England in New Zealand, 2012-13

England get back into Test mode

Andrew McGlashan in Queenstown

February 26, 2013

Comments: 47 | Text size: A | A

Monty Panesar and Andy Flower at a practice session in Queenstown, New Zealand, New Zealand XI v England XI, Tour game, February 27-March 2, 2013
Andy Flower has got his squad back first time since his new job-share with Ashley Giles officially began at the start of January © Getty Images
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The bike rides around Queenstown's stunning shoreline and the helicopter flights to snow-capped mountains now get put to one side. England's Test squad - virtually at full strength with only the injured Tim Bresnan not part of the 15 - are now all in the same place, on New Zealand's South Island, to prepare for the Test series which starts in Dunedin on March 6.

The Test-only players - Nick Compton, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Graham Onions and Monty Panesar - along with team director Andy Flower arrived in Queenstown last week for a training camp that has not all been about cricket. The players have been posting regular updates on Twitter, marveling at the beauty of the location and the chance to undertake some of the more touristy aspects of the town rather than nets and fitness drills all the time.

However, now joined by the Test names from the one-day squad, who are not going to have the same opportunity for too much downtime - although some of the players were hurling themselves off a suspension bridge on Tuesday in one of Queenstown's adrenalin-filled options - there are four important days ahead to get back into red-ball cricket.

"It's about getting your tempo right, getting back into those routines and hopefully we can do those quickly so we can hit the ground running," Ian Bell said. "We always look to win these warm-up matches as that helps create momentum going into the Tests series."

Bell, at least, showed solid form in the ODIs, batting in a style not far removed from his Test cricket. Compton has not batted in the middle since Nagpur, Prior has only had a brief, unproductive stint at the Big Bash League, while Onions and Panesar (the latter unlikely to play a major part in the series) will have been indoors until arriving here a few days ago. Pietersen played all five of England's ODIs in India but has had the last month off.

"It's more like playing in English conditions so it's quite familiar to us," Bell said. "In India, it was great because the way we had to bat and bowl was different to home. We don't want to go away from what we do well."

And then there is Flower. This is the first time he will have regained the players since his new job-share with Ashley Giles officially began at the start of January. Giles, with two series wins in New Zealand and a creditable showing in India, has started to relax into the role after admitting to initial feelings of uncertainty and a 'what would Andy have done' mindset.

Giles has now nipped over to Sydney to catch the tail-end of the Lions tour - a trip that has had its share of problems, from hammerings on the field and issues off it - to leave Flower to get back hold of his Test team for their first assignment of a double Ashes year. He has been in regular contact with Giles during the limited-overs matches, but just as Giles had to work out how best to fit into his new job, Flower will need to settle back into the day-to-day role again. On Tuesday, he was busy directing England's centre-wicket practice session and looked delighted to be back among the cut and thrust; the Test team is undisputedly Flower's.

Despite an indifferent 2012, until it was rescued by the India victory, the squad is a settled one, barring the occasional new face or change forced by form, injury or reintegration. Compton was given first crack at replacing Andrew Strauss and probably did enough in India to ensure he gets a chance to build on the early promise and graft. But he needs that maiden hundred soon to ward off the management's thoughts of promoting Joe Root to open.

If a harsh call was made to move Root up now, and drop Compton, it would open up a spot for Jonny Bairstow in the middle order. He has had a difficult few months - one innings in Mumbai and family issues forced him to head home; Root and Jos Buttler then emerged to keep him out of the one-day team. But someone who can take 95 off South Africa is not short on character. His time will come again, but probably not on this tour.

Compton, Pietersen and Prior will hope for two innings against the New Zealand XI to get back into the rhythm of batting, but regardless England's top seven for Dunedin is unlikely to alter from those on duty in Nagpur. There is, however, one spot which could be influenced by events in Queenstown - the third quick behind James Anderson and Steven Finn.

Stuart Broad's return from injury in the limited-overs portion of the tour has been a success - if occasionally a touch expensive - but that is no guarantee that he will regain the Test spot he lost after two wicketless Tests in India. Graham Onions is a bowler with all the attributes to be a handful in New Zealand and his natural length is a touch fuller than Broad's, which will be important against batsmen weak outside the off stump.

Onions has played just once - against West Indies at Edgbaston when Broad and Anderson were rested - since being fully returned as a squad member following a serious back injury. Twice England brought in fast-bowling replacements in India: Finn replaced Broad, then Bresnan replaced Finn. All the while, Onions kept his fluorescent top that the reserves now wear on the boundary edge. Off-colour performances in the tour matches, and perhaps a perception that he is not a natural reverse-swing bowler, counted against him India.

He does not have much of a chance to press his case in New Zealand either, and he will have to rely on Flower being unsure of the miles in the legs of either Anderson or Finn to even be assured of a starting place in Queenstown.

For Broad, the significance of the four-day match is coming back for third and fourth spells - if the opposition are good enough to require that - to really test the durability of his heel inside those specially designed boots. Given his diminishing returns with the bat - he has a highest score of 37 in his last 15 innings - that side of his game should not into the reckoning for a decision over the final XI.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (February 27, 2013, 16:19 GMT)

Onions should be straight into that side ahead of Broad. Two spinners are not needed in New Zealand. Root stays where he is for the time being as Compton deserves this series to try to cement his place and many a decent player has started lower down the order before taking the opening slot.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (February 27, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

Every team has its own blue eyed boy who keep getting picked over much more skilled and performing colleagues. In England's case it is Stuart Broad.

Posted by Tlotoxl on (February 27, 2013, 10:05 GMT)

kiwicricketnut: You are forgetting the first rule of real cricket, wait till both teams have batted - If NZ XI score 45 like they did against SA only last month then 357/7 will look very good. Given the NZ test team has only got above 275 3 times in 22 innings in the last year then a substantial first innings for Eng looks at least likely even if our best bowler is sitting out the match.

Posted by AKS286 on (February 27, 2013, 9:24 GMT)

For ROOt batting at no.6 at early career is not good not even in test not in Odis too. Root is technically good and temperament is also good which we saw in test against India. If he bat top to the order along with COOK he will get polish and refined each & every inning. Carberry,James Taylor are another good option for no. 6. Broad is inconsistent player. sure no one understand his line & length. Onion is the best option.

Posted by landl47 on (February 27, 2013, 4:53 GMT)

The warm-up match has turned into a contest for the third seam bowling slot behind Anderson and Finn, who are both certainties (unless injured). The batting line-up is the test line-up going into the first match of the series, so there's no contest going on there, and Swann is playing to give him a bit more chance to find his rhythm; he looked a bit less fluent than usual in the ODIs.

@bennybow: you mean those of us with extremely long memories. I (just, I was 8) remember Laker and Lock in 1956 and in the 60s/70s Illingworth and Underwood, but I can't remember too many others. Edmonds/Emburey rarely played together. Giles was almost invariably the only spinner in the side and his job was to keep it tight while the quicks took a break. In 2005 the bowlers were Harmy, Hoggy, Freddie and Jonesy, and Wheelie took 10 wickets at 50.

BTW, I also don't remember England's rise in the 90s- it was their worst decade ever. It wasn't till Hussain became captain in 1999 that things improved.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (February 27, 2013, 4:35 GMT)

Calling nathan bell, your man jimmy neesham is carving up this world class batting line up. I know it just a warm up game don't think there is any tv coverage to get a grasp of how well people are playing but jimmy appears to be doing the bussiness, infact he's made this formidable batting line up look just a little vunrable before the tests. Still th

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 27, 2013, 4:21 GMT)

@bennybow on (February 26, 2013, 23:12 GMT), I don't think that anyone is suggesting that Monty himself is incapable of playing in certain countries. More that England are unlikely to play two spinners in countries other than in the subcontinent or UAE and, if Swann's first pick, that leaves Monty on the outs. Someone made a valid point that India and Pakistan, and perhaps even SL, would play two spinners pretty much everywhere regardless and Monty has looked good enough by comparison in UAE and India. If England are having trouble getting productivity out of a third seamer then maybe a second spinner is not such a bad idea, especially if they can fit Woakes in the team as an all-rounder. Given their reticence to play two spinners even in UAE and India though, I think that that's just too radical a proposition for the England selectors.

Posted by Cmar on (February 26, 2013, 23:14 GMT)

Onions untested? Best bowler by a mile on county circuit last summer. The guy fought back from a very serious back injury to take 50+ wickets. When the chips are down he has the right spirit. Remember he did nothing wrong other than picking up that injury that gave Bres his chance . He was behind him at that time.

Posted by bennybow on (February 26, 2013, 23:12 GMT)

Those of us with reasonable memories know that England often played 2 spinners in the past - 1 offie and 1 left armer. This was helped by having a decent all-rounder in the side (and I don't mean a batsman who can keep a bit). With all the energy England are devoting to filling other roles, I'm surprised they haven't come up with an all-rounder yet. As for the daft suggestion that Monty can only play in selected countries, I seem to recall England playing a slow left armer everywhere during their rise up the tree in the 90s - a certain Ashley Giles, selector. I do love irony.

Posted by Patchmaster on (February 26, 2013, 22:52 GMT)

I think Broad doesn't have the pace, accuracy or skill to make the test side anymore. There are people who would do a better job than Broad, who are having to sit int he wings. His batting has also gone from the 'almost an allrounder' to number 11 status.

Posted by 5wombats on (February 26, 2013, 22:20 GMT)

Hi guys. I have England as strong favourites in this upcoming Test series. No disrespect to New Zealand whatsoever (Brilliant brilliant country and cricketers...) - but as with the ODI's I think we will have too much for them in the bowling department. Kind of agree with @landl47 - not sure what this thing is with Monty..? maybe Swann is giving signals that he may not have too much left what with his injury and his age..? Who knows? Anyway, we don't need to be looking back over our shoulders to what is going on in india ATM. England have beaten them both home and away in the last 2 years. Curvature of the Earth there. No doubt three hundred thousand indians will call me arrogant for stating the facts though....

Posted by whoster on (February 26, 2013, 21:52 GMT)

Good to see Woakes and Onions playing. Broad really needs to perform in this game; he looked ineffective in the ODI's, and there's only so far loyalty can stretch. Onions has done everything he can to try and force his way back in the team, and if he outbowls Broad in this game, the selectors really will have run out of excuses not to pick him. I'm all in favour of Compton opening the batting. He looked pretty solid in India, and spent a fair amount of time at the crease with Cook building healthy opening parternships. Root should take the no.6 spot - and I hope both Compton and Root grab their opportunities and cement the two positions that need filling. My team for the first Test (unless Broad scores a double-century and takes 10 wickets in this game): Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Root, Prior, Swann, Onions, Anderson, Finn.

Posted by JG2704 on (February 26, 2013, 21:46 GMT)

Agree that Monty (or another spinner) should have played in the ODI series alongside Tredwell. We had a bowler who contributed nothing - apart from his goodwill gestures towards the Indian batsmen who got a whole series. This was in SC after all and the test series changed when we played a 2nd specialist spinner. Re this test side - as always I like 5/1/5

If playing 5/1/5 I'd go Cook,Compton,Trott,KP,Root,Prior,Woakes,Swann,Jimmy,Onions,Finn

If playing 6/1/4 I'd go with the above but Prior bats at 7 , Bairstow at 6 , Woakes out

No place for 2 regulars , one because he's showing signs of lacking fitness which to me would risk his long term career and also harm Eng - esp in a 4 man attack and the other , because in any tough test series the last year he's been found wanting and while I think he'll score a stack of runs vs NZ , I prefer the 2 Yorkies.

I think they'll play Cook,Compton,Trott,KP,Bell,Root,Prior,Broad,Swann,Jimmy,Finn - maybe Root for Nick and Jonny at 6

Posted by Shan156 on (February 26, 2013, 21:01 GMT)

@SirViv1973, full agree re: Compton. He gave us solid starts in the Indian tour. The India tour is among the toughest for a debutant and it is hard to judge a player based on his results there. So, even though Compton didn't get a ton, he should retain his place for the NZ tour and, if he fails, at least for the first test of the return series in Eng.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 26, 2013, 20:48 GMT)

@jmcilhinney and Selassie-I: I totally agree that seamers are the way to go in NZ etc. for tests; my rant was just about England's selection policy in general. I was under the impression that this tour to NZ was about trying out some new players and possibly even new team 'configurations' (sorry that's not the right word - mind's blank...). Absolutely no offence to NZ at all (I love some of their players) but this is a perfect opportunity to 'experiment' a bit, and it's quite clear that certain players are getting preferential treatment.

In the shorter formats, I see no problem playing 2 or more spinners regardless of venue/countries. Good spinners keep the runs down and build-up pressure; don't believe me - look at the top bowlers in the shorter formats.

Posted by Shan156 on (February 26, 2013, 19:49 GMT)

@subbass, I remember we played Swann and Monty in Cardiff in 2009 but it didn't turn out very well. Of course, the team that we will be playing would be way different and I would expect Swann to take them on easily what with all the lefties in that line-up. That is provided they survive Jimmy and Finn's new ball burst. Aus' strength is their pace bowling but in Cook, Compton, Trott, KP, Bell, Root, and Prior, we have good enough batting to counter that. As good as the Aussie bowling is, they are not comparable to Steyn, Philander, and Morkel. The only issue with the XI is the identity of the third seamer - hopefully this series would provide the answer. Of course, we need to have quality backup seam options. Hopefully, Bresnan would get fit and back to his 2010-2011 form by then.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 26, 2013, 19:41 GMT)

@dscoll. I agree that the attack is world class but there will always be injures to fast bowlers so you need another 2 or 3 quality quicks in reserve should they be needed. If we can win the first 2 tests then I would certainly like to see Onions & possibly Woakes given a game in Auckland.

Posted by subbass on (February 26, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

It is true that if Finn or Anderson got injured we would find the Ashes a hell of a lot tougher. But we must not forget that in Monty we have a very fine bowler so if we have a warm Summer there is always the option of tracks with some trun and bounce and go in with a twin spin attack.

Anyway first things first and lets hope that we can get back into red ball cricket sharpish, because you never know if we are not on it so to speak we could end up with a shock defeat and going 1 down in 3 match series puts the pressure on the side big time. Still, at least they have of late bounced back effectively in India and in the ODI series in NZ. So we know this side has a lot of charcater and fighting spirit.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 26, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

@Busselslion, I think you raise a good point I have posted several times recently that I'm a little concern about our seam options. We certainly don't appear to have the bench strength of a couple of years ago and with back to back ashes series coming up we may need 5 or 6 quality seam bowling options. As you say there is no problem with Anderson or Finn & I do believe Broad is getting back to something like his best. I'm with you on Onions hes done ok in the past but if he needs to step up and play as 1 of 3 seamers I would have doubts. I also don't believe Woakes has enough to play as a 3rd seamer but I would have said the same about Besnan 3 or 4 yrs ago and he was exceptional until the injury. In terms of Bres I wouldn't write his summer off yet. Hopefully the op will sort the elbow out & he should be back bowling for york by late May, with Tremlett its any1s guess if he will be test class again & to be fair the others arn't in the picture at present so yes we do have a few issues

Posted by Mitch1066 on (February 26, 2013, 16:13 GMT)

I don't think Compton deserves to be dropped he deserve carry on. Team I'd choose 1 cook 2 Compton 3 trott 4 pietersen 5 bell 6 root 7 prior 8 broad 9 swann 10 Anderson 11 Finn sadly panesar would have make way as he carnt bat . He good spinner it shame that he carnt bat or it be closer call .

Posted by brusselslion on (February 26, 2013, 15:31 GMT)

With an eye to the Ashes (sorry Kiwi fans), I'm a bit worried about the seamers (especially 3rd and 4th). Finn & Anderson are shoo-ins however, Broad still needs to convince following his injury problems; Bresnan and Tremlett are almost certainly out of the summer Tests at least; Meaker & Dernbach have been unimpressive recently; Woakes and Onions remain untested, and the 'A' team in Australia haven't impressed. An injury to Finn or Anderson and it's not looking too good. Hate to say it but the Aussies do seem to have more strength in depth as far as the seamers are concerned: On the positive side, our batting looks pretty good and their top order appears to be extremely flakey.

Posted by Selassie-I on (February 26, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 26, 2013, 12:13 GMT) -

Are you proposing that we play only 2 frontline seamers in NZ?! with an allrounder and 2 frontline spinners? That's crazy talk!

NZ, like England, SA or Aus you need 3 frontline seamers, the only way he would be in the team is as an allrounder, as the 5th bowler and no. 7 bat. I doubt they will put him in there as compton deserves this series for more exposure, he was OK in India, and we need to keep playing Joey Root so he's in form to take over the opening spot from Compton should he experience a series of failures.

Posted by elsmallo on (February 26, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

Panesar and Swann for me, forget the third seamer. Frankly, in these conditions Prior could move up and Woakes/Broad could slot in at 7 as the all-rounder, but England won't do any of this - they'll pick a top 6, three quicks and Swann, and Broad will probably take lots of wickets and England will win. Which is a shame - I want to see England's best spin duo in action together again - the best since, um, Tufnell and Croft in 1997!

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 26, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

Am I the only one who dosen't understand the debate going on regarding Root opening & Compton being dropped? Compton may not have nailed a big score in India but he still made a valid contribution to a winning cause including 2 opening century stands with Cook and surely must be given these 3 test matches to try and cement his place in the side,at 29 his chance will almost certainly never come again. No6 has been a problem position for Eng since the last ashes series when Collingwood retired. After all this time maybe we have finally found a player who fits the bill and we are going to move him up the order after 1 match, that just makes no sense to me. Apart from his 86 against SAF last summer Bairstow's fledgling test career has been quite disapointing so far & although he has talent IMO he needs to wait on the sidelines until a place opens up for him.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (February 26, 2013, 13:59 GMT)

@Fallingbostelcricket, Is that anyway to reward Monty after being our best and most effecitive bowler in Ind?. Swann will odviously play all 3 tests here so whats the point of upsetting Monty and bringly treadwell to carry the drinks instead. Monty won't always be needed for series like this but it is important he is kept part of the squad as he will be needed in years to come.

Posted by dscoll on (February 26, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

I agree with trav29. 2 spinners in NZ is as daft as only 1 in Ind (as Aus found out). Talk of "Trying Woakes" is equally silly. The bowling attack is already world class without him, so, "if it's not broken, don't fix it" .

Posted by MartinC on (February 26, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

I would open with Root over Compton - build for the Ashes. Tough on Compton but Root has shown the potential to be a real class player for a long time!

Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Finn.

Posted by trav29 on (February 26, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

i really cant believe that we are seeing suggestions that we play 2 spinners in NZ. we saw in the ODIs that spin was non-existant and i very much doubt that we are going to see conditions where that is going to change much even after 4 or 5 days of a test match. all this panesar talk seems to forget that he was effective in conditions that were almost taylor made for him in mumbai, just look how jadeja did in the first test against aus to see how conditions can make a bowler look good when it suits them. how well did he do in the final two tests where he took 6 wickets in the three innings we bowled, and 4 of those 6 wickets were tail-enders.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 26, 2013, 12:33 GMT)

@R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 26, 2013, 12:13 GMT), I don't think that Woakes is a good enough bowler to be included in a four-man attack, so he's not going to replace Broad directly. He's more likely to bat at 7 or maybe 6 and be a fifth bowler. Given that Cook, Trott, KP and Bell aren't going anywhere any time soon, that means that either Root doesn't play or he replaces Compton at the top. I wonder whether England would consider Woakes bowling to offset Root's obvious advantage with the bat. Broad at his best is an asset so England will give him every chance to prove that he can get back to that level. If he doesn't then Onions would be a more likely replacement than Woakes as he's a genuine front-line bowler.

Posted by ADB1 on (February 26, 2013, 12:25 GMT)

".... although some of the players were hurling themselves off a suspension bridge on Tuesday in one of Queenstown's adrenalin-filled options..."

Hmmm. Let's hope that didn't include any fast bowlers with previous back complaints - although it could be a "cripple or cure" option!

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (February 26, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

Excuse me but where is Woakes? Wasn't he being tooted as a potential test alll-rounder and promised a decent run in tests? Does one good game in the ODI's mean that that's Broad firmly inscribed on the test team sheet already? Now I promised after the last ODI that I wouldn't do anymore Broad-bashing, but I just WISH England would try something different and give the likes of Woakes and Onions a decent turn.

I can't ever see England overcoming their fear/stubbornness in using two front-line spinners in tests; look how reluctant they were to do it even in India of all places! For this reason I can only think Magic Monty is nothing but back-up for Swann, should Swanny stuff-up and/or his elbow given him trouble. Tredwell is awesome in the shorter formats, and why England are so reluctant to use him (and Briggs and Monty) much more and in tandem baffles me.

Posted by TimMann on (February 26, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

What Panesar has proved lately is what I suspected all along. He's just as good a spinner as Swann. Swann also carries an injury these days. Monty must always be there as a cover. But why not play both spinners? India or Pakistan would, irrespective of the conditions.

Posted by countjimmoriarty on (February 26, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

Fallingbostel - simple logic: Monty is the second best spinner England have. I'd also rather have a left armer than another off spinner.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 26, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

England are in scintillating form at the moment. Seaming decks will pose problems for batsmen, particularly openers, so good shot selection is essential early doors in an innings. New Zealand is usually a profitable place for Seamers. Australia's Lyon would fit right in.

Posted by   on (February 26, 2013, 10:25 GMT)

Can someone explain the logic in keeping Monty in the squad? Sure, great performance in India, truly great but:

Tredwell, equally accurate but a much better fielder - surely he's earned a go or pick a young spinner with time for an England career and where better to break a new guy in...

Posted by AKS286 on (February 26, 2013, 10:22 GMT)

@Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (February 26, 2013, 9:28 GMT) Root is the future captain of Eng. He looks like young M.Atherton. you can't send him at no. 6 position, he is a natural opener. At his career he suits for opening or trotts position. If he bats with COOK his confidence , Technique & Temperament will also develop.

Posted by AKS286 on (February 26, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

I asked this question just after Ind series is that What is the future of Monty if team didn't play in sub-continent? rotation policy or see you in sub-continent Monty have a happy holiday. Eng team- Cook, Root, Bell, Trott, KP,Suppiah, Prior, swann, Finn, anderson, Onion. NZ team- Ingram, Nicol, Taylor, Fulton, Williamson, McCullum, franklin, Southee, boult, Mills/Bracewell, Young.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (February 26, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

England are obvious favorites but lets not forget NZ beat australia in australia not long ago.

Joe Root MUST play. Test team (if fit) 1 Captain Cook 2 Compton 3 Trott 4 KP 5 Bell 6 Root 7 Prior 8 Broad (needs to do well) 9 Swann 10 Commanderson 11 Finn

Onions & Bairstow are the first in line replacements and would slot in quite nicely.

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (February 26, 2013, 9:16 GMT)

Bell was solid in the ODIs? Were you watching the same series? Bell was terrible and looked a passenger, he only had one innings of note in the whole series! Root needs to open. Compton is a trier but is not one for the future,

Posted by KingAjmal on (February 26, 2013, 8:56 GMT)

New Zealand hardly attracts any crowd especially for test matches, will be a quiet test series.

Posted by landl47 on (February 26, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

Well, guys, you might be right, but I think we lost the ODI series in India largely because we didn't have a top-flight spinner to accompany Tredwell. Put Monty in the side instead of, say, Dernbach, who also doesn't bat and isn't a great fielder and we win that series. Instead we made do with Patel and Root and as England and now Australia have shown, you need spin in India.

As for NZ, I'll be delighted if Swann and/or Panesar runs through NZ. However, I think it's much more likely that the spinner's role is going to be to keep an end tight while the seamers take a blow. In that situation, what the side needs is a good economical bowler- and preferably one who can contribute with the bat and in the field as well. Tredwell fits that bill.

Just my opinion and, as I say, I'll be very happy to be proved wrong.

Posted by draconianguy on (February 26, 2013, 6:13 GMT)

I'd have thought if any spinner's likely to get much out of the NZ pitches it'd be Panesar. He's a hugely improved bowler over a few years ago.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 26, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

@landl47 on (February 26, 2013, 4:49 GMT), I think that England consider Monty to be a better bowler than Tredwell and that's why they pick him as second spinner for Test series, but they also consider him to be an inferior enough fielder and batsman as to offset that in limited-overs formats, hence Tredwell's selection as second spinner for ODIs and T20s. If Panesar was as good, or even nearly as good, as Tredwell in the field and with the bat then I'm sure that he'd be second spinner for both limited-overs formats too. Of course, barring injury or drunken carousing on Swann's part, Giles could be second spinner for this series and it wouldn't matter because they'll be bowling in the nets exclusively. At least Monty will have got in some nice sight-seeing.

Posted by Trickstar on (February 26, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

@ landl47 Not sure what the mystery is and tbh I don't understand the problem. Monty's here as back up to Swann and has been for a few years, he's earned the role if you like.

Tredwell is the better one day bowler but Monty is the better first class/test bowler. England wanted a more like for like for one day cricket, where fielding and batting are a bit more important, so Tredwell got the nod.

If Swann's dicky elbow played up we need Monty as cover for him. Also just because the ball didn't spin in 50 over games, what's that got to do with test matches where deterioration over 5 days is what matters . I reckon the pitches over in NZ will be similar to our early season decks, where the seamers will do most of the work but the spinners will have a job to do.

Even if the pitches don't offer too much spin, NZ are quite poor at playing it and Swann has enough guile & variation to still cause problems. Like I say Monty is back up and will do a job if called upon.

Posted by landl47 on (February 26, 2013, 4:49 GMT)

Here's a selection mystery (at least to me): Monty Panesar would have been invaluable to England in the ODIs in India. Tredwell bowled very well and with help at the other end he'd have done even better. For some reason Monty was left at home rather than playing in conditions which suited him.

Now he's here in the test squad in New Zealand, in conditions which don't suit him at all. Swann barely turned a ball in the ODIs and that's not because Swann doesn't spin it. So unfriendly are the pitches to spinners that England and NZ must both be thinking of playing all-pace attacks.

Monty's not here for his batting and fielding, that's for sure. If England wanted a reserve in case Swann gets hurt, why not use Tredwell, who can at least field and bat a bit?

It leaves me with the uneasy feeling that Monty's been picked in the wrong place and at the wrong time as some kind of goodwill gesture. Very strange.

Posted by anver777 on (February 26, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

Giles did a good job in ODI's & now its Andy's turn to guide them in tests..... like to see KP bat in tests & get some big scores early in the series !!!!

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
Tour Results
New Zealand v England at Auckland - Mar 22-26, 2013
Match drawn
New Zealand v England at Wellington - Mar 14-18, 2013
Match drawn
New Zealand v England at Dunedin - Mar 6-10, 2013
Match drawn
NZ XI v England XI at Queenstown - Feb 27-Mar 2, 2013
NZ XI won by 3 wickets
New Zealand v England at Auckland - Feb 23, 2013
England won by 5 wickets (with 75 balls remaining)
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days