The Ashes 2013-14

Root most likely solution for No. 3

David Hopps

November 26, 2013

Comments: 136 | Text size: A | A

Joe Root pushes one to the off side, Australia A v England, Hobart, 4th day, November 9, 2013
Joe Root could be set for a move back up the England batting order © Getty Images
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Joe Root is the likeliest solution to England's issue of who will bat No. 3 in the second Test in Adelaide after Jonathan Trott's return to England with a stress-related illness.

One of the less remarked upon aspects of the first Test in Brisbane was Root's confident display amid the wreckage of England's second innings as he batted confidently for around two hours and, just as markedly, seemed to enjoy the contest.

England's temptation to retain Root at No. 6, in the recognition that he has looked most settled down the order during his fledgling Test career, is offset by their conviction that they do not want to promote Ian Bell from his spot at No. 5 where he has produced some of the most gifted innings of his Test career.

With Kevin Pietersen also loath to bat at No. 3 and two reserve batsmen in Gary Ballance and Jonny Bairstow who would only come into consideration down the order, it is Root who could be asked to prove his adaptability once more in what is fast becoming a trip around England's batting order. It is fortunate that he expresses his relaxed attitude to batting everywhere because that is likely to be his fate.

Flower responded to a question about Bell's settled form at No. 5 by saying: "Moving him around the order might not be ideal. But then the Trott incident, we could not foresee that. Root played superbly towards the end of that first Test. He showed what a good, young, mature man he is and a very fine player, so he would be capable of doing the job. But we haven't made that decision yet. There are a number of candidates."

Former England captains have mixed views: Michael Atherton has called for Root to fill the role; Nasser Hussain for Bell.

England arrived in Alice Springs on Tuesday for a two-day fixture against a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI at Traegar Park. As they lost one rock - the description often used for Trott by the team director Andy Flower - they plan to visit another, no trip to the Northern Territory's interior being complete without a visit to Uluru/Ayers Rock. Well, some will visit anyway: they have gathered a quorum, comprising some players and management staff.

Tim Bresnan has not made the trip. He is poised to play for the England Performance Programme team in a three-day match against Queensland 2nd XI in Brisbane, beginning on Wednesday, in an effort to prove his recovery from a stress fracture in his back which has sidelined him since the fourth Test win against Australia in Chester-le-Street in August when England won the Ashes.

It would be a gamble to pitch Bresnan into the Ashes series after so little cricket, but there is no easy way to solve that, and if England decide to replace Chris Tremlett, who was relatively economical at the Gabba but well down on pace, Bresnan could be in the mix with Steve Finn and Boyd Rankin, although the fact that England's bowling coach, David Saker, has not stayed behind in Brisbane to watch him might be a clue about his chances. News of seven wickets might have to arrive via the bush telegraph.

With England 1-0 down in the series - and Adelaide traditionally representing one of England's better opportunities (albeit, a drop-in pitch makes its character harder to judge) - there have also been a few calls already for Ben Stokes to bat at No. 6 in Adelaide, so giving England an extra bowler. After the batting trauma in Brisbane, it would be an out-of-character gamble for England to take.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2013, 11:04 GMT)

England should play James Taylor. he has a good future in England team.The XI should look; 1.Cook 2.Carberry 3.JamesTaylor 4.Pietersen 5.Bell 6.Root 7.Bairstow (wk) 8.Broad 9.Swann 10.Anderson 11.Rankin. England must omit Prior and Tremlett.

Australia must play with 1.Warner 2.Watson 3.Hughes 4.Clarke 5.Bailey 6.faulkner 7. Haddin (wk) 8.Johnson 9.Harris 10.Siddle 11.Lyon. Omit Rogers and Smith. Australia dont want to relay on Rogers, instead of they can generate new players like ferguson, for the future.

Posted by whofriggincares on (November 29, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

@rednwhitearmy, If you are right and we only win 1 out of the next 10 , gee I hope it is another ashes win by 380 odd. Looking like fish out of water, stepping out of the line of the ball,complaining to the umps about short pitched stuff, mental disintegration and heavy heavy losses now that is pathetic. Reminds me of how England used to be during our decade and a half of domination. Whitewashes , scared batsmen, our spinner outbowling yours, reminding you of those glorious days gone by?

Posted by kensohatter on (November 29, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

England must achieve 3 things in adelaide. 1. The MUST win - Australia will more than likely take Perth especially if they go there 2-0 up. Adelaide, Melb and Sydney all suit the poms so if they play to their strengths the should still go home with the urn. 2. They must dent Johnsons confidence... This means getting him cheaply with the bat and with plans in place to put him under early pressure with the ball. He wont have the assistance he had at the gabba from the bouncy wicket. MJ without bounce is ripe for the picking. 3. The bowlers must re establish themselves as world class performers to prove to australia that the gabba was a mere blip on an otherwise impressive record

Posted by brisCricFan on (November 29, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

I don't know much about Stokes or Ballance (we don't hear much about them here) but Stokes was out cheap in the tour match against a third string Aus XI that includes a 16yo up-and-comer. Ballance looks set to make 50 but this bowling line-up can't even make State selection which speaks volumes... BTW Eng are 4/130 with Root, Carberry and Prior all gone cheaply also.

Bresnan is a quality bowler but his recent hit out for EPP is against a Qld 2nd XI so keep it in perspective... and even then the batsmen facing him said he is a quality bowler under-prepared... I wouldn't be rushing him into Adelaide unless it is a do or die match as far as Eng are concerned.

I also noted that at the MCG the home side were just dismissed for 118 so looks like that pitch will provide yet another result this season.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (November 28, 2013, 23:43 GMT)

1. Cook 2. Carberry 3. Root 4. Pietersen 5. Bell 6. Prior 7. Broad 8. Bresnan 9. Swann 10 Anderson 11 Finn/Rankin (whoever's got the best bouncer)

Posted by Jaffa79 on (November 28, 2013, 19:52 GMT)

England need to be bold at Adelaide - which they won't! I do think that MJ is bowling consistently for once and as such I am not sure we'll have the firepower at Perth. However, we should play to our strengths and I can see England doing well at Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. At Adelaide, we need to win and although the Aussies seemed pumped up after Brisbane, they have only won once in a blue moon and still have a very suspect batting order. England need 5 bowlers as Adelaide is a road, so Stokes should come in. I know his batting is way off Test quality at the moment but I think we should gamble and try to inject come attacking intent into our team. I'd also pick Bres at Adelaide and perhaps Finn or Rankin at Perth.

Posted by pat_one_back on (November 28, 2013, 19:05 GMT)

Where are all the Eng fans who bemoaned Clarke hiding down at 5??? Nothong to say? No I didn't think so. Is there anything FFL has ever said that Eng haven't yet proven to be baseless nonsense. No, I think they've covered everything now!

Posted by Harlequin. on (November 28, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

@brusselslion - agree with pretty much all of that, although I will add that there are advantages and disadvantages for either Bell or Root at 3. Bell is a solid player now, but has only proven that at 5. Given his history with the mental side of things, could he handle the psychological aspect of batting 1st drop? For Root, plenty of potential yes, but if he bats like he did in the home series then it will be disastrous for him and the team.

I'd have Balance in at 6. I don't think Stokes' bowling would be used (too expensive), and what's a batting line-up without balance? *groan

Posted by disco_bob on (November 28, 2013, 10:13 GMT)

Everyone is expecting a bounce back from England but, I don't think that is going to happen due to the weight of expectation. Bell couldn't cope with the pressure to be the saviour in Brisbane, Prior is shot and Anderson's heroics in the home series seem to have knocked the stuffing out of him. Plus it looks like they are going to do their best to put a bit of pace into the drop in pitch. It will be interesting to see how Lyon performs compared to how he played when Faf played that monumental innings.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (November 28, 2013, 8:26 GMT)

Australia will win 1 of their next 10 games. pathetic.

Posted by Buckers97 on (November 28, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

They should play Stokes. Not at three though. The XI should look; 1.Cook 2.Carberry 3.Root 4.Pietersen 5.Bell 6.Stokes 7.Bairstow (wk) 8.Broad 9.Swann 10.Anderson 11.Panesar. The two spinners will give them lots of overs on a pitch that will not suit seamers (or any bowler for that matter) so they don't have to overbowl Broad, Anderson and Stokes, saving them for Perth. And if Stokes goes alright, then he's had his test and they then should play him at Perth alongside; Broad, Finn, Anderson and Swann. Also, Prior needs to be dropped. He is there as a wicketkeeper-batsman and he is not 100% in both departments ATM

Posted by dunger.bob on (November 28, 2013, 5:07 GMT)

It wouldn't surprise me if we see dudes drafted in from England's development squad if the series goes the way we Aussies hope. Not that there's anything fundamentally wrong with that. Just saying.

I'm actually keeping my powder dry until we've actually won the series, or at least can't be caught. As it stands at the moment we still have a mountain of work to do and I'll say this much for England. They're not exactly mugs and we shouldn't be getting ahead of ourselves. .. We would be well advised to go all cliche. .. you know, one ball at a time, one session at a time, one test at a time until we've actually beaten the buggers. .. Again, just saying.

Posted by CricketCoachDB on (November 28, 2013, 2:11 GMT)

@Arjun Calidas, RE: Varun Chopra, I agree entirely. But they don't seem to rate him. Despite his superb form for the A team in Australia last year and his consistently great County Championship form. He even played superbly in Sri Lanka in the domestic competition the other year-he's got it all!

Posted by brusselslion on (November 27, 2013, 12:05 GMT)

My tuppenceworth: Root at #3. Balance/ Stokes at #6; can't make my mind up. Can't believe that I'm about to write this, but Bairstow as WK at #7. Prior is so hopelessly out of form that Bairstow can't do any worse. Replace Tremlett with Finn; the latter may be expensive but he does take wickets and we need to win.

Given a free hand: Compton at #3, Root remains at 6 and Foster/ Davies as WK. Maybe in the next series?

Posted by milepost on (November 27, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

Root can't play cricket, it's not his calling. How many matches has he played for the average you tout as higher than the Aussies?

Posted by JG2704 on (November 27, 2013, 10:08 GMT)

@jb633 on (November 26, 2013, 21:57 GMT) Sorry bud but have to disagree with you and agree with others on this one. Kholi has so far not shown consistency in the test arena. I'd say the runs , in the situations he came in and against the bowlers he was facing in the series vs SA say enough. He may have had a bad series vs India but does that make him a bad batsman.Difficult to compare players but the 2 I most like are Clarke and Shiv as there are not surrounded by other greats like Anla is so I'd say there is more pressure on them. Must admit I'm genuinely surprised by your comments.

Posted by 1st_april on (November 27, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

Joe Root?....Rahul Dravid of England , Opening , Keeping , No.3....

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 27, 2013, 9:31 GMT)

@landl47 (post on November 26, 2013, 23:50 GMT): Yes I totally agree. Despite being one of the many calling for the likes of Onions and Compton to be on tour, I think it's high time to give up and realise that England aren't going to fly new bodies over just because they're a man or two down. Like you say, and as I posted in earlier comment, England will most likely just move Root/Bell to 3 and bring in Bairstow at 6. Tremlett did not disgrace last game, but I still feel he might make way for Rankin - personally I would prefer Finn.

@JG2704 (post on November 26, 2013, 23:04 GMT): Totally agree with you as well; why rest KP from a warm-up when he's the one key player perhaps most in need of warming up? Done nothing of note so far on this tour.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge.. on (November 27, 2013, 8:45 GMT)

It's a good idea, Root at three. That way, he can get found out again and hopefully we will draft a decent player into our team. We need Compton back. I don't think anything can stop us losing 5-0 except for weather.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

Milepost - talking of Root's 'failures' in various positions is laughably ignorant. He has a better Test average than literally your entire team barring Clarke. Ridiculous!

Posted by dunger.bob on (November 27, 2013, 6:42 GMT)

@jb633: I can't see how winning the Ashes is meaningless. Having a good look now ... nope, can't see it. The fact is we have to start winning Tests. Anywhere will do. We sit at 5 currently and the only way to climb up the hill is to win series. The fact that it's in Australia is not particularly relevant to us at this stage because we just need to win, anywhere. I take your point about it being a home series, but do you take mine.

I'm really looking forward to India v South Africa. Am I correct in saying that this will be the first away series for India since Australia last year. It should be a good series to see if your new look team handles the away trips better than the final years of the Dravid era. We happen to follow you there in Feb so it looks as though both sides are going to get a good workout against the top side. Should be very interesting viewing.

Posted by Chris_P on (November 27, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

@jb633. Hello! Wake up & smell the coffee. Kholi everaged 37 down under last time. 37! In 3 tests againt the Windies over there he averaged 15 & 4 tests against the English he averaged 31. Do yourself a huge favour & go look at the varying conditions Clarke has scored his runs & where. In India, England, South Africa on a wicked seaming deck against the top pace attack in the world. Amla rates up there, but seriously, in test cricket, Kholi is behind plenty of batsmen & needs to score some tough runs against all opposition in all parts of the glode before placing him on a such a high pedestal. Not saying he hasn't the talent, he just hasn't dleivered to it yet to rate him so high in tests.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 27, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

jb633: Do you realise Kohli only averages 40. How can he be cobsidered world best. He is on par with Aussie lesser likes like Warner and Smith. Clarke on seaming tracks scored 150, in a game where the next 20 wickets fell for 130. He is certainly right up in the worlds best bracket.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

@ jb633 its laughable that you even mention kholi, and AUS 4-0 loss to india, india lost 4-0 (and by much much bigger margins) when they were over here and kholi did didly squat aside from adelaide which is flatter than half the sub cont pitches (and that was meaningless which u seem to believe is a determining factor), when he makes some runs on a pitch with at least 1 blade of green grass then he will be a decent batsman, untill then he is typical indian batsman, plays well at home, cant buy a run outside

Posted by BrisVegan on (November 27, 2013, 4:49 GMT)

@couchpundit It's unlikely that Trott will score a double at Adelaide given he's gone back home...

I fully expect England to bounce back at Adelaide. If there is a result it will probably go down to the wire on the 5th day.

A good venue for batsmen on both sides to hit some much needed form - and for bowlers to practice their defensive lines although I do sincerely hope both captains set moderately attacking fields instead of grinding for a draw from the outset (I don't think Clarke will disappoint but with Cook, who knows).

While I think Australia's psyche would be best served by fielding an unchanged side (with the exception of extra bowler / all rounder) I would love to see Johnson rested and saved for the WACA, although I'm sure this won't happen. I just fear that Johnson's confidence may get shot when he finds wicket taking so much harder and that may affect his game going in to the WACA test.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2013, 3:40 GMT)

England will make a comeback. Cook, Root, Bell will score for English team.Anderson, Board you rock.

Posted by couchpundit on (November 27, 2013, 2:48 GMT)

Adelaide oval is flattest pitch in par with subcontinent pitches. England will score heavily no matter what, as MJ will be asked operate at 60-70% capacity to preserve himself for perth and rest of the series.

No matter who plays where, KP and Trott will score big may be even double.....unless england bring madusudhan singh paneesar chief architect of dismantling of India in subcontinent condition, i dont see any result in this match.

Steven smith and Clarke will score for Australia, Warner as usual an enigma if he clicks he clicks if not he will centre of joke.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2013, 1:47 GMT)

I would surely go with Root being put at number 3 ! And I say we also replace Swann as he is too economically costly, and replace him with Monty Panesar. If we recall his performance against India last year, it would seem quiet ideal to use him in the upcoming test match.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 27, 2013, 0:52 GMT)

@TripleCenturian on (November 26, 2013, 19:54 GMT), you're making incorrect assumptions. Bell has previously said that he wants to bat at #3 so if he was given the choice now I have no doubt that he would rather bat there than at #5. The talk of keeping Bell at #5 is because he's had a great deal of success there recently, not because he wants to bat there. I'm not sure where KP would rather bat but I would expect that the majority would not consider him a #3 anyway, so it's probably in the best interests of the team that he stay at #4. As for Root, he has said that he considers himself to be an opener so I would expect that, if he can't open, he'd rather be at #3 than at #5 or #6.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 27, 2013, 0:46 GMT)

I am wondering whether at this late hour there would be a case for flying Compton out as a vaguely like for like replacement,ie a player who likes to count the hours more than the runs. England have stated they are not going for a replacement but I wonder.

Posted by brisCricFan on (November 27, 2013, 0:23 GMT)

I think this would be a good option for England. I thought in England that Joe Root still has a lot of developing to do... but watching him play in the Gabba test, apart from the first innings where I think he was shell shocked like the rest of the middle-lower order, he looked good in the second innings. From the first ball that had him jumping, he then settled and played a good innings in an already lost cause.

I think England have got their problems to replace Trott. KP would be the man right now most capable of slotting in there and from an Aussie view, the most dangerous to come out at the fall of the first wicket as he could either build on a good start or counter attack from the first ball. Bell doesn't have the same air about him.

I am sad to see Trott go, his determination and doggedness was admirable in previous tours and was hoping to watch him a bit on this tour - just not to be.

Posted by landl47 on (November 26, 2013, 23:50 GMT)

Posters need to use some common sense. England isn't going to parachute a player in, like Moeen, and put him straight in the side when he hasn't played a game in months. The reason the squad carries spare players is to cover for injuries and loss of form. If a player is brought in it will be as cover in case someone else goes down in future.

Bairstow did pretty well in his one innings and Ballance didn't do anything in his two. England will want as few changes as possible, so Root or Bell will move to #3 and I'm guessing Bairstow will come in at #6. The 3 seamers bowled reasonably well at the Gabba and Tremlett took 4 wickets. I don't see any changes there. Swann will no doubt keep his place, but next to Trott his form was most worrying in the first test. Lyon outbowled him and always looked more threatening.

England needs a better plan for Adelaide. Johnson looked fearsome when bowling short, but England was trying to play far too many short deliveries. That has to stop.

Posted by Happy_hamster on (November 26, 2013, 23:49 GMT)

Bell at 3, KP 4, Root 5 with Stokes 6, Finn for Tremors and that's my team for what it's worth (nowt). I would have said Ballance at the end of the summer but he has flopped in every game since so an Ashes test in these conditions is not a good baptism, his time will come as will Moeen.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (November 26, 2013, 23:46 GMT)

Bell would more easily fit the current team model: i.e. a more dependable, stoic batsman.

I have called ENG's approach - esp. Cook's - as robotic. Everything is over-controlled, rehearsed. defensive. It has been successful in terms of final results. But looking deeper, there have been problems, & this approach is exacerbating them. I wonder if a slightly more free-spirited mentality might not free up guys like Root & Bairstow to play their natural games? How much has Trott's anxiety been exacerbated by this neurotic team ethos?

AUS became over-managed by Pat Howard & the performance team, treating the team like a business. It's not exactly the same thing, but there are parallels - players becoming too stiff & robotic.

Cook should take the boys out for some KFC & a few beers. A bit of junk food & a few jokes might do them the world of Cook. Because my God, they did look like a super-serious bunch yesterday when they were refusing to talk to reporters at the airport. Smile dudes!

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 23:10 GMT)

I find it hard to expect four bowlers to carry a Test load. I would like to see four bowlers, an al lrounder, 5 batsmen and a batsman wicket keeper. I am sorry to see Prior go but he is not batting well enough. My team would see Root at number 3, Stokes at 6 and Bairstowe at 7. This would be on a par with the Oz team.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 26, 2013, 23:04 GMT)

@Englishfan on (November 26, 2013, 15:58 GMT) I'd say a warm up is exactly what KP does need. He's the only batsmen in the last test not to get a score on tour

Posted by JG2704 on (November 26, 2013, 23:03 GMT)

Loads of permutations and ideas/theories. Could it simply be coincidence when a player's better form comes in a certain batting position? I mean could Root just have been in better nick when at 6 than when he opened and could it be coincidence that he was in better form when at 6 or a more simple theory is could it be that he faced better bowlers when opening? Don't have any big views on this although my inclin would be either to leave the batting line up as it is with everyone moving up a place and either Ballance or Jonny coming in at 6 or maybe JB even coming in for Prior? Compton is an option but I think he is totally out of favour - someone mentioned he heard he refused to work on something with Gooch. Ali is another option which some have mentioned. Whoever comes in (wherever in the team) will have a tough baptism

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 22:53 GMT)

Use homegrowen- Sam Robson at 3, leave KP Bell alone, and bring in Stokes for Tremlett cheers.

Posted by ShutTheGate on (November 26, 2013, 22:47 GMT)

As an Aussie fan I'd be happy if Root get's promoted to 3 and they play Bairstow @ 6.

What I think they should do is promote Bell to 3 and Root to 5 and play Bairstow or Stokes.

To me Root is a very promising player and he'll probably find his feet much easier without having to face Johnson and Harris with the ball. Bell has the talent and experience and should step up to help the team.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 22:19 GMT)

In my opinion it should be Bell that bats at 3. The last time Trott left the squad through injury in the home India series, Bell took up the slot and performed admirably.

For me, it would be a bold move moving Root up the order this soon. He was pushed down to number six again because of his apparent weakness against the new ball last series. I don't think one positive innings can overrule the evidence we saw in the 10 innings in England. The demands of batting at three are very similar to opening. If it was deemed he was not suitable to open, I cant see how now number three is suddenly the right place for him.

Posted by McWheels on (November 26, 2013, 22:10 GMT)

Spacer: Amla is the world's best, Clarke isn't.

TripleC and the rest. England picked 3 openers for the tour (4 if you count Trott). Root makes more sense at 3 than 6, and he was only there but for the brilliance of Carberry, who himself would now be looking at first drop in a parallel universe.

Mind you, Bell wouldn't turn it down, he lapped up getting the chance to open in ODIs where you get 2 new conkers.

Posted by jb633 on (November 26, 2013, 21:57 GMT)

@EdwardSpacer, the world's best batsmen? Are you kidding me. Clarke makes plenty of meaningless runs on flat decks but wouldn't be worthy of cleaning the boots of Hashim Amla or Virat Kholi. Hashim Amla has time and again made runs in all conditions and it appears he has little weakness. Clarke is woeful against the swinging ball and was found out in England on seaming decks. He has made one of the most meaningless tonnes here where there was zero pressure and suddenly he is the best player in the world. It really is funny seeing so many of the Aussie fans come out of the woodwork following one big win and a lot of cheerleading from their "press". I didn't see a lot of you guys as we watched Clarke et all look like a rabbit in the headlights as India dismantled you 4-0. Even if you do win this ashes surely by the logic of a lot of fans it is meaningless because you are playing at home on doctored pitches. Read comments from the India series and the England away leg.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 26, 2013, 21:52 GMT)

Bell has to play at no. 3 Root's 'confident' stand came when the ball was 54 overs old and he was out in the first over that the new ball was taken. Bell already plays at 3 so I don't see that his heroics at 5 are a reason to keep him there. However Root has shown that he is not very comfortable facing the new ball and that was in England, he could end up a nervous wreck if they expect him to suddenly come in at first drop, which ironically puts even more pressure on Carberry or Cook as they both can't play defensively.

Posted by riahcmra on (November 26, 2013, 21:44 GMT)

Bell should demand the no.3 spot ... any batsman with any backbone wants to bat in the top 4 ... I'm so sick of seeing "great" batsmen hiding at no.5 and 6 ... ... plan B might be switch Cook to no.3 and bring in a new opener ... and Bell can keep hiding down the order

Posted by Front-Foot-Sponge on (November 26, 2013, 21:09 GMT)

@Edward Spacer, in fairness we didn't mess up the 2006/07 Ashes, we were just totally destroyed, like this series really. I apologise on behalf of my team and fans, we will fold without a hint of fight, without an ounce of resilience and unfortunately with limited honesty from our supporters.

Posted by viru-319-219 on (November 26, 2013, 20:44 GMT)

@Englishfan .... Looking for a long term no 3 batsman is not ideal as that batsman( who ever it is moeen or taylor) will loose his place to trott once he is back. Instead play Root at 3 and give him some experience to take up the No 4 spot after KP, he won't be able to play at 4 when KP is around and Bell occupied 5 so with trott gone it is a good opportunity for him to play at 3. Play Ballance at 6 or Prior is good enough to play at 6 so Stokes/woakes at 7 will provide extra pacer to play Monty. Playing Monty in Adelaide might turn out to be a master stroke as it happened in Mumbai (If he is picked, I hope he will be as Aus doesn't like left arm spin)

Posted by Chris_P on (November 26, 2013, 20:19 GMT)

Looking to hear from landl47 & JG on this direction. Root did look really composed & I figured his technique would be well suited to Aussie conditions, in fact he looked more comfortable, to me anyway, than what I saw of him in England. I have no idea about Stokes, has he got the "it" factor to succeed in the heat of the cauldron so early in a test career?

Posted by Mr.PotatoesTomatoes on (November 26, 2013, 20:18 GMT)

Bringing Root up would be the wrong thing to do,when he has just shown that he can play assuredly at no.6,though this is based on a solitary performance.He struggled throughout the summer in England,bar one innings,with his front-foot play,and even in the first innings at the Gabba played a horrible looking expansive drive to a ball any batsman playing test cricket would have let go.Adelaide might offer some lateral movement to the quicks and make life more difficult for Root.England need someone with no glaring deficiencies in his batting technique to come up at 3,and Bell answers that description well.He is a class player who is in prime form and once set can be difficult to stop.He along with KP will have to drive England's batting;the rest just don't have the range of strokeplay,technique,and ability to keep the scoreboard moving along nicely.I my opinion Bell followed by KP should be the way to go.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 20:02 GMT)

its amazing that FFL lunge has criticised the worlds best batsman( Clarke) for hiding down the order, neither KP nor Bell have the stones to step to the number 3 spot and instead want to put a 14 y o boy in the spot, cudos to you england, you really know how to mess up an ashes a la 2006 - 07

Posted by TripleCenturian on (November 26, 2013, 19:54 GMT)

As usual the need for the more senior players to get their own way means Pietersen and Bell will stay at four and five and the newest kid on the block Root is forced to move around the order. Then we wonder why new players are inconsistent but experienced players do better

Posted by Scuderi on (November 26, 2013, 19:49 GMT)

Surely Bell at 3, Stokes in for Trott and Panesar in for Tremlett in Adelaide. The drop in pitch is a road and the majority of the wickets have come from spin. Let young batsman have a few tours before sending them to number 3.

Posted by CodandChips on (November 26, 2013, 19:31 GMT)

We need to look after our young batsmen. Having Root on the yoyo and Bairstow in the revolving door isn't helping. This is why I'd do either: 1. Bring in Moeen at 3 2. Bring in Balance/Stokes (or even Taylor or Woakes who were unfairly left out of the EPP) and move Bell up to 3.

I see Moeen as a number 3. I see Balance as a KP understudy. I see Taylor as a number 3 potentially in ODIs and another batsman in waiting who should be in the squad or at least the EPP. The fall of Woakes and Taylor since the summer has been surprising, unfair and alarming.

Posted by wapuser on (November 26, 2013, 19:22 GMT)

Ian Bell at 3 is another option, but England might want him in the middle order to support whoever plays at number 5. Best of luck to Root playing at one drop. Hope to see Ben Stokes play in at least one test this series. He'll provide a good bowling option from one end.

Posted by viru-319-219 on (November 26, 2013, 19:15 GMT)

England have no other option but Root at 3...... Instead they should look at playing panesar. Aus when toured India played Ashwin and Bajji well enough, If it was not for the odd rising ball or turning ball Ashwin would have had another bad series. They were clearly troubled by Jadeja with his left arm spin. come on England give it to them in Adelaide, also play Finn or Rankin instead of tremlett, Give some pace and bounce to Clarke.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (November 26, 2013, 18:38 GMT)

As an England fan, I always felt Root was really found out in the home-ashes. The English press (and some fans) over-hyped his performances, conveniently forgetting his 180 at Lords was based on the fact he was dropped when in single figures.

Now, his 'maturity' and 'ability to handle Australian Johnson' (must be a English public school thing!), has also been touted. As before, that also conveniently forgets the fact that at 6, he's not facing the new ball.

At 3, he will be found. Luckily, this wont happen at Adelaide, the drop-in road they use guarantees high scores, and Roots position will be cemented.....until he gets found out in Perth.

Posted by Cedric.Godwin on (November 26, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

I think Nick Compton shud b given a go... He might score slowly... but i think he is quite solid... and thts wat u need as a No. 3... He was unfairly dropped...

Posted by RoBoBobster on (November 26, 2013, 18:26 GMT)

Ballance/Bairstow/Stokes are at best middle order players, so Root, Bell, or (hear me out) Prior, Root: very successful at no. 6, but can also open. His top order failures compared to success (inc. not out in the 1st test mean he is best where he is, and will not help much by moving up. Bell: Probably the best no.3 option, however being one of very few in form batsmen getting runs atm, is a huge risk to bring them up, He probably won't improve through it so I think its too big a gamble Prior:Often faces a new ball, but not immediately/already a few overs old- just like number 3, can't get any worse - at the moment very out of form, if he falls early others are used to it, and KP etc still keep current mentality. A fresh start and the added difficulty may reduce the expectation, and therefore actually get rid of the pressure on him. Also if he gets in he can balance defensive openers/ keep pressure off KP before when he gets in. If Bairstow comes in at 7 they can share the keeping.

Posted by CodandChips on (November 26, 2013, 18:12 GMT)

@dreamliner I posted earlier that perhaps we should call over Moeen from the EPP.

@Vinayak Savant interesting point on Ravi. He is indeed in a similar situation to the one Sharma was in but is slightly older and has played some tests. Don't forget he was in the team last year. He appeared much improved during CT13 but failed to get England over the line again, his usual problem. Personally I'd rather Moeen, Taylor and Balance ahead of him as batsmen, and even Stokes or Woakes as an allrounder. But I applaud your suggestion.

Those suggesting Morgan are just being ridiculous. He is hardly doing well in the championship and averaged only 30 in his test career. There should be many batsmen ahead of him.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (November 26, 2013, 17:47 GMT)

Is there anyone more overrated than Root in world cricket? Send for Compton.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

It isn't really a question of how less fussy Root is or if he "could" fill in the no : 3 position. It's replacing somebody like Trott. And I believe Bell would be the best choice for that. If,Bell is so discomfited by the idea of batting at that position then may be Root can be a choice. But if Bell seems fine with that then I don't think there should be any doubts. For the simple reason, he is the one with the confidence and the technique to replace Trott. Root seemed quite at ease(at least in the 2nd innings) at no : 6. So let him take that position, or even move one up to 5.

Posted by Beertjie on (November 26, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

Bring in Bell - surely England's form batsman should lead the way. If England want to seriously pressure Aus at Adelaide, they need to consider quite a few serious changes now: Cook, Carberry, Bell, Pieterson, Root, Bairstow, Stokes, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Panesar/Rankin. Finn will be murdered if he drops it short and Prior's experience just make up for his woeful batting. Bresnan may be OK for the WACA, but is just too great a risk now. Hard times ahead - will KP come to the rescue?

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 26, 2013, 17:12 GMT)

Root to 3 is an excellent solution as I've said before. He has been shuffled around a great deal, planting his roots around most of the top 6, but has proved he can play in any position: Who could forget him Dil-Scooping Siddle in the last Ashes as an opener! Most players would be ruffled by such a constant change of positions, but Root could replace any of the top 6 should it be required. The durable and dynamic Root will prosper at 3.

Posted by docsunny on (November 26, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

If it is going to be Cook , Carberry and Compton and 1,2 and 3 the scoreboard will move at a snails pace especially if there is an early wicket. This Aussie turnaround is not a total surprise as the last Ashes shed some light on things to come. It seems to be a combination of slump in English batting and improvement in Aussie bowling . Johns form has beenna real bonus .The batsmen like Cook amd Trot who have scored heavily for Eng in the past are not getying big scores. If Australia wins this series , their away series againt South Africa in a few months would be really interesting .

Posted by pragmatist on (November 26, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

On balance, Ballance for me at 6 with Root moving to 3

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

I would even consider Ravi bopara, he is class act. ECB should keep faith on him, it was same situation with Rohit Sharma , there was class but he was lacking confidence.. Ravi's bowling is added advantage in Aussie condition.. just my opinion though :)

Posted by dreamliner on (November 26, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

I firmly believe we need a specialist no3, so stop tinkering with other players already set and performing in their order. Why am I the only one thinking Worcestershire's no 3 Moeen Ali could be a masterstroke?

I mean how many 2013 Player of the Year awards from the Professional Cricketers Association does a no3 need to be next in line to Trott? no better measure to current form.

Averages take into account this seasons form but also previous seasons so they can be misleading when used to compare. This 26-year-old all-rounder has scored more than 2,000 runs in all forms of the game this summer, and took 55 wickets with his off-spin bowling. He is part of the Performance Programme squad down under. Hopefully he'll bring Swann back in to competition too. He sports a Amla-like beard and shares the dark quiet attribute prevalent in many class top order batsmen like Trott, Amla, etc. The signs are there, it's Movember folks!

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

Nick compton is not playing and I don't know Y. If u push root up the order his scoring rate will come down, I mean he can't play freely. Ian Bell should be the automatic choice. KP will be a disaster in that position. I would line my team in such a way that the opposition should fear dismissing a current batsman. My choice is fly compton in or if not try this. Cook, Carberry,Bell,Root, Pietersen, Bairstow, Prior,Broad,Swann,Anderson,Panesar for Adelaide. Since Prior is in poor form may be Ben Stokes can be played but its a gamble with 0- 1 down But adelaide wickets in the second innings will suit pacer like stokes(as it did for us with agarkar in 2004) All this for second test only

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 16:29 GMT)

Root isnt the answer at #3, Bell maybe. Morgan should be added immediately for Trott to give us class at #6

Posted by cric_J on (November 26, 2013, 16:21 GMT)

As for England's 3rd seamer, I don't think they'll draft in Bres for Adelaide considering he'll play with the EPP and not at Springs. It is the right thing too as he still doesn't seem 100% fit and given the bowlers may have to bowl a lot at Adelaide, the last thing Cook would want is for him to be 1 bowler down.

Tremlett didn't do much wrong in the match (none of the bowlers actually did IMO, it was the 136 AO that did us in). He was economical for most part and got 5 wkts too. But the main reason why I wanted Finny/Rankin instead of Tremlett -the PACE, sure did came back to haunt us.

Tremlett bowed at a mild 130 on average. Though there is no guarantee of Finny/Rankin proving "Boy Wonders" if selected as they may go for plenty if they aren't patient and don't get their rhythm, control and accuracy right, at least they will get some pace to our attack along with height to extract bounce.

Posted by cric_J on (November 26, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

(contd..)

Joe's case :

1. He IS an opener. So he'll be accustomed to facing the new ball (even if in CC only) and must have the technique for it (irrespective of the fact that he struggled in England.) 2. England plan on having him in the top 3 anyways in future. So moving him there now will not only groom for that job from now on but will also be a long term investment. 3. Bell had a tremendous series at 5 recently. So it only makes sense not to move him from there. If Bell does move to 3, Joe would move to 5 and Jonny/Ballance to 6. Too much fiddling with the order. Instead simply move Joe to 3. 4. Most significantly, he showed some good technique, temperament and spine against Mitch in the 2nd inngs. Barring Cook in 2nd inngs, he probably handled Mitch's pace and short stuff the best of all Eng bats in the match and looked solid.

But Joe struggled against Harris this summer and moving Belly might tamper with his comfort zone and current form.

But I'd still have Belly at 3.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 16:09 GMT)

moving a settled batsman (BELL) is nt a good idea but also given that NO.3 is the place of THE BEST batsman in the team. England r nt in a gud position. Also england badly need a 145+ bowler they should consider TYMAL MILLS for tour match against CA Chairman XI

Posted by CodandChips on (November 26, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

Interesting decision to make. Root is a natural opener so perhaps he would fit in well but then surely this is a massive u-turn again on Root and his opening credentials. I think Bell has improved since he last was tried at 3 so maybe he should get a go.

Warm-up: 1.Cook 2.Carberry 3.Bell 4.Root 5.Balance 6.Stokes 7.Prior(wk) 8.Swann 9.Tremlett 10.Finn 11Rankin. KP doesn't need warm ups matches. Anderson needs a rest and Broad bowled well. Give the other lankies another chance, but Tremlett bowled ok 2nd innings.

2nd test: 1.Cook 2.Carberry 3.Bell 4.KP 5.Root 6.Balance (unless Stokes outperforms him) 7.Prior (last chance) 8.Broad 9.Swann 10.Anderson 11.Tremlett (he didn't play bad enough to be dropped, but I would prefer Finn. Stokes could be an option to bolster the attack).

Or could bring Moeen in from the EPP and try him at 3/5... His spin and KP's spin could mean we replace Swann with another Lanky (although Swanny got 5 last time in Adelaide I think)

Posted by cric_J on (November 26, 2013, 15:54 GMT)

IMO the no. 3 spot has to be between Joe and Belly and both of them put forward a strong case.

Bell's case :

1. Currently, he is in the best position among all England batsmen in terms of form and confidence having had a tremendous series back home. 2. He has shown his willingness to bat at no. 3 on several previous occasions. He backed that talk with a double hundred against India in 2011 batting at 3. 3. Temperament. He is cautious but at the same time wouldn't shy away from playing his shots and taking a few calculated risks. 4. With England having 30/3 scores aplenty in the home Ashes, he has faced a lot of Harris and Siddle and handled them exceedingly well. Also, he didn't seem uncomfortable vs Mitch in the 1st test and played him decently well. so the new ball shouldn't be a problem.

(contd...)

Posted by kevaldedhia813 on (November 26, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

Bring Bairstow, Ballance and Stokes in the side. They are better to replace Troot, carberry and prior. Too early to comment after the first match collapse. However they are more deserving candidates. Ballance and Stokes had amazing county season why are they out of side. Bairstow should be keeping as it seems prior is injured and looks out of form. So sad of selection committee to keep compton and onions our of squad inspite being more promising. Not sure why trego is not given a chance he is always handy allrounder.

Suggest 1. Cook, 2. Root, 3. KP, 4. Ballance, 5. Bell, 6. Bairstow, 7. stokes, 8. broad, 9. swann 10. tremlett/finn, 11. anderson

Posted by AKS286 on (November 26, 2013, 15:43 GMT)

Continues change in position for Root is not good. No.3 for Root is the perfect position to bat. James Taylor & AD Hales not in the squad but IMO these guys must bat at no.3. Again Tremlett bowls good but pace was down as per his standards. He need to be aggressive.

Posted by zzby on (November 26, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

no need of panic just stick to the basics

Posted by KeepItDown on (November 26, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

I totally agree with Rob Keating. We now have no specialist no. 3, and in the past we have demonstrated that it doesn't work to shuffle players around the order. For goodness sake keep Root at 6 where he looks like he might be able to score some runs. Likewise Bell at 5. Nick Compton had two bad tests, but since then he played his way back into form, as he was asked to. Perhaps he should have kept his own counsel when he was dropped, but it's understandable he was upset, and a lot of people have agreed that he wasn't treated well at the time. Can't believe that the England management would continue to hold that against him.

If we don't bring Compton (or someone else) in we could spend the whole series trying different solutions to the no. 3 problem, and might have lost the Ashes before we sort ourselves out.

Someone buy Compton a plane ticket now!!

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 15:01 GMT)

I wouldn't say Root failed at opening, if only had 5 games and he did well. Australia have good opening bowlers they will bowl good balls, when Root got though that he when on to score big which is what Openers need to do.

Ballance doesn't even Bat at 3 for his county, for me I would move Bell up to 3 and call Nick Compton if it doesn't work. Bell has been in great form has experience at 3. The top order was failing in England he was coming in much earlier than a number 5 should anyway. May as well try and halt a collapse before get any worse.

Posted by Tigg on (November 26, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

Draft in Compton. He's a natural no.3, has played in that position for years and isn't spooked by quicks. I'd like to leave Bell at 5, so Compton seems the smart choice to me.

If England insist on leaving out Compton, I'd prefer Bell at three although I can see the sense in Root, who is (in theory) an opener.

Posted by docsunny on (November 26, 2013, 14:53 GMT)

With the Aussies with their tails up and breathing fire they will come even harder at England in the next test. There will be a lot of intimidation both physical and verbal. It would not be fair to throw some one like Root, who is still trying to find his roots in test cricket to face the music early on. I would feel that either Pietersen or Bell should rise to the occasion and take the challenge head on. They are both established and have nothing to prove ( as long as we can keep Bell at least 100 miles away from Ajmal .. ) and their failure at No. 3 would not have a major impact on their psyche whereas if Root fails it could be traumatic and detrimental to his career .

Posted by elmo_leon on (November 26, 2013, 14:51 GMT)

Good call. I feel Root didn't have much of an opportunity to express himself batting down the order at Brisbane. Bell should remain where he his to strengthen the middle order.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge.. on (November 26, 2013, 14:35 GMT)

Alas we might have to concede we don't have a team let alone a squad to challenge this almighty Australian team. I was prepared to ride past successes all though this series as we effortlessly pummelled Australia and regained the urn but it's over, I know now I must accept that Root is no number 3 and Australia will win 5-0.

Posted by Vakbar on (November 26, 2013, 14:35 GMT)

Everyone needs to calm down about the pummelling Australia just handed England. South Africa were handed a similar thrashing by Pakistan...but it was mighty clear which the superior team was and proven in the very next test. I have the same opinion about the Ashes...albeit the gap is narrower and the loss of Trott is a big negative.

His replacement at 3 should be Bell...he wants the job and is by far the man most equipped to do it. Keeping him at 3 is a defensive move designed to ward against collapses (and the prospect of Cook, Bell and KP all being in the hutch whilst the young-uns get fried). However, to win from 1-0 down, you need to take a more attacking view than that. Root is not yet ready and would be better at 5, when the ball has stopped swinging and his front foot half-move is not exposed.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

Roots are even harder to dislodge than rocks. Here's hoping.

Posted by RobAKeating on (November 26, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

If they wanted a squad of a certain size then why not replace Trott? I would call up Nick Compton, a natural number three and really unlucky to have been dropped last summer and not to have made the tour anyway. Clearly some of his comments at being dropped are counting against him as he did go and score runs for Somerset and the Lions, like they told him to.

Posted by milepost on (November 26, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

So Root failed opening, failed at 6 and now what he's first choice at 3 lol? @RoBoBobster, Prior to go to 3?? Really? That should do his now completely shattered confidence and 12 month run of poor form good. @Whatsgoinoffoutthere, I agree, Broad would be the most sensible choice at 3. At least he showed some resilience, at least with the ball, for at least half the match. Bell is the best choice for 3, he won the last Ashes by himself. The Gabba was an excellent batting track, as demonstrated by Australia piling on nearly 700 runs with wickets in hand but England barely passed 300 combined in 2 attempts so there's no reason for optimism in Adelaide, the ball still goes +90mph too.

Posted by jonesy2 on (November 26, 2013, 14:00 GMT)

its amazing how England not only have no depth whatsoever but they actually don't even have 11 test standard players to pick from. don't have a 4th bowler and don't have a replacement batsman. if you thought Australia had tasted blood could you imagine how dog hungry they will be if root gets put at 3. oh and on behalf of Australia please please please choose bairstow to bat at 6 and keep prior and tremlett in the team or play the "allrounder" stokes who cant bat well enough to get picked or bowl better than tremlett to get picked

Posted by Stevros3 on (November 26, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

Apologies the South Africa tour of 09/10 (not 10/11 as I said)

Posted by David_Boon on (November 26, 2013, 13:54 GMT)

Gee a lot of talk about Root looking great in the 4th innings, what a load of rubbish. he made 26 and failed to protect the tail at all.

Posted by Stevros3 on (November 26, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

Quick point showing Bell's last 4 innings (the only ones since the 2010/11 SA tour which is when he started coming of age) batting at number 3.

159 34 235 3

I think it's a no brainer picking someone with an average of over 100 batting at 3 in the last 3 years.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 13:49 GMT)

No way! I wud have Gary Ballance! He deserves a go over Root at no. 3!

Posted by heathrf1974 on (November 26, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

Losing a number three is difficult to replace. It maybe good to leave the order as is and put in someone not in the eleven in. Shifting the order can create its own problems. I'd pick Finn for Tremlett (very disappointing). Regarding Bresnan I don't know if he's fit (his injury is a big blow to the balance of the team).

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

I was excited about first test @ gabba.cause Joe root extremely good in opening position.so why they down him @ no 06.i don't understand.

Posted by ihaq1 on (November 26, 2013, 13:43 GMT)

while i'd reccomend Root i would consider Ballance who has come into teh tour after scoring centuries recently in domestic cricket..however i suggest that Ballance come in for KP who also seems out of sorts...while teh batting was the problem in Brisbane...adelaide usually has a spinning slow, straight, reputation...a lineup of Cook, Carberry, Root, Balance, Bell, KP, Prior and four bowlers...bringing in an additional spinner or fast bowler as required...i would prefer Rankin or Finn whoever is fitter and can bowl teh longest...even against pakistan Prior used to be teh backup batsman who used to bat with one of teh top order in case of a flop...Anyway Prior and Bairstow are interchangeable being good batsmen...Bresnan is coming of an illness and should be allowed to play himslef in with a good performance...however as for stress test cricketers are usually quite tough characters and need to be going in to play long innings...play the ball not the situation and attitude

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 26, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

I'm an uneducated Aussie on the England domestic side but I would have thought Bell with his technique would still prosper at 3 and Root who struggled at the top last series is better of left at 5.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 26, 2013, 13:40 GMT)

There is no easy way to sort this out given plans at the outset were more or less set in stone.Repalcing a fine no.3 with a newcomer is quite a hard ask and I would suggest that whoever gets the gig should ask for a pay rise. Bell did it in 2011 v India ,and very successfully on THAT occasion. Other outings at 3 earlier in this career were otherwise. ||If Trott had simply swapped places then I would go for Bell again, but as he has gone I would go for Root on the basis that I want an experienced player at 5 to sandwich an inexperienced one 6 with Prior. Assuming then Root gamely goes up the order we can expect good back foot play and an understanding of how to deal with fast shortpitched ball. All he has to do is go out make a couple of tons and we are in hunky dory land. Who should bat at 6. I am in no doubt it should be Baistow who has looked good at times. I rate the 4 man attack to deal with conditions and Stokes in instead would detract from the batting there. This is logical.

Posted by liz1558 on (November 26, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

Root is the right man for 3. Bell and KP are well established in their positions. Root looks like he can handle it. Either way, for England to salvage anything from this blitzkrieg they will need a Dunkirk sort of miracle. With talk of the enemy resting Harris, just the way the fuhrer rested his panzers with the British army at his mercy, history may well just be repeating itself. We will fight them on the bleachers...

Posted by Palfers on (November 26, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

Main thing for me is to play Ballance.No one averages 53 without being special. Play him at 3.Moving Root back to effectively open is not consistent. Steve Finn plays ,he takes wickets,why do we need to hold when we can take wickets.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 26, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

You know what - I'm starting to warm up to the idea of trying Stokes now. I've never liked the idea of KP at 3 (way too hit-or-miss for that) and I doubt England will want to blood a newbie in at 3. That does indeed leave Bell and Root to step up onto the podium.

TEAM I WOULD LIKE TO SEE: Cook; Carberry; Root; KP; Bell; Stokes; Prior (one more chance, or Bairstow replaces him!); Swann; Broad; Bresnan if 100% fit, otherwise Finn; Anderson.

TEAM WE'LL PROBABLY SEE: Cook; Carberry; Root; KP; Bell; Bairstow; Prior; Swann; Broad; Rankin; Anderson.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 26, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

@Wylde Child on (November 26, 2013, 12:31 GMT), tbh, the paying public does not have a right to know. We get to watch who they select but it's up to them who that is. Noone really knows exactly what the issue was with Compton but it certainly seems like personality was at least part of the issue. Not that that necessarily means that there was anything specifically wrong with Compton's personality but just that it didn't fit with what they had and what they felt they needed.

Posted by PrasPunter on (November 26, 2013, 13:23 GMT)

How things change !! a few months ago, even the best-known astrologers couldn't predict Aus batting lineup. Now looks like it is Eng's turn. Nothing is permanent - success or failure.

Posted by Whatsgoinoffoutthere on (November 26, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

Carberry to open with Cook; a promising innings & an unlucky dismissal is no grounds to drop him. KP & Bell stay where they are. Root looks at home down the order & I'd be loath to move him, but he's supposed to be an opener. Torn between Root & Ballance at three, but slightly favour Ballance.

Loony moment? If you want a number three, use Broad. He's always had the makings of a decent batsman, it'll give him time to play an innings & for us to find out if he can do it. If he delays KP arriving at the wicket by an hour he'll have done more than the England top order last summer.

Don't pick Bresnan: we'll just get to see a half-fit player being murdered like the last time they picked him when he wasn't fit.

Tempted to drop Prior, who can't buy a run at present. But we shouldn't be rebuilding right now!

Tremlett is difficult: he kept things tight. Finn probably won't do that, but can run through a side on his day. At one game down I'd go for Finn and tell him he's got a blank cheque.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

Stokes and Brez for Trott and Tremlett. Improves the batting and bowling. Simples

Posted by Biggus on (November 26, 2013, 12:51 GMT)

Oh boy, Root is going to be tested if they do so. Make or break stuff.

Posted by CricketMaan on (November 26, 2013, 12:46 GMT)

I though James Taylor was the next Captain Cook! What happened to him? Suddenly its Root, Bairstow and Ballance!!

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

Time for Englands next generation to step up.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

I guess Dravid would make a fine No 3 :)

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 26, 2013, 12:31 GMT)

@Nutcutlet on (November 26, 2013, 11:32 GMT), I've wondered myself whether England would consider replacing Prior if he continues to fail with the bat but I think that he's earned enough credit that, unless his glovework went markedly downhill, they'd keep him on until the end of the series. Mind you, I didn't expect Carberry to open or Tremlett to play in Brisbane so what do I know?

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 12:31 GMT)

did Nick Compton had a falling out with the management or something? Why do they keep on ignoring him? i wish someone sheds some light on this matter...the paying public has the right to know....

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 26, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

I guess anyone who thinks that Michael Clarke should move up the order for Australia wouldn't advocate leaving Bell at #5 under the present circumstances. I understand the idea of leaving Bell where he has played so well recently but he also played very well at #3 the last time he had to stand in for Trott. I think that he's matured and improved a lot since he missed his original opportunity to make that #3 spot his own. That said, anyone who believes that Root is capable of opening the batting, which includes myself, must believe that he's capable of batting at #3.

Posted by Stevros3 on (November 26, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

Bell bat's 3 for Warwickshire (Trott goes 4) he has also batted 3 for England and seems a lot more of a mature and settled player than when he was first played there, what's more this last test match apart he's head and shoulders the batsman that seems in the best form.

Root has just moved down the order because England wern't convinced about him against the new ball, 2nd innings aside he got out in dreadful fashion in the 1st and only faced 6 deliveries from a new ball. I'm not aware of him ever batting at 3 in county cricket and coming in at 3 is quite physcologically different to opening.

The only people capable of batting 3 for England are Bell, Cook or KP; 4 is also a critical position so needs to be Bell or KP, so tbh I'd leave KP there as he's happier there. If England are worried about having an inexperienced 5/6 I'd open with Root and Carberry and drop Cook to fill in 3 and like Vaughan move himself down to accomodate the openers.

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

Bell has previously batted at 3 (against India was it?) and was very successful there. End of story. Prior should also be left out so Bairstow can bat at 7, Balance at 6, Root at 5, and Monty to replace Tremlett for Adelaide.

Posted by stormy16 on (November 26, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

Bell at 3 for me, he certainly has all the attributes for a genuine #3. Not that Root hasn't but they just moved him down from opening presumably for a reason and not just to play Carberry, who I'm not even sure should be playing. I don't get why Finn is always been overrun by someone else and this time by Tremlet who hasn't done anything for a longtime. Finn has shown in one day cricket he is a genuine wicket taker but seems to be the last guy to be considered despite being on the bench for a long tine.

Posted by looloogun on (November 26, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

cook , root , bell , ballance , kevin

bairstow

swann finn broad monty andersen

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

I'm going to say Varun Chopra.. But who is willing to listen??

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (November 26, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

I'd go Bell at 3 everyone move up one place and throw in the big lad Stokes at either 6/7 I'd also have to replace Tremlett with Finn. If England lose at Adelaide they should play Tymal Mills at Perth I don't see why not there will be nothing to lose then go all out fight fire with fire.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 12:00 GMT)

Adelaide offers the chance for England to make a comeback. I believe Graeme Swann will deliver in Adelaide .If England manage to bat well, we could be in for a cracker of a Test Match.. This is a very different English side capable of turning it around when they are pushed to the corner.

Posted by looloogun on (November 26, 2013, 11:54 GMT)

gary ballance for matt prior with bairstow still in for trott

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 11:49 GMT)

England's most technically sound player should bat at No. 3. That person is no other than Ian Bell. I would like to see Finn replace Tremlet

Posted by Anil_Koshy on (November 26, 2013, 11:41 GMT)

England should include Finn in their line up, he would be very effective in Australian conditions. Instead of Bairstow, they should try a better batsman, Bairstow's performance in the last series was far from impressive.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

Bring back Compton or Bopara

Posted by Stumay on (November 26, 2013, 11:36 GMT)

Call for Nick Compton. He's used to hard, bouncy wickets in Taunton and has experience at the top of the order. I'd rather have him in at three than Joe Root scratching around and getting out LBW or caught behind the wicket or as usual.

Posted by BMDeep on (November 26, 2013, 11:35 GMT)

I m nt in denial abt Roots talent bt I honestly i think Bell is best suited in dat pos jus fr a simple reason dat u need to hav ur best batsman at no 3.Bell during his stay in 2nd innings looked good against MJ nd should naturally fare well against the lights of RH,PS or NL(untill suddenly smthng happens and he threws away his wkt).Perhaps a trial wid KP might not b a bad option as he looked that he is up against d challenges of MJ (although he failed in 1st test).No offense,but i was nt fully convinced with Carbery,u need to hav some one to stop making it 2 down straight away after 1.I wud pick Ballance for Bairstow jus fr d reason dat he is nt a dancer infront of d stumps.Perhaps keeping a lil more trust on broads batting abilities and picking Panesar as extra bowler may surprise d Aussies. He bowled really well against d indians bt if smone say d pitches r nt conductive for spin in Aus,I wud say d batsmen r nt as gud as Indians in facing spin

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (November 26, 2013, 11:33 GMT)

Root is a very limited batsman who isn't suited to a position as important as no.3. I would go against the grain here, and suggest KP move up the order to bat at 3. He needs to take the game to the opposition, and hope it comes off. Otherwise, he will be kept quiet throughout the series.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 26, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

Good. Sound thinking here, IMO. When all's said & done, Root will one day go back to opening the innings because he's technically & temperamentally suited to so doing. The #6 berth was never going to be his permanent place (far too low) & whilst England needs to introduce another bat now, he (Bairstow or Ballance - conceivably Stokes) must go to #6. KP is adamant about batting #4 & Bell certainly does his best work at #5. To me the argument is overwhelmingly in favour of Root to #3. I've always liked the idea of three opening bats, as this offers the best protection against an early wicket. Boycott, Luckhurst, Edrich worked well on Illingworth's successful '70-'71 tour, didn't it? The replacement for the unfortunate JT is far more contentious, & although I think Ballance is certainly the best long term prospect, I expect that the next-cab principle will apply: Bairstow. Now a heretical thought - if Matt Prior delivers nothing meaningful at Adelaide, will JB come in anyway?

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

My first reaction to Trott going home was Root at 3, Bell stays at 5 and Stokes at 6 / 7 depending on Prior......Stokes batting can't be any worse that went before him and at least he adds an extra bowling dimension. Stokes has been ear-marked for a while and might be a gamble that pays off with also being a decent fielder. Bairstow seems very much the stand-in keeper and not spare batsman and not sure about Ballance as I have not seen much of him.

Posted by wnwn on (November 26, 2013, 11:26 GMT)

The obvious solution is to move Ian Bell up to 3 where he bats for Warwickshire, with Root batting at 5 and Bairstow at 6. Although, I think this will only be temporary as Jonathan Trott will probably make a comeback.

Posted by CutHis_ArminHalf on (November 26, 2013, 11:25 GMT)

I am pretty sure I have seen Bell previously state he covets the #3 spot.

He said at the time he was happy down the order and that Trott was doing a good job so had no chance of getting the spot.

Posted by charliebear on (November 26, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

The senior players must take responsibility here. Root is a young and inexperienced. However admirable his approach to the game is he looks far more comfortable down the order at the moment. I don't think Pietersen has the stomach or commitment for three - so be it. However Bell has shown a greater sense of responsibility and mettle in recent years - and he has the technique to cope against the new ball. He is the obvious candidate. And Flower seems to want it both ways. How could the England set-up "not foresee" the Trott situation and yet be dealing it with it for a significant period of time? Remember this is a team that plans to the nth degree. So who comes in at 6? The pitch and position would suggest it should be a batsman that bowls. Therefore Stokes is the prime candidate. And if they are wary of plunging him into a Test cauldron - why the hell did they bring him on tour? And surely Bresnan isn't match fit to take on the long bowling stints Adelaide will demand?

Posted by Fan1969 on (November 26, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

It is good to see Australia winning after a long gap.

I am sure Enland will fight hard. They came back strongly in India after losing Ahmedabad test

As an Indian, I would not conclude that Aus will win the Ashes. Everything that could go right for Australia happened. Johnson was at his best, Warner under pressure performed, Haddin played classic aussie WK rescue act (Gilchrist did it so often) and Clarke got a century.

Tough times await.

KP will be key as he was in Mumbai test in 2012. KP is unlikely to throw his wicket every time. He obliged twice in Brisbane. Cook, Bell, Prior and Root will fight it out. Anderson will hit back along with Broad.

Australia need to still worry about batting. Watson, Bailey, Rogers and Smith looked out of sorts at times.

Look forward to the next 4 tests. My prediction 2-2 DRAW after a very long time.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2013, 11:21 GMT)

No 3 should be reserved for the best batter in the side and root is not there yet. Bell is the perfect choice at one drop

Posted by Markdal on (November 26, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

I think it's a mistake not to ask for a reinforcement. While I agree that Root is the obvious choice to move into No. 3, what did Nick Compton ever do wrong that he's so out-of-favour? He could be flown out as cover for at least the last 3 Tests. I just said today that, with the possibility of England playing two spinners in Adelaide, it would be almost criminal if Tremlett were to be the one left out, given that he was England's best bowler in the second innings.

Posted by SamRoy on (November 26, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

The best player plays at No. 3 and on current form it is Bell. Give the young kid (Root) a break!! He is the only one youngster who looks good enough to be a world class batsman in a few years time. Balance yet hasn't been tested so I can't comment (as the only way to see whether a player is good enough for test cricket is to get him to play test cricket) but Bairstow has too many shortcomings to play as a specialist batsman (short ball weakness, straight full ball weakness, spin weakness). Can play in place of Prior though as Matt Prior is completely out of form though I don't think England will take that decision.

Posted by Nuxxy on (November 26, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

Of the 3 'giants', wasn't Tremlett the lest effective in the warmup games? Surely Rankin or Finn should get a go before you draft in Bresnan?

Posted by RoBoBobster on (November 26, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

Would be tempted to put Prior there, may get him back into some form due to added concentration, may even relieve some pressure, would not put any others out of position, Bairstow could keep part of the time, and with his recent form his wicket would not be a huge loss for a while

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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