July 27, 2014

England's selection errors could lead to series defeat

Their decision to persist with Alastair Cook as captain, and to pick batsmen who can only score runs against weak attacks, will hurt them
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England are being led by an impotent captain who is struggling for form
England are being led by an impotent captain who is struggling for form © PA Photos

Selection and tactics are critical to winning Test matches and series. So far neither side in the England-India series has come close to getting their selections right, but India have at least displayed some tactical nous to go one up over England. If India alleviate the selection blunders and their fast bowlers stay fit, they have every chance of completing a rare overseas series win against an England side bordering on disarray.

Choosing an international team is about selecting the right type of players and finding the best combination. From the outset India spoke of playing five bowlers, but that's not what they chose. For the first two Tests they played three seamers, a steady slow bowler, and a bits-and-pieces cricketer.

India either need to revert to four frontline bowlers and strengthen the batting, or choose a genuine fifth bowler in R Ashwin, a far superior bowler to Stuart Binny, and one who will also provide some lower-order runs with his skill and temperament.

Apart from the fact that few of the England batsmen are in form, they only have Ian Bell who can take control of an opposing attack. Currently England's batting is unbalanced with too many grafters, and, in addition, MS Dhoni has cleverly implanted the peril of the short-pitched delivery in the minds of batsmen who are uncertain against it. If India don't overdo that tactic it could continue to prove fruitful.

England's selection mistakes are many but they revolve around the misguided assumption that Alastair Cook is the man to lead them in a "brave new world". It should have been obvious following the Ashes disaster that Cook is not the leader to pit against the aggressive Australian Michael Clarke. While England aren't tackling Australia in this series, they will be next season, and part of smart selecting is planning ahead as well as choosing for the present.

England are now stuck with Cook, because the hierarchy has unwisely invested too much in "their man" and they have few alternatives. Consequently, the team continues to falter when they get into a strong position. While Cook maintains that "a captain is only as good as his team", the job of a leader is to make his side better and that's not happening with England.

Cook runs out of ideas very quickly and this shows up alarmingly when the opposition starts to take control. Also, his lack of influence over the bowlers is palpable, as they appear to go on a bouncer spree at the first hint of frustration and Cook is then unable to stop the situation spiralling out of control. Contrast that with Dhoni, who successfully cajoled his experienced fast bowler Ishant Sharma into bombarding the England lower order with short-pitched deliveries.

Opponents are now aware of Cook's inadequacies and are quick to take advantage. If an England team that is in denial could spare a moment of brutal honesty, they would probably admit they too are aware of Cook's fatal flaw. His ineffective leadership is having a debilitating effect on the team and the hierarchy will be doing him a favour if they relieve him of the burden of captaincy. It has now reached the stage where the captaincy is weighing heavily on Cook's mind when he's batting, so not only are England led by an impotent captain, they also have one who is in poor form.

The England selectors are also guilty of picking batsmen who might experience success against lesser sides but will struggle against the stronger attacks. Sam Robson looks very limited; Gary Ballance is a fighter with the right spirit but he's too restricted in his strokeplay to bat at three against a strong attack; and it's hard to believe Moeen Ali has made it to the highest level with a glaring weakness against the short-pitched ball. His habit of taking his eye off the short ball will lead to further trouble against pacier attacks.

India won against the odds at Lord's after losing the toss. They now have the winning of the series in their own hands if they pick the right combination and continue to play smart cricket.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator for Channel 9, and a columnist

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricketsubh on July 30, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    both team got selections errors ind playing with 3 bowlers eng also played with 3 bowlers

  • on July 29, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    Ian is absolutely right.India should have played Gambhir and Ashwin instead of Dhawan and Binny respectively. The team should be: 1.MURALI 2.GAUTAM 3.CHET 4.VIRAT 5.ROHIT 6.MSD 7.ASHWIN 8.JADEJA 9.BHUVI 10.PANKAJ 11.VARUN-BECAUSE ISHANT IS INJURED ................................................. We need Pankaj and Varun to bowl short pitched deliveries at the English a la Ishant.They have the pace to do so.Shami on form is good but right now he's struggling.

  • indianzen on July 28, 2014, 18:54 GMT

    It would have been a 5-0 whitewash of England had India had Zaheer in the team... England are surviving because of the in experienced Indian bowling period.

  • CricketChat on July 28, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    With several of the top order Eng batsmen short on confidence after multiple failures and rest of batsmen scoring rather too slowly, Eng is not generating any momentum to put pressure on Ind batsmen. Jimmy and Broad are also guilty of not making Ind tail enders play most of the ball early in their innings allowing them to settle easily.

  • on July 28, 2014, 10:40 GMT

    What England need is someone to really take the attack to the Indians and play an innings which can lift the entire team, Cook's 95 was a knock of grt resilience yesterday and Ballance is making the most of his chances, though i feel Joe Root is a waste at number5 where he has to rescue the team, instead he should bat at 3 or 4 since he is an innings building player. They need a good genuine spinner to strengthen their attack.

  • on July 28, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    Clark is a better captain than Cook and Dhoni merely for the reason that he will try anything if his original plans don't work, and you can see thought behind those changes.

  • harekare on July 28, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    One fluke loss ...and he is talking about losing the series. It is going to be 3-1 or 2-1 for England. No way India can win with oneman bowling.

  • rising_phoenix on July 28, 2014, 1:05 GMT

    I don't get why people keep calling for Ashwin's inclusion. May be because they haven't seen him for a while and confuse his T20 bowling with Test match bowling. Agreed Jadeja's line of attack on the first day didn't make much sense, but Ashwin would have been utterly useless. However, I do agree India needs 5 bowlers. With the tail batting like that, if India is still scared of getting out for a low total, then it'll happen anyway, with or without Rohit Sharma.....

  • Aussasinator on July 27, 2014, 16:48 GMT

    The indian bowling will nurse Cook back to big scoring not to worry. If the bowling doesnt do it then the fielding will. Remember how a finished Ponting got a new lease of life after playing the indian bowling down under.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 27, 2014, 16:36 GMT

    Number three may not be his natural position, but have a look at Ballance's scoring waggon wheel from this latest innings and tell us again he's "restricted in his strokeplay". Runs virtually equal around the ground, and yet another ton and beyond as I write. What a player.

  • cricketsubh on July 30, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    both team got selections errors ind playing with 3 bowlers eng also played with 3 bowlers

  • on July 29, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    Ian is absolutely right.India should have played Gambhir and Ashwin instead of Dhawan and Binny respectively. The team should be: 1.MURALI 2.GAUTAM 3.CHET 4.VIRAT 5.ROHIT 6.MSD 7.ASHWIN 8.JADEJA 9.BHUVI 10.PANKAJ 11.VARUN-BECAUSE ISHANT IS INJURED ................................................. We need Pankaj and Varun to bowl short pitched deliveries at the English a la Ishant.They have the pace to do so.Shami on form is good but right now he's struggling.

  • indianzen on July 28, 2014, 18:54 GMT

    It would have been a 5-0 whitewash of England had India had Zaheer in the team... England are surviving because of the in experienced Indian bowling period.

  • CricketChat on July 28, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    With several of the top order Eng batsmen short on confidence after multiple failures and rest of batsmen scoring rather too slowly, Eng is not generating any momentum to put pressure on Ind batsmen. Jimmy and Broad are also guilty of not making Ind tail enders play most of the ball early in their innings allowing them to settle easily.

  • on July 28, 2014, 10:40 GMT

    What England need is someone to really take the attack to the Indians and play an innings which can lift the entire team, Cook's 95 was a knock of grt resilience yesterday and Ballance is making the most of his chances, though i feel Joe Root is a waste at number5 where he has to rescue the team, instead he should bat at 3 or 4 since he is an innings building player. They need a good genuine spinner to strengthen their attack.

  • on July 28, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    Clark is a better captain than Cook and Dhoni merely for the reason that he will try anything if his original plans don't work, and you can see thought behind those changes.

  • harekare on July 28, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    One fluke loss ...and he is talking about losing the series. It is going to be 3-1 or 2-1 for England. No way India can win with oneman bowling.

  • rising_phoenix on July 28, 2014, 1:05 GMT

    I don't get why people keep calling for Ashwin's inclusion. May be because they haven't seen him for a while and confuse his T20 bowling with Test match bowling. Agreed Jadeja's line of attack on the first day didn't make much sense, but Ashwin would have been utterly useless. However, I do agree India needs 5 bowlers. With the tail batting like that, if India is still scared of getting out for a low total, then it'll happen anyway, with or without Rohit Sharma.....

  • Aussasinator on July 27, 2014, 16:48 GMT

    The indian bowling will nurse Cook back to big scoring not to worry. If the bowling doesnt do it then the fielding will. Remember how a finished Ponting got a new lease of life after playing the indian bowling down under.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 27, 2014, 16:36 GMT

    Number three may not be his natural position, but have a look at Ballance's scoring waggon wheel from this latest innings and tell us again he's "restricted in his strokeplay". Runs virtually equal around the ground, and yet another ton and beyond as I write. What a player.

  • ihaq1 on July 27, 2014, 14:10 GMT

    england have gone back to a classical test side with five bowlers and six batsmen ...while Moeen Ali has shown an alround capability Cook will have to allow him some aggressive fields and longer bowling spells..four pacemen with woakes..i donot know what has happened to Finn..with four pacemen one should have thought that bowling first was the option...but cook probably remembering the last test did not want to bat last again...while captaining is usually just waving a fielder here and there one should have control over the bowlers and keep making them change tactics line and direction when needed

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 27, 2014, 13:32 GMT

    @BradmanBestEver (post on July 27, 2014, 3:36 GMT): The media + recent avid fans that have not followed his career throughout have incorrectly labelled Anderson as some sort of blistering, attacking, out-and-out strike bowler, which in my opinion he is not & never was. Being a senior player + a swing bowler who happens to open the bowling does not constitute having to skittle through batting line-ups all the time. As indicated in Anderson's profile, he is one of those bowlers who for the majority of his career was perfectly happy to play the miserly role, & frustrate batsmen (much like Glen McGrath) into mistakes. The problem (if that's what you can call it) is that: 1. there doesn't seem to be any plan B if all goes wrong; where are the yorkers for example - even McGrath sometimes bowled them, not bouncers all the time! 2. There's a fine line between miserly, & just plain negative/wasteful: he has been bowling much too wide of late to stand any chance of edges etc. in opening spells.

  • natty_no_goals on July 27, 2014, 12:37 GMT

    India may well win this series, up 1-0 against the poorest England side for at least 15 years. But I am astounded that they continue to omit Ashwin. It feels to me like they are deliberately handicapping themselves, maybe because they feel England are so appalling! To be serious though, it seems almost sad (for a neutral) that India, with their great tradition, field someone of such limited quality like Jadeja as their frontline spinner. I accept that he is a fabulous fielder, and his counter-attacking innings turned the game at Lord's, but I feel that hype is obscuring the fact that he is not up to it. His continued selection unbalances the team. He could certainly play as a second spinner in place of a specialist batsman - the point is that Ashwin can bat as well, they could make up the runs of a specialist batsman between them. But if conditions demand only one spinner, it has to be Ashwin (or anyone who can bowl better than Sir Ravinda).

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 27, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    Ian Chappell once again points out weaknesses/concerns, but offers no suggestions/advice. Plus of the batsmen in England's squad, half HAVE played and delivered against tough opponents, while the other half are only debuting or are much too early into their test careers to judge how they'll perform against different opposition. Senior batsmen are terrible out of form, and concerns over Cook's captaincy were raised long before this series - even when England were winning. Tell us something we didn't know and please make some suggestions as to what can be done. Anybody catch your eye in County Cricket for examples that you think should be in the playing XI?

  • on July 27, 2014, 10:32 GMT

    Compton, Root, Bopara, Taylor, Bairstow (wk), Morgan (c), Patel, Rashid, Broad, Finn, Anderson. Drop Cook and Bell for few tests, they will start playing as they will relaised they are not sure shot in the starting XI. Once they are back than take out 2 bastmen from the top 6 who will be back -up batsmen.

  • Harold-I on July 27, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    Clark is a better captain than Cook and Dhoni merely for the reason that he will try anything if his original plans don't work, and you can see thought behind those changes. He'll continue looking for what will work. Cook is terrible in that respect. He comes out with a plan, good or bad doesn't matter, and will stick to it regardless. On very rare occasions he will try something for a very short period but will then revert to plan. I can't see any creativity there. As to leadership - you can't see what's happening in the dressing room, maybe he has and maybe he hasn't, but currently you definitely can't see it on the field. Dhoni is a very good ODI captain, where he lets his good cricket mind take over. He is creative, just like in his batting. For some reason this hasn't translated well into tests. Although I would say that I liked him a lot more in these 2 last tests than in the past. One thing you should never question is his leadership - everybody knows who the captain is.

  • Hutton364 on July 27, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    I agree with most points, but Chappell continues to underestimate Ballance. Ballance not only has the right temperament for Test cricket - which is 60% of the battle - he is also very capable of taking bowling attacks apart. Chappell hasn't seen enough of Ballance, yet to have seen this side of his batting. It's pretty difficult to do that when you're a fledgling Test number three under pressure for your place. But I have seen Ballance's aggressive strokeplay a few times in T20s and one-day cricket.

  • gnat9 on July 27, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    England's miseries were well foreseen after the departure of KP and Trott from the batting lineup. Then they have made a hash of managing Steven Finn. There's Adil Rasheed of Yorkshire who can be the specialist spinner they need, but they never pick him. Even Samit Patel is probably a better option than Moeen Ali. They insist on playing inexperienced chaps like Sam Robson, when Eoin Morgan and Nick Compton are available for the pick. Unless England realize their follies quickly, it will be Dhoni who will be having the last laugh.

  • ranpath on July 27, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    Yet still the much maligned Anderson has 364 test wickets to his name and is 20 away from overhauling Sir Ian Botham (383) in maybe 10-12 tests ? You don't get to 300 plus wickets by being a "hack".

  • cricmatters on July 27, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    Australia always had a battery of fast bowlers who can trouble any opposition. If Mitchell Johnson can maintain his fitness and accuracy, they will be unbeatable in Test Cricket for a long time. It is a known fact that India are not picking the right team especially the bowlers who can perform well in unfamiliar conditions. Shami looks out of form at the moment and I won't mind trying a youngster in his place. Batting wobbles could have cost India but Bhuvi came to the rescue in both matches. Rohit has been given umpteen chances and his time is running out before he joins the likes of Suresh Raina or Yuvi (good at home, useless in overseas conditions category). Only the selectors know what kind of physical or mental space a player is but it is better to gamble than play safe.

  • Chris_P on July 27, 2014, 4:49 GMT

    @ThePacifist10, Really? People were critical of Clarke's captaincy? I looked over the series comments & couldn't find one of note. There were plenty of comments about his positive decisions not being backed up by his team & his virtues as captain were being sung long before the Indian series. best check your facts next time, sunshine.

  • on July 27, 2014, 4:46 GMT

    This is the same gentleman who said Dhoni should step down as Test cricket captain not long ago. Now he is all praise for his captaincy.

    Dhoni has his ups and downs as captain because he is little conservative in his approach as a captain, as he is non conservative as a batsmen. Sometimes his plans work sometime it does't. But no one can question is ability to inspire his team and give them leadership.

  • ThePacifist10 on July 27, 2014, 4:33 GMT

    @Keith Vincent Parker III and Ian Chappell

    Fair point, I suppose. On a different note, wouldn't you call Dhoni and Clarke two wildly different gamblers? Dhoni banks on strangulation whereas Clarke just prefers to kick down the door. The problem with both is that one may not have a sufficiently tight stranglehold and the other may not always have the power in his foot!

  • on July 27, 2014, 4:27 GMT

    Very god analysis by Ian Chappell, especially when he says that the top three batsmen in the England batting order are limited in their strokeplay and cannot take the fight to the opposition. Very true. Sam Robson seems to be having a very small range of strokes to play, Cook is having a hoorid time and can barely get the ball off the square, and Gary Ballance is a batsman in the Justin Langer mould --- can make big scores but not an attacking player. Not that I have any problems with England's troubles, being an Indian fan. Knowing England and how their system works, don't expect any drastic change to happen soon. They are not going to push Ian Bell, their only genuine strokemaker, to number three as Ian Chappell always seems to suggest for England to grab the early initiative. On the bowling front, James Anderson and Stuart Broad don't seem to be fresh enough and have been chugging along but England will continue to follow their conservative approach by playing both of them.

  • Sexysteven on July 27, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    Totally agree with Chappell the selectors are at fault here this series could be so close the the England selectors mistakes and cooks lack of ability to captain ateam properly could cost them the series if India play like they did at lords the batting order is all wrong to me to openers with limitations bat the same way balance is afive to me bell to three root at four and I would bring Morgan in at six buttler at seven with no spinner upto test level you prob have to go Jordan plunkett broad Anderson plus I would trie to find amore aggressive opener to compliment Cook maybe try hales at least that way there would be more aggressive players in the team then the only issue would be finding a spinner at some point but just having that issue left is better then having a lot of issues with there team like they do now

  • nareshgb1 on July 27, 2014, 4:13 GMT

    All this captaincy thing is over-rated. Chappel obviously likes Michael Clarke - that probably stems from the reputation Chappel himself had as a captain. Its s bit like Manjrekar liking Dravid from the word go (even searching and implying there was a bit of himself in Dravid).

    Puttng aside the collective psychological needs of cricket pundits - the thing is: ENgland have a bad team.

    An ordinary attack. Jimmy Anderson was never better than Kapil Dev at his best (that is pretty good by the way) - and right now he is nothing betterthan what Kapil was after 1986. Steady, economical - but never likely to take 5 wickets. Broad is also below his best - I was epxecting him to take 12 wickets in the first 2 tests. comparing Swann v/s Moeen will be a bad joke.

    Batting - everyone out of form.

    Australia found Johnson in form, Harris and Siddle doing well, Lyon providing solid support. And England ran out of stem thanks to the "FLower regimen".

    Thats all, Chappel.

  • sidgarg on July 27, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    @thepacifist. It is just a case of flogging the person who is losing. These so called experts have the same couple of lines whenever a captain is losing badly. I remember that the same Ian Chappell criticized Dhoni of lacking tactical ability and being defensive when India lost 0-8 in Aus and Eng. Suddenly he is the genius captain who bounced England out, I assure you that these 'experts' will call Cook the greatest tactician in the history of the game if he were to somehow win the series against India.

  • on July 27, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    Because a great captain will shine regardless of his teams performance. Clarke was still tactically miles ahead of the rest during that time. He was always looking to squeeze every last effort out of himself in the pursuit of victory, think to his declaration against India on the first day, or his brilliant utilisation of the fastmen in the UK. Plus you need to remember that that 'one accomplishment' made OZ the first side to win an away series against a top 7 nation in over 2 years. In this age of relatively small difference in the skill level between the top 5 nations, Clarke is miles ahead in captaincy regardless of where Australia's ranking lies.

  • BradmanBestEver on July 27, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    Well written Ian Chappell!.

    My views on Cook are well known here. Perhaps Ian could have mentioned my other concern with the English team: one Jimmy Anderson - a grossly overrated "leader of a test bowling attack". His recent performances do not justify the blind faith that others seem to have in him.

  • on July 27, 2014, 3:35 GMT

    Why Mr. Chappell keep going with criticizing England... If you take all his articles in last few weeks he has written, its all excessively aimed at letting down England team whereas he could write a lot about misfiring Indian middle order and out of form Dhoni... I'm sure he is scared of cook coming back to form and demolishing Australia in the next ashes series as he perfectly knows that he has done it in the past and he is the guy to do it... so all his articles are centered around an Australian agenda. Also be mindful that England vs SL series could have gone either side in a matter of few balls and if luck favored cook Mr. Chappel's criticism would be nothing.for me cook is the best toughest player to lead poms at the moment and he's an proactive captain... Best example is how he created Sangakkara's dismissal in the 2nd test at Headingly. it's a 5 match series and we'll see what happens. All the best for cookie and his team!

  • ThePacifist10 on July 27, 2014, 2:54 GMT

    I remember how many criticised Clarke when things were going wrong for him. 0-7 in India and England was a low many promptly forgot when he won 5-0 at home. To me, his only real accomplishment is the South Africa series victory, but keep in mind that Kallis was gone by then. How is it that Clarke is suddenly the greatest captain in the world after ONE proper accomplishment?

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  • ThePacifist10 on July 27, 2014, 2:54 GMT

    I remember how many criticised Clarke when things were going wrong for him. 0-7 in India and England was a low many promptly forgot when he won 5-0 at home. To me, his only real accomplishment is the South Africa series victory, but keep in mind that Kallis was gone by then. How is it that Clarke is suddenly the greatest captain in the world after ONE proper accomplishment?

  • on July 27, 2014, 3:35 GMT

    Why Mr. Chappell keep going with criticizing England... If you take all his articles in last few weeks he has written, its all excessively aimed at letting down England team whereas he could write a lot about misfiring Indian middle order and out of form Dhoni... I'm sure he is scared of cook coming back to form and demolishing Australia in the next ashes series as he perfectly knows that he has done it in the past and he is the guy to do it... so all his articles are centered around an Australian agenda. Also be mindful that England vs SL series could have gone either side in a matter of few balls and if luck favored cook Mr. Chappel's criticism would be nothing.for me cook is the best toughest player to lead poms at the moment and he's an proactive captain... Best example is how he created Sangakkara's dismissal in the 2nd test at Headingly. it's a 5 match series and we'll see what happens. All the best for cookie and his team!

  • BradmanBestEver on July 27, 2014, 3:36 GMT

    Well written Ian Chappell!.

    My views on Cook are well known here. Perhaps Ian could have mentioned my other concern with the English team: one Jimmy Anderson - a grossly overrated "leader of a test bowling attack". His recent performances do not justify the blind faith that others seem to have in him.

  • on July 27, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    Because a great captain will shine regardless of his teams performance. Clarke was still tactically miles ahead of the rest during that time. He was always looking to squeeze every last effort out of himself in the pursuit of victory, think to his declaration against India on the first day, or his brilliant utilisation of the fastmen in the UK. Plus you need to remember that that 'one accomplishment' made OZ the first side to win an away series against a top 7 nation in over 2 years. In this age of relatively small difference in the skill level between the top 5 nations, Clarke is miles ahead in captaincy regardless of where Australia's ranking lies.

  • sidgarg on July 27, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    @thepacifist. It is just a case of flogging the person who is losing. These so called experts have the same couple of lines whenever a captain is losing badly. I remember that the same Ian Chappell criticized Dhoni of lacking tactical ability and being defensive when India lost 0-8 in Aus and Eng. Suddenly he is the genius captain who bounced England out, I assure you that these 'experts' will call Cook the greatest tactician in the history of the game if he were to somehow win the series against India.

  • nareshgb1 on July 27, 2014, 4:13 GMT

    All this captaincy thing is over-rated. Chappel obviously likes Michael Clarke - that probably stems from the reputation Chappel himself had as a captain. Its s bit like Manjrekar liking Dravid from the word go (even searching and implying there was a bit of himself in Dravid).

    Puttng aside the collective psychological needs of cricket pundits - the thing is: ENgland have a bad team.

    An ordinary attack. Jimmy Anderson was never better than Kapil Dev at his best (that is pretty good by the way) - and right now he is nothing betterthan what Kapil was after 1986. Steady, economical - but never likely to take 5 wickets. Broad is also below his best - I was epxecting him to take 12 wickets in the first 2 tests. comparing Swann v/s Moeen will be a bad joke.

    Batting - everyone out of form.

    Australia found Johnson in form, Harris and Siddle doing well, Lyon providing solid support. And England ran out of stem thanks to the "FLower regimen".

    Thats all, Chappel.

  • Sexysteven on July 27, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    Totally agree with Chappell the selectors are at fault here this series could be so close the the England selectors mistakes and cooks lack of ability to captain ateam properly could cost them the series if India play like they did at lords the batting order is all wrong to me to openers with limitations bat the same way balance is afive to me bell to three root at four and I would bring Morgan in at six buttler at seven with no spinner upto test level you prob have to go Jordan plunkett broad Anderson plus I would trie to find amore aggressive opener to compliment Cook maybe try hales at least that way there would be more aggressive players in the team then the only issue would be finding a spinner at some point but just having that issue left is better then having a lot of issues with there team like they do now

  • on July 27, 2014, 4:27 GMT

    Very god analysis by Ian Chappell, especially when he says that the top three batsmen in the England batting order are limited in their strokeplay and cannot take the fight to the opposition. Very true. Sam Robson seems to be having a very small range of strokes to play, Cook is having a hoorid time and can barely get the ball off the square, and Gary Ballance is a batsman in the Justin Langer mould --- can make big scores but not an attacking player. Not that I have any problems with England's troubles, being an Indian fan. Knowing England and how their system works, don't expect any drastic change to happen soon. They are not going to push Ian Bell, their only genuine strokemaker, to number three as Ian Chappell always seems to suggest for England to grab the early initiative. On the bowling front, James Anderson and Stuart Broad don't seem to be fresh enough and have been chugging along but England will continue to follow their conservative approach by playing both of them.

  • ThePacifist10 on July 27, 2014, 4:33 GMT

    @Keith Vincent Parker III and Ian Chappell

    Fair point, I suppose. On a different note, wouldn't you call Dhoni and Clarke two wildly different gamblers? Dhoni banks on strangulation whereas Clarke just prefers to kick down the door. The problem with both is that one may not have a sufficiently tight stranglehold and the other may not always have the power in his foot!

  • on July 27, 2014, 4:46 GMT

    This is the same gentleman who said Dhoni should step down as Test cricket captain not long ago. Now he is all praise for his captaincy.

    Dhoni has his ups and downs as captain because he is little conservative in his approach as a captain, as he is non conservative as a batsmen. Sometimes his plans work sometime it does't. But no one can question is ability to inspire his team and give them leadership.