England in India 2012-13

Trott prefers to bat at No.3

David Hopps

October 21, 2012

Comments: 86 | Text size: A | A

Jonathan Trott plays the ball into the off side, England v South Africa, 1st Investec Test, The Oval, 1st day, July 19, 2012
Jonathan Trott: "If asked to open I'd have to - or I'd like to - do what the team wants me to" © AFP
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Players/Officials: Kevin Pietersen | Jonathan Trott
Series/Tournaments: England tour of India
Teams: England

Jonathan Trott has said that he would prefer to stay at No.3 during England's Test series in India after the late inclusion of Kevin Pietersen had encouraged debate about whether he should be asked to open the innings.

Andrew Strauss' retirement from Test cricket had left England contemplating a choice between two uncapped openers - Yorkshire's Joe Root and Nick Compton of Somerset - alongside Alastair Cook at the top of the order.

But the addition of Pietersen to the squad after his long-standing dispute with the England hierarchy was settled has given England the option of opening with Trott, tried and trusted, and giving Pietersen the No.3 spot that he has made his own in averaging more than 50 over 34 Tests, but whose form has faltered in the past year.

"I've enjoyed batting No.3 in my career, since my second Test match when I was put in that position, and I feel like I've done a pretty good job there," Trott told Sky Sports News. "But, if asked to open I'd have to - or I'd like to - do what the team wants me to. No.3 is my preference but we'll just have to wait and see. I don't think it will come to that."

With Pietersen then likely to bat at No.4 and Ian Bell regarded as a certainty in the top six, retaining Trott at three would leave Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow and Samit Patel vying for the final batting spot.

Trott became the latest player to voice support for Pietersen's return after a 73-day exile following his outburst after the end of the Headingley Test against South Africa that he might have played his last Test for England.

"Kevin is a world-class player and if you want to be a successful team you need your best players playing," Trott said. "As long as everything has been straightened out between Kevin, the ECB and the management squad then hopefully everything can be laid to bed - and I think everything has been.

"We had our meetings with him - I think that's been widely reported - and everything went pretty smoothly. I've never really had any problem with Kev, I've always enjoyed playing with him and it's time to get back playing some good cricket."

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (October 24, 2012, 23:11 GMT)

@Nayel_19 on (October 23 2012, 15:50 PM GMT) Re Bell - I'm not necessarily saying that we have great players of spin out there at all but I was more pointing out that Bell's record in SC/SC conditions vs spin is very poor. To me Bell is extremely gifted but is very much a momentum player. He can go through spells of being magnificent and then spells of looking clueless. I'm not saying Bell should be outed by any means , just that I'm not totally convinced he'll do well out there either.I'm not sure Eng have missed a trick re Morgan and Bopara. Neither have been hugely successful in the test arena. Morgan was clueless in UAE and Bop has looked worse than ever late this summer and like Bell I see him as a confidence player and right now that particular aspect is near empty

Posted by JG2704 on (October 24, 2012, 23:11 GMT)

@Nayel_19 - Re Patel - I see him as more a bits and pieces type player. As a spinner , I see him as more of a containing bowler than a wicket taker. If he was playing I'd see him as a batsman who bowls a bit rather than a bowler who gets some runs and to be honest - and I might be wrong - I'm not sure if he'll get enough wickets or enough runs out there. I'd more favour him to score runs. If they play 6 batsmen - as they prob will - then he could be a worthwhile 6 or 7 as his overs would at least ease the workload of the other 4 bowlers. I've done my side before and I'd like them to squeeze Onions into a 5 man bowling attack but I don't think they'll use him at all which is a shame as he's probably been the most consistent seamer in county cricket over the last decade

Posted by Meety on (October 24, 2012, 5:48 GMT)

@SamuelH on (October 23 2012, 11:32 AM GMT) - I don't think it would hurt him to be around the squad. Just on Root's average though, I agree he is better than what what his record says, that being said, it is not a given he would do any better in our Shield as it has generally been tough going for top order batsmen against the seamers in Oz for a few years now. It's hard to say for sure - but at the moment, Oz have a pretty good spread of pace talent across all the States, we've got some good uns atm! Basically we're on the same page.

Posted by Nayel_19 on (October 23, 2012, 17:04 GMT)

JG2704 on (October 22 2012, 21:20 PM GMT) My point of picking Patel is to have a spin bowler who can score some runs (not just hanging there but score runs). The innings he played at Wc T20 is an example of what he can do against spinners. Besides having bowlers who can score some runs for you always help. I agree with you that he is a containing bowler but the conditions are going to help spinners so he might change his approach & containing in this conditions will also be a great job. He can put pressure from 1 end & Swann can attack from the other. I picked Bresnan ahead of Broad but I don't think Bresnan will play atleast the first 2 matches as Broad is too heavy player to be dropped (T20 captain!)..If Broad plays i think he will have to go back to his previous approach of bowling short balls, because I don't think bowling full will help as the ball will hardly swing & Indian batsman always have some issues with short bowls. Kohli & Pujara are the batsman to watchout for England..

Posted by Nayel_19 on (October 23, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

JG2704 on (October 22 2012, 21:20 PM GMT) I understand your point regarding Bell but then who will you play in place of him? Root? Dont you think playing a debutant in this conditions will be harsh to the team as well to the player himself? Its better to have a experienced player who knows this conditions & can adapt. Trust me the pitches are going to be as flat as it can get & a player like Bell's class can make a mark.Add to that you already have a player making his debut at the top of the order so playing 2 debutants will be a poor decision. I'd have loved to see Morgan & Bopara in this squad who have played in this conditions more then any other batsmen in the team except KP. England selectors have missed a trick surely!

Posted by SDHM on (October 23, 2012, 12:32 GMT)

@Meety - with his average, you have to remember the circumstances; the fact that he opens the batting at Headingley and the start of his career has coincided with some of the most bowler friendly summers in the past couple of decades, in a domestic league chock-full of bowlers with the nous to exploit the conditions has a lot to do with it. Under those conditions, an average of 38 is actually pretty good - certainly, if he was currently a young batsman transposed to India or Australia you could quite comfortably add a good few runs to that I think. All that said, I do agree he shouldn't really be in the squad; he's too green. I personally think he's in the squad as back-up, but I'd prefer him to actually go and play some cricket in the EPP as opposed to sit around carrying drinks and batting in the nets.

Posted by vrn59 on (October 23, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

Trott is right: he's been comfortable and successful batting at No. 3, and it would be a risk to move him up to the opening slot on such a big tour. Root should be made to shadow the Test team for another year so that he matures as a player, and in the meanwhile, Compton should debut as Cook's opening partner: he's mature and experienced, and seems to be a much safer option. With Pietersen and Bell at 4 and 5 respectively, the batting looks quite decent. I'd rather have a proper batsman at 6 and leave Prior at 7 though. Bairstow or Morgan could be tried there. Anderson and Swann are both certainties in the bowling department, and I think Panesar should be brought in on subcontinental pitches too, although he must improve his fielding. There'll be a bit of a face-off between Broad and Finn, but I'd personally pick Broad. He bowled well in both Pakistan and Sri Lanka earlier in the 2011-12 season, and if he keeps his pace up, he's fantastic with the new ball and is also a handy batsman.

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 23, 2012, 5:36 GMT)

@mikey76... Some v.g. points - I'm pretty open minded when it comes to Root or Compton - but I definitely want one of them rather than promoting a middle order batsman to open... Prior batted at no.6 in the SL series, so for me its Anderson, Finn, Swann, Panesar with a choice between Patel, Bresnan, Broad, Onion - selectors may go for safety in Patel (new opener playing)... India will have made slow turning pitches to suit their strength in batting (home conditions) & their lack of a good 3rd seamer... Batting 1st could be the match winner...

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 23, 2012, 4:55 GMT)

@JG2704... Monty would be my pick ahead of Patel as well, while Onions is the perennial bridesmaid - think he would have done more damage than Broad did against the Saffa's... Will Swann need injections to get through this tour?... Worries me a bit as he was the best bowler in SL along with Jimmy (for Eng)... Sorry don't agree on moving KP up the order - after recent issues I feel it is more important that he settles back into his old position for team stability... Also KP wasn't crash hot in the UAE, though he did come good in the last Test in SL (MoM)... Maybe the selectors will have Prior at no.6 like in the SL series?... 5-1-5?...

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 23, 2012, 4:52 GMT)

@Tigg :- "Englands seam attack are their main weapon here. Spin won't beat India"... Against Pak in UAE Swann & Panesar were the chief wkt takers, while in SL it was Swann followed by Anderson... For their opposition it was Ajmal & Rehman in UAE while Herath in SL... Unless your 3rd seamer/spinner is in v.g. form or a good allrounder then they can become a liability - both Bresnan & Patel could fill that role, but their batting hasn't been up to scratch this year... KP cannot bowl long spells - 3rd Test in UAE in the 2nd innings Swann & Panesar bowled 95 overs between them - couldn't see KP bowling 20 overs, let alone 50... Check out KP's stats & come back to me :) ...

Posted by Meety on (October 23, 2012, 1:34 GMT)

@CricShanghai on (October 22 2012, 10:15 AM GMT) - "....our Maestro's 100th Test century..." - you are kidding aren't you????? @SamuelH on (October 22 2012, 10:47 AM GMT) - fair enough, however, what I meant but didn't say, is that the England environment at the moment would be at it's most volatile in a quite a while (a decade?), coupled with England's recent woes against spin, bringing a young bloke in now, could be a bad thing. Clarke debuted in a strong team, I think the batting is where England are going to have problems, & to bring him in with fairly limited overseas exposure is not good. The team has been beaten soundly at home by the Saffas (no great shame in that), but was beaten to zip in the UAE & salvaged a squared series in SL in Tests, there recent T20 form(not a great guide), was (batting-wise) fairly average against India. Whilst I think Root is talented - his FC career is at best modest, & with those things added up - I wouldn't play him unless it was a dead rubber!

Posted by JG2704 on (October 22, 2012, 22:20 GMT)

@Nayel_19 on (October 22 2012, 18:44 PM GMT) Re Bell - who you responded to me about on another post but comms finished before I could respond - I do agree that Ajmal is in a different league but Bell struggled against spin in the UAE warm ups and SL (bar 1 inns) and his past record in India has not been great. I'd have Monty ahead of Patel. I wouldn't class Patel as much more than a containing bowler whereas Monty is far more likely to take wickets. I get your points re the rest of the bowling attack although I like Onions myself , but I don't think he'll get a game

Posted by JG2704 on (October 22, 2012, 22:10 GMT)

@ashankar on (October 22 2012, 08:41 AM GMT) Our bowlers - inc Jimmy - by and large did well in UAE and SL this year and in Australia the year before. It's our batting which seems more vulnerable in SC

Posted by JG2704 on (October 22, 2012, 22:09 GMT)

@Dhanno on (October 22 2012, 17:08 PM GMT) As an England fan I'd like to agree with you but I feel that our batsmen were as poor as any test nation have been in UAE/SL and I don't feel the 4-0 scoreline last time out has any resemblence on what will happen in this series. However , you are correct in that NZ is hardly a benchmark to prove India are not affected by their recent away form

Posted by Nayel_19 on (October 22, 2012, 19:44 GMT)

England has to play two spinners with Swann as right arm off & samit as left arm slow.Indian lineup will probably have two left handers in Gambhir & Yuvraj and rest of them will be right handers so need to have a left arm spinner.Patel gets the place ahead of Panesar because Patel has some batting ability & can tackle spinners pretty well.My pacers will be Bresnan,Finn,Anderson.Broad needs to show his allround abilties to get his place.Anderson because of pure line & length,Finn agressive pace bowling with pace & Bresnan for his ability to reverse the ball & ability to bat as well.

Posted by Dhanno on (October 22, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

India recently won against NZ by 2-0 margin. Does that mean England should be in any way worried of Indian conditions/ bowling (lets get it straight, its the bowlers who win matches, batsmen can only lose/draw a game). Looking at that series, NZ batsmen were clueless in first test but improved a lot by second test. English batting line is far better at this moment, you expect them to do good after 3 game preparation. Coupled with the fact that Indians have been lately clueless when they are not winning with their captain being negative in such situation (remember the 4-0 X 2 drubbings last year). Ojha/ Ashwin/ Bhajji will lose their way if you do not allow them to dominate you. If English top order is 280 for 4 on day one, expect Indians to be flat the next day in field. Same holds true for Indian batsmen, except for Kohli and Pujara I do not foresee other Indian batsmen soaking up constant pressure from a quality bowling outfit.

Posted by mikey76 on (October 22, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

Bell is a good player of orthodox spin, which is what India possess in ohja, ashwin and bhaji. It's going to be trial by spin for prob 70 out of the 90 overs bowled in the day. Let's hope Gooch and Thorpe, both fine players of spin have been beasting them in the nets with the turning ball. Root should open with Cook with Patel probably getting in with his spin, although I would bat him at 7 moving Prior up to 6. Bresnan is a busted flush while Broad needs to impress in the warm ups after a lackluster summer. Finn could prove to be the trump card after his displays in the ODI's in India recently.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (October 22, 2012, 15:06 GMT)

Trott, you are a very nice person and you will never have problems with anybody. It's people like Barbie Broad, sledging Anderson and hyped Swann who create problems. A batting line-up with Trott, Bell and KP is top class. Too bad the trouble makers are making merry.

Posted by Tigg on (October 22, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

Englands seam attack are their main weapon here. Spin won't beat India, it's their bread and butter. So our three best seamers are probably Anderson, Finn and Onions (although I doubt Broad will be dropped). Play Bresnan at 7 as the fourth seamer (although Patel is a better batsman and offers some left arm spin)and Swann (with backup from Pieterson) as the spinner.

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (October 22, 2012, 13:06 GMT)

a no 3 should be a player with the technique and temperament to bat as an opener in case you lose one of openers early. trott is probably the best player for eng in this position. kp on the other hand is a strokemaker and is at his best when the top 3 have taken the edge of the opening bowlers and the first new ball and therfore no 4 is probably his best position. a new opener on a first tour to india would in years gone by have been a real headache for cook but india do not currently have the spinners that say pakistan did in the uae and even if india prepares rank turners we need still need quality spinners to exploit the conditions and i don't think we have them yet. kohli is the only player in our XI who has shown good form recently so if eng are positive and their batsmen don't freeze up at the mention of spinners, the question of the other opener shouldn't be such an issue. i think eng should think long term and invest in a specialist opener to succeed strauss

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 22, 2012, 12:53 GMT)

@SamuelH... Some good comms :) ... Eng need to promote their younger players - plugging a hole is no way to build a team... Seen Oz do this too much in recent years... Replace Strauss with an opener & expect turning pitches, so fill the team with the needed squad....

Posted by SDHM on (October 22, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

@Joby - meant as bowling options. What I should've said is that Hafeez isa geuine all-rounder, whereas the back-up spin from Sehwag, Tendulkar & Yuvraj (who is definitely better than a part-time bowler, but I wouldn't necessarily class as a Test class all-rounder) is just that: back up. I worded it badly, many apologies!

Posted by   on (October 22, 2012, 11:58 GMT)

@SamuelH : Yuvraj, Tendulkar & Sehwag aren't quite the back-up all-rounder that Hafeez is?? What do you mean. Do you rate Hafeez greater that yuvraj?

Posted by SDHM on (October 22, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

@Meety - I don't agree with this whole 'India is no place to throw in a rookie' argument. After all, it didn't hurt Alastair Cook or Michael Clarke.

Posted by SDHM on (October 22, 2012, 11:46 GMT)

@Mervo - the problem I think you have with Root is that you're forming your opinions on him based on what you've seen in T20 cricket, which is all most people outside of England have had the chance to see him in. He's most definitely NOT a T20 player - his strength lies in the longer form. He scored a 100 against the touring Windies, scored well against Australia A in horrendous conditions and also played well on the Lions tour to Bangladesh & Sri Lanka last winter where bigger names like James Taylor & Jonny Bairstow struggled. Graham Thorpe, the Lions batting coach, rates him as the best of the youngsters against spin, which is probably why he's been picked. Personally, I'd have Compton opening the innings & Chopra as back up as I don't think Root's ready, but he'll be a fine Test player for England in the future.

Posted by Elite_Achilles on (October 22, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

I think that England is a very good batting side with batsmen who have amazing technique..with textbook cricketing shots..they are very good at their home ground and can play pace very well, even if the surface swings well...but in India, the pitches are not as grassy as in England..they are good batting surfaces..and they support spin more than pace..Ashwin, Ojha and Yuvi are more than enough for crumbling England's batting..however, the return of KP is going to make a huge impact..if he gets going, theres no stopping him..so Dhoni should focus mainly on getting KP out as early as possible in the innings without allowing him to settle..and as for as our batting is concerned, theres no need to worry...its always a good batting side..i think both the sides have good batsmen so the results will mostly be 'draw's..but if Sehwag settles in slow and goes big, its a definite win..

Posted by SDHM on (October 22, 2012, 11:27 GMT)

@CricIndia - Ashwin and Ohja are not better than Ajmal and Rehman, sorry to burst your bubble. Not only that, but India don't have the seamers to keep the pressure on like Pakistan did; Zaheer's form has gone downhill fast (although I wouldn't bet against him rediscovering it) and for all Yadav's many qualities, keeping it tight isn't one of them! Also, Yuvraj, Tendulkar & Sehwag aren't quite the back-up all-rounder that Hafeez is, so India's attack most definitely isn't the same quality. That's not saying Ashwin & Ohja won't cause England problems though - they definitely will! - but I think England will find runs slightly easier to come by than they did in the UAE.

Posted by CricShanghai on (October 22, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

One thing really to look forward to is, our Maestro's 100th Test century, hopefully comes on the first test, giving ST an early boost for a couple more on this series before he hangs up his test cap. KP has got a few things to prove while the Englishmen may feel a bit of pinch with Strauss' retirement. Cook will be pressured, and Trott, Morgan and Bell better stick to their performance. If the Indians are looking towards a new leadership, this may well be an ideal time for a new skipper to build up his confidence and capitalize on home ground advantage and trial period of the England's batting line up… Prediction: India 2-1 England - Win, draw, win and lost..

Posted by   on (October 22, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

Nick Compton has got to play!! He has had a blinder of a season and he deserves a place more than anyone. If Compton opens then u dont need to move the batting order around and everyone else is happy. Morgan and Samit will have to sit on the bench after they failed to impress in earlier tests, Bairstow should retain his place at number 6

Posted by Munkeymomo on (October 22, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

@ashankar: Not really, he bowled beautifully in the UAE, Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa. He has improved a lot since the last time he toured India when, lets be fair, no English bowler did well. I'd like to see him do well and prove to the Indian fans he is a high quality bowler. He is easily the second best seamer in world cricket at the moment.

Posted by Nayel_19 on (October 22, 2012, 10:33 GMT)

Alastair Cook (capt) James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Nick Compton, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Eoin Morgan, Monty Panesar, Samit Patel, Matt Prior, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott: this was the squad when it was announced first wthout KP. But now when u see the squad there is no morgan. Is it a mistake by cricinfo or Morgan has jus been ommited due to KP's inclusion. Were there any announcement made about KP replacing Morgan?? If its not a mistake by cricinfo & Morgan has been replaced then ECB has got it wrong again. Morgan has to be there may be in place of Root.

Posted by JG2704 on (October 22, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

@SICHO on (October 22 2012, 04:21 AM GMT) To be fair - if you read his post properly - he says "MEAMT TO BE" the best player of spin which to me intimates that he too is dubious of Bell vs spin. Actually he improved in SL from his woeful UAE.

Posted by JG2704 on (October 22, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

Thinking about this in more detail I like the idea of changing things right around. What about bringing KP in to open the innings? They say "if it aint broke etc" but from what I've seen from England in tests this year it is broke. By having KP opening it is an attacking move and if he gets in he could ease any scoreboard pressure. You also have the left/right como. Whatever happens we have to have a new opener in there whether it's Nick,Root or moving Trott or Bell up the order. I'd still like them to go 5/1/5 with the side maybe something like Cook,KP,Trott,Bell,Nick,Prior,Bres or Broad,Swann,Jimmy,Onions,Monty. If we're going 6/1/4 my extra bat would be Patel or Jonny and my bowlers would be Jimmy,Finn,Swann,Monty

Posted by JG2704 on (October 22, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

@landl47 on (October 21 2012, 16:10 PM GMT) Interesting you mention about Broad's batting. I know the stats contradict what I'm saying but I think Swann is a better batsman than Broad and in all formats .PS re the squad , Good spot sir. I hope someone from ESPN might explain. I did say I thought Morgan should not be in the squad and definitely not be given a full central contract. It's hardly like he's sparkled in 1st class cricket since dropped after UAE - Has he even played that much 1st class/4 day cricket?

Posted by JG2704 on (October 22, 2012, 10:24 GMT)

@Christopher Talbot on (October 21 2012, 16:19 PM GMT) By what Morgan has done at test level and even in the 1st class game he shouldn't even be in the performance squad , let alone in the test squad , let alone in the test side , let alone opening

Posted by ashankar on (October 22, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

@Simoc We (Indians) are in our Home this time. arent we? So your logic of other bowlers are ordinary away from home does not suit here. Btw, i feel Jimmy is also ordinary away from home. Isnt he?

Posted by   on (October 22, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

Great Chance for India to take Revenge.This English side is not on roll ,Their internal fightings,Poor Application in Turning Subcontinent Pitches Favours the home team Well....I cant say India will win 4-0 but can say 2-0

Posted by   on (October 22, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

Would love to see KP & Johnny Bairstow going berserk together, there aren't two more attractive stroke makers in world cricket than those two.

Posted by CricketMaan on (October 22, 2012, 9:17 GMT)

I see Cook, Trott, KP and Prior making 100s and may be Bell. I dont see Trott, KP troubled by spin unless Ohja creates some nighmares for KP with left arm spin. I dont see a 4-0 in favour of neither teams. If India hold on to home advantage i see a 2-1. It would be a miracle if all Indian players play at least one Ranji game ahead of the Test series, though i doubt GG, Viru, Dhoni play a game. They would prefer rest after all important CLT20.

Posted by masoodali150 on (October 22, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

Actually Bairstow has not shown as much potential which must be in a good cricketer. He must give some time to be more mature according to international cricket. Beside this, As Afridi Said that there is bad time on every player which comes and goes but need to fight with that bad time so Morgan has shown earlier that He is a good game finisher, So keep him in the side. Trott no doubt good player but has not given any significant recognition to the people minds. However, He is must suitable player for Test cricket than One Day or T20. Best of Luck India as to be known Ghar K Shair.

Posted by raj3006 on (October 22, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

Eion Morgan is not in the squad for the India tour then how come everyone is thinking of selecting him?

Posted by Simoc on (October 22, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

I think England should play their new opening batsman for the entire series. Morgan hasn't looked to be test standard and maybe Bairstow is the man for 6. It should be a good series as the Indian attack is only average. Zaheer is great but the rest are ordinary away from home. Gambhir, Sehwag, Tendulkar all fading stars with something to prove after their poor form away. I expect India to win as the players have nowhere to hide and lots to prove. The pressure is on them.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (October 22, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

@tommywhingersaffa who woulldnt want to play for the mighty, mighty England?

Posted by Nutcutlet on (October 22, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

@PFEL: Ah, read me carefully, please! I said he's MEANT to be England's best player of spin! It's subtle, but it's there. I have always had my doubts about Bell's ability to make a regular substantial contribution when those ahead of him have failed -- the defining quality of a class #5, I think. And he is no better than the rest at playing spin outside England if last winter's tours are anything to go by. For the moment, however, I don't see anyone else to bat at #5 if Compton is to open, as I suspect he will. As to the relative merits of the two Test batting line-ups, I think that England's greater Test nous may give the tourists the edge, esp. if the Indian selectors continue to be mesmerised by the god-like status of a certain batsman who, were he any other nationality than Indian, would be tending his garden by now & making guest appearances in the comm box every now & then. True, he has the nous, but not the reactions & eyesight these days.

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 22, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

Bit of a funny article... I don't think or even see why the selectors would change the established players positions... Strauss needs to be replaced by an opener & no.6 has been an issue since Collingwood... OK, the bowling will need tweating for an Indian tour & suspect that the Indian pitches will seriously suit spinners so there are a few obvious selection requirements needed, but other than that, its not that complicated...

Posted by   on (October 22, 2012, 6:53 GMT)

Bell is going to home aftn er 1st test that means for 1st test the opening can be done by bell. he had done opening sveral time in list A.he is current opener in one day. so for 1st test the line up is.... 1 cook, 2 bell, 3 trott, 4 KP, 5 Morgan, 6 Bristow, 7 Prior, 8 Board, 9 Swann, 10 Anderson, 11 Finn..... and when bell is not available then bell can be replaced by uncapped player so that the line up dnt get disturbed... bt i want india to take 4-0 revenge..i m indian fan.. i think it is last test series 4 tendulkar as his last month interview he mentioned he may think about retirenment in the middle of the series... and i wish line up for india as: 1 shewag 2 gambir 3 pujara 4 tendulkar 5kholi 6 rohit/raina 7 dhoni 8 aswin 9 ishant 10 zaheer 11 ojha.. when tendulkar retires then sewag can move down to no 4 n opening can be done by dhawan...he is gr8 4 opening with gambir...

Posted by Meety on (October 22, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

@ landl47 on (October 21 2012, 16:10 PM GMT) - I agree re: Root, I think it is a big ask for an English rookie batsmen to debut in India. However, I think it will be valuable experience gained for the lad, being in the nets over there!

Posted by anver777 on (October 22, 2012, 6:24 GMT)

I guess Trott is better @no.3 & KP should bat @no.4.......... open with Cook & Bell, even if they fails a stubborn Trott can always hold the innings together with an aggressive KP !!!!! Morgan & Bairstow are there to control the middle order !!!!

Posted by satish619chandar on (October 22, 2012, 6:08 GMT)

@PFEL : May be, he should add in conditions where it doesn't spin - Home tracks!!

Posted by TheTraveller on (October 22, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

It will be tough series for both the teams. I guess 50-50 in favor of both teams. Sachin Tendulkar's prestige is on risk, while others have to prove themselves.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (October 22, 2012, 5:56 GMT)

Compton - another Saffa into the England team. Know they no shame??

Posted by CricIndia208 on (October 22, 2012, 5:43 GMT)

India are difficult to beat at home. And Indian spin is attack is far superior to pakistan's, so England who struggled against ordinary spinners like Ajmal and Hafeez would have a tough time against Ashwin.

Posted by SICHO on (October 22, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

@Nutcutlet- "Bell best player of spin"?, the same Bell who looked at sea against Ajmal and Rehman? The same Bell who had an average tour against SL? Oh please.

Posted by joseyesu on (October 22, 2012, 4:25 GMT)

Cook, Bell, Trott, Kevin, Morgan, Samit, Prior, Broad, Swan, Anderson, Finn could a better batting lineup against Ind.

Posted by solankibhavesh on (October 22, 2012, 4:15 GMT)

Its good news for English team now KP in the team against india in india. its tough for Eng but they have got good batsman like cook, trot, KP, Morgan, Ian bell, so they will do something good for ENG. and its time for revenge india crush the English team 4-0 . best of luck

Posted by RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (October 22, 2012, 4:10 GMT)

cook. root, bell, pietersen, trott, patel. prior, swann, broad, finn, anderson

Posted by satish619chandar on (October 22, 2012, 3:21 GMT)

England could afford to try trott as opener for this series alone. Their problem is playing spin and Samit plays spin better than any of the English new comers. England can certainly afford Samit in their 11 at 6 if they open with Trott and KP at 3. Just like ABD agreed to keep wickets for England series. It will provide them more balance and much needed strength i nthe batting department. My 11 would be, Cook, Trott, KP, Bell, Bairstow, Patel, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson and Monty. Patel at worst can perform as much as a Taylor or Bopara only. If they don;t trust Patel, play Morgan.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (October 22, 2012, 2:26 GMT)

Nick Compton has the better record and is in blistering form so he should open. Why play a makeshift opener when the top order is settled? I always prefer Morgan in the side as he is a proven match winner - albeit without a particularly great record in the test arena. I wouldn't mind giving 21 year old Joe Root a go though, ahead of the 29 year old Nick Compton - but Root is out of form so it can't really be justified. Compton is South African born, it should be noted - replacing the South African born Andrew Strauss. Hrm. Trott and KP shouldn't have to open as they are settled middle order players. If you must play a makeshift opener, try one of those battling for the number 6 spot - like perhaps Morgan.

Posted by Hammond on (October 22, 2012, 2:07 GMT)

Best number 3 in test cricket? Why move him anywhere? With the uncapped Compton likely to play they will need to stability he brings to number 3 if they lose an opener quickly. That said the new opening partnership may flourish, in that case Trotty will make even more runs. Leave well enough alone.

Posted by Mervo on (October 22, 2012, 1:59 GMT)

Root does not impress. His technique is dodgy and shot selection odd. Seems a reasonable ODI player however. Trott was the best SA recruit and should open if needed.

Posted by landl47 on (October 22, 2012, 1:46 GMT)

I've just noticed something interesting- the squad as listed by Cricinfo contains Pietersen but not Morgan. Has Morgan been quietly axed, or is this just an error?

Posted by PFEL on (October 22, 2012, 1:17 GMT)

Nutcutlet, Ian Bell England's best player of spin? was that a joke?

Posted by dsig3 on (October 22, 2012, 0:57 GMT)

Trott will be in soon enough. I think England are going to have a rough time of it. It wont be long till India expose Englands decidedly Afrikaan middle order.

Posted by   on (October 21, 2012, 23:48 GMT)

I get a feeling, trott will be ojha's bunny throught the series if ojha bowls around the wicket

Posted by Nutcutlet on (October 21, 2012, 23:05 GMT)

England would be better off with trying Compton as Cook's opening partner. I see no reason to move Trott from#3 where he is most comfortable. He is likely to be one of England's highest scorers in the series & his contribution is quite likely to outweigh KP's. Compton, with nearly 100 fc matches behind him, has to be regarded as the ready-made Test player. if not now, then it's never for Nick. On the other hand, Root has to be regarded as a reserve & in all honesty, if he's asked to step up, I don't see that he's ready. Early exposure to Indian spinners could well set his career back. I said it at the time the touring team was announced: he will have his time, but it is not yet, not on this tour most of all. Finally, in consideration of England's batting, it's right that much must be expected of Bell. He is meant to be England's best player of spin bowling (which isn't the same as best player of spin in India). This is a career-defining tour for IB. Is he only average +, or better?

Posted by   on (October 21, 2012, 21:36 GMT)

Cook, Compton, Trott, KP, Bell, Patel, Prior, Swann, Onions/Broad, Andersen, Finn. If Panesar plays, Prior moves to 6 and Patel drops out.

Posted by muneeb2012 on (October 21, 2012, 21:24 GMT)

left arm offspin and high pace can trouble india...so both panesar and finn should be in the starting XI....samit patel cant trouble india and bairstow cant play spin..so morgan in..atleast he has d experience of playing in sub continent... and spin which was of better quality...

Posted by Nayel_19 on (October 21, 2012, 21:20 GMT)

@ phoenixsteve on (October 21 2012, 19:28 PM GMT) Dont you think Bresnan's ability to reverse swing the ball puts him ahead of Broad?? In this conditions u need bowlers who ball quick and reverse it the same time.I will pick Anderson,Bresnan,Finn.Talking about Broad he looks horrible against spinners add to that he is a left hander which means Ashwin will always be on top of him.Atleast Bresnan being a right hander can tackle the offies.Tail-enders scoring some runs gives u a big advantage in this conditions,if your bowlers can score atleast 50 runs all together it will be a huge boost.my XI:Cook, Copmton, Trott , KP, Bell, Prior, Patel, Bresnan, Swann, Anderson, Finn.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (October 21, 2012, 20:28 GMT)

Good to see KP back in the reckoning. Talk of a return for Bresnan is scarey though - I though he'd been found out as being 'ordinary' (at best0 Against India if you're going to bowl quicks - then they'd better be quick with the added bounce factor. As for Bresnans ability (or lack of) with the bat.... if it comes down to him then we've probably lost! I'm with Landl47 and would like to see Compton given a chance as an opener. My ideal XI would be Cook, Compton, Trott, KP, Bell, Prior, Patel, Swann, Anderson,Finn & Broad orOnions. maybe even think about playing Monty in place of Patel? If only they's let us play 12...... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by   on (October 21, 2012, 20:13 GMT)

OPen with Morgan, you need an anchor and attacker, and morgan and kp at 3 are two attacking batsman, and if both fail, cook and trott will anchor your innings at a slow pace- coming from an Indian fan, who hopes india win all 4 games, and get a full revenge.

Posted by   on (October 21, 2012, 20:07 GMT)

I mentioned it the other day after David Hopps's earlier piece: Flower has given to understand that the new opener will be one of Compton or Root.

I can't see what difference Pietersens return to the squad makes. He'd be back in the middle or order whatever happened, and what would be the point of moving our best #3 and unsettling the side further?

Posted by bumsonseats on (October 21, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

putting trott along side cook makes more sense than 2 left handers when strauss was playing. this is test match cricket not laugh and giggle. both will bat all day and ask any england supporter will they be happy at 250 for no wicket, or that matter ask any fan and you will also get the same reply of course. this will be harder than australia. but the same success from these 2 as in oz will do just fine.

Posted by elsmallo on (October 21, 2012, 19:27 GMT)

Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Morgan, Prior, Swann, Broad, Anderson, Finn/Panesar For me.

Posted by SDHM on (October 21, 2012, 19:19 GMT)

landl47 - agree with you about Root, and I'm surprised he's been retained in the squad to be honest. I don't agree with moving Prior up - he's made no.7 his own, and moving him up a spot does not allow him to play with the same freedom, plus his excellence with the tail has to be taken into account. It also isn't particularly fair on Patel, who if picked should be batting in the top 6 and not stuck with the tail. I'm fairly certain it'll be Compton who walks out alongside Cook, although the warm-up games will obviously have some bearing on it. If they promote from within, I'd much rather see Bell move up to partner Cook than Trott.

Posted by SDHM on (October 21, 2012, 19:14 GMT)

@Riderstorm - opening with KP would only really work in the Subcontinent I think. If they promote from within, Bell should be the one to go up to open; he's a poor starter against spin (he's a fairly poor player of quality spin in general in all honesty, especially in the SC - this idea that people seem to have that he's a good player of it mystifies me) and looks more comfortable early on against seam. He could use the new ball to his advantage, timing the ball as sweetly as he does, but also has the technique to see off a good, probing opening spell. Trott at 3 isn't broken, so keep him there; much like Prior at 7, I don't see the point in moving him up a spot when he seems to know that position inside out. I'd personally bring in Compton to open, but if they want to play Patel or another bowler for example, then Bell has to be the one to move up the order, not Trott or KP.

Posted by Nayel_19 on (October 21, 2012, 19:03 GMT)

I will surely put my money on Bresnan with both bat & ball ahead of Broad.It will be interesting to see what XI Cook & Andy choose.

Posted by Hira1 on (October 21, 2012, 19:02 GMT)

What has KP to do with Trott position?..KP is a regular #4 and Trott good at #3, replacement needed to look for Strauss opening slot and not for all position. England cannot afford any experiments on Indian tour, their batting relies too heavily on Cook, Trott and Pietersen since last many series and its important that these players retain their original spot

Posted by zoot on (October 21, 2012, 18:39 GMT)

Just replace Strauss with another opener. Why re-jig the whole line-up ? Compton has scored well enough to be given the first go.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (October 21, 2012, 18:38 GMT)

Number 3 should be a grafter in tests and ODI's, so Trott would be my preferred choice at 3 for both these formats. The stage/situation of the game of course comes into consideration too, however. Have the openers lasted and put any runs on the board? Has the new ball been seen out? In ODI's is the run-rate reasonable etc. etc. I'd hate to see Trott moved to an opener! Please keep him at 3, with the option there to move him down / save him for later depending on the stage/situation of the game and whatever format.

Posted by   on (October 21, 2012, 18:24 GMT)

Compton has to be given an opportunity at test level: 1191 CC runs at an average of 99 last season after all! Opening would seem to be the obvious spot for him. Cook*, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow/Bresnan, Prior+, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Panesar.

England can't make the same mistake as in the 1st test v Pakistan last winter and go in with only one spinner, but it's doubtful that they'll 'risk' going in with only 5 specialist batsmen, even though Prior is easily good enough to be a test number 6. Just hope they don't go with the bits and pieces Samit Patel as a number 7 who'll bowl some average left-arm orthodox, instead of the much more threatening Panesar.

Posted by Riderstorm on (October 21, 2012, 17:21 GMT)

The logic of putting Trott alongside Cook at the top is inappropriate. Both are near identical in terms of approach they bring to batting. i.e., sheet anchors and accumulators. Having strauss, although conservative bode well for the team's fortunes till now, when they were hunting the No.1 spot. Now that they are among the top teams, an enforcer at the top of the order with the aggression of KP would be brilliant. It would put the opposition on the backfoot. If KP fails, you would have your tried and tested Trott at No.3. Also, KP is experienced enough with opening slot whereas Trott have to change his mindset quite a bit. It might backfire.

Posted by   on (October 21, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

Open with Morgan then leave the rest of the order the same. Could be a interesting point for India. Morgan's creativity and the hard working Cook could make an interesting partnership.

Posted by landl47 on (October 21, 2012, 17:10 GMT)

I'd rather see Compton opening (I don't think Root's ready and he should be in the performance squad, not the test squad) with Trott, Pietersen and Bell playing their usual positions. In the conditions which the sides are likely to face I'd play Prior at 6 and Patel at 7. Samit is as likely to score runs against spin as any of them and his bowling would be useful. Then there's the regular lower order of Broad, Swann, Anderson and Finn. The question mark at this point must be over Broad. His batting seems to have gone backwards over the last year and although he's bowled reasonably well he seems to have lost some zip. Swann's batted well and might move up, or Bresnan could come in to bat #8 and use reverse swing once the shine is off the new ball.

Posted by   on (October 21, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

You need to bat Trott at #3, followed by KP at #4, The new opener to partner Cook should be South African, Compton, after all, when Strauss started he opened too.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (October 21, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

Who was the last England no.3 who averaged 50 over 34 Tests? Has anyone? Seriously I would leave well alone. It ain't broke so don't fix it. For some reason, opening is easier or at least more people like it.

Posted by Hattrick_Capes on (October 21, 2012, 16:26 GMT)

Open with Pietersen.

Or sack him.

One or the other.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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