The Ashes 2013-14 September 23, 2013

Ballance, Stokes, Rankin in Ashes squad

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Gary Ballance, Yorkshire's Zimbabwe-born batsman, is the most surprising selection in England's squad to defend the Ashes in Australia.

Ballance is joined by Ben Stokes, the Durham allrounder, and Warwickshire's fast bowler Boyd Rankin as three England players who can only fall back on limited-overs international experience as they undertake their first senior tour. Michael Carberry, the Hampshire opener, provides the top-order batting cover.

Ballance may be a surprising selection, but do not suggest, as one observer did, that it could be perceived as "left field". England's management prides itself in long-term planning. "There are never any left-field decisions," said the national selector Geoff Miller. "He has performed extremely well for Yorkshire and for the Lions. He has justified his selection."

Monty Panesar, selected as back-up spinner to Graeme Swann, also wins England's trust after a troubled summer in which he was released by Sussex after urinating from high upon a Brighton nightclub bouncer in the early hours of the morning.

England have been assured by Essex, where Panesar has been on loan and taken 12 wickets in five Championship matches, that he has rediscovered his stability and purpose. England have taken those assurances on trust and it will now be incumbent upon them not just to monitor his behaviour, but contribute to his welfare.

"Monty had his problems which we have worked hard to rectify - and he has worked hard to rectify - in the last six weeks or so," Miller said. "There is a very strong management in that side to help with all aspects. He appreciates he has made errors and he is very sure those errors are behind him."

Ballance, schooled at Harrow, is the latest example of England's trust in players of southern African heritage, following the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and - it now seems temporarily - Nick Compton. Miller expressed himself unconcerned by the continued habit of drawing talent from afar, contending that all the players, Ballance included, had become successful in the English system.

Ballance made an inglorious second-ball duck on his England one-day debut against Ireland in Dublin, but the left-hander's aggressive middle-order batting has constantly showed up well for Yorkshire in a season during which he has so far scored 1,107 first-class runs at average of 55.35. England have also liked what they have seen at close hand on England Lions duty.

His pugnacious batting talents are now likely to make him a direct rival to another Yorkshire batsman, Jonny Bairstow, for the No. 6 spot. He can expect a place in the one-day squad, too: few can challenge his career average of 56 in 50-over cricket.

Stokes's aim will be to provide additional competition for that No. 6 position, although his opportunity is only likely to arise if England, who habitually prefer a four-strong attack, opt instead for five bowlers because of the need to accommodate two spinners. That prospect is rendered less likely by the changing nature of the wickets in Australia, some of which - Sydney in particular - do not encourage turn as much as they once did, a fact doubtless connected to Australia's inability to find a successor to Shane Warne.

England, in any case, fielded Stokes at No. 8 in the ODI series against Australia, preferring to view him as a bowler who bats, even though the player himself tends to the majority view that he is a batsman who bowls. He was sent home in disgrace from the Lions tour of Australia last winter, along with Kent's Matt Coles, for excessive late-night drinking, but he has since acquitted himself excellently and England's forgiveness is evident.

England included Chris Tremlett, too, after spending much of the summer anxiously looking for any signs that he could rediscover his form of past Ashes series and enable them to select a trio of physically threatening specimens in Tremlett, Rankin and Steven Finn. Tremlett has been selected on faith not form. Graham Onions, a perennial success on spicier county pitches, misses out, leaving England with no bowler close to what James Anderson provides although Miller did point out that Onions would be playing cricket in South Africa if he was required.

There is reasonable news on Tim Bresnan. He is increasingly confident of recovering from a stress fracture which was intercepted before enough damage was caused to necessitate a much more prolonged lay-off. He was not named in the squad but will travel to Australia and continue his rehabilitation with England.

"He will go out with the squad and when the time is right Andy will look at whether he can stay with the squad or transfer into the Performance Programme," Miller said.

England's 3-1 success on their last tour of Australia was based on the excellence of their top four - and they succeeded without the cover of a spare opening batsman. On this occasion, they have felt unable to take that risk.

Circumstances are slightly different, as England's top order struggled against Australia this summer. Carberry offers the flexibility for Joe Root to slip back into the middle order if he struggles to make the opening job his own.

England have a strong Test record since losing the first Test to India in Ahmedabad last November, winning in India, drawing in New Zealand, overcoming New Zealand in the return series and taking the Ashes 3-0. It is the sort of record that persuades them their instincts remain sound.

That is particularly the case in their continued omission of Compton, with Carberry preferred as the back-up opener despite an inferior red-ball record and none-too-convincing appearance in the NatWest Series. England's management will not be swayed from the view that Compton's game became dangerously introverted against New Zealand - and successes for Somerset and twice against the Australian tourists have not changed that.

He has also suffered from a perception that outside his runs he gives little to the dressing room and because of his reservations about working with England's batting coach, Graham Gooch, who he feels does not understand his game. He also expressed his disappointment at his exclusion quite forcibly and this England management prefers its players verbally malleable.

The Performance Squad provides extra back-up, although is not a shadow Test team. That group of players will arrive in Brisbane just before the first Test before moving to Perth and returning home shortly before England arrive for the third Test.

The ECB has had to delay one announcement. Ambitions were for new players' terms and conditions, to extend to the end of the current broadcast deal in 2017, would be announced today but wrangles over a substantial rise in salaries from a current base level of around £250,000 and the freedom to play for a longer period in IPL continue and neither were the players awarded new contracts confirmed. The current deals expire on September 30.

Negotiations were put on hold so as not to undermine England's Ashes challenge this summer. The aim is now to complete talks before England fly to Australia on October 23 and an announcement may be made before the end of the week. If not, there will be fears of further disruption.

England squad: Alastair Cook (Essex, capt), Matt Prior (Sussex, vice-captain), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance (both Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Michael Carberry (Hampshire), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Monty Panesar (Essex), Kevin Pietersen (Surrey), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Chris Tremlett (Surrey), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • BRUTALANALYST on September 23, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    Good solid squad only selection I don't agree with is Bairstow also gotta really feel for Onions thought he would be in . So happy about the inclusion of Carberry and Ballance and good that the ECB have given Monty a chance even after the recent off field trouble. With 3 openers in Carberry Cook and Root does that mean Ballance will start in the 11 at 6 from game one with Root and Cook opening or will Root go back to 6 with Carberry and Cook opening up top ? Interesting, I also thought Stokes/Jordan were 50/50 Woakes wasn't in picture for me. Jordan's bowling impressed me a lot more even with Stokes getting the rub of luck in recent ODI series but I guess they're going for Stokes on his potential destructive batting.

  • SirViv1973 on September 23, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    The selction of Carberry is baffling. I think he's a wonderful domestic cricketer who fully deserves an opportunity in the shorter forms, where he's had an excellent season but his red ball form has been moderate all year. I can only think they thought him too old to be part of the lions set up but wanted to have him available as cover for the top 2. It's rough on Compton who must now feel his int career is over pretty much before it started. I don't really see the need for a reserve opener anyway. Even though I would prefer to see Root at 6, I'm convinced he will be at the top with Cook again here, therefore if a replacement was needed then they could have gone to the Lions squad where they should at least have the option of Robson who surely would be able to do a good job given his experience in familiar conditions. I'm pleased Ballance is in but again it's rough on Taylor who must have similar thoughts to those of Compton.

  • 1st_april on September 25, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    @OneEyedAussie in my opinion England offered better conditions for bowlers like Starc/Bird.....Siddle is insouciant to bowling conditions....he will run in all day..but he is not a match-winner...England has seen the best of Siddle....but he never managed to beat us in a test match by his perfromance...Johnson is tailor-made for Perth....Harris/Pattinson ,both with friable fitness,are the real threats....yours looks a far abated bowling attack to the one we saw in England

  • SUNILKVKARICHAL on September 25, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    my XI 1.cook2.root3.trott4.kp5.ballance6.bell7.prior8.broad9.swann10.finn11.jimmy

  • OneEyedAussie on September 24, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    @1st_april on (September 24, 2013, 11:32 GMT) : Agree and disagree. Agree that England are favourites - disagree that the bowlers will be "obviated". 20 wickets are still required and will be easily obtainable with skilled bowling. You are wrong if you think that Australian pitches will not offer challenges to batsmen, they certainly will - they will however present different challenges than the unusually dry pitches that England prepared.

  • JG2704 on September 24, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    @Chris_P on (September 24, 2013, 12:22 GMT) Re Warne's opinion on Tremlett - I wonder if he's even seen CT since his injury? We all saw how destructive a bowler he was in the last Oz Ashes but I'm sure we've all seen players who have had serious injuries and not been the same for a while or even again. IMO Simon Jones was prob our best bowler in the 2005 Ashes series but his injury meant that he was never the same bowler again - even if he's only just retired from FC cricket.

    @CapitalMarkets on (September 24, 2013, 15:11 GMT) I can't imagine there'd be any heirs and graces re Compton. Maybe you know something I don't about the personalities of the 2 players mentioned?

  • JG2704 on September 24, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    @Ankur Mathuron (September 24, 2013, 9:14 GMT)/ DINESHCC on (September 24, 2013, 10:15 GMT) - Ankur said 4 players in a squad in his original post re IPL players. I know that only 4 overseas players can play in a side but there are 5 overseas players in each of the CLT20 Indian Franchise squads and looking back at IPL 2013 there were between 8 and 11 overseas players in the top 5 squads - unless of course Cricinfo have it wrong

  • JG2704 on September 24, 2013, 20:55 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 24, 2013, 8:31 GMT) They seem to have gone the opposite way (in terms of treatment) with Carberry. I'm not that into picking players on OD form for tests which I suppose is what we're doing with Boyd to a degree but at least Boyd did well in the OD series. Carberry didn't even do well there.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 24, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    Yeah these guys are tall but will they do the job ? I am not so sure. The Aussies will want bounce and pace which is how they thrive. England didn't give it to them and went the Indian way and prepared slow, low tracks in the recent Ashes. Obviously, English fans will say how hot their summer was. But believe me, British summers can never hold a candle to the heat and humidity of India. It was an apparent trick to crush the Aussies who have no good record in such conditions. So if England bring these tall guys, it will definitely be in favour to the Aussies. Boyd Rankin ? Gary Ballance ? These guys could have carried drinks for their native countries. What an irony.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on September 24, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    Bairstow is there as the 2nd choice keeper. How is this not clear to everyone?!!!

  • BRUTALANALYST on September 23, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    Good solid squad only selection I don't agree with is Bairstow also gotta really feel for Onions thought he would be in . So happy about the inclusion of Carberry and Ballance and good that the ECB have given Monty a chance even after the recent off field trouble. With 3 openers in Carberry Cook and Root does that mean Ballance will start in the 11 at 6 from game one with Root and Cook opening or will Root go back to 6 with Carberry and Cook opening up top ? Interesting, I also thought Stokes/Jordan were 50/50 Woakes wasn't in picture for me. Jordan's bowling impressed me a lot more even with Stokes getting the rub of luck in recent ODI series but I guess they're going for Stokes on his potential destructive batting.

  • SirViv1973 on September 23, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    The selction of Carberry is baffling. I think he's a wonderful domestic cricketer who fully deserves an opportunity in the shorter forms, where he's had an excellent season but his red ball form has been moderate all year. I can only think they thought him too old to be part of the lions set up but wanted to have him available as cover for the top 2. It's rough on Compton who must now feel his int career is over pretty much before it started. I don't really see the need for a reserve opener anyway. Even though I would prefer to see Root at 6, I'm convinced he will be at the top with Cook again here, therefore if a replacement was needed then they could have gone to the Lions squad where they should at least have the option of Robson who surely would be able to do a good job given his experience in familiar conditions. I'm pleased Ballance is in but again it's rough on Taylor who must have similar thoughts to those of Compton.

  • 1st_april on September 25, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    @OneEyedAussie in my opinion England offered better conditions for bowlers like Starc/Bird.....Siddle is insouciant to bowling conditions....he will run in all day..but he is not a match-winner...England has seen the best of Siddle....but he never managed to beat us in a test match by his perfromance...Johnson is tailor-made for Perth....Harris/Pattinson ,both with friable fitness,are the real threats....yours looks a far abated bowling attack to the one we saw in England

  • SUNILKVKARICHAL on September 25, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    my XI 1.cook2.root3.trott4.kp5.ballance6.bell7.prior8.broad9.swann10.finn11.jimmy

  • OneEyedAussie on September 24, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    @1st_april on (September 24, 2013, 11:32 GMT) : Agree and disagree. Agree that England are favourites - disagree that the bowlers will be "obviated". 20 wickets are still required and will be easily obtainable with skilled bowling. You are wrong if you think that Australian pitches will not offer challenges to batsmen, they certainly will - they will however present different challenges than the unusually dry pitches that England prepared.

  • JG2704 on September 24, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    @Chris_P on (September 24, 2013, 12:22 GMT) Re Warne's opinion on Tremlett - I wonder if he's even seen CT since his injury? We all saw how destructive a bowler he was in the last Oz Ashes but I'm sure we've all seen players who have had serious injuries and not been the same for a while or even again. IMO Simon Jones was prob our best bowler in the 2005 Ashes series but his injury meant that he was never the same bowler again - even if he's only just retired from FC cricket.

    @CapitalMarkets on (September 24, 2013, 15:11 GMT) I can't imagine there'd be any heirs and graces re Compton. Maybe you know something I don't about the personalities of the 2 players mentioned?

  • JG2704 on September 24, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    @Ankur Mathuron (September 24, 2013, 9:14 GMT)/ DINESHCC on (September 24, 2013, 10:15 GMT) - Ankur said 4 players in a squad in his original post re IPL players. I know that only 4 overseas players can play in a side but there are 5 overseas players in each of the CLT20 Indian Franchise squads and looking back at IPL 2013 there were between 8 and 11 overseas players in the top 5 squads - unless of course Cricinfo have it wrong

  • JG2704 on September 24, 2013, 20:55 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 24, 2013, 8:31 GMT) They seem to have gone the opposite way (in terms of treatment) with Carberry. I'm not that into picking players on OD form for tests which I suppose is what we're doing with Boyd to a degree but at least Boyd did well in the OD series. Carberry didn't even do well there.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 24, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    Yeah these guys are tall but will they do the job ? I am not so sure. The Aussies will want bounce and pace which is how they thrive. England didn't give it to them and went the Indian way and prepared slow, low tracks in the recent Ashes. Obviously, English fans will say how hot their summer was. But believe me, British summers can never hold a candle to the heat and humidity of India. It was an apparent trick to crush the Aussies who have no good record in such conditions. So if England bring these tall guys, it will definitely be in favour to the Aussies. Boyd Rankin ? Gary Ballance ? These guys could have carried drinks for their native countries. What an irony.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on September 24, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    Bairstow is there as the 2nd choice keeper. How is this not clear to everyone?!!!

  • CapitalMarkets on September 24, 2013, 15:11 GMT

    I must take issue with the second featured article; I don't think Carberry's selection is baffling at all. I think we armchair critics think too much about performances and too little about personalities when looking in from the outside. Of course the decision for the third opener was about Carberry versus Compton and, if its all about performance, Compton tours. But it isn't, and the selectors have rightly given it to Carberry because on a four month tour with players in each other's faces, it makes sense. Anyone who has ever had to choose between a supportive team man with a decent doses of humour and humility allied to a good work ethic, and a slightly morose individualist who is given to periods of introspection, self-consequence and irritability, would never hesitate to choose character over gifting. There is nothing mysterious about why Carberry is going. However, I suspect Cook or Root will have to get injured or get single figures in the first three tests for him to get a game.

  • 2.14istherunrate on September 24, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Re players being right for the trip,and coming back from injury. I have followed cricket selections over a period of time and I think of all the groups of selectors who have chposen sides Miller's team have probably been the best at knowing what they are doing. They do not get it wrong too often so I trust their judgement over the likes of Tremlett and Stokes. A few eyebrows were raised at the Oval, but they discovered a thing or two there and we still almost won. So Stokes makes this trip before Woakes and Kerrigan goes on Perf Prog.Tremlett too must be okay to go. Balance I have just heard good about but never seen so I await with interest. If this side do as well as 2010/11 there will be nothing to complain about-all three games won by an innings. That is big.

  • Chris_P on September 24, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    @JG2704. Yep, all you say is correct re: Tremlett. I know Warney is a huge fan of his & is certain he can perform when he plays down under, & Warney is sommeone I always take notice of as he does know his cricket. I guess time will tell, the pace attack is quite solid but conditions will test them all & I doubt the same trio will play all tests. Cheers.

  • 1st_april on September 24, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    @OneEyedAussie Australia will offer flatter tracks .....thats why England have a better chance than Australia.....with bowling conditions obviated , our batting is better than yours.....England will triumph 3-1

  • AlfAlpha on September 24, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    How can Bairstow be in this squad, it seems if you're from Yorkshire you have a fast track to automatic selection?? Why leave out Compton who could not only cover as an opener if Root looks vulnerable, but also as Number 3 because Trott looks more and more exposed to bounce and high pace as he prods forward. To me this squad is a core of the same old faces mixed up with some pretty dodgy injury cover. The performance squad looks more exciting than this lot!

  • Dashgar on September 24, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Surprising that England aren't waiting for a match vs Zimbabwe to debut Ballance. They tend to do that with most players they convert as a final insult. No surprise Robson is on the touring party. If they weren't going to Australia why bother.

  • tjsimonsen on September 24, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    @Ankur Mathur: How do you define a "foreign player"? I assume that in IPL it's anyone who's not elligable for an Indian passport? If so, the problem is non-existing as all players in the England squad are elligable for UK passports. Or do you mean someone who's born in the UK? Then what about someone who was born to English parents who were living abroad (for work reasons) for a few years when the child was bord. As far as I know that's the case with Prior. Another example: my son who will be three next month was born in NW London to Danish parents. E.g. he is a Danish citizen. If we stay in the UK, would he be elligable to play for England? Or if we move back to Denmark, would he be elligable to play for Denmark? More so, if we move to a thrid country within a few years (which we well may), will he be elligible to play for that country when he grows up? It's an international world - get used to it! P.S. I am not hoping my son will become a professional in any sport. Just an example.

  • DINESHCC on September 24, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    JG2704: The IPL rule is only 4 foreign players are allowed and not 5. In 2011 Champions League, due to many injuries, Mumbai Indians Franchise was specially permitted by CL council to play games with 5 foreign players. Even then, Mumbai Indians, to my knowledge played those games with only 4 foreign players.

  • on September 24, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    @JG2704

    bro no in IPL only 4 players are allowed in playing XI ie overseas players and 7 Indian players ( Minimum ) can play.

    and bro thanks for your comments...thanks for appreciation

    I just want to add here that Cricinfo should have written Country names of players in brackets rather then county names , that would have been really informative :P

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on September 24, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    @JG2704 (post on September 23, 2013, 21:11 GMT): Think it was me you said that to about Compton. I really thought/wished we'd see him again opening for England with Cook... Seems you were spot on and alas that's another good player discarded.

    The key core group of players are there at least, and there's no sign/talk of Morgan coming in. For that I am grateful. Barring injuries, I really expect to see a lot of passengers on this tour.

  • JG2704 on September 24, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    @Ankur Mathuron (September 24, 2013, 7:04 GMT) Mate - that is absolutely hilarious. I can't believe you have found a totally original angle here - not covered once , by anyone before. BTW - just a small point - Without talking about qualification for playing for Eng - I believe that IPL sides are allowed 5 players in each squad. Apart from that little inaccuracy your post is superb

  • JG2704 on September 24, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    @arup_g on (September 24, 2013, 6:05 GMT) Onions should be there for sure. If Anderson gets injured they have no one to come in and give them that control. For me Tremlett is the controversial pick. I don't agree with picking players because of their ODI form but at least Rankin showed something. By all accounts Tremlett hasn't showed anything much all season

  • JG2704 on September 24, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    @Chris_P - Re Tremlett - I'm going by stats and what I've read from folk (inc Surrey fans) whove seen him on site.It seems he is labouring to get anywhere near what he was a few years ago.Without pace/hostility what has he got? I still believe you need at least one length/line bowler (pref 2) wherever.Jimmy can do that job and Broad can at times.We'll almost surely chose Swann as spinner with Broad/Jimmy plus Finn or Rankin as the tall bowler to extract bounce etc.So say they go with Finn then Rankin will be cover for him. But would it not be sensible to have a guy with more control as cover for Jimmy/Broad? You had the legend in length and line bowling but I also liked Hilf a few years ago.Surely you always need 1 of that type So my main point is that if Tremlett is bowling at pace and he gets it right he's a handful. But without the pace his inconsistent stuff will be meat and drink to the Aus batsmen and his better deliveries would be what Onions bowls as the norm

  • dalboy12 on September 24, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    I admit in this I'm looking in from afar. But I hope England hasn't got to wrapped up in the physical size of their pace bowlers. In the end, you get wickets by bowling well as a constant line and length with a bit of movement both ways. Sure genuine pace and height are advantages (see Morkel etc) - but they are not replacements for the basics. If Finn, Tremlett and Rankin can't consistency get the basics right, then there size and pace isn't going to make them successful or that matter really worry the Aussies.

  • on September 24, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    ICC should apply IPL rule for England Team that is maximum 4 foreign players in squad (( The IPL Rule ))...at least give their original players some chance....ROFL @ poor state of original players in English setup

  • arup_g on September 24, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    Feel sorry for Onions and James Taylor more than Compton. It looks obvious that the selectors are anti Compton now for some reason, but it is unfair on a guy who has been scoring endless runs for a few years now. As an opener, he has a better technique than Root. Carberry is not a Test opener - he has the flair and skill to be a limited overs opener, and clearly that's where he has done well.

    Onions can feel hard done by - that many wickets and someone like Rankin gets in purely from having done well for England in the shorter form. Also, Onions was party of a Championship winning team, and Tremlett was part of a relegated team. I like Tremlett and would want him to go, but Onions is the type of bowler who would cause more trouble to the Aussies.

  • vatsap on September 24, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    The repeated non-selection of Compton is really surprising. I thought the English selectors would have tried to rectify their repeated opening problems with Cook and Root during the current Ashes and gone for the more solid Compton. I think Aussies will start favorite this time and hopefully their batting should be more consistent, the Aussies can surely win the Urn back.

  • milepost on September 24, 2013, 5:37 GMT

    Agree with @oneeyedaussie, hope England leave their yawn-enducing-boa-constrictor cricket at home. Recent changes by the ICC will ensure they have to bowl more than 12 overs an hour and that their time wasting, crowd disrespecting tactics will be punished. Forget about the last series, England will struggle in Australia. I think their motivation will be an issue and with do many batsman out of form and a weak bowling attack they should come back to earth.

  • OneEyedAussie on September 24, 2013, 2:38 GMT

    Interesting squad. I assume the selection of Stokes is to cover for Bresnan who may not be fit and the selection of Tremlett is on previous form in Australia. Scratching my head over having both Rankin and Finn though - injury concerns for Broad maybe? It appears from the statements of the English selectors that Ballance will be playing at 6 - Australia can be a tough place to make your debut, all the best to him.

    With Swann set to be far less effective in Australia I think this will be an interesting contest. Can't wait until 21 Nov. I'm just hoping for more than 12 overs/hr and 2 runs/over from England.

  • siddhartha87 on September 24, 2013, 0:39 GMT

    Great to see Gary Ballance finally in the squad. This guy is a run machine and him at no 6 will make this English line up very hard to penetrate.I hope he makes his debut at Gabba.

  • Ms.Cricket on September 23, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    By not picking Compton and Onions England have given Australia some hope this southern summer :)

  • on September 23, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    when can we stop calling England...England chaps? 3 new players and not even a single Englishmen (or even a Brit) amongst them.

  • on September 23, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    Good on England, they've added an Irishman and a Zimbabwean to their squad already packed with South Africans.

  • Chris_P on September 23, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    @JG2704. I can see your points re: Carberry/Onions, not having seen these guys as much as you but their inclusion/non-inclusion appears to be more on how they are expected to go in Aussie conditions. Onions, while a fine bowler on English pitches would (IMHO) find the going a lot more tougher (much like how Copeland performs in both countries) while Tremlett has all the attributes to succeed & make a difference. As for Carberry, his style appears well suited to the bouncing quick pitches he will find & I really think he could surprise a few doubters. Crompton appears to have disturbed the powers to be, while Bairstow, if his glovework is up to scratch (I haven't seen him keep) appears a good solid selection as back-up keeper. Seems a very solid outfit overall.

  • JG2704 on September 23, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    Re Tremlett in , Onions out

    am I alone in thinking that they are going for too many tall bowlers above variety? Surely Finn and Rankin are enough and Broad can be lively on his day I see to remember Australia had a length and line bowler who did rather well on Aus pitches - on all pitches in fact. Also , most of the posters comms - who have seen CT bowl this season - have been negative.Is he even bowling with anything like the pace/venom of a few years ago. If not then what is he bringing to the table?

  • JG2704 on September 23, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    Re Compton - I can't remember who it was I was talking to on here - but a couple of folk were saying that Nick will come again and my thoughts were that it was the end of the road for him back then. Regardless of whether one thinks he deserves or doesn't deserve a recall , it seems to me his face doesn't fit. England publicly backed Carberry after a string of lame ODI performances and have even rewarded him with a place in the Ashes squad. I'd say Compton and Taylor would both have been hoping for a place in the test squad and maybe both felt they were in direct competition with each other. I wonder if they both feel even worse that someone who wasn't even mentioned and has not had as good a season as them has been chosen ahead of them?

  • JG2704 on September 23, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    @BRUTALANALYST on (September 23, 2013, 19:58 GMT) Sorry bud , but Nick's stats for Somerset (a struggling team in a league above Hants) are still better than MC's. Carberry isn't even the best 2013 English batsman at Hants. I could vaguely understand the decision if he impressed in Eng's 50 over games but he didn't even manage that

  • JG2704 on September 23, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    @ThirteenthMan on (September 23, 2013, 12:51 GMT) If we're going for height - Tyson Fury might be available since his date with Haye was scrapped

  • JG2704 on September 23, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    @பத்மநாபன் நாகராஜ்on (September 23, 2013, 11:53 GMT) I love the way you say "Rain & DRS will not save ENG forever" and then go on to say "Get ready with the excuses for losing down in Australia " - Brilliant logic

  • JG2704 on September 23, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    Some baffling (imo bordering on disgraceful decisions) here

    re batsmen - I certainly have no qualms with Ballance but Carberry? I thought it would be 2 from 3 (Ballance/Taylor/Compton). Carberry's stats are worse than both the latter 2 and he is playing in a league below. And NC/JT not even in the back up squad - mind boggling. And it's not even though MC has been impressive in the recent OD series

    Re all rounders - I'd still have gone Woakes over Stokes or maybe Borthwick. I'm guessing Bres is too much of an injury worry to take. Again no Woakes or Borthwick in the performance squad?

    re bowlers - I can see why they've gone Monty over Kerrigan although I disagree with it and as it is unlikely there will be 2 spinners in any one game I wonder if it's a waste of a place , but Tremlett in and Onions out. Awful decisions.

  • markatnotts on September 23, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    Goodness knows what Carberry has done to merit a Test squad call up. Not even that convinced about Ballance. As for Onions, the poor guy must know his time has come and gone. Ok relentless wicket to wicket skidders don't hurt as much in Aus as CLS in England but he did bowl very well without luck in SA in late 2009. All in a slightly dubious squad but barring injury crises, I expect us to hold onto the Ashes. It won't be pretty though.

  • BRUTALANALYST on September 23, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    @Chapelau and salazar555 Comton's last 6 knocks for England 13, 2, 2, 16, 15 , 1 and that incredibly painful 7 from 45 after England turned down the follow on v a young inexperience Kiwi outfit, really isn't that surprising he's left out as everyone's making regardless of his form at Taunton he bottled it and completely lost the plot at Headingley .Carb's deserves a shot and I'm sure Comton still has a chance of coming back.

  • on September 23, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    I don't think we'l lose the ashes, but we'll come close. The ommission of Onions is bizarre, yet to pick Tremlett is really half baked, heading to div 2 and nudging out the most successful English boiler this year, I can't get my head around it. Much as I like Carberry's style, I think he will be more surprised than anyone to be on the plane. Poor old Compton. What does he have to do and Taylor for that matter. ....

  • on September 23, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    Compton is much more technically solid than Carberry (who looked really loose in the one day ints). Silly selection.

  • on September 23, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    Very disappointed not to see compton and onions in the squad. Although stokes and ballance are good edition. Worst selection is carberry. Eng batting is weak same as aus Think this time eng can't ride with luck and series will go evenly but my vote goes to Aussie. may be a 2-1 or 3-2

  • The_Millinator on September 23, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    @SyedAreYouDumb Compton hasn't done anything of note except his 2 Test hundreds?! Really? First of all it doesn't matter what the pitches were like, Compton has scored as many 100s in Tests in the last year as Carberry has scored in the County Championship in the last 2 years (in Division 2). Also, Compton made over 1000 runs in First Class cricket this summer (and indeed last summer also). If that isn't "of note" then I'm not sure what is.

  • Chapelau on September 23, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    @SirViv1973 - spot on: Selection of Ballance - inescapable, selection of Rankin - inspired, non-selection of Compton and selection of Carberry, Bairstow - insane

  • on September 23, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    Onions left out and yet Irishman Rankin gets picked! Also the extremely talented Taylor is once again left out and yet former U19 Zimbabwean player Balance gets picked!

  • Pyketts on September 23, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    1) Cook 2) Root 3) Trott 4) Pietersen 5) Bell 6) Prior7) Stokes 8) Broad 9) Swann 10) Anderson 11) Finn

    Tremlett has been taken due to past performance (which I don't agree with) and would have taken Onions.

    Carburry is a strange selection and really not shown that he is test class (particulary after an average season in Div2). What has Taylor done to the selectors?!!

    Compton has no future in test cricket so I agree it wasn't worth taking him.

  • Cricfever_PM on September 23, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    England selected good squad for repeat Ashes, `but still they left out compton and selected carberry and balance!!! Bairtsaw have selected as backup keeper and he got another chance!! The bowling dept looks good!!! Once thing is Australia has to give some good fight to reclaim the ashes!!!

  • MartinC on September 23, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    Good squad if a little hard on Compton and Onions.

    I like the pick of Stokes ahead of Woakes but he is a 4th seamer at Test level not a 3rd seamer. He can only play if we drop a batsman, move Prior to 6 and pay Stokes at 7 IMO. Cant see that happening ...

  • on September 23, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Since they are sending Rankin, I cannot see the point of Tremlett in this squad, unless they think Tremlett can recover an extra yard of pace just by going to Australia. Onions would have provided a contrast in attack, and it is very hard lines on him. Equally, cannot see why they prefer Carberry to Compton (who has made as many hundreds for England as Carberry has in the past two years for Somerset, in division two). Root is not an opener, and needs to go back to the middle order, so it would have made sense to pick the man with the better credentials opening against the red bell. One has to conclude that the objections to Compton are not cricket-based, and run deeper than has been (or is likely to be) disclosed.

  • Iddo555 on September 23, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    @Brutal Analyst

    You seem to have rose tinted glasses when it comes to Carberry. He had a very average one day international series and has had a very average 4 day summer in domestic games. Average cricket in Division 2 does not warrant getting picked for the ashes, even if it is just to carry the drinks.

  • 2.14istherunrate on September 23, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    The more I think about this squad the more I think that for all its good points England have a massive problem with the openers The point of batting is to score RUNS. Cook is basically and anchor by nature. His position is not in question for obvious reasons. But the replacement of Compton who made partnerships with Cook, was largely about scoring rate. Compton slowed it all down to a level oif tedium which was totally unacceptable and duly got the boot. Root was seen as a faster scorer.HAHA. I do not know why we got that idea. The guy does not even attempt to score most of the time. He makes Compton look like Alec Stewart or Tres. They are persisting with the future I guess but I will emphasise now as Idi in the summer, that any half decent opener knows the value of a single and getting off strike so if I see any of that rigor mortis from Root I am just going to go on and on about it.Singles beats the hell out of dots. If he cannot get the score ticking over sack him.

  • 64blip on September 23, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    I wonder just how bad Root's form would have to be to be replaced in an Ashes test in Australia by a batsman who's played one test, three years ago, and managed two centuries in the last two seasons of Division 2 CC? They obviously really, really, really don't want Compton. So given that, who would you take as reserve opener?

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on September 23, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    Decent squad. Maybe a couple of changes could have been made, but on the whole the best players are there and the 2 best young talents in England (Ballance and Stokes) are in the squad.

    The last time Onions played for England, in a tour game out in New Zealand, he was utterly abysmal and was made to look pedestrian (1-131 in 22 overs and 0-82 in 16 overs!!!). You don't play on green tops in Test cricket....

    While the EPP serves its purpose, the constant chopping and changing in terms of selection is just ridiculous. The likes of Taylor and Woakes should be out in Australia this Winter. Don't waste time and money on Varun Chopra!!!

    As for the Durham fans asking for Borthwick or Stoneman, wake up! If you think Scott Borthwick is a better batsman than Vince, Lees, Robson etc. then you obviously don't watch any cricket!

  • SyedAreYouDumb on September 23, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    I don't know why everyone is talking about Compton being unlucky because he hasn't done anything of note except those 2 hundreds vs NZ on excellent batting surface and with plenty of time remaining. Also imo Root doesn't suit the top order and should stay at number 6. However Cook and Trott are woefully out of form and potentially a Ballance debut or a Carberry 2nd test? Otherwise the squad looks fine.

  • 1st_april on September 23, 2013, 17:09 GMT

    Root should not open , that is precisely why Compton was needed......Rankin should get a go ahead of Tremlett...due to momentum....with this squad....1.Cook , 2.Ballance , 3.Trott , 4.Pietersen , 5.Bell , 6.Root , 7.Prior , 8.Swann , 9.Broad , 10.Finn 11.Anderson......albeit in Perth we might see Finn <-> Rankin...

  • Go_F.Alonso on September 23, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Prefer Compton and Onions over Carberry and Tremlett. No such thing as September 31.

  • on September 23, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    decent squad but should have really left out stokes for onions as onions is the closest to what Anderson bowls like in England and is a variety to the tall bowlers. also bad luck for Compton and Taylor, those two have had fantastic domestic seasons in division one whereas carberry has been better in the one day format. And only one keeper is not smart, if prior breaks a finger in training then bairstow will have to keep entire series. ballance may be a good decision as he scored runs against the Australia a team for the lions

  • Puntav on September 23, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    Taylor's omission from both squads looks very strange. 1100 first class runs at 51 in his second season in the Top flight suggests he's got what it takes. Compton clearly is out of the reckoning altogether although how Carberry merits inclusion for the test matches is hard to understand. Top order was fragile at home and without a sudden recovery in form we may find ourselves few for three to often to retain the ashes.

  • BRUTALANALYST on September 23, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    I like Comton but I just knew after that last bizarrely slow Headingley knock( 7 from 45 balls) he would unlikely be back. The 5 knocks that preceded it were 12, 2, 16, 15 and 1 v a pretty inexperienced New Zealand attack but regardless of that and his 2 solid 100's it was this innings at Headingley which cost him his place. It's unfortunate I said before Ashes I'd still rather have him or Carbs opening ahead of Root as I thought it was all to much to soon for Root to open(still do). I guess given the quicker pitches and Carbs showing real fight more so than Root,Trott,KP v Johnson in this ODI series secured him his shot here (he also averages 65 for Lions) . I feel Onions left out is far bigger than Comton as he hasn't even been given a shot of late and was easily the best bowler in County cricket it seems the selectors are obsessed with the height factor and taking Tremlett as mental weapon due to past success. For me it is the harshest snub in a long long time !

  • SirViv1973 on September 23, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    I forgot to mention onions omission on my previous posts. I think he's unlucky but to be fair the writing was on the wall when he wasn't picked for the Durham test, so I'm not surprised he's not been picked here. To be honest had he been selected then he would only have been cover for jimmy & most likley he would have been doing what he did last winter, carrying drinks! You have to think guys such as Rankin, Finn & Tremlett are better suited to aus surfaces, so although his exclusion seems harsh It's probably common sense. At least onions will be getting some cricket in saf so if god forbid anything happens with jimmy he could still be called up.

  • on September 23, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    People seem to forget that Carberry was considered first reserve as opener before Compton. Then he (Carberry) suffered from a serious illness and Compton got his chance. So now, putting Carberry back above Compton, is showing some sort of logic. I'm not saying it's the right decision, but it does show some consistency. There is also the idea that a first three of Cook, Compton and Trott is a little too one-paced.

    Ignoring Onions shows that the selectors think that the Durham success in the CC simply showed that their pitches suited a certain sort of bowler, and that those bowlers would not get wickets in Australia. Onions had an outstanding season, but in the same XI as Rushworth who got 53 wickets at 21 each. Who has heard of Rushworth? The selectors feel that the seamers' wickets for Durham are not worth much, apparently, and a few inches of height are more important. It certainly seems to me that there are too many bowlers who look alike in th

  • on September 23, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    I don't agree that Onions and James Taylor are not selected, and Carberry's performance in the ODI's were pretty average so I think Compton deserves another go he did get back to back hundreads against new zealand. The ECB have been too hard on him with his exclusion

  • on September 23, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    so england are playing carberry for future planning? he is average at best and looked uncomfortable against medium pacers in odis. he is no test player. ballance cud be better player than root or bairstow. both have been average at best. rankin gets his chance to show his talents for england as ireland still have not gotten test status.hope english team cud win or draw series and retain ashes.but it gonna take big effort as australians may be mediocre away from home but in aus they are efficient.

  • on September 23, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    It is perfectly clear to me of one thing: Why is Grahame Onions not in the squad? What do they have against him? Yes Rankin is exciting but Onions is a proven performer every single time. Simply doesn't make any sense. Plus, everyone's saying Compton is better than Carberry: are you actually having me on? Carberry has been top class all year, but I'd still have taken James Vince (if you want to criticise that, check his record this year across all formats) or maybe Moen Ali. As for the regulars, I get so sick of people saying things about them. Each of them has a test hundred, each of them has more than one, each of them has averages up there with the best in this era....they're not machines: they cannot perform every single time they go out there. Only Bradman did that and he is the only one. So what if Cook and Trott had modest home summers? So what if Pietersen only gets a hundred in one of the 5 tests? We won the Ashes and haven't lost a test all summer. Time to get supportive

  • on September 23, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    A really good squad, but i'm shocked to see Carberry being preferred over Compton. Its really unfair!

  • Cubitt on September 23, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    A lot of people saying they are pleased that Stokes is in ahead of Waokes. Why? At this time Woakes is both the better batsmen and bowler. I can't see England using an all-rounder in anything other than a dead-rubber anyway so it would make more sense for me if England took another batsmen or bowler instead of an all-rounder. Surely Taylor or Onions have done more to deserve to be in the squad than Stokes? Im a fan of Stokes but he shouldn't be in the ashes squad ahead of some others. Not yet at least.

  • on September 23, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    Disappointed for Compton and Onions. I can't really see the need for four tall quicks, the only variety is Anderson. Onions should be there unless they are really confident that Bresnan will be fit to play a part. Compton is surely a better bet than Carberry for the 5 day game? And better than Root as an opener.

    I would also have gone for Davies as spare keeper - a far better player than Bairstow or Buttler at this stage of their careers. Bairstow probably got the nod for his usefulness in the outfield - where a spare keeper will play most of his cricket this tour. I am hoping that he doesn't get the No 6 slot - where I would like to see Stokes play. To be fair there is some merit in selecting support players (who are unlikely to play a test) partly on their fielding ability - perhaps another reason for Carberry getting in ahead of Compton? He and Bairstow will make good nos 12 & 13.

  • jackthelad on September 23, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    There are major problems with the England side, but they are not to do with the new choices; they are to do with the fact that Cook and Trott have underperformed against the Australian bowling attack, that Root (like Compton) has not consolidated his ability into consistence, that Pietersen is a match-winner but only when he wants to be, and that England have perhaps 2 /2 world class bowlers (Anderson, Swann and Broad sometimes). These are the real issues, and this odd set of selections haven't really addressed any of them.

  • cric_J on September 23, 2013, 14:32 GMT

    2) Onions yet again finds himself ignored after yet another commendable CC season. Agreed that he offers mild pace, relies a bit on lateral movement., is more of a swinger than seamer and thus not exactly a strike bowler on Aussie wkts, but what he sure does bring to the table is control, accuracy and "safety". Going by his CC season, I'm not sure if Tremlett, coming back after injury, will be able to get that sort of control and even pace or bounce (which is presumably one of the major reasons for his selection).

    3) Stokes' inclusion was the most surprising one for me and IMO the most baseless too. If the selectors wanted an all rounder just in case Bres doesn't recover in time (that's worrying me !), they could have chosen Woakes who IMO is a better batsman (regardless of the stats) and definitely a better bowler as well, not only in England but even in Australia.

    P.S. Monty was probably preferred solely due to his experience, which is the right way to go IMO.

  • on September 23, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    On the bright side, the Ashes debacle that this squad will bring forward might get rid of Geoff Miller and Ashley Giles from the set up.

  • Iddo555 on September 23, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    Carberry and Panesar are very lucky to be in and Onions and Compton are very unlucky not to be.

    There is no case whatsoever that Carberry deserves to be in that team ahead of Compton who has scored more runs in county cricket this year and in a higher division. It can't be about age either as Carberry is older and will be 33 by the time he lands in OZ. The decision is bizarre to me. If they don't like Compton then pick a kid, not a 33 yr old.

    Monty on and off the field has been poor this year, Tredwell should have gone instead of Monty

  • Anil_Koshy on September 23, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    Nick Compton should consider himself unlucky, he did nothing wrong in the limited opportunities he got, he is better than Bairstow, they should have opened with Cook and Compton with Root in the middle order.

  • cric_J on September 23, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    The ECB have done well to select a strong squad, barring a few undeserving but certainly not unexpected selections.

    The good bits first :

    1) Delighted for Ballance who has done exceedingly well in CC this season. Also,the Aussie pitches should be suitable for his style of batting with the ball nicely coming onto the bat, that is if he gets a test at all.

    2) Rankin, with his height and pace should be able to extract the max. out of the pitches. If he can maintain his line and control consistently, we may see some really testing spells from the big lad.

    The poor bits now :

    1) Why Carbs was preferred over Compton despite having a modest season in CC and a poor outing in ODIs is beyond me ! Nick surely did deserve a chance here. IMO he did a decent job in his 9 tests as opener and as of yet, the Compo-Cook opening combo was seemingly more successful than Root-Cook (though I expect Joe to improve).

    (contd...)

  • on September 23, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    A solid squad, but...

    It seems that Compton and Taylor are the faces that don't fit. Compton had a good red-ball season, better than Carberry, but bizarrely drops behind him in the pecking order. Meanwhile James Taylor is in and around the squad all summer, but suddenly gets leapfrogged by Ballance at the final hurdle. Strangely inconsistent for a selection panel that pride themselves in giving people a proper chance, such as the one Joe Root is currently benefitting from.

    Bowling wise, England's uncertainty over which "tall, back of a length" bowler is up to the rigours of an Ashes series has cost poor, old Graham Onions. If they had any real faith in one of Finn, Tremlett or Rankin, they wouldn't have hedged their best by selecting all three and the most deserving of all the fringe seamers, Onions, would be joining the party. His ommision, despite being consistently the best county bowler, means England's attack will very one-dimensional if Jimmy Anderson gets an injury.

  • The_Millinator on September 23, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    I have sympathy for Onions given his county form and the fact that he would give Cook a different sort of option. Tremlett isn't in flying form, but if he does get a chance to play maybe he can rediscover his nip that troubled the Aussies down under last time.

    Stokes is an interesting call, a good one for the future but it's noteworthy that they also picked Ballance, suggesting that they (like me) aren't convinced that Stokes is a Test match number 6. Personally I feel James TAyloy is unlucky not to get the nod, but Ballance is a very talented player.

    Nick Compton must be gutted that Carberry was picked. Compton's 1st class record is much better, and he has 2 Test 100s to his name. Carberry is a more aggressive option for sure, maybe that's the reasonig behind it. Monty is the right call, he's a better bowler than Kerrigan or Tredwell, end of story.

    Finally, I'm delighted for Big Boyd though as an Irishman myself England's gain is very much Ireland's loss. I wish him all the best.

  • on September 23, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    I feel sorry for Nick Compton who was first choice as Cook's opening partner a year ago and has somehow dropped behind Carberry and Root - despite arguably having a better red ball summer than either. I imagine England will stubbornly persist with Root and, although he has a big career ahead, I feel he'd be more effective at number 6 for now. Hopefully he finds his feet at the top of the order quicker than I predict. It seems Taylor and Compton are the faces that don't fit, with Ballance leapforgging the other middle order contenders.

    Bowling wise, I'm gutted for Onions. He may benefit from helpful Durham tracks, but is consisntly the best county bowler and his numbers are superb. If Anderson gets injured, then England's attack will be very one-dimensional. In picking Rankin, Finn and Tremlett, they show their uncertainty about all three. If they truly believed in one of them, they wouldn't have hedged their bets in taking them all. All good bowlers, but all 3 in the squad is odd.

  • Ozcricketwriter on September 23, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    The first 11 that are likely to play in the 1st test, with Finn and Bairstow surely there, are a pretty solid outfit, and, while Ballance has a good first class record, he is a fairly big risk at the big time, while Carberry just doesn't look test quality to me. I would have preferred to have seen the proven performers Compton and Buttler, both in great form, to fill those two backup batting roles in case of injury or loss of form to the mainstays. I don't mind Panesar as the backup spinner but I wonder about the wisdom of picking Rankin as the backup pacer when surely Onions would be a better option. As for the bits and pieces all rounder Ben Stokes, I just don't see the point to having one. If you don't have a genuine all rounder then leave that spot vacant. Hopefully he makes way if and when Bresnan returns. Generally, this is a very weak side, I feel. All it will take are a couple of injuries (cue Mitchell Johnson bouncers) and it falls to pieces.

  • wigs666 on September 23, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    It is a good squad , but you've really got to feel for Onions. He averaged 17 with the ball in the County Championship, for the champion side. I don't think I need add anymore. I would have liked to have seen Woakes in the squad, but I am a massively biased Warwickshire fan, and three Bears is isn't bad I suppose. I'm glad they've picked Monty. He's had a rum time of it of late, but he is still a quality player. Whatever troubles he's been having in his personal life, hopefully the faith shown by the selectors here will benefit him both on the field and off it.

  • CapitalMarkets on September 23, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    Completely agree with SDH12 about Stokes being perceived as a fourth seamer and all-rounder who has been selected on the understanding that Bresnan is unavailable, at least until Christmas. I would move Prior up from No 7 to No 6 and insert Stokes in at No 7. Prior is due a score and the tail need to get used to hanging around whilst one of the top seven are there. Of course, they can have some fun when the top seven are gone. I'd play Broad, Swann, Anderson and Rankin at 8 to 11 and Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen and Bell as the five specialist batsmen. In my view, Stokes is as good as Bairstow was and Prior is versatile enough to play conservatively if needed. Australian Summers are hotter than English ones and four bowlers sending down twenty something overs a day is NOT an option; we need five. Anderson is vital to England and must NOT be overbowled, as he was this Summer; he MUST be limited to six or seven overs at a time. if Rankin bats, he must be taught to play straighter!

  • zstocka on September 23, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    really depressing that England played net bowlers in the fifth test (Woakes and Kerrigan) and still nearly beat us! Not suprised they are gone. I think the pitches here in Aus will make for more watchable cricket all round. Hopefully everyone on both sides can stay (or get) fit.

  • Oldpunk on September 23, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    Do we really need Finn, Tremlett and Rankin in the same squad? I can't imagine us playing 2 of these 3 in the same Test match. I think Tremlett can consider himself very lucky. Bresnan will be missed if he doesn't recover. Great depth in fast bowlers, but no depth in batting, keeping or spin. Compton should have been in the squad. Must be some heavy politics re Compton. If England can keep their best 11 on the field, then they will win 2-1.

  • Wayne_Larkins_Barnet on September 23, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    Leaving out Compton is silly, he's the best opener in the country other than Cook. Root is not an opening batsman, I don't think he's a test batsman at all. This squad looks like one that will get a thrashing in Australia, a right hiding. Australia will dominate this series.

  • landl47 on September 23, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    The first surprise for me was the size of the squad. I'm guessing that they don't think Bresnan will be fit, or why take 5 specialist seamers plus Stokes? If they add Bresnan there will be 18 and they won't all get any sort of game, let alone a test. On the last tour, England gave its preferred XI almost all the playing time in the warm-up games as well as the tests and I imagine they'll do the same thing here.

    The surprise choices were Carberry and Tremlett, neither of whom has much FC form to fall back on. Tremlett is ideal for Aus conditions, but so is Rankin, so that seems one skyscraper too many. Carbs is a good team man, but he has limited experience at this level (1 test v. Bangla) or in Aus.

    I didn't think Compton would be picked and Onions, despite his Durham form, doesn't seem well-suited to Aus conditions. I am surprised Woakes didn't get a shot, but Stokes is the golden child at the moment. Ballance is brilliant, glad to see him there.

  • jmcilhinney on September 23, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    I'm still fairly confident that Root will find his feet at the top of the order but I still don't really see the logic in picking Carberry over Compton.

  • on September 23, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    Interesting squad, particularly the seam attack. I'm really quite surprised that England are not taking Onions, without he or Bresnan there is really a lack of a 'safe' third seamer in my view. Finn, Tremlett and Rankin could all be quite devastating if they are on song, but neither of Finn nor Tremlett have been lately and Rankin is an unknown quantity to some extent.

    That aside its a strong looking squad, though quite how Carberry has found a place is beyond me and everyone else too it would seem! If Aus can continue to expose Root on a good length it is going to be very intriguing.

  • njr1330 on September 23, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    Have spoken to some of my Liverpool CC mates....we are by no means convinced that Tremlett would get a bowl in our 3rd team!

  • on September 23, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    Tremlett is not the same bowler since he underwent surgery Onions could have been a better choice. This ashes could be the end of Bairstow unless he produces something extraordinary... Apart from these 2 the squad looks good

  • venkatesh018 on September 23, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    So, ECB has finished Graham Onions' career. What a waste of talent? If quality, performing players are ignored for National honors so unjustifiably, then why blame cricketers for choosing the riches of T20 leagues at the cost of Test cricket?

  • CapitalMarkets on September 23, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Jordan is exactly the sort of raw young talent that should go with the developing squad, as are Woakes and Taylor. Personally I think Carberry is lucky to go with the main squad as I regard him and Taylor as not having made a convincing case to go. Compton's attitude completely deselects him, I'm afraid. Anyone who has actually played the game in a side which includes a petulant individual (particularly a gifited one) will understand exactly what I'm saying. Personal ambition and aspiration are acceptable; egotism, a complete lack of humility, negativity and sour grapes are not.

    Onions is an engaging individual who is simply unlucky to be around when there are at least three fast bowlers who are fit and regarded as better alternatives. It's desperately difficult to be a well paid nets bowler with no realistic prospect of test match cricket.

  • SDHM on September 23, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Stokes IS seen as a genuine all-rounder - I think England were getting overs into his legs in the ODI series, as well as backing his bowling and giving him confidence. It's worth pointing out he missed a season's worth of bowling last year thanks to a finger injury, so, quite wisely, I think England were trying to give him as much bowling as possible. He is not in contention as a straight up seamer. He is there as a genuine option for no.6 or 7.

  • pardo on September 23, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    Suspect that Onions wouldn't be as effective in Oz as he would have been in England (where he should have played instead of Bresnan) but still, I would have been inclined to take him - Finn and Broad are capable of brilliant performances - but also of dishing up dross. Rankin is interesting but inexperienced. Either way I'd like Onions there to provide some security in case one of the 2nd/3rd bowlers has an off day. Although, that would mean playing Prior at 6 which wouldn't have worked this summer.

    Feel for Compton but don't think he is mentally relaxed enough to cope with test cricket. Not sure about Root as an opener (would be a cert at 6) but he probably edges Compton/Carberry in the absence of a better alternative.

    Let's hope Swann stays injury free! Not much to chose between 3,4,5 choice seamers but 1st and 2nd choice spinner is a big difference.

  • on September 23, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    @Som Dutta and ShanTheFanOfSachin. Do you have information that suggests that the England selectors went to these countries and recruited these "foreign" players. If not are you then saying that if I grew up in and attended school in your country I cannot be selected to represent you in cricket because I was not born there. Get over it gentlemen we are living in the modern world. Oh you don't believe me. Then check the winner of the latest Miss America beauty contest.

  • brusselslion on September 23, 2013, 12:57 GMT

    I can only think that Bairstow is in as reserve WK. He certainly doesn't deserve to go based on his batting.

    I championed Carberry over Compton for the tour to India last series, but I think that Compton has been very harshly treated. He had a decent tour of India, a good tour to NZ but was left out on the basis of a poor couple of games against NZ at home. Compton's also done pretty well in the CC this season: He and Taylor must really be in someone's bad books.

    Elsewhere, Balance? Who knows? Tremlett is maybe a bit lucky to be in. There was no alternative to Monty as 2nd spinner, although going really left-field, Borthwick might have been an idea.

    Would like to see Stokes bat at 6 or 7 which would give us a 5 man attack.

  • ThirteenthMan on September 23, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    Broad, Rankin, Finn and Tremlett are all tall and quick. I imagine that is why they are all in ahead of Onions, whose county performances would make him almost automatic.

  • Nutcutlet on September 23, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    Maybe not left field, but certainly left-handed, Mr Miller! I like Carberry getting his chance quite late in his career - just reward for consistent performances & with the security of being on tour, the confidence of being included will get the best from him, should he get his opportunity at the top level. Ballance's inclusion should raise no eyebrows; he has had a tremendous summer in a resurgent Yorkshire side. Tremlett can count himself lucky & he's got his form in the 2010-11 Ashes to thank for his inclusion (that, and Bresnan's injury), probably more than anything he's done this summer. Whether he can recapture the rapture of that tour is something that the selectors must be hoping for: Rankin has to start ahead of him, I think. So, with Monty being given a chance of psychological rehab on tour (is a counsellor now part of the back-up team?) & things otherwise 'steady as you go', Capt Cook & his confident men go forth to navigate their way to a successful retention of the Ashes.

  • on September 23, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Bairstow the second best keeper/batsman. I don't think so.

  • bobmartin on September 23, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Why this obsession with Bairstow...He is nothing better than an average keeper and a less-than reliable #6.. Onions must wonder what he has to do to get a sniff of being included and as for the kick in the guts for Compton... best that's left unsaid... Carberry.... well he's proved a bit of a flash in the pan in the longer game and Tremlett hasn't actually set the county scene on fire this year. It all sounds very hit and miss to me.. I just hope the core players are on form and don't get injured..

  • ruester on September 23, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    Boring guys, another non English born player blah, blah, blah. Get over it, if a player commits to England or is schooled in England and has made his way in our system and is eligible to play then let him. Don't moan please, plenty of other sports do the very same thing, Australia rugby for an example.

  • CapitalMarkets on September 23, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    I agree with Michael Atherton in today's Times (newspaper) that Stokes should play at No 6 to give England a five man bowling attack. Australian Summers are hot and England have two of their shoe-in bowlers well over thirty. If Bresnan is unfit, Stokes is a player with a lot more upside potential than Bairstow or Root at No 6. We've already seen this Summer what happens when Anderson gets overbowled.

    Some players should be aware they are there as cover for others. Thus Bairstow covers Prior, Carberry covers Cook/Root, Panesar covers Swann and Tremlett/Finn covers Broad and Rankin who is the most potent of the Tremlett/Finn/Rankin combination. England should have tested Rankin in the fifth test this summer, as slow bowlers won't win the series in Australia.

    I agree that Onions is terribly unlucky to be at his best when there are four bowlers higher in the pecking order. It's a bit like being MacGill when Warne was in his pomp. Compton's poor attitude deselects him; he's not unlucky.

  • AJS007 on September 23, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    who knows after the ASHES either Matt Prior, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Kevin Pietersen quit international cricket or ECB drop them for the next series.

  • Buckers97 on September 23, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    My England squad would look like this; Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Stokes, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Onions, Rankin, Ballance, Compton, Taylor, Kerrigan and Buttler

  • 512fm on September 23, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    Really disappointed that Onions continues to get ignored. If I were to choose between Finn, Rankin and him he would be my first choice, I think people forget Finn bowled so badly in the first test he was discarded. I would be a bit worried if I was England with their back up seamers should anyone get injured.

  • on September 23, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    I'd have taken Bopara ahead of Bairstow, easily (though I realise technically they need a reserve keeper). Compton has had a rough deal - there must be more to it behind the scenes. Otherwise pretty good squad.

  • MarkTaffin on September 23, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    In the treatment of Compton and Onions there seems to be a vicious unpleasantness that indicates a behind the scenes ruthlessness from Miller and Flower which is in no way reflected by the on-field powder-puff performances of the team(with the exception of Broady's tantrums) and the negativity of the captain????

  • Robster1 on September 23, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    Carberry - long term planning ?! The guy's in his mid thirties already and hardly set the four day county game alive this season. Shame for Zimbabwe as of course Balance should be representing them. What happened to the usual 16 man squad - why are England now effectively up to 18?

  • 2.14istherunrate on September 23, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    It is interesting rather than thrilling as a squad. The selectors have stuck with Bairstow, and chosen Balance of whom I know nothing at all over players I do know such as Taylor, Bopara, Morgan. The intentions of the selectors are clear-bomb Australia. The tallest attack ever assembled will surely have the groundsmen dousing down the pitches so they are slower than usual. I hope Bresnan recovers and can be added as a shorter bowler for Melbourne. I understand why is not in the party though as bowlers recoveruing from injury seldom have good tours. No Onions is rough but fits in with the logic. Carberry is presumably there because if he does not play he will nevertheless be a great spare fielder as needed. They do not expect Root to fail though. Sensibly they have put cricket over social ability and picked Monty-at least he is a Test bowler. I like Stokes and Rankin-they could be big down the line. It just requires everyone to play well and the future will be bright.

  • Munkeymomo on September 23, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    Very harsh on Compton. I'll agree Carbs has deserved to be in the mix for an opening slot for years but Compton has found much success this year in a low-table club in a higher division. Glad to see Tremlett included, I hope he can get back to what he was pre-injury.

  • yorkshire-86 on September 23, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    Carberry plays, England might as well play with ten. He is that bad.

  • on September 23, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    Take your best side POMS you will have a tough time down under for sure !

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on September 23, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    Absolutely gut-wrenching for Compton and Onions. How on Earth these two guys have been lefty out for the likes of Carberry and Stokes is ridiculous. The experiment to have Joe Root opening was hardly a rip-roaring success last Ashes in home conditions; is it likely to work in Australia? I doubt it! Compton back opening with Cook and Root down in the middle is what I was hoping for.

    Historically, the only venue where teams have toyed with the idea of two spinners is Sydney. Even there, I expect any second spinner to be as much use as a chocolate tea-pot on this tour for England.

  • SirViv1973 on September 23, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Re the bowlers. I'm pleased that Woakes hasn't made it. I hope that Stokes selection is more about giving him experience around the squad. I think the problem with him at the moment is that although his bowling is pretty good, he isn't good enough to bat 6. Some may argue that Prior could step up to 6 which would allow BS to bat at 7, but it has to be remembered that Siddle had the wood on Prior in the series here & if it's the same in Aus & we are finding ourselves 30-3 as we did so often then we are going to be in trouble. Besides I don't think Stokes is really any better a batsman than Bresnan yet so if Prior did move up it would be more beneficial to have Bres at 7 who is a proven test performer in Aus conditions. I'm not surprised they've gone with Monty as the 2nd spinner. The selection of Kerrigan was impossible after what happened at the Oval, Treadwell had a lean season with the red ball & Borthwick is still too raw.

  • on September 23, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    Tremlett and Carberry are not good selections-if only because of their ages. Bairstow is a bit dodgy too-team is easy to pick except thenumber 6 batsman and third seamer-cant see Stokes playing yet-but he will if he re invents his batting a bit. Any way up we will win the series with any combination put out.

  • on September 23, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    England very heavy with middle order. Why compton is ignored? its injustice and very bad... England must not rely upon outsiders now. Why not Onions and Compton in place of Rankin and Ballance?

  • on September 23, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    Bairstow is work in progress and i believe he will come good as a batsmen and eventually as a keeper (Prior won't be playing for too much longer in my view). This current England system should be credited with developing players rather than chopping and changing. Ian Bell was given that chance as was Paul Colingwood to think of two examples. I also remember when Steve Waugh first played test cricket; he was rubbish!

  • on September 23, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    Bloody-minded determination by the selectors not to admit they made a mistake, The exclusion of Compton is a disgrace. How many of the great players of the past have scored 2 100s and a fifty in their first 8 tests. Root should never have been promoted to open, and Carberry isn't up to it. Onions is another one to have been shabbily treated. Buttler is a far better long-term prospect than Bairstow. Typical inflexibility. Only positive note, the inclusion of Panesar, who is not the only England player to have urinated inappropriately recently.

  • Iddo555 on September 23, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    Carberry has had a very average season in division 2 this year. I'm not sure he deserves his place. If I was Compton I would feel very hard done to. Panesar can count himself very lucky after the season he has had both on the field and off it. Onions has to be the most unlucky player this year, fantastic seaon for Durham and doesn't make the squad

  • Reececonrad on September 23, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    Poor Onions, this guy has been the top wicket taker for two years in row in first class cricket, think about that... Best bowler in the county circuit for two years straight... What must he do to deserve a place in the england squad??? Rankin and stokes haven't taken as many wickets as him combined in the last two years? Good to see Ballance and Carberry in the squad both deserve to be there. You can't actually rationalize with the decision to include Stokes and Rankin purely on one day form. Honestly has no-one learnt from Doherty??? Bairstow needs work more on his glove work before being brought as a back up keeper,although he is still a good future prospect.

  • on September 23, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    5-0 to England? It would have been easily 3-1 for Australia in the recent Ashes. Rain & DRS will not save ENG forever. Get ready with the excuses for losing down in Australia :)

  • Cyril_Knight on September 23, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    Absolutely disgusted with the selection of Tremlett the Trundler, what has he been rewarded for, walking to the wicket and bowling down the leg side?

    He must have really shone in those training sessions with England, which make his non-performances for Surrey all the more disappointing. If he didn't shine and they have picked him on "faith" that is just wrong and if he bowls anything like he did this season he could well lose England a Test match.

    He is just not the same bowler, in pace, accuracy, effort, desire and heart. Anyone who has seen Tremlett's go slow this season will be baffled by this pick.

  • topeleven on September 23, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Compton is neglected for no fault of him.... He is much more technically and mentally strong than Carberry or Root..... Root is a fluent player but asking him to open is a big thing which might spoil his game plan..... Boyd Ranking is a good choice....

    Except the selection of Carberry and Bairstow the team selection is fair

  • on September 23, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    Astonished that they continue to overlook Graham Onions. Pity about Compton too. His face clearly doesn't fit the current set up. Let's hope England don't miss his application on less than ideal wickets.

  • Sachit1979 on September 23, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    English team looks very settled but I am really excited to see how Aussies counter attack. I think Rogers, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Siddle, Faulkner and Harris would be certain. But slot for 2 batsmen, 1 wicket keeper and 1 spinner bowler still looks open.

  • on September 23, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    Why are Taylor and Woakes not even in the development squad?

  • on September 23, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    Quite a few selections that only make sense if one assumes the players selected will not play at all, a very strange selection policy indeed... Carberry is not a test opener and never will be, so what do England do if Root who failed to convince as an opener this summer continues to fail? Would they rather botch a temporary solution than eat humble pie by recalling Compton, a genuine and tried test opener? What if Anderson breaks down? Do they expect Onions to fly out eagerly after this snub? With Bresnan's injury, Ben Stokes has to play as a bowling all-rounder but a batsman will have to make way for him which will result in a substantial weakening of the side.

    I can't help but feel that the only people cheering this England Ashes squad are the Australians and the fans of certain players selected. Too many things can go wrong for this to be considered a good squad, well-ballanced and well-chosen.

  • Iddo555 on September 23, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    No way Carberry should be in, his first class record is poor and he showed nothing in the ODI's either. I'd have had Onions rather than Tremlett too. Tremlett hasn't done enough recently.

    Compton has been robbed

  • John-Price on September 23, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    17 plus Bresnan - 18 man squad suggests indecision.

  • Bucky77 on September 23, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    Can't understand why Bairstow is included. Neither his batting or keeping are yet up to Test standard. And with Carberry and Ballance in, there plenty of batting cover. Surely he would be better off with the Lions squad?

  • crockit on September 23, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    I guess the thinking was that Carberry had done just enough in ODIs to be the 3rd opener. Ballance is a perfectly reasonable selection. Bowling wise this is too rough on Onions who has had superb season albeit a lot of it on spicy pitches. It is also not the right strategy - England will go in with Broad, Anderson and Bresnan if fit and do not need all the back up quicks to be tall. Tremlett or even Finn could have missed out

  • RednWhiteArmy on September 23, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    5-0 to England, of that there can be no doubt.

  • Jesinthan on September 23, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    For the first test I would put: 1) Alastair Cook 2) Joe Root 3) Jonathan Trott 4) Kevin Pietersen 5) Ian Bell 6) Gary Ballance 7) Matt Prior 8) Stuart Broad 9) Graeme Swann 10) Chris Tremlett/Boyd Rankin 11) James Anderson

  • Jesinthan on September 23, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    For the first test I would put: 1) Alastair Cook 2) Joe Root 3) Jonathan Trott 4) Kevin Pietersen 5) Ian Bell 6) Gary Ballance 7) Matt Prior 8) Stuart Broad 9) Graeme Swann 10) Chris Tremlett/Boyd Rankin 11) James Anderson

  • RednWhiteArmy on September 23, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    5-0 to England, of that there can be no doubt.

  • crockit on September 23, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    I guess the thinking was that Carberry had done just enough in ODIs to be the 3rd opener. Ballance is a perfectly reasonable selection. Bowling wise this is too rough on Onions who has had superb season albeit a lot of it on spicy pitches. It is also not the right strategy - England will go in with Broad, Anderson and Bresnan if fit and do not need all the back up quicks to be tall. Tremlett or even Finn could have missed out

  • Bucky77 on September 23, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    Can't understand why Bairstow is included. Neither his batting or keeping are yet up to Test standard. And with Carberry and Ballance in, there plenty of batting cover. Surely he would be better off with the Lions squad?

  • John-Price on September 23, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    17 plus Bresnan - 18 man squad suggests indecision.

  • Iddo555 on September 23, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    No way Carberry should be in, his first class record is poor and he showed nothing in the ODI's either. I'd have had Onions rather than Tremlett too. Tremlett hasn't done enough recently.

    Compton has been robbed

  • on September 23, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    Quite a few selections that only make sense if one assumes the players selected will not play at all, a very strange selection policy indeed... Carberry is not a test opener and never will be, so what do England do if Root who failed to convince as an opener this summer continues to fail? Would they rather botch a temporary solution than eat humble pie by recalling Compton, a genuine and tried test opener? What if Anderson breaks down? Do they expect Onions to fly out eagerly after this snub? With Bresnan's injury, Ben Stokes has to play as a bowling all-rounder but a batsman will have to make way for him which will result in a substantial weakening of the side.

    I can't help but feel that the only people cheering this England Ashes squad are the Australians and the fans of certain players selected. Too many things can go wrong for this to be considered a good squad, well-ballanced and well-chosen.

  • on September 23, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    Why are Taylor and Woakes not even in the development squad?

  • Sachit1979 on September 23, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    English team looks very settled but I am really excited to see how Aussies counter attack. I think Rogers, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Siddle, Faulkner and Harris would be certain. But slot for 2 batsmen, 1 wicket keeper and 1 spinner bowler still looks open.

  • on September 23, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    Astonished that they continue to overlook Graham Onions. Pity about Compton too. His face clearly doesn't fit the current set up. Let's hope England don't miss his application on less than ideal wickets.