England in Sri Lanka 2011-12 April 1, 2012

Panesar place under threat for second Test

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Little more than two months after his successful return to Test cricket, Monty Panesar could find himself back on the sidelines as England try to balance their side in their attempt to level the series against Sri Lanka.

The injury that has forced Stuart Broad to leave the tour ahead of the second Test in Colombo has created another selection dilemma because his likely replacement, Steven Finn, lacks his batting strength while Tim Bresnan, the other quick bowler in the squad, has not had enough cricket in recent months to be fielded as one of a two-man pace attack.

Jonathan Trott admitted it would not be a simple decision for the selectors. "Finny has been working hard on his batting so we should give him some credit," he said. "But obviously Stuart is very good as a bowling allrounder and adds that dynamic to the team."

Panesar bowled far from poorly in Galle but did not pose the same threat as he had done against Pakistan in the UAE. That was partly because the Sri Lankans, especially Mahela Jayawardene, made a conscious effort to lead with their bat rather than the pad so limiting the likelihood of lbws.

In the first innings, Panesar did a good holding job - conceding less than two an over - but had to wait until midway through Sri Lanka's second innings to claim a wicket and ended with 2 for 59.

Rangana Herath, Sri Lanka's left-arm spinner, by comparison had career-best match figures of 12 for 171 and showed the value of variations in pace and flight whereas Panesar's mode of attack was more predictable. Graeme Swann, meanwhile, starred in the second innings with 6 for 82 to cement his standing as England's lead spinner.

Panesar also did himself no favours with a poor fielding display when he dropped Jayawardene twice in consecutive overs during the latter stages of his 180. The first, a top-edged hook to fine leg, came out of a low sun and was less simple than it appeared but the second, which looped to him at mid-on, was an embarrassing drop. During training on Sunday, Panesar held the half-dozen catches given by Richard Halsall, the assistant coach, but nothing can replicate the pressure of a match situation.

Samit Patel's Test debut in Galle amounted to 11 runs and two wickets and the suggestion that he should retain his place ahead of the specialist bowler sounds at odds with the needs of England who must win to level the series therefore making 20 wickets a priority. However, taking 20 wickets has not been their problem this year; scoring runs has.

If Patel was omitted in favour of Bresnan it would leave Graeme Swann at No. 8 followed by three bowlers - Finn, Panesar and James Anderson - who do not offer a huge amount with the bat. There is one other option which involves bringing in Ravi Bopara as a specialist batsman and playing four frontline bowlers if Bopara's batting is viewed as substantially superior to Patel's. But England's need for a fifth bowler in these conditions has not disappeared.

There were few clues during England's net session on Sunday although Kevin Pietersen did bowl more than he often does on practice days.

The P Sara Oval groundsman, NS Silva, has said he thinks the match will go five days but England have not achieved that on their recent travels. There have been 11 results from the 15 Tests played at the venue, the last of which was in August 2010, when India chased down 257. Suraj Randiv took nine wickets in that match and spin has a good record at the ground. That still might not be enough for Panesar.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 3, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    @yorkslanka on (April 03 2012, 11:03 AM GMT - Thanks bud - Not sure which comms you're referring to but I'm flattered regardless. By the way - where does the Yorkslanka user name idea come from? Are you a Sri Lankan who lives in Yorkshire?

  • POSTED BY yorkslanka on | April 3, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    JG2704=top man..respect to you for your fair comments...

  • POSTED BY StJohn on | April 2, 2012, 21:10 GMT

    @TeamSelector - I do get Andrew's point and yours, but it always strikes me as batting on a sticky wicket (pun intended) if you start modifying your ideal selections to try to remedy a deficiency in the team (ie the batting). It also strikes me that Bresnan is likely to do no worse with the bat than Bopara or Patel (indeed, his Test average to date is higher, I think, than both of theirs put together, for what that's worth). There must also be a case that having a 5-man bowling attack could ease the pressure on the batting by taking 20 SL wickets (hopefully!) a bit quicker, thus meaning we have to score fewer runs anyway. So I'd still go for the mix I suggested in my other comment. No disrespect to Patel - he seems like a likeable chap and all, but he seems to me to be a reversion to the sort of bits & pieces cricketer we turned to all too often in the horror years of the 1980s-90s. Therefore Finn replaces Broad and either Bopara or Bresnan for Patel, and I'd go for Bresnan.

  • POSTED BY sirvivfan on | April 2, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    YorkshirePudding.... The point I am making is that when it comes to certain players they are put in immediate pressure where as others can go on there merry way failing and still getting selected. Panesar should have been dropped when he was first selected... But the attitude towards him changed after first few matches. A dil Rashid got dropped after playing so well Gainst the Aussies in one day match at the Oval. He was dropped the next game. Adil was partvof England squad that went to SA. He was played the first 20 20 game and if I remember correctly he was asked to bowl first ump in power play against Grame Smith! He got dropped and was sent home.... First player ever to be treated like that..... SSouth African press wrote that they felt he was very badly treated by England. Even the Aussie captain said the same. Of course his performance Got worse because he has lost faith in this system... I can name many others. Fact is there is no support for these guys to do wel. This is a fact

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 2, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    @ ranga_s on I don't agree with dropping Monty as a first measure when they haven't tried a batsman/bowler swap. This was the 1st match where Monty failed . However please don't feel that you shouldn't comment on Eng team selections just because you are Sri Lankan. Constructive comms always welcome no matter who or what country they come from

  • POSTED BY ranga_s on | April 2, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    As Sri Lankan fans I accept we don't have anything to do with England selections...But as a cricket fans which most of the Sri Lankans are would like to see Steven Finn in the team ahead of Panesar...Panesar will never scare Sri Lankans at Colombo...Galle wicket was not a dustbowl by any means and it was not a spinners paradise either but that would be the best assistance a spinner would get in Sri Lanka...England must realize Sri Lanka is not India and UAE and that wickets here are much more conducive for fair play as they offer assistance to all the parties in such a way if one is prepared to work for it...SSC is ruined and hopefully it's come out good again in time to come but rest of the pitches are excellent for test cricket.. Englands best bet would be following.

    Strauss Cook Trott Pietersen Bell Bopara Prior Patel Swann Anderson Finn

    Whatever Monty does as a player, patel will provide that too...get him to do a holding job while attack from ur strength..JA, GS & SF...

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | April 2, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    @RandyOz, dont worry mate we will be just ready to face Clarke's men in June 2013, hopefully by that time OZ will rediscover something from their past, else Ashes will be in England until 2015. cricinfo please publish.

  • POSTED BY virendra_s on | April 2, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    Its time somebody like Johny Bairstrow gets Test debut in the next series and somebody like KP be dropped from test side till he gets back to form.

  • POSTED BY TeamSelector on | April 2, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    Guys, you seem to be missing Andrew's point ... England doesn't have a problem picking up 20 wickets. Rather, they have a problem with putting runs on the board. Hence, the selectors will definitely pick a bowler who can bat ... ergo Bresnan will replace Broad. However the trickier selection will be whether or not to select Finn over Panesar. If Finn is selcted, then Patel will bat @6. & if Panesar is picked, then Bopara should bat @6 ... (Prior is a #7 batsman ... not a #6).

    1-Cook, 2-Strauss, 3-Trott, 4-KP, 5-Bell, 6-Patel, 7-Prior, 8-Bresnan, 9-Swann, 10-Anderson, 11-Finn.

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | April 2, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    @Shivfan, most of the time your posts are pretty good, but this is so far off that it is ridiculous. This is a one-off Test that England have to win. A key player who helps balance the side is injured. All options are on the table. All Monty's career he has suffered with the problem that he is a genuine number XI bat and a poor fielder who has to be hidden. He is a popular player with fans and team but knows that he will aways have to do better than Graeme Swann (who is a brilliant slipper and has First Class centuries) to add the same value to the team. You've seen the article about Shazad's travails. He had a horrible year but is very much in England's plans, although battling with players like Finn, Woakes & Tremlett to get another chance. Adil Rashid, I will agree is frustrating. He had a great start to last season and faded rapidly. He has been unable to combine a good batting season with a good bowling season and make an unarguable case. With places up for grabs now is the time!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 3, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    @yorkslanka on (April 03 2012, 11:03 AM GMT - Thanks bud - Not sure which comms you're referring to but I'm flattered regardless. By the way - where does the Yorkslanka user name idea come from? Are you a Sri Lankan who lives in Yorkshire?

  • POSTED BY yorkslanka on | April 3, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    JG2704=top man..respect to you for your fair comments...

  • POSTED BY StJohn on | April 2, 2012, 21:10 GMT

    @TeamSelector - I do get Andrew's point and yours, but it always strikes me as batting on a sticky wicket (pun intended) if you start modifying your ideal selections to try to remedy a deficiency in the team (ie the batting). It also strikes me that Bresnan is likely to do no worse with the bat than Bopara or Patel (indeed, his Test average to date is higher, I think, than both of theirs put together, for what that's worth). There must also be a case that having a 5-man bowling attack could ease the pressure on the batting by taking 20 SL wickets (hopefully!) a bit quicker, thus meaning we have to score fewer runs anyway. So I'd still go for the mix I suggested in my other comment. No disrespect to Patel - he seems like a likeable chap and all, but he seems to me to be a reversion to the sort of bits & pieces cricketer we turned to all too often in the horror years of the 1980s-90s. Therefore Finn replaces Broad and either Bopara or Bresnan for Patel, and I'd go for Bresnan.

  • POSTED BY sirvivfan on | April 2, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    YorkshirePudding.... The point I am making is that when it comes to certain players they are put in immediate pressure where as others can go on there merry way failing and still getting selected. Panesar should have been dropped when he was first selected... But the attitude towards him changed after first few matches. A dil Rashid got dropped after playing so well Gainst the Aussies in one day match at the Oval. He was dropped the next game. Adil was partvof England squad that went to SA. He was played the first 20 20 game and if I remember correctly he was asked to bowl first ump in power play against Grame Smith! He got dropped and was sent home.... First player ever to be treated like that..... SSouth African press wrote that they felt he was very badly treated by England. Even the Aussie captain said the same. Of course his performance Got worse because he has lost faith in this system... I can name many others. Fact is there is no support for these guys to do wel. This is a fact

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 2, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    @ ranga_s on I don't agree with dropping Monty as a first measure when they haven't tried a batsman/bowler swap. This was the 1st match where Monty failed . However please don't feel that you shouldn't comment on Eng team selections just because you are Sri Lankan. Constructive comms always welcome no matter who or what country they come from

  • POSTED BY ranga_s on | April 2, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    As Sri Lankan fans I accept we don't have anything to do with England selections...But as a cricket fans which most of the Sri Lankans are would like to see Steven Finn in the team ahead of Panesar...Panesar will never scare Sri Lankans at Colombo...Galle wicket was not a dustbowl by any means and it was not a spinners paradise either but that would be the best assistance a spinner would get in Sri Lanka...England must realize Sri Lanka is not India and UAE and that wickets here are much more conducive for fair play as they offer assistance to all the parties in such a way if one is prepared to work for it...SSC is ruined and hopefully it's come out good again in time to come but rest of the pitches are excellent for test cricket.. Englands best bet would be following.

    Strauss Cook Trott Pietersen Bell Bopara Prior Patel Swann Anderson Finn

    Whatever Monty does as a player, patel will provide that too...get him to do a holding job while attack from ur strength..JA, GS & SF...

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | April 2, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    @RandyOz, dont worry mate we will be just ready to face Clarke's men in June 2013, hopefully by that time OZ will rediscover something from their past, else Ashes will be in England until 2015. cricinfo please publish.

  • POSTED BY virendra_s on | April 2, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    Its time somebody like Johny Bairstrow gets Test debut in the next series and somebody like KP be dropped from test side till he gets back to form.

  • POSTED BY TeamSelector on | April 2, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    Guys, you seem to be missing Andrew's point ... England doesn't have a problem picking up 20 wickets. Rather, they have a problem with putting runs on the board. Hence, the selectors will definitely pick a bowler who can bat ... ergo Bresnan will replace Broad. However the trickier selection will be whether or not to select Finn over Panesar. If Finn is selcted, then Patel will bat @6. & if Panesar is picked, then Bopara should bat @6 ... (Prior is a #7 batsman ... not a #6).

    1-Cook, 2-Strauss, 3-Trott, 4-KP, 5-Bell, 6-Patel, 7-Prior, 8-Bresnan, 9-Swann, 10-Anderson, 11-Finn.

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | April 2, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    @Shivfan, most of the time your posts are pretty good, but this is so far off that it is ridiculous. This is a one-off Test that England have to win. A key player who helps balance the side is injured. All options are on the table. All Monty's career he has suffered with the problem that he is a genuine number XI bat and a poor fielder who has to be hidden. He is a popular player with fans and team but knows that he will aways have to do better than Graeme Swann (who is a brilliant slipper and has First Class centuries) to add the same value to the team. You've seen the article about Shazad's travails. He had a horrible year but is very much in England's plans, although battling with players like Finn, Woakes & Tremlett to get another chance. Adil Rashid, I will agree is frustrating. He had a great start to last season and faded rapidly. He has been unable to combine a good batting season with a good bowling season and make an unarguable case. With places up for grabs now is the time!

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | April 2, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    How can they justify Monty losing his place after one bad match yet Bell and Swann are untouchable after continual failures. This seems like the same favouritism type selections that got Australia into trouble.

  • POSTED BY StJohn on | April 2, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    Strauss, Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Prior, Bresnan, Swann, Anderson, Finn, Panesar

  • POSTED BY ben.p. on | April 2, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    Isn't James Tredwell on this tour? He can bat a bit. Although he's an off-break bowler like Swann, he may be able to offer more variation than Panesar manages. To resolve the batting and bowling conundra, I would keep the top six that played in Galle - last chance for Pietersen and Bell? - then go as follows: Bresnan, Swann, Tredwell, Anderson and Finn. I think Finn would unsettle the Sri Lankans if he asserted control, and a third decent quick might then prove a handful.

  • POSTED BY oze13 on | April 2, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    Admittedly Monty's last Test was shambolic. But England have 5 batsmen whose last 4 Tests have been even worse. As for Good ol' Swanny he doesn't seem to be able to consistently pitch the ball on a length anymore. Perhaps he's believing his own press these days?

  • POSTED BY Brenton1 on | April 2, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    Its always the bowlers that suffer when the batsmen dont perform. If England had batted better in their 1st innings they would have won.

  • POSTED BY anuradha_d on | April 2, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    I have said OFTEN times on this site and now it's officially confirmed throuhg Trott;s statements.....that England's biggest problem is that they select bowlers based on their batting capabilities.......and that's why Finn the stunning 95mph fast bowler who has troubled everyone even on the flattest picthes of UAE, Lanka and India ( ODIs) has to sit out to accomodate an average bowlers who can bat better.......and after every one medicore game Monty's position is under threat because Swann averages 10 runs more with the bat....with this mind-set......Eng will lose.

  • POSTED BY Lanky1 on | April 2, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    Monty has not bowled well all winter or ever. He has one style and that is it. He has been consistently out bowled by both Pakistan's and Sri Lanka's left arm spinners. It is just, that until Sri Lanka's last innings, Swan has been so appallingly bad that it has made him look good. England's batsmen have made mistakes. They have tried to be too aggressive rather than just staying in like Trott. Despite this and despite facing vastly superior spin attacks in general they have been less than a hundred runs short of the opposition. They have clearly been superior to the opposition batsmen. If Swan's performance in the last innings heralds his return to form then England, with Bresnan in for Broad and Finn for Panesar should win the 2nd test comfortably unless it is such a shirt front that it ends in a draw.

  • POSTED BY rohanbala on | April 2, 2012, 8:13 GMT

    Gross injustice to Monty Panesar just because his performance was not upto the mark in one test. What about the batsmen? England lost the first test against SL only because their batsmen failed miserably. Panesar should retain his place while Patel should be the one who needs to be dropped. Unless the English batsmen stop stabbing the turning ball from the comfort zone of the crease, the result is definitely going to be no better than the Galle test.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | April 2, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    @sirvivfan, Lets put a few rumours to rest, 1) Rashid has been medicore in the championships for the last couple of years, 2) Bopara, had a good series against a poor WI's line up, and failed against a good Australian Bowling line up, 3) Shahzad was out injured several times last season, AND had a woeful season last year with the ball, 4) I hope Patel is given a few games (10-12) to settle in the same as Bopara and Morgan......If Patel is picked then theres no justification for 3 spinners, so Monty is the one to go, especially with swann taking wickets, and Monty's fielding mistakes.

  • POSTED BY bhaloniaz on | April 2, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    England should play Panesar. He bowled well for 4 tests. England needs to find whether Monty can be a serious threat against Asian teams. Finn should be played. Bresnan for Samit could be an option because Samit or Bopara is not much of a better batsman than Bresnan. That leaves a weaker batting. If Broad was healthy England should have played Broad, Swann, Finn, Anderson, Panesar.

  • POSTED BY DataQue on | April 2, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    Monty is only good as a water boy!!! Hey Monty - Fetch me some water....

  • POSTED BY sirvivfan on | April 2, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    Here we go again. One test match after his tremendous effort against Pakistan Panesars place is under threat. I knew it won't be long before this would be the case. It is obvious who the threatned players every time.... Think about it Patel, Panesar, Bopara. A dil Rashid had couple og games after his successful debut against the Austrailians, Shazad of Yorkshire same thing. There is no support for these players from England set up nor from the press and the general public. Yet South African background players have the full support system in place. Ask the previous represtantives why this is the case!!!

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | April 2, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    Judging by the form Panesar has been in, I would have to say it would be a grave mistake to kick him out. It seems as if he had an off test match (he seemed nervous in the field) so would like to see him get one chance. Finn can go in for Broad, but I don't see why Bresnan has to play

  • POSTED BY jasif on | April 2, 2012, 5:51 GMT

    this is rubbish. most of england players r not performing for the last 2 series but they r still in da team and they guys panesar has been bowling his heart out and he didnt take too many wickets and is hence considered for omission ??? why??? why did swan's place never under threat ??? he took less than half the number of wickets as panesar??? poor selection talk.......pitty on english guys

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | April 2, 2012, 5:22 GMT

    ha ha ha..how sad... England coach Andy Flower refused a request from Indian team to allow Paneser for their net training. He told Paneser as the second best spinner in the team. He forgot that Sub continental teams do not want to learn anything from a spinner abroad...as there are enough Swan's Panerser's in their streets. Lucky no:1 team will be back to its original position soon - after this test.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | April 2, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    I said on a different thread that Patel should play as 5th bowler. Thinking about it a bit more, I think England should revert to 6 specialist batsmen + Prior & 4 bowlers. The reason being that KP, Trott & Bopara could probably combine & bowl as effectively well as Patel would & you would ASSUME that Bopara would bat better than Patel. IMO - if a 5 bowling strategy is the way to go - it should be Bell out, Bresnan (Bopara for Patel) in. That means Bresnan, Finn & Anderson + Panesar, Swann & P/T bowlers. I don't think Bresnan should be relied on to score a heap of runs but I think he will/should bustle a couple of 20s & 30s & seems to always be good for a few wickets at least. Patel is too much of a bits & pieces player for my liking in Tests.

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | April 2, 2012, 3:04 GMT

    Panesar who was expected to be the best spinner failed in one match but why don't you show the faith u showed in Swann during entire season on Panesar.. He was the best spinner for 3 consecutive tests against Pakistan.. But good bowling in one inni9ngs fetches Swann the place against Panesar.. Joke it is.. If fielding is the main factor, its fine but as far as bowling front, Panesar is still ahead of Swann on current form.. May be, England can have Bopara as batsman and use KP more as spinner??

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | April 2, 2012, 2:02 GMT

    Unless the wicket looks like a rank turner, England probably has its best chance playing Patel as the second spinner and Anderson, Finn and Bresnan as the seamers. I can't see playing Swann at 8 and Anderson, Finn and Panesar at 9,10,Jack, especially having to hide Panesar in the field. Bresnan in for Broad at #8, straight swap Finn for Panesar and leave the top 7 alone.

  • POSTED BY othello22 on | April 1, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    Could it just be that teams have now figured out how to bowl to them? They are a solid team but they have no genuinely great batsmen (maybe KP, but he's too inconsistent) and with the exception of Trott who looks very solid without being spectacular, all have serious deficiencies in their techniques which will only take a bit of intelligence to expose. This is becoming all too apparent watching them against SL & Pakistan. The interesting thing is that there isn't really any team right now who are clear number 1 contenders, SA are hit and miss but are still probably the best team overall, England and India are shot to bits and on the way down, Australia and Pakistan have their problems but are on the way up, SL struggling without Murali. I'm very interested to see if a clear winner amongst this rabble emerges over the next year or so.

  • POSTED BY Dilmah82 on | April 1, 2012, 22:04 GMT

    there seems to be an obsession with packing the side with all-rounders. Its great if they are like a Kallis, or FLintoff etc but whats the point if they are bits and pieces players, This is a test not a ODI and they will be exposed. Big frontline specialists in their proper positions. Pick bowlers who will take wickets not who score runs down the order!! If the top 6 batsman aren't pulling their weight kick them out!

  • POSTED BY FreddyForPrimeMinister on | April 1, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    Strauss, Cook, Trott, KP, Bell, Prior, Patel, Bresnan, Swann, Anderson, Finn. Bad luck on Monty but he should be told it is purely the need for balancing the side rather than any reflection on his bowling. However his batting and fielding are so poor that these deficiencies should be used as deductions when considering the positives of his bowling, even when his bowling is successful. Unless you are a world beater with the ball (like Glen McGrath, Joel Garner or Courtney Walsh) a team cannot carry a liability in the field and a player who contributes absolutely zero with the bat. Monty MUST improve these two areas before he can realistically expect to be a regular pick for England.

  • POSTED BY jahbert58 on | April 1, 2012, 21:48 GMT

    Andrew,wake up! stop thinking like the english selectors. this is TEST CRICKET not ODI! you play your best bowlers not a bowler who thinks he can bat or batsman who can bowled. this is england problem! here is a bowler who carry them in the last series agains pakistan and you're gunning for his head. the problem is with the batting, starting with the captain strauss, pieterson ,and bell anything above eye level they're clueless. remember its 5 days of test cricket and not 1 day odi. here an idea strauss,cook,trott,pieterson,bell,bopara,prior,swann,finn,anderson and panesar.PS.england dont have an alrounder! these guys can bowled and bat a little or vice versa.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 1, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    I'm not against change although it seems a bit harsh that Patel and Monty are 2 they are talking about dropping.Monty has1 test where he fails but still keeps the RR in check and he's the fall guy when you consider 5 batsmen have played 8 inns and we have one ton and something like 2 or 3 50s between them and they all stay. Patel has had one game and although his batting which is his stronger suit failed he took a couple of wickets in the 1st inns and bowled 9 overs for 9 runs in the 2nd finishing with 18 overs 2-36.Maybe he was underused when you look at his stats? If the next track offers little spin I'm not against dropping Monty but it seems to underline the selectors policies that they are prepared to drop a bowler to make a change for the better but not a batsman? As for Bopara , personally I don't feel he will do that much with the bat. He came in vs India and did ok but didn't set the world alight and coming into a struggling batting line up is a whole different thing

  • POSTED BY SagirParkar on | April 1, 2012, 20:43 GMT

    i cant understand why Monty is the one to take the drop.. Samit didnt do anything of note.. esp on the pitches in Lanka, you;d think that two spinners would be the norm.. Finn can step in for Broad and Bresnan can take Samit's place.. after all, until this first test, Monty was the one taking more wickets.. how is it that suddenly he finds himself out of favour with the selectors.. surely it must be his fielding and batting that are letting him (and the team) down, rather than his bowling.. if you want to leave someone out, at least do so (and say so) for the right reason... hypothetically, if England do drop Monty and then lose the test cos they didnt have the right bowling mix, who will be the one to blame then ? the bowlers or the selectors responsible for picking the playing XI ?

  • POSTED BY Tigg on | April 1, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    Bresnan in for Patel, Finn in for Broad. It's been the bowlers scoring runs in the last 3 months anyway.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | April 1, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    @AdrianVanDenStael on (April 01 2012, 16:56 PM GMT) To be fair sometimes stats can lie. For instance had thae batsmen did their job in the last 3 matches , we could well have won all 3 and the stats would look totally different.

  • POSTED BY riprock on | April 1, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    Bring in Bresnan for Broad and Finn for Panesar.. And use Patel as second spinner. England should go by their strengths. And also it's a disgrace to see a no.1 team expecting a no.10 Finn to improve his batting skills in the nets.. Seeing the amount of runs their batsmen scored over the last couple of years in favourable conditions. Anyway, will England lose their no.1 if this Test is drawn?

  • POSTED BY S.Jagernath on | April 1, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    Kevin Pietersen has not really done that much lately,why shouldn't Ravi Bopara replace him?Samit Patel's spin is important,England must have the second spin option.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | April 1, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    Well said,@Chris_P. Patel is at best a one day player. This kind of debate reminds me of Saffa agonizing over their #8 or #9 after losing Shaun Pollock. Your #8 shouldn't be there to rescue the team. He must be a front-line bowler who can bat and make at least 30 oe so, whuch is what Swann does. Nuff said!

  • POSTED BY CaughtAndBowled on | April 1, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    England should go for Panesar an Swann. Replace Patel with Bopara. Finn coming in for Broad.

  • POSTED BY wickedballs on | April 1, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    What great fun this is,english supporters tearing apart their team. Can't wait for the Aussie's to land, they have the best slow, lob, straight spinners in the business! The team will have a tail consisting of spinners like Dave Hussey, North and Clarke should be enough to rip through these confused, fuddell minded, slow footed batsmen. Great legacy you guys are leaving!!!

  • POSTED BY PrasadGunawardane on | April 1, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    When it comes to England perspective; i would say, they should go with Finn as the replacement for Broard and Bopara needs to be taken in to first 11. Hence Panesar will obviously loose his position in the side, since Patel has the better batting capability than Panesar; while Bopara has to play a role as the 5th bowler. Hopefully this would be the ideal attack for England with the lost of Broad in P.Sara stadium which is different to what Galle strip produced. P.Sara pitch would not not provide much turn as Galle and it will be definitely providing some pace and bounce for the pace-men off the pitch in contrast to the first Test. By and large, this will be a more competitive match and Englishmen are in absolute pressure to win this match and level the series.

  • POSTED BY AdrianVanDenStael on | April 1, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    The effect that the presence of some cricketers can have upon their team-mates is curious. Swann and Panesar each seem to be more successful - and to make England more successful - when the other isn't in the team. England have never won a test with Swann and Panesar together in the same line-up, and have lost 4 of these 7 tests. That's significantly worse than their record with Swann alone in the team (played 32 won 20 lost 5) and Monty alone (played 35 won 14 lost 10). Some may point out that England are more likely to play two spinners in the Asian conditions they find so difficult: but England have won tests in Asia with each appearing alongside a different specialist spinner (Monty and Udal helped England win in Mohali in 2006, and Swann and Tredwell played when England beat Bangladesh in the 2nd test in 2010). Meanwhile England have failed to win both tests they've played outside Asia with Swann and Monty in the team. I suspect the two don't bring out the best in each other

  • POSTED BY PunchDrunkPunter on | April 1, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    I'd pick: Davies, Cook(c), Trott, Bell, Bopara, Prior(wk), Patel, Bresnan, Swann, Anderson, Finn.

  • POSTED BY liz1558 on | April 1, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    The selectors bottled it in the last Test - Patel (a batsman who bowls a bit) should've been at 6. For this Test they need to go with Patel again at 6, Finn in for Panesar and Bresnan for Broad. Prior isn't a number 6. Selectors are losing their heads.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | April 1, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    If Finn comes in for Broad then I can see Bopara coming in for Patel and Pietersen taking the extra overs and maybe Trott a few. Trott did pick up a wicket in UAE, but you certainly wouldn't want to rely on that. I'm still hopeful with regards to the England batting. Strauss at least looked to try something different in the second innings and had used his feet well up until his dismissal. Cook is always an all or nothing batsmen so let's hope it brings it all in at least one innings rather than the two nothing's from Galle. Trott is obviously in good enough touch but needs to avoid a brain fade like in the first innings. Pietersen doesn't look out of touch but has just found ways to get out. Bell looked good in the first innings and even in the second until he tried an ill-advised shot. I feel that England may have turned a corner with their approach to batting in the subcontinent, which is the first step to turning a corner with their results.

  • POSTED BY Heisenburg on | April 1, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    Whats all this BS about Finn practising his batting and worrying about the batting depth with the best four bowlers.....If the batsman were actually doing their job this wouldn't be an issue, disgraceful.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | April 1, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Hmm! An interesting conundrum, this! I can see where the thinking's coming from and to my mind Finn simply must play; it's an absolute priority, especially as the SL bats will have scant knowledge of his pace & lift (also he's 100% fit, selectors pls note!). I'd also like to see the talisman Bresnan back - & it would be great to give greater bowling responsibility to Patel who did all (or more) than was asked of him with the ball, even if his batting disappointed - but, on debut, he'd have had to battle with his nerves in the way the six season-ticket holders shouldn't have to these days! Against this, Monty has done little wrong with the ball in hand, but must have added to his nightmare-catalogue with his tragi-comic, where- are-my-hands (& why do they have minds of their own?) drops in the outfield. I am persuaded; it's worth going with: #7 Samit, #8 Bres, #9Swann. #10 Finn, #11 Jimmy. It's win or bust! BTW, I wonder if everyone's clear about which ball can be safely swept by now?

  • POSTED BY Herath-UK on | April 1, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    The old adage'catches win matches' shown well again with Dilshan and Thrimanne who between themselves did nothing with their bats but excellent catching that turned the first Test head on.Panesear with such feeble fielding is a baggage no one needs at a critical time. Ranil Herath-Kent

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | April 1, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    i think that the sense that England have lost their way completely would illustrated perfectly were Monty to be dropped. Patel could easily be replaced by Bresnan without detriment, and somehow they will just have to find the runs up the order. That said they do really have to win this game irf only to avoid laughing stock status.

  • POSTED BY yorkslanka on | April 1, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    i like monty and have always said he is the best spinner in England, however, it AMAZES me how someone with such huge hands cant catch...he will always struggle becuase of that..i know people say he has done loads of work on his fielding but to be brutally honest, its just not good enough and unfortuantely these days in world cricket, no one can be carried...

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | April 1, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    It might be an early call, but from what saw of Samit Patel reminded me of days gone by for England. A bits & peices player who can't really hold a spot in the side as a batsman for bowler in the test cauldron. England need to win, period. And for that to happen they need to take 20 wickets, so select the bowlers, whether 4 or 5 who are capable of getting them. Batting has been their biggest anchor in their quest for victories, surely they must come good sooner rather than later. They NEED to take 20 wickets to have any chance of winning.

  • POSTED BY PACERONE on | April 1, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    I am glad that Swann has cemented his place in the team as #1 spinner.Batsmen who play straight and not attempt rash shots will not fear Swann.He was not getting any wicket until the 6/62 batsmen were knocking him around with good cricket strokes.That is all that is needed to make him impotent.Put pressure on him and he loses his composure.

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  • POSTED BY PACERONE on | April 1, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    I am glad that Swann has cemented his place in the team as #1 spinner.Batsmen who play straight and not attempt rash shots will not fear Swann.He was not getting any wicket until the 6/62 batsmen were knocking him around with good cricket strokes.That is all that is needed to make him impotent.Put pressure on him and he loses his composure.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | April 1, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    It might be an early call, but from what saw of Samit Patel reminded me of days gone by for England. A bits & peices player who can't really hold a spot in the side as a batsman for bowler in the test cauldron. England need to win, period. And for that to happen they need to take 20 wickets, so select the bowlers, whether 4 or 5 who are capable of getting them. Batting has been their biggest anchor in their quest for victories, surely they must come good sooner rather than later. They NEED to take 20 wickets to have any chance of winning.

  • POSTED BY yorkslanka on | April 1, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    i like monty and have always said he is the best spinner in England, however, it AMAZES me how someone with such huge hands cant catch...he will always struggle becuase of that..i know people say he has done loads of work on his fielding but to be brutally honest, its just not good enough and unfortuantely these days in world cricket, no one can be carried...

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | April 1, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    i think that the sense that England have lost their way completely would illustrated perfectly were Monty to be dropped. Patel could easily be replaced by Bresnan without detriment, and somehow they will just have to find the runs up the order. That said they do really have to win this game irf only to avoid laughing stock status.

  • POSTED BY Herath-UK on | April 1, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    The old adage'catches win matches' shown well again with Dilshan and Thrimanne who between themselves did nothing with their bats but excellent catching that turned the first Test head on.Panesear with such feeble fielding is a baggage no one needs at a critical time. Ranil Herath-Kent

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | April 1, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Hmm! An interesting conundrum, this! I can see where the thinking's coming from and to my mind Finn simply must play; it's an absolute priority, especially as the SL bats will have scant knowledge of his pace & lift (also he's 100% fit, selectors pls note!). I'd also like to see the talisman Bresnan back - & it would be great to give greater bowling responsibility to Patel who did all (or more) than was asked of him with the ball, even if his batting disappointed - but, on debut, he'd have had to battle with his nerves in the way the six season-ticket holders shouldn't have to these days! Against this, Monty has done little wrong with the ball in hand, but must have added to his nightmare-catalogue with his tragi-comic, where- are-my-hands (& why do they have minds of their own?) drops in the outfield. I am persuaded; it's worth going with: #7 Samit, #8 Bres, #9Swann. #10 Finn, #11 Jimmy. It's win or bust! BTW, I wonder if everyone's clear about which ball can be safely swept by now?

  • POSTED BY Heisenburg on | April 1, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    Whats all this BS about Finn practising his batting and worrying about the batting depth with the best four bowlers.....If the batsman were actually doing their job this wouldn't be an issue, disgraceful.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | April 1, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    If Finn comes in for Broad then I can see Bopara coming in for Patel and Pietersen taking the extra overs and maybe Trott a few. Trott did pick up a wicket in UAE, but you certainly wouldn't want to rely on that. I'm still hopeful with regards to the England batting. Strauss at least looked to try something different in the second innings and had used his feet well up until his dismissal. Cook is always an all or nothing batsmen so let's hope it brings it all in at least one innings rather than the two nothing's from Galle. Trott is obviously in good enough touch but needs to avoid a brain fade like in the first innings. Pietersen doesn't look out of touch but has just found ways to get out. Bell looked good in the first innings and even in the second until he tried an ill-advised shot. I feel that England may have turned a corner with their approach to batting in the subcontinent, which is the first step to turning a corner with their results.

  • POSTED BY liz1558 on | April 1, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    The selectors bottled it in the last Test - Patel (a batsman who bowls a bit) should've been at 6. For this Test they need to go with Patel again at 6, Finn in for Panesar and Bresnan for Broad. Prior isn't a number 6. Selectors are losing their heads.

  • POSTED BY PunchDrunkPunter on | April 1, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    I'd pick: Davies, Cook(c), Trott, Bell, Bopara, Prior(wk), Patel, Bresnan, Swann, Anderson, Finn.