begins in Mumbai on Friday.

"Clearly we're going to have to look at our selection," Cook said. "There are some good people making decisions in this England team and we thought we were doing the right thing for the side. The result showed we might have got it wrong. When you get beaten by nine wickets, you have a look at a lot of areas and we have to look at what we could have done better. There will be a lot to ponder. We'll have to look at our squad for the next game."

The omission of left-arm spinner Monty Panesar has been highlighted as a key error by many critics but Cook felt the failure of England's batting line-up in the first innings was more of an issue. He refuted any suggestion that England had been underprepared, but accepted that they would require far more of the team to contribute if they were to fight their way back in the series.

"Our batting, especially in the first innings, didn't deliver enough runs," Cook said. "I thought it was a very good cricket wicket. There was a little bit in it for the spinners, but if you applied yourself with the bat it held together probably better than we thought it would. It was turning, yes. But runs were able to be had out there, as we showed in our second innings.

"If we're going to win out here, everyone in the game has to contribute. We need everyone to stick their hands up at certain times. The lads who haven't performed as well as they would have liked in this game will be very disappointed. We showed a lot of character in that second half of the game. There are a lot of quality players in that dressing-room, with very good records who have scored hundreds against every attack in the world. They didn't deliver in this game, and they know that. The middle order didn't score enough runs. Everyone has to have a look at themselves if we want to take something out of this series."

The defeat means England have lost five out of six Tests in Asian conditions this year, leaving Cook to agree that mental scars might be as large an impediment to progress as technical deficiencies. "I'd say it's a bit of both. Clearly, there are always technical issues before the mental ones kick in. We're doing the right things. It's now getting it right out in the middle and trusting our method there. We can only continue working as hard as we are doing, and I can't fault the lads for that. It's a case of working as hard as we can in the nets, and trusting our method out in the middle."

Cook also said the result had soured the memory of one of his finest innings. "I'm very happy with the way I batted," he said. "To score any hundred for England is very special and to score one in that situation probably made it even more special for me.

"Technically, it might have been a good innings. But you always get more satisfaction when you do it in a winning cause or to save a game. Maybe the 230 in Brisbane, in a similar match situation, is a better innings. But the result is what really matters and we weren't good enough over the five days to win. I'd have been even prouder if I'd survived and dragged a draw out of it. I'm bitterly disappointed."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 22, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer on (November 20 2012, 10:59 AM GMT) Patel has performed consistently ? Do you mean consistently getting the odd wicket here or there? I Think someone said Patel got something like 16 wickets in the CC this year. Not sure how many Monty got but I'd be surprised if it's anything less than 50. Patel is a batsman who bowls a bit of spin so if he is to be displaced it should be by Jonny,Root or Morgan

Posted by JG2704 on (November 22, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

@Phil Katon on (November 20 2012, 14:57 PM GMT) Swann too doesn't have the variations that some of the SC bowlers have but he was effective enough. He certainly couldn't have been any less effective than our pace trio

Posted by JG2704 on (November 22, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

@maximum6 on (November 20 2012, 12:59 PM MT) Maybe it is a fitness thing but since he got injured before the 1st SL test he has not been worth his place in the side. That IMO is our problem is that we pick certain players on their past form. Ok if we're winning or if these individuals are performing. Not so good if not

Posted by oneupnowuv on (November 21, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

sometimes too many changes do not help either the dropped/picked player. monty shld come in but he will still go for over 150 runs and get say 3/4 wkts.still a help for swann and better than bresnan. patel shld play bcoz his initial movement against spinners keeps him in a better position to meet bat n ball.also he didnt get out to spinners even once.he can play spin surely.Bell is too good a player to be dropped,he responded better in 2nd innings.IMO morgan and bairstow will be walking wickets.Finn over broad not now,just give broad another game to see if hes learnt something or not. so only change shld be monty over bresnan. all this coming from an Indian.

Posted by g.narsimha on (November 21, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

ANDY WRIGHT - There is no space for ifs& but in cricket , i too can say that if we could have capitalised in the first 2 tests in ENG while they were 5/6 down below 3 digit mark but PROIR in the company of tail took away those matches from INDIA, had we took few wickets the result of that series might have a deferent story all together , even in AUS IN THE 1ST TEST AUS WAS 4/28 IT WOULD HAVE BEEN 5 had the umpire given HUSSY OUT PLUMP LBW , so nothing can be changed with assumptions , face the reality & the reality is u r team is worse than IND in ENG , in these conditions ,after 2 white washes no body credited seaming or hostile conditions just every body degrded our great players making fun of them ignoring thier erlier great performances in ENG & AUS but for u r players , team nothing is there to show in IND for decades.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 21, 2012, 7:33 GMT)

@YusufbhaiPathan No one is going to disagree with you there. Once a batsman got in it took something unusual (a few balls, but only a few, misbehaved) or a mistake to dismiss him. England's first innings performance was down to nerves and the Indian psychological warfare campaign producing the sort of mental disintegration that the Australians used to specialise in. England can play much better. And they will.

Posted by YusufbhaiPathan on (November 21, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

sam_screaming: I totally agree with you buddy....Pitch at Ahmedabad was flat and was not offering much to bowlers as per Indian spin standards...Dhoni's comment on pitch was absolutely correct as India have all rights to make turning Pitches..How come a team can be number one by saying that they can not play spin well...If England really want to be number one than they are required to play spin well, or else I dont think that they deserved it...

Posted by Agila on (November 21, 2012, 1:21 GMT)

Steve Finn into the Eng team would not make any difference, Steve Harmison was lot faster than Finn, Not sure if he is taller or shorter than Finn. But he was pretty ordinary when he toured India 2005-2006. Same with Panesar. Indians definitely bowled and batted better. Want India to go 2-0 up at Mumbai.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 20, 2012, 21:34 GMT)

@José, I was wondering if the inclusion of Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan might help to sharpen the fielding. It can become a spiral: sloppy fielding demotivates the bowlers and makes them less eager and the batsmen then get into the frame of mind of laxness that makes the job of the bowlers so much harder and so on... Often it just takes a couple of really sharp, hungry fielders to change the mindset and animate the side. I was particularly impressed at how Jonny Bairstow came back after his humilliation and scored a couple of classy 50s against South Africa when everyone expected him to be out of his depth and he is an energetic fielder who can energise the fielding effort around him.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 16:10 GMT)

Robin Smith, Jimmy Adams (the West Indies JA - not the English one), Darryl Cullinan. Many players have done brilliantly against the seaming and swinging ball, and come horribly unstuck against spim

Posted by nilesh91 on (November 20, 2012, 16:08 GMT)

for reference take a look at Indian tail, zak,umesh,ojha are clearly for BOWLING and not for "we will need you to score 10-20 runs if specialist batsman fail" BATTING.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 16:01 GMT)

@Andy Wright on (November 20 2012, 14:53 PM GMT)

Andy Wright is absolutely right. I agree with him on all the points, he made.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 15:51 GMT)

Can any Englishman tell me: how much the hallo of the good old Chis Broad cast its shadows on English selectors? Or, am I imagining (hallucinating may be a better word, after experiencing such strange phenomena in my country, India, so often, in many spheres), looking at not only the continued presence of Stuart Broad in the team, but also his elevation as captain in at least one format?

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

In pace Dept, Broad Bress won't work on Indian pitches. Even Jimmy with broad (and strong) shoulders would not be as effective in India as he is in England. A doze of shark Finn soup or Onion soup may invigorate the pace bowling -- worth the gamble! Chinese believe in the power of shark Fin soup and Filipinos, in the Onion soup ( I am saying this on the basis of my five years of working in Manila)

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 15:33 GMT)

@SKinsidecricket. You would make a good script writer for Bollywood movies -- good imagination. However, I don't rule out your prediction, coming true. Once Veeru & Gauti self destruct (which they are capable of), and with Sachin on a waning form, anything can happen with others, including India getting out for around 250 (Pujara may not let you do that; though others, except perhaps Ashwin, may cooperate with the script writer). Mumbai pitch is not that bad -- certainly not a 250 pitch (unless the curator & groundsmen work overtime to please Dhoni -- but no chance though, as the advertisers dictate terms and they want 5 days of cricket) England, can get around 350-370 and hopefully, for England... the script will follow SKinsidecricket!

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 20, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

So, no Finn and Monty ain't no shoo-in... Interesting! England are actually going to look at the wicket and assess it properly before picking the side. One side issue is that if Monty is picked, does that mean that Samit Patel is dropped by default? Could England go in with 2 seamers and 3 spinners. backed up only by the gentle medium pace of Jonathon Trott? That could also backfire horribly if England end up bowling and the pitch has some life in it for the first hour or so.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 15:13 GMT)

England's batting can do better. This Cookie doesn't crumble; he proved it yet again. Prior might be one of the most underrated WK-batsmen, currently playing international cricket. He batted as if he had a lot of prior experience in playing in Indian conditions. I still believe, Patel can bat well in Indian conditions; he seems to be playing under scrutiny all the time-- give him some space, he will deliver as a batsman. Bell & KP seem to mechanically follow the game plan -- ATTACK! If they use some common sense, get used to the pitch and Indian bowlers,and then attack -- then both can deliver. Trott is going to get a lot of flack from the stands for his childish claim of a catch; he should be prepared for it. (If the crowd won't do it, Kohli will do it). Compo seems to be a combo of talent & nerves -- If Root has the same talent, but better nerves, he should be given a chance. In Bell's absence, Morgan may be a better bet than Bairstow -- he has had faced many overs from Ashwin & Ojha

Posted by tomo112 on (November 20, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

For me theres two england middle order batsman that need looking at. For a start kevin pieterson has a problem against left arm spin! until he acknowledges that and rectifies he always will. The other is Ian Bell, Ive heard people say he's Englands best player of spin. In reality he isnt, hes good against spinners when its not turning. If you look at his stats in the sub continent there terrible apart from his first tour to pakistan 7 years ago. He shouldnt play the rest the series for England!

Posted by SRAMESH5 on (November 20, 2012, 15:00 GMT)

There are a lot of misconceptions & erraneous thinking about Indian wickets by English critics. As is assumed, not all the wickets in India are turning tracks and dust bowls. The Wicket at the Wankhede stadium is not a turning track but many times helps fast bowlers. Remember Ian Botham of the Silver Jubilee test in 1979. He picked up 13 wickets in the match and scored a century after England were reeling at 55 for 5 at one stage from the onslaught of Kapil Dev and Ghavri. Remember the test in 1981, when both Kapil Dev and Madanlal ran through the England second innings for 101 and England lost that test. In our own Ranji Trophy cricket, Indian medium pacers do well if you care to scan the domestic cricket. Pick up 2 spinners Swann and Panessar by all means but take care to pick up your two best fast bowlers or even three if you can sacrifice one batsman. Please England, do not go by typecasting as turning tracks. Your Batsmen can score well if they have the skill.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

Panesar should be in for the Mumbai test. He may make Indian batsmen misspell his name as Pain-sir, with his tight bowling ( that is,if and when he is in good form)! Or, he may be hit out of the park; and out of the rest of the series. It is a high-risk-high-return strategy; worth trying.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 14:57 GMT)

I'm sorry (especially as an Englishman), but Monty is not the answer. His bowling is one dimensional and predictable;it contains zero variation, and the saddest thing is that we just don't have anyone better. The laws are how they are (for better or worse) and I don't see them changing, therefore England need to develop spin bowlers who can bowl the doosra. The first step is allowing and encouraging the use of the 15 degrees allowed in the English 1st class game.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 14:53 GMT)

I find it odd how everyone seems focused totally on England's batting failings. Yes, the first-innings batting was sub-par, but the bowling and fielding was equally atrocious. Just like they did when they failed to defend 385 in 2008/09, they bowled outside off stump without lateral movement on a slow pitch where you have all the time in the world to play late behind point and drive through the off-side. Just like at Chennai in 2008/09, they allowed Sehwag to score freely through the off-side, when they should have been bowling full and straight. This is simple analysis I can do; what are England's coaches being paid for?

This is also ignoring Anderson's horrid misjudgment of Pujara's leading edge at mid-on, which cost England about 200 runs. If England had restricted India to 350 or so in their first innings, they might not have been under so much pressure in their own first innings. Even if England had only made 250-280, at least they would've been somewhat competitive.

Posted by jjamie15 on (November 20, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

I'm just wondering why it's deemed appropriate to call the English 'poms' and 'pork chops' as in recent published posts in response to articles?

Having worked in sport all of my professional life, I wouldn't dream of referring to players/fans by using any terms other than their nationalities. I've never considered myself overly sensitive but do find it slightly derogatory.

Regarding the article, it's clear England got their selection policies and strategy wrong. I strongly believe in learning from your hosts and the Indian side showed exactly how to balance a side and how to use your bowlers. Indian batsmen will always perform better over a series in familiar conditions; it;s up to the English batsmen to apply themselves and not give their wickets away...

Posted by Harlequin. on (November 20, 2012, 14:11 GMT)

lastly - something else that can't be said enough; Prior is an absolute rock for England. A truly selfless player. Need someone to play a rear-guard, Prior will do it. Need a gutsy counter-attack, Prior will do it. Need a make-shift opener, Prior will do it. Need someone to turn the other cheek and help get KP back into the team, Prior will do it. He's an awesome human

Posted by Jonathan_E on (November 20, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

So, Pietersen is back in the team, and entirely back to normal - he is still as clueless against left-arm spin as ever.

I remember another England batsman who at one stage had an average of 50-odd, against some pretty good bowling attacks, but was then found out by spin, even half-decent spinners got the measure of him because it seemed his ability to play them got worse and worse. Ended up with an average in the mid-forties. Also he got a reputation as "not being a team player". His name? Robin Smith... a guy who had a higher average than any other current England batsman when he was finally dropped for good.

Posted by Valavan on (November 20, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

@MVSegar, MSD big match player, he is not a test material at all. If i remember NAYAN MONGIA was a better keeper batsman in Tests than MSDhoni. He is there just to criticize and cry. criticize umpires and cry for turning pitches.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 20, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

For those who think Broad should go as he is not very good in the subcontinent, his stats for tours of UAE and Sl actually tell a different story-15 wickets in 4 games at 24.5. Of course in the summer,along with the rest of the attack he was reduced for one reason or other to a shadow of an effective bowler. But he sure can bowl in the subcontinent if fit.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

In seaming conditions England beat India hands down.In spinning tracks England don't stand a chance against India.I believe India is awaiting to give a whitewash to the Englishmen.The only ray of hope for England as far as I saw it was in the form of Cook.He played Ashwin very well.Ashwin will come back stronger and India will start playing Swann more carefully too.Also a Tendulkar ton is due.MSD is a big game player too.Good luck Poms

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

@Dan Minford FYI, Cook and Prioir also got runs in UAE. so who learnt lessons in the 2nd innings I'm not sure. India did take the Lords and Oval test to the 5th day last session. They were worse in batting in Aus albeit with a stronger team.

Posted by Nerav on (November 20, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

why dont england pick specialist players instead of 'bits and pieces' ones. This is after all test cricket. Bresnan - bowls ok - but in the team cause he bats a bit Broad - supposed to be all rounder Patel - Bats a bit, bowls a bit. Swann - got into the side ahead of panaser because he could bat at field better, not as good of a bowler as Monty. Panaser - cant get in because he doesnt bat well (or field but lately all of england have been poor). Finn- may not play beccause they're not going to drop Broad ( as broad is supposed to be a better batsmen.

Posted by sam_screaming on (November 20, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

After reading the comments on this article, I can say that Its not only the English players who are confused about spin but also the English people or viewers. What do you think Ahemdabad wicket is. This was a bald Ahemdabad wicket, that is belter. If India would have batted the whole of 5th day, they wud have scored 300+ even after coming in to bat after lunch. The pitch looked even flatter on the 4th day than it looked on the 2nd day. The wickets of pietersen and bell were not due to demons in the pitch. There was a demon in their mind. Bell's 1st innings shot had me laughing all day long. Mumbai wicket is much more of a turner than the Flat Ahemdabad wicket. England better play Monty. I don't think either of Bairstow or Morgan wud be able to take England out of trouble that they already are in. Go India Go

Posted by o-bomb on (November 20, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster - Having read your post I had to re-read phoenixsteve's post. Where does he call the Indian performance ordinary? I don't see that he even mentions the Indian team or their performance. @phoenixsteve - I like your team, but I wouldn't have much confidence in Morgan after the way he played the Pakistan spinners earlier this year. I'd probably pick Bairstow ahead of him, although I can't say I've seen too much to suggest he'll play spin better - it's just that he played well in the summer so should have more confidence. I would have no problem with Swann batting as high as 8 in the order, but our batters must do what they're there to do

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 20, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

Incidentally @JG, the 1st Test was the first Test in India for which Monty has been overlooked for selection. He has played all the previous Tests in India for which he has been in the squad.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 20, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

JG, Samit was performing very consistently with the ball too. Apart from Swann, nobody else got that much bowling. It's Giles v Monty again: in that ill-fated tour, Giles had out-performed Monty with the ball in every single innings of the warm-ups, I believe (hence Monty's pretty depressing numbers outside that 3rd Test). Life is always fun with Monty. He's a risk, but he can run through the opposition. I would just like to warn though: Monty has played 5 Tests in India over two tours and has exactly 11 wickets @ 55.9, with a best of 3-65. Is he a better bowler now? I hope so. If Samit Patel had those figures after 5 Tests in India the opprobium would be terrible to read :-)!

Posted by SKinsidecricket on (November 20, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

In the second test, let's not take out the possibilities that India might get all out for a paltry score of around 250 and england taking a lead of 100-120 runs if they bat considerably well like the way they played in 2nd innings at Ahmedabad. This situation has happened before, game on mate! then it should be a cat & mouse game sincce then... England can't be written off so rudely, they could strike back with vengeance... Toss is very crucial in all the matches to come in this series, whoever bats first have a chance to score high and dominate or succumb to complacency of having got the chance to bat first on day one track and destroy themselves... second test will be a lot interesting...

Posted by JG2704 on (November 20, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster on (November 19 2012, 18:31 PM GMT) Were you not one of those who said we were ordinary without KP back along and surely after 1 match Prior deserves to be up there above the rest of our players too. Also seem to remember you saying Eng are favourites pre series.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 20, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

@SirViv1973 on (November 19 2012, 19:30 PM GMT) The thing is by strengthening the bowling we may not have to be chasing 500+ scores. I mean would we be losing that much batting potential without Broad or Bres? As I have said before , was it coincidence that after Monty's inclusion in UAE our bowling improved dramatically and that Swann (our spinner) was thee only bowler who looked at all threatening? I'd say Bairstow deserves to be next in line above Morgan and (as with KP/Bell) I'm not convinced that Morgan is a great player of spin and Jonny (while I'm not 100% convinced) has done little wrong since his 2nd stint for Eng. Also we do need to gamble a bit to win matches. Even if our batting improved dramatically we have to bowl India out twice and in good time. Based on the 1st inns could you see that attack doing that on similar pitches?

Posted by JG2704 on (November 20, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

@MattyP1979 on (November 20 2012, 02:22 AM GMT) Echoed . I'm not that much against Bres retaining his place despite this last performance and I'm not sure Finn will do what some think he will. Still not convinced about Patel mind

Posted by JG2704 on (November 20, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

@Jim Palmer on (November 20 2012, 02:22 AM GMT) I had Onions in my 11 , but to be fair he didn't do much in the warm ups (as did none of our bowlers really) and on that type of pitch I'm not sure Onions would have done much either. A brave call picking Onions over Jimmy despite Jimmy's ineffective showing. Have to say I like that side otherwise

Posted by JG2704 on (November 20, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

@landl47 on (November 20 2012, 04:15 AM GMT) Our batsmen were poor - granted , but do you think it was coincidence that (a spinner) Swann was thee only bowler to look at all threatening in the 1st inns? Surely you can't purely blame the batsmen when India have scored a 500+ declared score?

Posted by JG2704 on (November 20, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer on (November 19 2012, 16:24 PM GMT) PS - With the possible exception of Bres who of our bowlers came out of the warm ups with better figures than Monty? Also re your post to JMC - we know Monty is a gamble in other facets of the game but I reckon he's an improved bowler and although his fielding is very poor and his batting not much better we need to gamble a bit more now. Also , our fielding has been poor at times without Monty in the side and while his batting is also weak I think he has been there at the end to save a couple of tests

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 9:38 GMT)

England's first innings of 191 was simply the practice against spin they should have had in the warm up games. A second innings of 400+ on the third and fourth days on a low, turning track is a very good effort and shows that lessons were learned. They showed more fight in that innings than India showed in the entire previous serious. With Finn, Monty, and Bairstow in the England side the second test should be much more closely contested.

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

I was so angry on the first morning of this test with the non selection of Panesar. It put us on the back foot from the word go. It was blindingly obvious that we needed a foil for Swan on an Indian pitch. The subsequent capitulation in the batting can partly be attributed to the fact that we were trying to answer a huge score. With another specialist spinner in the side that total could have been one to two hundred less than it was and our batting might not have been as fragile. But as with Pakistan through a hard headed decision we have handed over the intitiative, let the rot set in and now have a mountain to climb. Now after only getting a total of 9 wickets in the match people are seriously talking about selecting our bowling unit on the strength of their batting. The whole thing beggars belief. Please get it right on Friday!

Posted by cricnanda on (November 20, 2012, 8:52 GMT)

Most of us are forgetting one point. SRT is devoid of runs, and is a ticking time-bomb. He will explode in a spectacular fashion, when he indeed does. So, it would be smart of Cook to pick Monty. Remember, SRT always struggles playing left-arm spinners. Imagine SRT getting back into form, and presume Finn bowling rubbish. SRT and Co. will take England for a ride. Moreover, Mumbai pitch is a raging turner - it spins from the first session on day one. Beware!

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 20, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

@jmcilhinney Accepted! With Monty you never know what you are going to get. He can be an effective shock weapon (you'll remember that huge fuss when he wasn't selected in Australia in 2006 and promptly took 8 wickets in the 3rd Test when picked - however, not so many people remember that he only took 15 on that entire tour in, I believe 9 matches and was totally ineffective in every other game). However, he can also give very useful control even if not taking wickets, at least easing the task for Grame Swann. Last season he was extremely effective in a strong CC1, far more than Samit can ever be but, he still has Ashley Giles syndrome, whereby it was generally reckoned that he needed to take 1-2 wickets per innings more than Ashley Giles to make up for the fact that he doesn't bat and is a liability in the field (how would we feel if he dropped Sehwag in the first over and he goes on to make 150?). I think that Monty will play, almost irrespective of the pitch. We'll see if it works.

Posted by xylo on (November 20, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

Given that Cook does not carry a lot of baggage around, he is at a great vantage point to retrospectively look at the team makeup and come up with brave, yet sound decisions. Surely, it is not that their reserves are poor enough to warrant Samit Patel a place as batsman. Or, is this Andy Flower's strategy to sweat him into shape?

Posted by sweetspot on (November 20, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

Finn coming in for Broad leaves only one question unanswered - how important is Broad's batting to England? Considering the lower order has shown some mettle, there may be some merit to this, but Finn is definitely the overwhelmingly first choice for his bowling alone. With Monty, it's a lot more risky, because how much more of a threat is he going to be against the Indians? Samit Patel is a genuinely good batsman to spin bowling and is really comfortable at the crease. England would be gutsy to do this, but it would make sense to leave Bell out and play Samit and Monty. Samit definitely brings more value as an all rounder than Bell with his 18 average here.

Posted by YusufbhaiPathan on (November 20, 2012, 5:57 GMT)

Well, England have no chance of winning in Mumbai after looking at their performance in Ahmedabad as this was not a proper spinning track...Also Mumbai will provide a superb spinning track where ball will start turning from first day...I have never seen Prior playing good to spin, it was only slow track which made him play at Motera...So other than Cook, i don't see any batsman scoring runs in Mumbai...England was no. 1 for very short duration and will not reach at this position again for at least next five years...

Posted by ihaq1 on (November 20, 2012, 5:46 GMT)

i think kevin pieterson plays horribly against spin..that was englands key player and he failed...instead of two england should play all three bowlers have tobe aggressive to disturb india...may just as well try onions and finn and rest the three fast bowlers in teh first test...on the batting side make get a few indian spinners to help and make the middle order battsmen practice spin for an hour each day...left arm spin has tobe upto teh batsmen...Bairstow and morgan should step in for the failed ranked batsmen have to standup to teh indians...compton seems a bit short on talent and maybe he should be blocking in teh middle order with Bairstow or morgan at the top or bowlers although the england fast men look like medium pacers should use one bouncer an over...if u want to play three fast men...meaker, finn and onions...

Posted by kir.vas on (November 20, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

my team for england ... Compton, Cook, Bell, Trott, Peterson, Morgan, Prior,Anderson, Broad, Swann, Panesar

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 20, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer on (November 19 2012, 16:24 PM GMT), I agree with you mostly except with regards to Monty. While this pitch wasn't the raging turner some wanted or feared, I think that it's safe to say that it spun more than those England played on in the warmups. It follows that Panesar would likely be more effective as a result. Even if he didn't take loads of wickets, he would likely have offered a bit more control than those who did play. The issue would have been whose place would he have taken. If he replaced Patel then they lose a batsman and they would still be losing some batting if he replaced Bresnan or Broad. Bresnan looked like he could be effective and, rightly or wrongly, the selectors seem determined that Anderson and Broad will always be the first two pacemen picked. That is one of the first mental adjustments that the selectors need to make. Pick Broad on current merit or not at all. England need to give Finn a chance in India.

Posted by Sudipta.94 on (November 20, 2012, 4:23 GMT)

If they replace broad and bresnan their batting depth will be decreased. Then they will be bowled out more easily.

Posted by landl47 on (November 20, 2012, 4:15 GMT)

The fact is, only Cook and Prior batted well in either innings. Compton hung around in the second innings and Patel got two poor decisions, but nobody except Cook and Prior looked like playing a big innings. Unless England's batsmen start playing like test players instead of dancing about like a cat on a hot tin roof (yes, I mean you, KP) then England have no chance. Fiddling about with the bowling isn't going to help. This was a pitch on which a draw should have been the only result. The reason England lost was poor batting, nothing else.

Posted by Romenevans on (November 20, 2012, 4:04 GMT)

Last year when England arrived for 5 ODI series i was really impressed with Stuart Meaker's bowling. He was reverse swinging the white ball and bowled a spirited spell in few games that he played. I think he should be playing because he bowls like Yadav who is fast in the air not of the pitch and that is what you need if you want to utilize reverse swing in sub-continent. BTW! the wicket was extremely flat and not a rank turner at all and our spinners did bowl really well, Full credit to Ojha the way he deceived English batsmen with his flight and loop.

Posted by Ross_Co on (November 20, 2012, 2:58 GMT)

For starters how about the novel idea of picking an 'England' team made up know....englishmen? Then you might have 11 guys playing for their country - radical I know but just give it a try, when was the last time you did?

Posted by   on (November 20, 2012, 2:22 GMT)

Can someone explain why Onions hasn't been given a nod by the selectors? (He might even save a game with his bat...!) Having said that - clearly Monty must play. Samit can act as the third spinner (maybe at #7 after Prior? -- hopefully no shocking LBWs next time). Broad hasn't had the venom for quite some time, Bresnan, who's an honest big hearted tryer, seems to lack fire. Finn must play to add the pace and lift -- no one else is as quick or menacing. Is Jimmy Anderson even a certainty? Bell -- mentally not there, perhaps snakebit by UAE, perhaps by impending fatherhood. Maybe he should stay home for tests 3 and 4 too. KP is trying too hard and until he gets over his denial that he can't play SLA spin well, he's going to have to concentrate harder on the team's needs. Bairstow -- one for the future, give him a go now. Compton, another crack for sure. AC, NC, JT, KP, JB, MPr, SP, GS, SF, GO, MPa for test 2.

Posted by MattyP1979 on (November 20, 2012, 2:22 GMT)

Agree with Steve on team selection, but I would play Bairstow ahead of Morgan. Broad HAS to go, no two ways about it. I like the lad and will be a shoe in outside the sub but is simply not required here. We needed Finn/Monty in this line up and agree with most that Eng knew Bell was off so why include him in the first test. The same happened in UAE we just didn't get our selection right from the off!

Posted by ygkd on (November 20, 2012, 1:48 GMT)

I think Cook needs to rethink his captaincy too. He sent a good, strong message by continuing to field at bat pad, but to my mind his under-use of Pieterson and Trott and his over-reliance on Patel with the ball cost England plenty. However, the selection of both Broad and Bresnan rather than Panessar was odd to say the least. Two seamers would have been enough - even thought India might only play one.

Posted by rohanbala on (November 20, 2012, 1:13 GMT)

England lost the Ahmedabad test because of irresponsible batting by its middle order batsmen - Trott, Bell and Pietersen. Added to this, their bowling attack lacked sting with the likes of Anderson, Bresnen and Patel being ineffective. Bell should be dropped for losing his head to the very first ball in the first innings, while Pietersen looked more like a novice than an established batsman. Unless the english team management brings in mass changes for the second test, it will be difficult for them to survive against the Indian attack.

Posted by kensohatter on (November 20, 2012, 0:51 GMT)

I disagree with the inclusion of Monty. Englands strength has been its seamers and they simply underperformed. Yes the tracks are spinning but much like the australians they simply dont have the quality spinners that india do and should not include them for the sake of adding sub par spinners. Id make one change Finn for Patel. It lengthens the tail but really what is patel contributing. Allows an extra bowler which they need and allows for short sharper bursts rotating around Swann. The tail is still strong as broad, bresnan, anderson and swann all able to hold the bat. Batting wise they must lift. Its a class unit lets not forget that. Compton looked competent enough and Trott, Peterson and Bell despite a rubbish game are world class. I would promote Prior though and wedge him between the attacking Peterson and Bell I expect england to bounce back stronger but still think they lose the series overall. India in India is just too much of a mental hurdle for them

Posted by JustIPL on (November 19, 2012, 23:50 GMT)

Broad, Bresnan, Swann provide healthy tail more than the top of order of some teams. They should not be disturbed. Specially Broad who captured 25 wickets and scored 182 runs during the India tour of England and had his part in making England number 1 test team. Broad did not have to bat in two of the four tests otherwise his allround impact would be even more pronounced. Broad and Bresnan should not be dropped just because there are tactics by BCCI to make these all rounders ineffective. Broad Bresnan and Swann should take this challenge and provide match winning lower order stands. Just Monty for Patel to provide support for Swann.

Posted by JustIPL on (November 19, 2012, 23:25 GMT)

But I dont think they leave out Broad as he is the golden boy of English cricket and needs some moral support and he can come good with bat and bowl both. Please refer to his role in that famous white wash of Indian team. Only change should be Monty instead of Patel to take care of right handers in Indian team better. They should not touch big 3 in KP, Bell and Trott. They should all be given moral support. They just got hurt by not facing Indian frontline spinners during warmps and easily hit out the below average spin bowlers presented to them.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 19, 2012, 22:48 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer on (November 19 2012, 16:24 PM GMT) For me it was the case that Swann was SO MUCH more effective than any of our pace bowlers. Patel is basically a batsman who is maybe slighly more consistent as a bowler than KP. Monty is a wicket taking bowler. I wouldn't say Monty is a messiah but on a track where Swann took wickets and none of our pacers looked like doing anything Monty (or any proper spinner - which we had none of in the squad) IMO would definitely have been more of a threat. To me it was UAE deja vu where in the 1st test we weren't nearly as good with the ball as the 2nd/3rd tests after Monty came in - coincidence?

Posted by whoster on (November 19, 2012, 21:52 GMT)

It's good to see Cook not make excuses for the team. Cook and Prior, along with the whole batting line-up, had a terrible series against Pakistan in UAE - so they've shown the other batsmen that playing spin in Asia isn't as ridiculously hard as we're all led to believe. India played well and thoroughly deserved what was a comfortable victory in the end. Even so, this is by no means India at their peak, and England have to believe that they can put up a fight for the rest of this series. I'm hoping Cook's magnificent captain's innings will inspire the side in the way Clarke is doing for Australia.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 21:43 GMT)

You cant pick a lower order based on batting failures of your middle order. Nobody asked Roberts, Garner or Holding to develop batting skills so that they can salvage a middle order batting collapse. But then again a middle order with Richards and Lloyd in them rarely collapsed. Similarly, Steve Waugh never selected McGrath or Gillespie or Lee or Warne for their test batting skills in his team. You need 4 bowlers in your test side, any one of whom is capable of picking up 5+ wickets an innings on his day. No modern test side has 4 match winning bowlers. SA is close with 3. For England, playing Bresnan was a mistake. He is simply a waste of space. Since Finn was injured, Cook should have played Onions if he wanted a 3 pace attack. Bresnan is not going to take 5 wicket hauls ever again even on greentop wickets with cloud cover.

Posted by farhan4050 on (November 19, 2012, 21:11 GMT)

Panesar should be in for Brensan. They have their next test at Mumbai, which somewhat offer's a bit of bounce and swing for the pace bowlers. Instead of blaming the pitch, we'll have to blame their bowling. They looked extremely ordinary as if a dull domestic team. We saw Zaheer and Umesh swing the ball, bowling tight lines and good lenghts unlike the England pacers.

Posted by Shan156 on (November 19, 2012, 21:07 GMT)

India were clearly the better team in the first test. But, all is not lost for England. Their selection was criticized even before the first ball was bowled by Jimmy Anderson. Broad and Bresnan looked innocuous and Jimmy looked a shadow of the bowler who bowled England to win in the Ashes in Australia. Clearly, the bowling attack chosen was ill-suited to the conditions in the first test. Not that England would have won had they selected Monty but England would have had a better chance to at least draw the game. Look at Ojha who took 9 wickets in the game. Monty is as good a spinner as Ojha even though the Indian batsmen are better players of SLA than our guys. Our batsmen sans Cook, Prior, and Compton, better take a look at their technique and their approach to playing spin bowling. Bell would be unavailable for the second test, so that would given Bairstow a chance. God knows what Patel is doing in that XI. Replace him with Morgan, Bresnan with Monty, and Broad with Finn.

Posted by Tigg on (November 19, 2012, 20:34 GMT)

Drop Broad for Onions, and Bresnan for Panesar. Onions skids the ball on in a fashion more suited to Indian pitches, and Panesar is a workhorse who can allow Swann to be used more sparingly and offensively.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 19, 2012, 20:23 GMT)

It's going to look like a panic reaction, but I suspect that England will make 4 changes: Broad, Patel, Bell & Bresnan out; Finn, Monty, Morgan and Bairstow in. I then discovered that Ian Boham had suggested the same changes... (no chance of me getting it right in that case! :-)) And I suspect that the changes will be made irrespective of the pitch served up.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 19:56 GMT)

+PPPD123, I agree 100%. I'm English and support Eng like crazy but like you, I want to see good and competitive cricket. Eng have talent but it seems that Flower won't change the 3 seamers + 1 spinner until too late. Or promote Prior to 6 despite all the evidence.

Only 3 Eng players did the business in 1st Test: Cook, Swann, Prior. I excuse Compton (no experience) and Bell new baby soon, c'mon, any father knows that makes you nervous). But KP: PLEASE realize you're only human yes you're very talented but NOT A GOD !!!!!

Anyway roll on 2nd Test on Friday, congrats on 1st Test victory and your man Cheteshwar Pujara looks to me like a winner. Add Virat Kohli to the mix and you shouldn't worry about Fab Four (Rahul, Saurav, VVS, Sachin) retiring.

Posted by Long-Leg on (November 19, 2012, 19:56 GMT)

An interesting selection question is to ask how many English players at present would make it into a combined Anglo Indian side. It hurts me to say it, but I would only select three based on current form (Cook, Prior and Swan).

Posted by stuartk319 on (November 19, 2012, 19:56 GMT)

For the record, Bell has scored 500 runs at 29.41 in Tests in India and Sri Lanka.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 19, 2012, 19:42 GMT)

I think that there is general recognition that England must engage in that most un-English of activities and play 2 spinners and two seamers-it is however also accepted that you can play two spinners at the Oval and Northampton without inducing divine retribution.Actually it is more the lack of a 3rd seamer which troubles English souls than the presence of two spinners. Anyway team for Mumbai,my style, and possibly most people's-Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bairstow, Patel/Morgan,Prior, Broad,Swann, Anderson,Panesar. I do not think most people would pick Broad except he can bat-laugh if you watched today. Swann could bat 8 but the others ham it at 9,10,11? Otherwise if they are daring Finn should play. Broad made it through this game but more penetration is vital. Morgan or Patel? Patel is inked in as he played all the warm ups and this gives another spinner. But Morgan is such a tastey batsman that one shot can seduce me. A tricky one.

Posted by stuartk319 on (November 19, 2012, 19:39 GMT)

Why do England persist with Bell? Time and time again he proves that he hasn't got the bottle to make runs in the subcontinent. He should be the first to be dropped for the entire series. Bresnan most likely will be dropped for Panesar. Cook has been excellent both as a leader and batsman so with selections that better fit the conditions England can build on the fight they showed in the 3rd innings.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (November 19, 2012, 19:30 GMT)

@PhoenixSteve, I can't agree with your selection, bringing Finn and Monty in would strengthen the bowling but it depletes the batting Swann batted at 10 in this match and you would be asking him to move up 2 places to 8. I feel that only one of SF or MP can play unless Jimmy is dropped and I can't see that happening. I think the need for a 2nd spinner will rule Finn out and I don't even think GO comes in to the equation, he didn't bowl well in the warm up games and can't bat either. The key decision will be who Monty replaces will it be Samit who simply hasn't looked the part in his 3 tests so far and go with 5 out and out bowlers or will either bresnan or broad pay the price for being ineffective in the 1st test. I also wouldn't pick Morgan he couldn't buy a run in UAE earlier in the year & has had virtually no cricket on the tour, It has to be bairstow at 5, he scored a 100 in the warm & I think he should play the remaining 3 tests, Bell should stay at home with the baby!

Posted by drsankalp on (November 19, 2012, 19:20 GMT)

I wrote last time of India tour of England . England is pure lucky to be no 1 side in test as India was full of injury and came unprepared ! England bowling is simply pathtic they don't have single world class bowler in side but till some stupid exper were Tom toming best English attack I'm world in India tour. England worth to be number 6 in world as they can't win against anyone anywhere except may be Aussies and Indians in England. England batting is also pathtic with exception of cook who bats well at most places in world. Watch 4-0 white wash in India and England kissing number 6 rank in test cricket in six months.

Posted by Street_Hawk on (November 19, 2012, 18:58 GMT)

If I were Cook, I would bring in Panesar and Finn (if fit) in place of Broad and Bresnan...Finn's height will be important and he will get decent bounce from the placid pitch which will discomfort indian batsmen...surely, these two does not have the batting power of Broad and Bresnan but if your first 4 batsmen fail, you can't expect tailenders to win matches with their batting...Also, I'll play a specialist batsman in place of Samit Patel like Eoin Morgan who has experience of batting on Indian pitches.

Posted by maddy20 on (November 19, 2012, 18:53 GMT)

Finally it seems like the English have come to their senses. Dropping Monty for Bresnan was hilariously absurd. The guy is not afraid to toss the ball up and would have got a lot more purchase form this track. And who are they gonna drop to draft in Finn? Whats baffling is the amount of help these English seamers need from the surface to pick wickets. Compare 256/1 by 3 seamers vs 166/7 by Yadav & Zaheer and you will know what I am talking about. Instead of bowling full and getting the ball to reverse, the English seamers were bowling in the channel outside off or at the pads of the batsmen. Sure Mumbai will have more bounce than this wicket but, if they keep bowling that line, they wont stand a chance. As for the wicket, Mumbai will be a lot more challenging. A lot more catches will carry to the slips and Ojha, Ashwin are gonna love it there. Tough times ahead for England.

Posted by Herbet on (November 19, 2012, 18:33 GMT)

Englands middle order players, Trott, Pietersen & Bell, are pace bowling specialists. Playing all 3 against spin has proven over the last 12 months to be a total disaster. I know 'modern England' stick with the 'group' and are all about continuity but there is a place for a bit of specialism. Pietersen in particular can look like Viv Rachards against pace attacks, against spin he looks embarassing, clueless and devoid of confidence. Morgan and Bairstow might not be sub continent specialists but its time for something else in these conditions.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (November 19, 2012, 18:31 GMT)

England are an ORDINARY team without Cook and Swann. They DO NOT have what it takes to beat India. I can see the score line 2-0 after Mumbai. Monty or not, they cannot win. But, their chances can slightly improve. Even this young and talented Indian team can expose the frailties in the English team. Yet, we have English fans like "phoenixsteve" who dares to call this Indian performance as 'ordinary'. It really takes some guts to admit one's weaknesses. So far many English fans have difficulty to admit they are simply not good enough to beat India. So what makes them different to some Indian fans then ? It's childish self denial is what it is. Alistair Cook should play for SA or AUS next.

Posted by aa61761 on (November 19, 2012, 17:55 GMT)

England did not score enough runs in first innings, but it does not explain why England was not able to dismiss India at a reasonable total say 300 or 350. Because England's bowling does not have any teeth. Banging the ball short does not work in India, fast bowlers have to bowl full and with control. One spinner will not be enough for England.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

Some excellent comments below, I like Alex Raha's 5-1-5 scenario, as Broad and Swan are both quite talented batsmen and Prior is as good as any of England's middle order. Unfortunately, unless we are blessed with an all-rounder in the Botham/Flintoff class, England will NEVER play five bowlers. Don't give up on Bell; when he's on form he's as beautiful to watch as David Gower was, and that's saying something. He will come good again. I also liked PPD123's coments, and have to agree with his description of particularly Patel but also Bresnan as utility players. Bresnan will always be around in English conditions but I'm afraid I am not convinced by Patel, not only for his ability and contribution but also for his commitment. I'm not sure that he wears the England shirt with the same pride as many who have gone before. He needs to make his mind up. Only he can pin the colours.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (November 19, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

Few ENG fans r saying if ENG don't lose by 4-0 margin then it will still be a good performance by them even though they lose just bcoz they whitewashed India last year. This shows u guys already know that ENG can't win series here. For yor info ENG has worst record in India than India has in ENG in last 15 years

Posted by i_witnessed_2011 on (November 19, 2012, 17:40 GMT)

I agree that England's main problem is team combination. 1.Need to Start with Cook-Trott opening pair. 2. Have Morgon and bairstow in the middle order. 3. Finn for Broad and Bring in Monty. 4. Samit or Bresnan based on the pitch. My XI would be: Cook,Trott,KP,Bairstow,Morgan,Prior,Bresnan\Samit,Swann,Anderson,Finn,Monty With this XI, 1. They have players like cook,trott,KP who can play long innings. 2. They have morgan,Prior,Bairstow who can score quickly. 3. 2 good spinners and three fast bowlers(with bresnan included) Compton played well in the second innings, But problem in having him at the top along with Cook & trott is you will not score many runs. As soon as you loose two wickets, there is added pressure because you do not have enough run on the board.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (November 19, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

Cook is being very diplomatic by saying this is a good cricket wicket. Pujara himself said it was a slow wicket and couln't play his strokes properly. Dhoni said the wicket got lower as the match went on.This was not a good wicket by any standard and this showed on days 3 4 and 5 when the Indian spinners found it hard to turn the ball in England's second innings after extracting good turn in the first. A number of the English batsmen gave their wickets away in the follow-on so no wonder Cook is bitterly dispaoointed.

Posted by PPD123 on (November 19, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

This lad is one for the future. No nonsense guy. He will be a very good leader for England for a very long time. Very mature and straight forward. I think he will need to take some tough calls. Even at the cost of lengthening the tail, he has to bring in Finn and Monty. For me Samit Patel is no test cricketer, he is a utility player fit for t20 or ODI. Eng need a specialist batsman in his place. He may yet keep his place for the 2nd test, but once Bell is back for the 3rd, I would keep Bairstow ahead of Patel for that game.In Indian conditions, Eng should have their 6 best batsmen + Prior + 2 seamers (Anderson & Finn) + 2 spinners(Swann & Monty). Though Eng will have a longish tail, but will have the best chance to win. Keep in mind, In India, you do not find utlity players in 7 & 8 like Patel and Bresnen, winning you too many matches. Smell the coffee, make the changes before it is too late... BTW I'm an Indian and support Ind like Crazy. Just a tip to make this series competitive :-)

Posted by ABP235 on (November 19, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

Yes the big stars didnt contribute, selection of the spinners was flawed and the England bowlers had to bowl on the first 2 days, but I can say this England side, which was made to lose mentally even before they reached here with all the spin talk, has redeemed itself by bringing the test into the 5th day. Their fightback in the 2nd innings spells good for them - this fightback was far superior than the abject surrender India did in England (and in Australia). Looking at this, and if KP & Trott contribute too, England can come close to upsetting India at Mumbai or Kolkata, the two grounds which have better sporting wickets, and can draw the test at Nagpur if it stays flat as in the past years. Even if England draws one test in the series will be creditable compared with India's 0-4 washout in England.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (November 19, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

An valiant attempt to save or win the game from Captain Cook and Matt Prior but these guys can't carry the whole team? For me it's obvious that specialists are needed not medium pacers - but quicks, not shell shocked batters - but those with a proven track record against spin and certainly not butter fingered fielders! Once again the fielding has been below par and not what's needed. My team would be Cook, Compton, Trott, KP, Morgan, Prior, Patel, Onions or Finn - if fit, Anderson, Panesar and Swann. Out would go Broad (lack of form) Bresnan (lack of class) Bell (lack of family planning) and I'd give Patel another chance as he was 'robbed' in both innings. Maybe if Broad sees his place lost he'll motivate the pace side of his game? Bresnan's selection has been justified on his batting ability and the folly of that is now glaringly obvious! This team selection would give England 4 potential spinners and some pace in the quicks. KP needs to deliver after all the hype? COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by   on (November 19, 2012, 16:33 GMT)

I hope Cook actually gets some say in a possible switch to 5-1-5 (5 batsmen, 1 wk, 5 bowlers) because they need 2 specialist spinners, not 1 and another glorified part-timer (Patel, whose control is no better/worse than Yuvraj at test level). Prior showed he can be the 6th Batsman, and am sure Broad and Swann can provide enough at 7 and 8 if the middle order actually bats properly....

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (November 19, 2012, 16:24 GMT)

With one possible exception, the side that Englaand put out was pretty much the one that was in the minds of the selectors from day 1 of the tour. Samit Patel performed well with bat and ball. Monty was not particularly impressive. And Tim Bresnan looked back to his best, so the selectors went in the majority of cases with players who were showing form. Ian Bell was an exception, but he was the man in possesion. The one exception was Steve Finn. He could well have unseated Stuart Broad in the squad, had he been fit. People are looking on Monty as the Messiah here but, had he made a strong case for selection, or was it a case of pick him and hope that he bowls well?

Posted by o-bomb on (November 19, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

Panesar has to play in the 2nd test. Both Broad and Bresnan looked substandard with the ball. Somehow I doubt England will drop Broad though.

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