The Ashes 2013-14 November 9, 2013

Prior to have scan on calf injury

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England have suffered an injury scare 12 days before the first Ashes Test in Brisbane after wicketkeeper Matt Prior was unable to take the field with his team-mates in Hobart due to a calf problem, which will require a scan.

Prior batted when the match resumed after two days of rain, falling lbw when trying to sweep the left-arm spinner Jon Holland after making 26. However he did not reappear in the middle for the Australia A innings, undergoing treatment for what the ECB described as a "tight left calf".

Andy Flower, England's team director, said that it was too early to determine how serious the injury was but was hopeful about Prior's fitness for the Ashes opener. England travel to Sydney on Sunday, with only one more four-day match, against an Invitational XI, before the Test series begins.

"He's tweaked something in his calf, we're not sure of the extent of it yet. He will have to have a scan," Flower said. "He didn't make it much worse, he was off soon after he tweaked it. I don't think it's anything too serious, it shouldn't keep him out of the first Test.

"Just from what I've seen, I would imagine he'd be okay for that first Test. But I hope I'm not speaking out of turn there. He's moving around okay ... I don't think it's linked to the Achilles problem [he has had]. His experience is very valuable to us. However, if he's injured and unavailable, Bairstow will step in. He is a very good young cricketer, and will bring his own qualities to the England side."

Joe Root kept wicket in Prior's place, with the reserve gloveman Jonny Bairstow not in the playing eleven. Root kept despite Australia A raising no objections when England requested whether or not Bairstow could substitute for Prior - an agreement that was overruled by the umpires as the game's laws now prohibit it.

"Our reserve wicketkeeper is Jonny Bairstow, but the rules of first-class cricket are quite black-and-white and don't allow a substitute fielder to take the field as wicketkeeper," Flower said. "So Jonny couldn't do it. Root took over, and I thought he did a really good job. He looked a natural.

"He takes on any challenge with a smile on his face, and also no mean skill. It's not an easy thing to do at all, and he handled himself really well out there. I was surprised. But he's a natural ball-player, and I think he had a bit of fun as well."

Bairstow instead batted in the nets and could find himself promoted to play in the final tour match in Sydney - although Flower suggested that England would prefer to field that same top seven intended for Brisbane. Bairstow played in the first four Tests against Australia during the English summer but only made one half-century and has since been a familiar face as 12th man.

As for the loss of more than half the match to rain, Flower said his side had taken as much as they could from the time available, pointing out that most players had some involvement in the game on day four. "There's nothing you can do about bad weather. It's a pity - it is what it is - but I think we made the most of what time we've been allowed in the middle," Flower said. "It was nice to see Cook and Carberry get heavy runs, forming a great partnership on that first day.

"It was a very impressive knock here [from Carberry], as it was in Perth. He left well, and looked very organised and comfortable with his game. Root went on to get an unbeaten 50 or so out there today, and played very positively; then our bowlers had a little run-out, a couple of spells each.

"Swann had his first bowl on tour, so we got what we could out of the game. Whatever happens - even if there are weather problems in Sydney - we will make sure we are ready for that first day in Brisbane."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY simon_w on | November 9, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    I personally will be concerned if we're missing Prior at Brisbane. His form with the bat's not been terrific lately, certainly, but he's been a really important part of this successful England team all the way through. He's capable of transforming games with the bat on his day, and even if he hasn't done that regularly since last winter, he contributes more to the team than runs.

    England has significant depth in terms of 'keepers, it's just that most of them aren't on the tour... However, if it comes to it and Bairstow 'keeps in the first Test, it might work out well -- perhaps being in the side as a 'keeper will take the pressure off Bairstow's batting and allow him to express the undoubted talent that we've yet to really see in Tests (that one wonderful innings aside).

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | November 10, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    @ BiggerAl66 on (November 10, 2013, 13:52 GMT) I think Prior had a poor Ashes both with bat and ball , but I still think he's a huge character for us and up til the Ashes he's probably been our most consistent performer. I'd say that if he (Prior) isn't 100% then Jonny needs to play the next game and see from there. Re the bowlers , I think you're probably in the majority (from those who post on here) on both Onions and Rankin. To me Tremlett is showing a lack of hostility and Finn a lack of control. Rankin hasn't been overly impressive but definitely the best of the 3

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | November 10, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    I guess this means England will lose 5-0 like the predictions before the last series.Guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.For my money I would move Root down the order and I would call up a reserve keeper.

  • POSTED BY BiggerAl66 on | November 10, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Not massively concerned about Prior's injury as I think he will make it, and if he doesn't, I am confident Jonny Bairstow will do a good job keeping wicket and coming in at number7. I know I am in a minority, but I would pick Rankin as our third seamer ahead of Tremlett or Finn. I still can't understand why Onions didn't get selected though.

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | November 10, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    @Mary_768 I do owe you an apology as you did not say" fail" you said "unless Clarke Warner smith and Rodgers have blinders and Harris and Johnson take a lot of wickets, Australia will be found wanting". Sorry Mary but to me that is still pretty obvious, not sure what a blinder is but some good old fashion short ball cricket just like last year. the big question is can the opposition bring the game to the table like last year.

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | November 10, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    thanks for the insight Barry, I think your comment is about as obvious as.... if 4 of your batsmen fail and 2 bowlers do not take many wickets the team will struggle .. .SIGH.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | November 10, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    @FFL, I think you'll find AB Devilliers is easily the best wicket keeper batsman in cricket but we wouldn't expect you to put facts in your comments would we. I guess Anderson's sky high average of 30.11 is the stuff of nightmares so you nearly did get that one right. If he doesn't get at least 20 wicket that would be poor, he's the front line bowler and that would only equate to 4 a match. Can't wait to hear the excuses flowing when lose a match.

  • POSTED BY on | November 10, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    So mr rickyvincanterbury- if no one scores any runs or take any wickets then both dudes will struggle? Brilliant, never thought of that- sigh

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | November 10, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    Its really confusing for Root. Where to bat, He played as an Opener in County, No.6 at early career and he goes to his natural position as an opener and now again its rumour that he will bat on no.6. Nick pushed him at no.6 and now Carbs. But IMO Root must open because its also good for future. Carbs is 32 and definitely Root is having more cricket left than him. I also prefer Carbs replaces Trott. Cook, Root, Carbs, Bell, KP,Trott, Bairstow/Prior, Swanny, Jimmy, Broad, Tremlett. I also think that Cook will give blessing in disguise, because after Whitewash CA definitely axe Clarke from captaincy.

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | November 10, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    Aks286: What are you on about Khawaja has lived in Australia from age 1, he has always been an Aussie. Of course Pakistan didnt give him any chances but they havent given any chances to Michael Clarke either. As for money he has been deserving of an Australian contract as he is a fringe player. Mary786; Yes if all our players fail we will struggle but the same can be said of every country. Fleming_Mitch : You say Khawaja, Marsh and Hughes are all deserving of a full series what makes them more deserving than the players currently in the team? Who are we going to drop to accomodate your policy?

  • POSTED BY simon_w on | November 9, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    I personally will be concerned if we're missing Prior at Brisbane. His form with the bat's not been terrific lately, certainly, but he's been a really important part of this successful England team all the way through. He's capable of transforming games with the bat on his day, and even if he hasn't done that regularly since last winter, he contributes more to the team than runs.

    England has significant depth in terms of 'keepers, it's just that most of them aren't on the tour... However, if it comes to it and Bairstow 'keeps in the first Test, it might work out well -- perhaps being in the side as a 'keeper will take the pressure off Bairstow's batting and allow him to express the undoubted talent that we've yet to really see in Tests (that one wonderful innings aside).

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | November 10, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    @ BiggerAl66 on (November 10, 2013, 13:52 GMT) I think Prior had a poor Ashes both with bat and ball , but I still think he's a huge character for us and up til the Ashes he's probably been our most consistent performer. I'd say that if he (Prior) isn't 100% then Jonny needs to play the next game and see from there. Re the bowlers , I think you're probably in the majority (from those who post on here) on both Onions and Rankin. To me Tremlett is showing a lack of hostility and Finn a lack of control. Rankin hasn't been overly impressive but definitely the best of the 3

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | November 10, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    I guess this means England will lose 5-0 like the predictions before the last series.Guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.For my money I would move Root down the order and I would call up a reserve keeper.

  • POSTED BY BiggerAl66 on | November 10, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Not massively concerned about Prior's injury as I think he will make it, and if he doesn't, I am confident Jonny Bairstow will do a good job keeping wicket and coming in at number7. I know I am in a minority, but I would pick Rankin as our third seamer ahead of Tremlett or Finn. I still can't understand why Onions didn't get selected though.

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | November 10, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    @Mary_768 I do owe you an apology as you did not say" fail" you said "unless Clarke Warner smith and Rodgers have blinders and Harris and Johnson take a lot of wickets, Australia will be found wanting". Sorry Mary but to me that is still pretty obvious, not sure what a blinder is but some good old fashion short ball cricket just like last year. the big question is can the opposition bring the game to the table like last year.

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | November 10, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    thanks for the insight Barry, I think your comment is about as obvious as.... if 4 of your batsmen fail and 2 bowlers do not take many wickets the team will struggle .. .SIGH.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | November 10, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    @FFL, I think you'll find AB Devilliers is easily the best wicket keeper batsman in cricket but we wouldn't expect you to put facts in your comments would we. I guess Anderson's sky high average of 30.11 is the stuff of nightmares so you nearly did get that one right. If he doesn't get at least 20 wicket that would be poor, he's the front line bowler and that would only equate to 4 a match. Can't wait to hear the excuses flowing when lose a match.

  • POSTED BY on | November 10, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    So mr rickyvincanterbury- if no one scores any runs or take any wickets then both dudes will struggle? Brilliant, never thought of that- sigh

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | November 10, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    Its really confusing for Root. Where to bat, He played as an Opener in County, No.6 at early career and he goes to his natural position as an opener and now again its rumour that he will bat on no.6. Nick pushed him at no.6 and now Carbs. But IMO Root must open because its also good for future. Carbs is 32 and definitely Root is having more cricket left than him. I also prefer Carbs replaces Trott. Cook, Root, Carbs, Bell, KP,Trott, Bairstow/Prior, Swanny, Jimmy, Broad, Tremlett. I also think that Cook will give blessing in disguise, because after Whitewash CA definitely axe Clarke from captaincy.

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | November 10, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    Aks286: What are you on about Khawaja has lived in Australia from age 1, he has always been an Aussie. Of course Pakistan didnt give him any chances but they havent given any chances to Michael Clarke either. As for money he has been deserving of an Australian contract as he is a fringe player. Mary786; Yes if all our players fail we will struggle but the same can be said of every country. Fleming_Mitch : You say Khawaja, Marsh and Hughes are all deserving of a full series what makes them more deserving than the players currently in the team? Who are we going to drop to accomodate your policy?

  • POSTED BY MaruthuDelft on | November 10, 2013, 2:00 GMT

    Because of Cook and Trott the Ashes projects boredom.

  • POSTED BY Optic on | November 10, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    @ Englishfan I think most ex players say that the peak years of a batsmen are between 28 and 34/35. So I don't go with you're assertion that Bell, Trott Prior and KP are all past their best. Prior up to the recent Ashes series was as good as he ever has been. KP had an amazing last year with 3 of the best tons I've ever seen and wasn't bad in the Ashes either but has had a bit of trouble with his knee since then. Bell looks to be batting as well as he ever has. I'd be more worried if they were all 34+ but Prior & Bell are 31, Trott 32 & KP 33. Saying all that I agree that gradually & I do believe this will happen and has happened, that we start to see more of these younger guys, particularly in one day cricket at first, then as they've done with Ballance take them on big tours to get them around the squad and then play one or two of them against some of the smaller nations. The trouble is that there is always the need to win, so getting these younger guys in can be hard

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | November 9, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    AshesErnie, I thoroughly enjoyed watching that same kid in that innings, yes, but a little disappointed we didn't get to see more of that sort of batting from him. Talented lad, it seems, hopefully a long career ahead.

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | November 9, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    @ Mary_786 on (November 9, 2013, 11:23 GMT) so you say if Rodgers, Clarke, Warner, and Smith fail and Harris and Johnson do not take a heap of wickets Australia will struggle, so what will happen if Cook, Bell, Pietersen and Trott fail and Anderson and Broad do not take wickets ????

  • POSTED BY on | November 9, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    Prior was the great under-performer in the recent series. From being the top keeper-batsman in the world, he has slid way down the pecking order. Haddin's keeping and batting was of a much higher standard. Still Prior's experience is invaluable and Bairstow is only an average keeper. A big potential net loss for a declinging England team. Anderson bowled poorly and will need to improve considerably despite his figures appearing otherwise.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | November 9, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    Why are there comms saying about England not taking a reserve WK on tour?

    err hello , but what position does Jonny take in the the field when he plays for Yorkshire?

    It just so happens that he is also an excellent outfielder and it could be argued that he is better as an outfielder and it certainly could be argued that he's not the best reserve WK but he is a WK nonetheless

  • POSTED BY on | November 9, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    @Sampanna: England have a much larger reserve in terms of keepers. Foster and Read are better than any keeper in the international game today (as keepers, not keeper-batsmen). Add Mustard, Davies, Buttler, Bairstow just as a start to the backup list. There are even more, like Wheater and Foakes. Keeping reserves are great for England.

  • POSTED BY Jaffa79 on | November 9, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    Rupert147 Are you having a laugh? Kieswetter is an awful keeper. Slightly better than Wade! Davies is terribly unlucky not to have played Test cricket, Buttler is pretty good, Foster could do a decent job, Foakes is nearly there and even Read would be better than Kieswetter! I do question how much keeping Bairstow was done in fc cricket of late. He couldn't have played much for Yorks and he hasn't played on this tour. I think England were a bit insecure about the no.6 position. First rule in Test: always pick specialists. Openers, keepers, spinners all need to be top notch.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | November 9, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Matt Prior has been the best wicketkeeper, as well as the best W/C-Batsman in the world for quite a while. If he does miss the first test, Jonny Bairstow will have to prove his merit to the side and can't simply hide in the middle order and not contribute anything else to the game like a certain other current player is known for. We know Bairstow can bat, and a batting order that reads 6 Root 7. Bairstow, reinforces England's batting unit. Pity England haven't got more practice time in, but there agin the aussies would do anything to hamper their preperations for the 1st test as they know England are about to give them yet another Ashes thrashing, so It'll be enough. Good to see Jimmy Anderson get in the wickets again too, he continues his reputation as the stuff of Ozzie nightmares. Another 20+ wickets in a series for him looks odds on.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | November 9, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    We always thinking about reserve Bowler, Batsman, All- rounders but very least bother about WK. A non- regular bowler can give you the wicket but a non-regular keeper can drop catches & stumping. Prior's injured himself in wrong time. But When I read that column "Bairstow regular 12 th man " then i really want to see him in playing XI. But this is an golden opportunity for you Fella. Now you have two responsibilities and two chances to prove yourself as a Batsman & as a WK, Just Made it. Good Wishes Fella & get well soon Prior.

  • POSTED BY Yes.Valkyries on | November 9, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    @Mary786 I think you are following pakistan domestic cricket Islamabad vs Hyd. Klinger looks solid and he was LBW but ball was missing leg. Marsh also bats well and went to pavilion as NOT OUT. Only Khwaja flops as usual. So how you said that none of them managed. Our gentle and worst bowling combination destroys Poms mid order. But although of rough pitch and World class bowling attack Doolan, Klinger, Marsh have done well except of Khawaja. Domestic performance is temporary but class is permanent. Poms knows better check out Mark Rampakash, Key, Wood, Ward, millions of etc. But they have done nothing in International cric.

  • POSTED BY Rupert147 on | November 9, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    For some reason England never choose a reserve keeper for the right reasons & Bairstow is too much of a batsman and less of a keeper to play an Ashes Test. The truth is that the nearest thing England have as a like-for-like replacement for Prior is in fact Kieswetter.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | November 9, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    @nev57 on (November 9, 2013, 11:31 GMT) apologies , either ESPN updated the article or I missed the bit originally about him not being allowed to keep wicket

    @64blip on (November 9, 2013, 10:48 GMT) I too said similar but either ESPN updated the article since I originally read it or we both missed the bit that JB was not allowed to keep

    @SDH12 on (November 9, 2013, 10:57 GMT) Seems strange having Jonny out there in that case

    @Englishfan on (November 9, 2013, 11:22 GMT) It seems too much of a luxury to have a specialist batsman batting at 7

    @Phil Davies on (November 9, 2013, 14:08 GMT) Guess we were getting confused , not really treating it as a 1st class match. I think some warm up matches are not treated as 1st class in which case the reserve WK rule would be waived

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | November 9, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    @Mary786 Marsh was not out, Klinger played well and LBW little bit miss the stump what i think. Only and known khawaja fails as he does previously again wasted the time, money & opportunity of the Aus. Even Pak did't give him that much chances. Marsh,Forrest, Klinger, Bailey are much better option to bat on No.3.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | November 9, 2013, 15:18 GMT

    England had a useful day in some respects, and I doubt if this scare will be much more. It may be compassionate towards Bairstow to let him play at Sydney anyway. He must be thinking that the management have it in for him already. Otherwise Root showed that if Carberry opens then he would be perfectly au fait with it and relax about life again. His was a resourceful knock. Prior too had a useful knock while Anderson showed how near he is to being ready for Brisbane. Certainly next week's game will be better value than this though, and I would expect that Bell would slot in for Ballance and maybe Finn or Eankin for Anderson. As for Monty, I suspecgt he will be in the nets instead.

  • POSTED BY CodandChips on | November 9, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    @GeoffreysMother you are right on the over-hyping of our youngsters. I myself am very guilty of that. I do however believe we should be preparing them for test cricket and blooding them early. Bell, Trott, Pietersen and Prior are all over 30 and I reckon (with the exception of Bell's ashes), they are all past their best. I think we should have our replacements ready, such as Taylor for Trott or Bell, Balance for Pietersen etc, for when they do retire or get injured.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | November 9, 2013, 14:08 GMT

    For everyone who has expressed astonishment at the fact that JB didn't replace Prior even though the Aussies didn't object - IT'S NOT ALLOWED - so the umpires quite rightly did not permit it. Substitute fielders cannot keep wicket, bat or bowl. C'mon guys / you're supposed to know your cricket!

  • POSTED BY HatsforBats on | November 9, 2013, 13:47 GMT

    @ GeoffreysMother, I'd personally like to congratulate you on an astute comment. I'd been looking forward to seeing Ballance, obviously I couldn't garner much from his short stay but his dismissal spoke (cautious) volumes. Re: Smith & Hughes, sadly, Hughes the prodigy is more than likely gone forever, destroyed by authoritarian ne'er do wells. Luckily, Smith seems to have come to terms with his temperament & technique and is clearly now one of the most talented and consistent players in the country. As for Prior, until we know if it's a strain or just "tight" all opinions are moot. He would be a big loss if he couldn't play.

  • POSTED BY izzidole on | November 9, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    I thought both Marsh and Doolan batted very well and looked very solid in the middle. They both looked very confident and have the potential to make big scores. Doolans strokes were exqusite and a treat to watch and for the first time in his career Marsh looked definite about his stroke play and didn't hang his bat outside his off stump and get caught behind in the slips cordon. Both Klinger and Ferguson also impressed during their short stay at the wicket. Once again Khawaja failed to impress. However the main concern for Australia in this ashes series will be their bowling than their batting where the fast bowlers keep breaking down and the list keeps growing day by day with both Hazlewood and Bollinger joining the bandwagon in the last two days. The so called sports scientists seem to be doing an excellent job keeping Pattinson, Starc, Cummins and Bird in cold storage for months to come as a result another ashes series victory for England is on the cards.

  • POSTED BY AshesErnie on | November 9, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    smudgeon, did you also think there was something up when you "spotted that kid from the Under 12s" biffing Australia's finest all round Lord's for 180? Keep watching.

  • POSTED BY Dr.murdoch on | November 9, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    Fleming_mitch, I do agree with what you're saying, 3games isn't a long run, however, usman doesn't seem confident in whites against the big boys just yet, ryobi cup is completely a different ball game, where quite a few bats,en did well. I wouldn't have usman starting in the first two tests, give him some first class cricket, let him have runs under his belt and then pick him and give him a long run. Same goes for marsh and Hughes. I'm a fan of their games, respectively but they're not in the best eleven right now.

  • POSTED BY nev57 on | November 9, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    JG2704 & mtfb: Did you not read the whole article? It was the umpires who stopped JB keeping wicket, not a lack of confidence in him from the England management!

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | November 9, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    Bit much knocking the likes of Klinger, Marsh and Khawaja when they were in with no chance but to hold on until stumps. None of them managed it really. But the cricket gods are against him at the moment and seems they are going to go for Bailey as No 6 bat. Personally I think unless Rogers, Clarke, Warner and Smith, have blinders and Harris and Johnson take a lot of wickets, Australia is going to be found wanting. Cant see Bailey lasting and Watson as a batsman only is just not up to it. Too early yet but there are a number of batsmen beginning to knock on the door for selection. Lynn had another couple of fine knocks, Burns finally came alive, Maddison showed some form, Silk is going gangbusters again, Cosgrove had a good first innings even Cowan produced a couple of good innings. Khawaja was in great Ryobi form and expect him to fire in the coming shield games. Dunk is showing form and overall our batsman our scoring when it matters.

  • POSTED BY CodandChips on | November 9, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    Wish Davies was out there as I've said before. The best genuine wicketkeepers are imo Foster and Bates, but neither are good enough batting wise. Maybe batting 7 could help JB as it may release some pressure on his batting.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Sponge on | November 9, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    Mitty2 you might be right, if it is a tear or something he could be in big trouble. His batting has been lax pretty much since his player of the year award but he is a good player, I don't think too many dispute that. Of course as an Aussie I hope his lean form continues but I don't wish an injury on him.

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | November 9, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    @JG - doubt they would go with Bairstow if they had the choice, I think you'd see Davies flown out. Flower doesn't seem to think it's too serious though, so hopefully this was purely precautionary.

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | November 9, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    I thought something was up when I spotted that kid from the Under 12s keeping for the Poms.

  • POSTED BY 64blip on | November 9, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    Well what's that about? They asked if JB could play then when the Aussies said yes didn't bother and let Root risk breaking a thumb? I hope JB is getting some support from somewhere, from the outside it seems like he's having a hard time out there.

  • POSTED BY KhanMitch on | November 9, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    Dr.Murdoch guys like Khawaja, Marsh, Hughes will do well but we have to give them full series to establish themselves, 2 or 3 games is not enough, it took greats such as Hayden, Langer and others time to settle at the top level.

  • POSTED BY mtfb on | November 9, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    What's the point of risking a specialist batsman (Root) breaking a finger or suchlike by keeping wicket when you have a reserve specialist keeper (Bairstow) in the party? I sometimes wonder what all of these coaches are thinking of. Prior's not a real keeper anyway - more of a back-stop.

  • POSTED BY KhanMitch on | November 9, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    We are clutching at straws trying to seperate Klinger, Khawaja, Marsh and Doolan, none of them went on today and we are no clearer on who the best replacement for Watson is if he is injured. Hopefully the next game allows us to do that. My tip is still that it will be between Klinger and Khawaja

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | November 9, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    Prior had a pretty poor time of it in both facets of the game this summer but I think he is the sort of character who will always bring positivity to the dressing room.

    It seems strange that Eng would ask about JB keeping and then not play him when Aus do not object. To me this does not show much confidence in Jonny and seeing as he is the only proper WK cover out there it seems a strange decision not to give him a go. If they've lost confidence in him to that degree (without him playing a game out there) then why has he been selected?

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | November 9, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    @Posted by dunger.bob on (November 9, 2013, 9:08 GMT) Loved your comment on having it between the ears making a champion, it has always been my philosophy...... until they invented pay TV

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 9, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    @ simon_w: I get what you're saying about Prior contributing other things apart from his day job. .. You know, from what I've seen of him, he reminds me of Ian Healy and the role he had in his team. A sort of talisman who seemed to keep things bubbling along. .. Sometimes a player is somehow greater than the sum of his parts. Wicket keepers are in an ideal position to do that because of their trade so having a good one is a huge bonus.

    @ GeoffreysMother: We build 'em up and then we knock 'em down. It's the rhythm of life in the public eye it seems. .. I truly believe it's the ability to handle the pressure that makes the difference between success and failure at the top level. .. If it was possible to measure talent, I reckon most first class players would turn out to be very similar in talent. It's what happens between the ears that really counts at that level. .. Some have it early, others need to learn it and the rest never get it.

  • POSTED BY heathrf1974 on | November 9, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    England playing well. Can't wait for the Ashes to begin. Hopefully it will be closer this time.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | November 9, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    @Geoffreysmother, completely true. Bairstow was in two crucial partnerships and in the whole series only Bell was consistent. Bairstow's series contribution was better than Prior's in terms of batting and probably better than Cook's. His test against SA shows his undoubted talent and such batsmen need persistence (see dropping Hughes ridiculously in the '09 Ashes). Bairstow has an angled bat yes, but Root's too much of a back foot player and Smith's stance is too open - and they're both doing well currently. Technique is overrated, confidence from continued selection is key. But all players have to learn to do with media hype - it's something that Smith's dealt well with and Hughes and Khawaja haven't. Although if Hughes was left to open and not move, we'd see him prosper I think

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | November 9, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    @adamtwittey on (November 9, 2013, 7:42 GMT) hahaha @ GeoffreysMother on (November 9, 2013, 7:37 GMT you are totally correct about easing players into the top 11 when your on top, the problem is that Englands now looking for a few players to ease in the batting department, and I am sure the training sessions are full of 3rd medium pace easing, after last years competitive series against the Saffers on bouncier Australian wickets, maybe this is the year the aussies can start easing some batsmen into the top 11 just like Smith and Co.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | November 9, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    @rickyvoncanterbury, they're both too loose outside off stump and that gets exposed far more often at test level than FC level. Khawaja's also mentally weak and at least if Hughes gets a start he'll usually go on with it.

  • POSTED BY Dr.murdoch on | November 9, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    If I was an English fan, I wouldn't judge balance just yet, seems to be solid despite his scores. As for usman khawajas situation, he got out to a good ball but he didn't have to play at it. His faults don't seem to be technical, rather mental, he seems too nervous when playing internationals but in domestic, it's all too easy for him. For any person who has played cricket at a higher level, they should know there's a lot of pressure to perform when you go up a level, some handle it, some don't, usman isn't handling it very well. However these things come good with time, he should've been given an extended run through India and the ashes to settle him down but now he doesn't deserve a spot in the test team.

  • POSTED BY GeoffreysMother on | November 9, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    Perhaps it is time to stop some of the media hype surrounding up and coming players and then trashing them when they move up to international level. Two years ago Bairstow could do no wrong. He then steps up to international level and finds it harder and facing Ryan Harris on difficult wickets does not excel ( but then neither did a lot of more established batsmen). Suddenly he is a man of the past and Gary Ballance is a far better batsman 'according to those in the know'. Scores of 0 and 4 against sub international bowlers on better wickets tend to belie that. England, and English supporters. need to be careful not to do what Australia has done for a while - set impossible expectations for young players and then discard them whan they don't live up to the hype. England will need Bairstow as an attacking batsmen in a few years - especially once Pieterson and Prior go - and we need to help build him into that role. I imagine wise Australians feel the same about Smith and Hughes.

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | November 9, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Bit of bad luck really, hope he plays.... but on a serious note, what is going on with Hughes and Khawaja and the BIG time.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | November 9, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    @milepost, a calf strain is completely different. If he strained his calf at this age he's in a bit of strife for the Ashes. A tight calf he's fine. It doesn't make much difference anyway, Prior has absolutely no batting form to speak of whatsoever

  • POSTED BY milepost on | November 9, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    Wow, this purportedly weak bowling attack absolutely ripped through England who might be well underprepared come the Gabba. They can't replace Prior with Bairstow, the latter has no batting form and despite Prior's low returns in the Ashes, he is one of those players in the England team that can accelerate the batting and turn a match. Calf strain, he should be OK. They must consider bringing out another keeper, there a few good ones in England.

  • POSTED BY on | November 9, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    joe root can do almost everything except i havent seem try fast bowling

  • POSTED BY GeoffreysMother on | November 9, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    debatable - of course Bairstow would keep. Buttler wasn't even Somerset's keeper in fist class cricket let alone international standard - and his batting was poor in this form also. If Davies was in serious contention he would have been around the England team at sometime in the past two years. Root is playing because , if this happens in a Test match then Prior will need some back up in the side.

  • POSTED BY Lamplighter on | November 9, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    @Sampanna - Jonny Bairstow is the regular 1stXI wicket-keeper for Yorkshire, but he has been previously selected for England purely as a batsman alongside Matt Prior as 'keeper. His keeping is perhaps not to Prior's standard, but he is certainly not a stranger to wicket-keeping, and as others have mentioned it might strengthen England's team elsewhere if Carberry, Root and Bairstow can all play, as Prior's batting form has dipped.

  • POSTED BY debatable on | November 9, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    I don't think there is any chance that Bairstow will keep in a Test. They'll use Buttler or fly Davies out if there's any doubt that Prior will play.

    @Sampanna Dahal Chelsea: Australia's richness in wicketkeepers?? Wade and Paine are poor comparisons to England's backup strength: Davies, Read, etc

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 9, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    12 days is plenty of recovery time if it's just a minor twinge.

    Young Joe Root looks like a goofy nerd, but he's certainly a talented cricketer. I know he's only a part-time keeper but it's not something that everyone can do, so congrats to him on having the knack.

    As an Aussie, I'm not sure if it helps us if Prior is out. I mean, they might bring in some-one with some batting form to replace him..

  • POSTED BY TripleCenturian on | November 9, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    This makes England's decision to not pick Bairstow for either warm up game look daft.

    Once again he appears to have the role of drinks waiter and then when needed he will be expected to play in a big match with no preparation.

    Why the hell is a Joe Root keeping wicket? He has never done it for Yorkshire, it's a friendly game where the opposition did not object to Bairstow being a sub keeper and Bairstow has not even had a bat or kept wicket on tour to date.

    Flower and co seem to have little idea of how to prepare for this series.

  • POSTED BY on | November 9, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    This is the right oppurtunity for bairstow to prove himself on the bigstage as it is highly unlikely that prior is going to play in the ashes opener on nov 21

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | November 9, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    and now Jonny Baristow might be drafted in under the pretext of a wicket-keeper....might not be so bad...finally Baristow might be of some use in the test side

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | November 9, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    Poor Joe Root....Opening? Yes sir , Keeping? Yes sir....Sir Rahul Dravid , where art thou?

  • POSTED BY on | November 9, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    matt prior is vital for the english team because he is their only good keeper as they dont have much compared to australia's richness in wicketkeepers, if he is absent then england have to turn towards jonny bairstow who is not a regular wicketkeeper and england may suffer given the extra swing and seam of broad and anderson and their inconsistency in line and length. but overall, an advantage for australia as i'm an aussie fan

  • POSTED BY on | November 9, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    matt prior is vital for the english team because he is their only good keeper as they dont have much compared to australia's richness in wicketkeepers, if he is absent then england have to turn towards jonny bairstow who is not a regular wicketkeeper and england may suffer given the extra swing and seam of broad and anderson and their inconsistency in line and length. but overall, an advantage for australia as i'm an aussie fan

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | November 9, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    Poor Joe Root....Opening? Yes sir , Keeping? Yes sir....Sir Rahul Dravid , where art thou?

  • POSTED BY 1st_april on | November 9, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    and now Jonny Baristow might be drafted in under the pretext of a wicket-keeper....might not be so bad...finally Baristow might be of some use in the test side

  • POSTED BY on | November 9, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    This is the right oppurtunity for bairstow to prove himself on the bigstage as it is highly unlikely that prior is going to play in the ashes opener on nov 21

  • POSTED BY TripleCenturian on | November 9, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    This makes England's decision to not pick Bairstow for either warm up game look daft.

    Once again he appears to have the role of drinks waiter and then when needed he will be expected to play in a big match with no preparation.

    Why the hell is a Joe Root keeping wicket? He has never done it for Yorkshire, it's a friendly game where the opposition did not object to Bairstow being a sub keeper and Bairstow has not even had a bat or kept wicket on tour to date.

    Flower and co seem to have little idea of how to prepare for this series.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | November 9, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    12 days is plenty of recovery time if it's just a minor twinge.

    Young Joe Root looks like a goofy nerd, but he's certainly a talented cricketer. I know he's only a part-time keeper but it's not something that everyone can do, so congrats to him on having the knack.

    As an Aussie, I'm not sure if it helps us if Prior is out. I mean, they might bring in some-one with some batting form to replace him..

  • POSTED BY debatable on | November 9, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    I don't think there is any chance that Bairstow will keep in a Test. They'll use Buttler or fly Davies out if there's any doubt that Prior will play.

    @Sampanna Dahal Chelsea: Australia's richness in wicketkeepers?? Wade and Paine are poor comparisons to England's backup strength: Davies, Read, etc

  • POSTED BY Lamplighter on | November 9, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    @Sampanna - Jonny Bairstow is the regular 1stXI wicket-keeper for Yorkshire, but he has been previously selected for England purely as a batsman alongside Matt Prior as 'keeper. His keeping is perhaps not to Prior's standard, but he is certainly not a stranger to wicket-keeping, and as others have mentioned it might strengthen England's team elsewhere if Carberry, Root and Bairstow can all play, as Prior's batting form has dipped.

  • POSTED BY GeoffreysMother on | November 9, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    debatable - of course Bairstow would keep. Buttler wasn't even Somerset's keeper in fist class cricket let alone international standard - and his batting was poor in this form also. If Davies was in serious contention he would have been around the England team at sometime in the past two years. Root is playing because , if this happens in a Test match then Prior will need some back up in the side.

  • POSTED BY on | November 9, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    joe root can do almost everything except i havent seem try fast bowling