The Investec Ashes 2013 June 24, 2013

Root preferred to Compton for Ashes warm-up

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England have given the clearest indication yet that Joe Root, rather than Nick Compton, will open the batting with Alastair Cook during the Ashes. Root will move up the order for the warm-up match against Essex beginning on Sunday, with Compton omitted from the squad and Geoff Miller, the national selector, describing Root as "currently the best opening partner" for Cook.

Compton has paid the price for a disappointing series against New Zealand in May. He looked devoid of confidence in scoring 39 runs in four innings while, in the second Test at Headingley, Root and Jonny Bairstow batted with admirable freedom in posting a partnership of 124 for the fifth wicket.

Root has continued to impress in almost every scenario with which he has been confronted. He has shown a welcome adaptability in limited-overs and Test cricket and, while it might be considered something of a risk to promote him to the top of the order for the first time in an Ashes Test, he has played most of his county cricket as an opening batsman at Yorkshire. The England management have recognised his calm temperament and skill and see him as a big part of the team's future in all formats.

"We believe Joe Root is currently the best opening partner for Alastair Cook and he will open the batting against Essex," Miller said. "Joe has performed well for Yorkshire at the top of the order earlier this season and during his international career so far has proven to be very adaptable in all three formats and relished the challenge of international cricket."

The ECB have announced a 14-man squad to play Essex, including Graeme Swann, who suffered a calf problem during the ICC Champions Trophy, and Kevin Pietersen for what will be only his second first-class appearance since England's tour of New Zealand in March. Boyd Rankin, the former Ireland fast bowler, has also been called up ahead of Chris Tremlett, after being added to both of England's limited-overs squads in the last month.

Compton might consider himself unfortunate to miss out. It is only four Tests since he was celebrating back-to-back centuries in the first two Tests in New Zealand in March while he responded to the challenge 'go back to county cricket and score some runs' by making 166 in his first innings back in Championship cricket against a strong Durham attack. The next highest score in the innings was 42.

He remains available for Somerset's tourist game against Australia from Wednesday - his 30th birthday - but it is now highly unlikely that he will feature in the first Investec Ashes Test which starts on July 10. England will use the Essex game not just for match practice, but to discuss plans and merge as a team. Compton's omission is a clear indication that the selectors have decided to move on. While continuity of selection has been a feature of England's success in recent years, the England management can still be ruthless when they deem it necessary.

The emergence of Bairstow is just as relevant to Compton's demotion as Root's elevation. Bairstow has been on the fringes of the side for some time and has impressed in his limited opportunities. He scored 149 in the final Test against South Africa in 2012 (95 in the first innings and 54 in the second) as well the impressive innings of 64 against New Zealand in Leeds. While Compton is admired for his fortitude and determination, Bairstow is seen as having the greater potential and the wider range of strokes with which to accelerate and hurt opposition bowling attacks. Aged 23, he also has greater scope for the future.

"This match is a vital part of our preparations for the Investec Ashes after a period of limited overs cricket for a large number of the squad," Miller said. "We have a very exciting two months of Test cricket coming up and it is important that we start well at Chelmsford next week. Kevin Pietersen has had no complications following his recent return to cricket after a knee injury which is pleasing and Graeme Swann is recovering well from a calf injury."

An England spokesman confirmed that the match against Essex will be a first-class encounter and so feature just 11 players on each team. The spokesman also confirmed that there are no plans to boost the Essex side with reinforcements. Essex, who currently occupy a mid-table position in Division Two of the County Championship, were recently bowled out for just 20 by Lancashire.

England squad: Alastair Cook (capt), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Boyd Rankin, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY deep6321 on | June 25, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    Looks like a good decision to me. Root is kind of player ,that you ask him to play at any position and he will perform. He looks so calm and composed and hungry for runs. Bairstow will now feel free to bat at No 6, which i think he may have not batted well earlier because he was under constant pressure for good performances like root and his place in team with root at no 6.

  • POSTED BY Happy_hamster on | June 25, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    When you watch Joe Root you can just tell he is going to have a long and successful career, there is something about him he looks so calm yet seems unfazed by pressure/two pint he men. I fell a bit for Compton and I am not sure he is being discarded period but having Bairstow in the team is a bonus for me as he has a big future too and in addition is a fantastic fielder (future WK too); Taylor should be the next batsman to become part of the team set up, he is consistent and has good technique. As for bowlers hopefully Finn will fulfil his enormous potential and provide support for JA and Broad. Tremmers appears to be getting fit if not lethal yet, Onions is up there as usual and young Stokes is developing into a very good all rounder (great surname too); Stokes and Bairstow give England the ginger factor no other test team have- India have no genuine red heads and probably never will!

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    Surely they just wanted to see how Compton performs against the actual Australian attack.Obvious choice in my opinion. Put him against Essex or get some actual experience against the actual opposition. I know which one i would go for and to me it looks like England have done the same.

  • POSTED BY TimMann on | June 26, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    Totally agree with batting selection. Don't understand the agonies over dropping Compton after his centuries. They had no trouble dropping Bopara after he scored - 3 test centuries, was it? Root's a class above as anyone can see. So's Bairstow, frankly. I love Bell to bits but he needs to score an attacking test innings soon. He's just been doing backs-to-the-wall marathons. He's supposed to be our most gifted strokemaker, after KP, so let's see it!

  • POSTED BY 11_Warrior on | June 26, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    is it to accomodate KP? Good Move though..

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | June 26, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    what I dont think people recognise is that England get the best of both worlds here, firstly Compton gets to strut his stuff against Australia, secondly England get to see Root opening with cook, and Bairstow has a chance to get runs and show his quality. As one of Root, Compton or Bairstow will be dropped for the first Test with KP's return.

    Worst case scenario, All three thrive/fail and the selectors have an even bigger headache. Though I suspect all three will be in the initial squad with a final decision made on the evening/morning of the first test.

  • POSTED BY SaracensBob on | June 26, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    Lots of interesting comments - here's my twopennorth. Bad luck Nick, you earned your chance with all those runs for Somerset but, despite those 2 centuries, you didn't cement your place. Joe Root is a natural opener and should be there for the next 12 years or so (records will be broken!). Bairstow to bat at 5 (we're grooming him to take the gloves from Matty Prior). I worry about Ian Bell - gives his wicket away too often with poorly chosen shots. Think Ravi has done enough with bat and ball in recent months to warrant a place. So my top order is - Cook, Root, Trott, K.P., Bairstow, Bopara, Prior. Jimmy, Swanny and Broad are nailed on as 3 of our bowlers and you have riches to pick on for the 4th member of the quartet - Onions, Finn, Tremlett, Bresnan, Meaker, etc. With Ravi's 'bits 'n' pieces' available as necessary. If ECB do want to add a Warwickshire bowler I'd be putting in Keith Barker or Rikki Clarke rather than Boyd Rankin!

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | June 25, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    I think the selectors deserve congratulating for sparing us the tedium of having to watch this guy bat when they already have Cook and Trott. Scoring rates would plummet,the crowds would be asleep in 10 minutes. There would be reports of viewers hanging themselves an hour and a quarter into an England innings. Thank you dear Mr Miller for sparing us. Certainly not a chip off his grandfathers block. More like Tavare's.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | June 25, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    @Mikey 76, Cont. Nowadays Rashid's bowling isn't up to much anyway & probably wouldn't be any more effective at test level than someone like Moen Ali who has scored more runs this yr. As for Borthwick he hasn't scored anywhere near enough runs to be considered for the n06 berth in the test side.

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | June 25, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Lets see how he does against a world class attack. Shame he will be playing the Aussies for a while but he might come up against some good bowlers against another team. God knows this Aussie attack are the greatest ever but someone has to do the impossible.

  • POSTED BY deep6321 on | June 25, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    Looks like a good decision to me. Root is kind of player ,that you ask him to play at any position and he will perform. He looks so calm and composed and hungry for runs. Bairstow will now feel free to bat at No 6, which i think he may have not batted well earlier because he was under constant pressure for good performances like root and his place in team with root at no 6.

  • POSTED BY Happy_hamster on | June 25, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    When you watch Joe Root you can just tell he is going to have a long and successful career, there is something about him he looks so calm yet seems unfazed by pressure/two pint he men. I fell a bit for Compton and I am not sure he is being discarded period but having Bairstow in the team is a bonus for me as he has a big future too and in addition is a fantastic fielder (future WK too); Taylor should be the next batsman to become part of the team set up, he is consistent and has good technique. As for bowlers hopefully Finn will fulfil his enormous potential and provide support for JA and Broad. Tremmers appears to be getting fit if not lethal yet, Onions is up there as usual and young Stokes is developing into a very good all rounder (great surname too); Stokes and Bairstow give England the ginger factor no other test team have- India have no genuine red heads and probably never will!

  • POSTED BY on | June 26, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    Surely they just wanted to see how Compton performs against the actual Australian attack.Obvious choice in my opinion. Put him against Essex or get some actual experience against the actual opposition. I know which one i would go for and to me it looks like England have done the same.

  • POSTED BY TimMann on | June 26, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    Totally agree with batting selection. Don't understand the agonies over dropping Compton after his centuries. They had no trouble dropping Bopara after he scored - 3 test centuries, was it? Root's a class above as anyone can see. So's Bairstow, frankly. I love Bell to bits but he needs to score an attacking test innings soon. He's just been doing backs-to-the-wall marathons. He's supposed to be our most gifted strokemaker, after KP, so let's see it!

  • POSTED BY 11_Warrior on | June 26, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    is it to accomodate KP? Good Move though..

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | June 26, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    what I dont think people recognise is that England get the best of both worlds here, firstly Compton gets to strut his stuff against Australia, secondly England get to see Root opening with cook, and Bairstow has a chance to get runs and show his quality. As one of Root, Compton or Bairstow will be dropped for the first Test with KP's return.

    Worst case scenario, All three thrive/fail and the selectors have an even bigger headache. Though I suspect all three will be in the initial squad with a final decision made on the evening/morning of the first test.

  • POSTED BY SaracensBob on | June 26, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    Lots of interesting comments - here's my twopennorth. Bad luck Nick, you earned your chance with all those runs for Somerset but, despite those 2 centuries, you didn't cement your place. Joe Root is a natural opener and should be there for the next 12 years or so (records will be broken!). Bairstow to bat at 5 (we're grooming him to take the gloves from Matty Prior). I worry about Ian Bell - gives his wicket away too often with poorly chosen shots. Think Ravi has done enough with bat and ball in recent months to warrant a place. So my top order is - Cook, Root, Trott, K.P., Bairstow, Bopara, Prior. Jimmy, Swanny and Broad are nailed on as 3 of our bowlers and you have riches to pick on for the 4th member of the quartet - Onions, Finn, Tremlett, Bresnan, Meaker, etc. With Ravi's 'bits 'n' pieces' available as necessary. If ECB do want to add a Warwickshire bowler I'd be putting in Keith Barker or Rikki Clarke rather than Boyd Rankin!

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | June 25, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    I think the selectors deserve congratulating for sparing us the tedium of having to watch this guy bat when they already have Cook and Trott. Scoring rates would plummet,the crowds would be asleep in 10 minutes. There would be reports of viewers hanging themselves an hour and a quarter into an England innings. Thank you dear Mr Miller for sparing us. Certainly not a chip off his grandfathers block. More like Tavare's.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | June 25, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    @Mikey 76, Cont. Nowadays Rashid's bowling isn't up to much anyway & probably wouldn't be any more effective at test level than someone like Moen Ali who has scored more runs this yr. As for Borthwick he hasn't scored anywhere near enough runs to be considered for the n06 berth in the test side.

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | June 25, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Lets see how he does against a world class attack. Shame he will be playing the Aussies for a while but he might come up against some good bowlers against another team. God knows this Aussie attack are the greatest ever but someone has to do the impossible.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | June 25, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    @Mikey76, I think we need to be very careful about going down the allrounder route. If you look at the great allrounders from the 70s/80s, Kapil,Imram,Beefy,Hadlee, all made their respective teams as a bowler the fact they were all more than handy with a bat was a bonus. More recently Kaliis makes the SA team as a batsman & Flintoff at his best made the Eng team as a bowler, although when he first appeared against SA in 98 he was no more than the latest in a long line of bits n pieces players that Eng had tried. It wasn't for another 3 or 4 yrs when his bowling really developed that he became an asset. At this stage of his career Stokes is not within the best 6 batsman in the country so I don't think you can pick coz he bowls a bit, having said that his bowling is improving so if he can 1 day make the side for his batting he may prove to be a real asset. As for Rashid he has been batting well this year but again I wouldn't say he's anywhere near the top 6 batsman in the country.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | June 25, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    @Beertje, I think the Eng management had a good look at Meaker in Ind & probably decided he wasn't ready as he was replaced by Woakes for the tour to NZL. His FC stats are pretty ordinary this season as well, he's taken 20W @33.2, so I would suspect he's a fair way down the pecking order at the moment. I think Rankin is in because he's tall & is bowling pretty quick this year. With Tremlett Struggling to find his best form after a lengthy injury lay off I think there is a thought in the Eng camp that Rankin could possibly play the Tremlett role if needed.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | June 25, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    @Koushik2412, I don't know what planet you've been on or if you just don't really follow Eng cricket but Kiesweter is out injured & has been for most of the season. I think Eng consider Bairstow the no2 keeper in the test side nowadays. As for Morgan he chose to play a full season of IPL rather than play in the CC with Middlesex & has not played any red ball cricket all year. He was given an extended run in the side & could only manage an ave of 30 in 16 tests. Personally I would very surprised if he gets another chance.

  • POSTED BY on | June 25, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    why dont trott open or you could bring in chopra to open joe root has made his runs in the middle order.

    also prior is not in form let bairstow keep wickets and play an extra bowler or batsman

  • POSTED BY burslemcc4 on | June 25, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    At last a positive move from the Selectors!

    Root is the man to open and probably the future captain.

    Like others i feel for Compton because he tried his heart out and if it wasnt for us having 2 other "slower" tempo players in the top 3, he would probably be keeping his place.

    Best X1 Cook Root Trott KP Bell Bairstow Prior Broad Swann Jimmy Finn, looking to the future with the likes of James Taylor and Ben Stokes to come in we are looking a very strong test side.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | June 25, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    @JG, Totally agree with you re Tremlett. I too would love to see him back to his best and being involved in this series but the hard facts are he's played 6 FC games this year & taken 15w@45 a piece. After such a long time out and stats like that there is no way the selectors can pick him. I didn't rate Bresnan's bowling in the CT & I wouldn't have recalled him for the final. However he did bowl well enough when he came back for Yorkshire earlier in the season. I'm pretty sure he will start the ashes as first reserve in the seam bowling stakes, however unless they decide to rest either Anderson or Broad (i'm sure Finn will play) then he won't get a game against Essex & if he is needed for either of the first 2 tests then it's going to be a long time since he has had any red ball cricket.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | June 25, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    Finally my wish come true now the double "OO" will start to1OO. Along with COOK will polish him more. along with Cook his batting will improve and also build his technique & temperament. Compton can be swap on no.6 position. Prior will score fast & Compton will hang. James Taylor is a very promising cricketer and replace Nick. Cook, Root, Trott (i don't have faith on him in Ashes), KP, Bell, Compton/Taylor, Prior, Swann, Finn, Jimmy, Tremlett.

  • POSTED BY Cricfan_99 on | June 25, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    Cant believe Compton has been dropped.. no offense to root who was also impressive.. but seeing Compton opening the inning in Ind in the most testing conditions possible for any non sub continent teams and grind it out(although beaten several times) had most of our Indian folks mightily impressed..Cos we're used to seeing our spinners run through most of the batting lineups we've faced in the recent past.. The biggest if not the only reason Eng won in Ind is because Cook/Compton gave them solid starts and self belief to the rest of their team that they can survive these conditions and prosper.. which they did- Credit where its due coming from an Ind supporter.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | June 25, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    @Charlie Elliis, I agree I don't think the situation is done & dusted. If the 1st test started this week I think Root would open but by leaving Compton to face the tourists they have ensured that both NC & Bairstow who are vying for the final batting slot get a game, whilst giving Root some practice at the top of the order. If Compton gets runs against an attack whioch is going to be close to the one Aus field in the 1st test then he will make it difficult for the selectors to leave him out.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | June 25, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    @Aussiesfalling, Compton hasnt been ruled out, and if he does go big against the aussies may earn a reprieve and be in the squad for the first test, the game against essex is to have a look at a few options, and to get the batsmen who are in the T20 squad to get out of T20 mode.

  • POSTED BY ArthursAshes on | June 25, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    England are doing the right thing in that if Root becomes the regular opener and lives up to expectations then the top 7 could be set, injuries and retirement notwithstanding, for several years to come. Cook, Root, Trot, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow and Prior is a strong top 7, especially if the younger players deliver to their potential.

    Compton won't be forgotten, but being older works against a player who has just started out at Test level and is struggling to find form and consistency. He needed to get some runs as it is difficult to justify dropping Bairstow after the NZ series. The temptation has to be to go for the younger players who have a chance of coming back later if at first they fail. Older players don't get as many chances to come back, just the way of the world. Older players where questions of technique have been raised even less chance.

    KP was always going to be in assuming fit, his 170+ in his comeback innings just a reminder of his quality.

    Bring on the Aussies.

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | June 25, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    @RodStark - Bairstow is yet to get a truly consistent run though, being called in at the end or middle of series without much game time. Compton has at least had 9 straight games. Think it's harsh to drop him but I can see why they've done it, and I think Root is up to the challenge. I don't think Compton, unless he starts to unfurl the strokes we know he has, would fit in that well down at 6, where England would like a more aggressive player like Bairstow.

  • POSTED BY Aussiesfalling on | June 25, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    Miller's comments aside, to allow Compton to play against the aussies at Taunton rather than against Essex 2nds seems far better preparation for the Test series. The selectors are going to look pretty stupid if Compton, who has already been scoring the 'big runs' flower requested, scores a 100 against the Aussies while Bairstow, down at No6 at Chelmsford is once again denied any useful time in the middle.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | June 25, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    PS - Think a better headline for the article would have been something like

    "Compo Up-Rooted"

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | June 25, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    @koushik2412 on (June 25, 2013, 4:05 GMT) Craig has only just returned from injury and not set the world alight with the bat. 3 other things are 1 - Craig has also not kept since his return - not sure if this is a long term plan? 2- We have Jonny there so have a deputy WK if necessary 3 - It's not a touring party so we would only have a squad of 12 or 13

    @aracer on (June 24, 2013, 21:26 GMT) re "Does anybody honestly think England have a better batting order than Cook, Root, Trott, Pieterson, Bell, Bairstow, Prior?" - definitely the best top 4 we have

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | June 25, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    @Tony Gordonon (June 24, 2013, 23:38 GMT) What has CT done to impress since returning back from injury? Maybe he will come again but if you look back 8 years ago we had Simon Jones who was an amazing bowler. I believe he is still active now but unfortunately since his injury he was never the same bowler

    @RodStark on (June 25, 2013, 2:56 GMT) I think it's a balance thing. I'm not against it really although they knew what Nick was about when they picked him although we could go back to having an unsettled number 6 position if JB doesn't show some consistency. I'm also wondering if Eng have a long term plan with Jonny taking the gloves when Matt retires? Also he is there as immediate cover if anything ever happens to Matt on field

  • POSTED BY Harlequin. on | June 25, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    Well well well! So England may be regimented in their ODI approach but when it comes to test cricket they have shown themselves to be capable of changing it up even when things are apparently going well! Dropping Nick Compton is probably curtains for him, which is unfortunate given that he hasn't been a complete failure for England, but even Somerset fans have told me that they just don't think he is up to test standard - and I think his technique was shown up in the recent NZ series.

    Rankin (and even Onions) instead of Tremlett though? That's slightly disappointing as Tremors is fearsome, but understandable if they don't think he is fully fit yet.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | June 25, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer, fair point, I suppose what i meant was is that the door is still open for Compton, as I believe he has another 4 day match before the final selection of the team for the first test.

    I think Root will become Cooks partner on a long term basis, I think its a year too soon, but I'm not a selector, and theres still a spot down the order for Compton as im not 100% convinced about Bairstow at 6.

  • POSTED BY koushik2412 on | June 25, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    They could have opted for craig kieswetter as an back up wicketkeeper and opening batsman as he has opened in ODI's and make the squad as 16 with Morgan as the back up middle order batsman.

  • POSTED BY Happy_hamster on | June 25, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    My earlier post was meant to read "I feel for Compton" not "I fell for Compton" just to clear up any potential confusion :)

  • POSTED BY RodStark on | June 25, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    I really don't think that Bairstow is better than Compton. They've played about the same number of tests, and Bairstow's failures add up to quite a few more. So now we're going in with an unproven opener (Root) and a dubious number 6 (Bairstow) as opposed to a dubious opener (Compton) and a proven number 6 (Root). Oh well, we'll see.

  • POSTED BY H_Z_O on | June 25, 2013, 0:39 GMT

    Like a few others have said, I wouldn't rule out Nick playing the first Test just yet. If he gets runs against the Aussie attack for Somerset it would be a risky move to leave him out of the first Test, and only heap even more pressure on Joe (who I'd back to handle it, but still). Of course, if Nick struggles against the Aussies they'll look like geniuses for leaving him out. I'd say Bairstow has more reason to worry. Coming out at 6 there's no guarantee he bats against Essex, so his fate might be out of his hands. If Nick impresses against the Aussies it could still cost Bairstow his place. Far from being a concern, I'd say it's a nice problem for the selectors to have. You'd always rather have more players fighting for places.

  • POSTED BY D-Ascendant on | June 25, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    I hope Onions gets a game. I can't believe that someone talented like him gets kept out of the squad.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    For me, the horror is the continued place for Bresnan who is no more than a journeyman cricketer. Tremlett is a vastly better bowler. Root is a good choice as opener but I would keep Compton in reserve for his potential as a batsman who can hang around.

  • POSTED BY cloudmess on | June 24, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    It's the correct decision - a top order of Cook, Root, Trott, Bell, Pietersen, Bairstow and Prior looks very dynamic, but I feel uncomfortable with the idea that Compton has been dumped for good. That would be extremely harsh. He should still be the reserve batsman.

  • POSTED BY whoster on | June 24, 2013, 21:55 GMT

    It is a bit harsh on Compton, especially with the England selectors' liking for continuity. It does look a positive move from England to show such regard for Root though, and the way he's calmly dealt with all the challenges he's had in international cricket so far makes a strong case. Anyway, I'm off to Taunton on Thursday, and regardless of who opens the batting on July 10, I'd love to see Compton get a big score against the Aussies and give the selectors a headache.

  • POSTED BY aracer on | June 24, 2013, 21:26 GMT

    Root might struggle as a test opener, having not had that role before. However Compton might well also struggle as a test opener having had that role before - I know which if the two I'd rather have batting if my life depended on it. Does anybody honestly think England have a better batting order than Cook, Root, Trott, Pieterson, Bell, Bairstow, Prior?

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    I'm deeply unsure about this. A question worth asking is; is Bairstow a better no 6 than Root? I think Root will do a good job up top, don't get me wrong, and anyone who saw Bairstow v SA last year will have no doubts about his ability against high quality place but, oh, hang on, wait a minute, I've talked myself out of my own argument....still, rough on the admirable Compton, he's been (as has been pointed out by several estimable posters) in thoroughly decent nick.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | June 24, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    mixed feelings re this. I see why the decision was made.Nick (no offence) is probably up there with Tavare/ Boycott in the dour stakes so if his solidity has gone ... For the balance of the side I agree with a poster who said he should be omitted but I'd say we have one established player in there who has been lucky to keep his place as his form/SR has come down. ironic if Nick scored big in Somerset's game with Aus before the Ashes series starts.As a Somerset fan he should add some quality to our batting which has been at times woeful this season. Personally I can't see Nick getting back in.TBH I think Nick was treated shabbily by England.When rumours started in NZ that he was going to be dropped no one publicly backed him.He scored 2 tons there under huge pressure and in India which is no easy place to debut was partnerred Cook to help Eng turn the series around. IMO this is the right decision for both Eng and Nick who will go back to Somerset where he is appreciated

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    A swift and decisive move from England. It's tough on Compton but a top six of Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell and Bairstow looks strong, balanced and more than capable of being around and delivering for the next few years.

  • POSTED BY robclark173 on | June 24, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    boyd rankin's selection puzzles me also, he is 28 so hardly one for the future, people like james harris and tremlett are far superior bowlers

  • POSTED BY Lmaotsetung on | June 24, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    This is all a long term plan that most people are not seeing. Bringing in Root and giving Bairstow a better shot at nailing a a spot in the top 6 now is the way to go. I've said it before and I'll say it again...KP's days in an England shirt is numbered. He won't be sticking around for too long and the last thing you'd want going into the India series in 2014 is having 2 new batsmen in the top 6 plus an out of position one. Make the change now, give Bairstow a proper shot and look for another #6 in waiting from the Lions squad.

  • POSTED BY whatawicket on | June 24, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    dylan after all that summing up we get 2 - 2 you are so much better, i thought it would be 0 - 5 to oz

  • POSTED BY willsrustynuts on | June 24, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    Compton has been dropped by the press...

  • POSTED BY MartinC on | June 24, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    Personally, I think this is the right move both for the Ashes but also for the long term. Root is an emerging star and world class player in the making and he IS an opener. He and Cook can give England the best opening pair in World cricket for the next decade. Root will also give a better tempo to the innings than we have seen from Compton who seems more limited more by his mental struggle to show he belongs but also by his technique.

    Harsh on Compton maybe but the right call IMO. Having made the move you stick with Root now through thick and thin and back his class.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | June 24, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    Looks a good move but the fact that it happens just before the Ashes is cause for concern for me. How will Root fare facing the new ball against a quality bowling attack? I know he opens for Yorks but the Aussie attack is among the best in the world especially in Eng. conditions. Root, as is evident by his recent form, is a quality player but would it be asking too much from him to open the innings all of a sudden? Well, let's see. Apart from that, Bairstow would be OK in England, I think. So, the team does look like favorites for the Ashes. Clarke aside, the Aussie batting line-up is not likely to instill fear on any bowling attack. So, it all depends on how our batsmen handle the Aussie pacemen. Go England.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 19:25 GMT

    Interesting that England "promoted" Root to open one day after Arthur was sacked. Do Eng see Ashes is the bag and therefore can experiment for the future ? But @Zoot364 you're right, I also queried Pieterson (who he?) for Thorpe in 2005 and am happy to be proved VERY wrong.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    What about James Taylor. He is YET again scoring in every format of the game.

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | June 24, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    @Alan Hempton - Harris needs to keep himself fit. He's been struggling with niggling injuries all season. Same with Meaker. Basically, with Rankin, they've been wanting to get him in for a long time but haven't been able to due to injury: he was involved with the Lions throughout a lot of 2011 and early 2012. With the likes of Wright & TRJ falling away a bit in recent weeks they've gone back to a man who originally they were extremely keen on. Don't see much wrong with it to be honest (wel, apart from the whole Irish business). Don't really see the point in playing Jimmy, Broad & Bresnan for this game seeing as they've just bowled throughout the CT, so I'd be tempted to look at Rankin and Onions alongside Finn.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    I love these fantasies the Aussies have come up with imagining they have a chance in the up-coming series. One or two untried bowlers and suddenly they have the better of the two attacks or at least with the paucity of their batting they have to have some claim. How can a couple of greenhorns compare to the best swing bowler in the world for a generation with any 2 from Broad, Finn, Bresnan, Onions, Tremlett et al. The only Aussie who would get near the England team has a bad back and is likely not to complete the series. You don't panic sack the head coach while on tour unless the playing side is in complete disarray. Get used to the idea now you Aussie fans the only way to save a humiliation is to not turn up.

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | June 24, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding As I pointed out, Nick Compton is averaging 51.22 for Somerset and has 2x100 and 2x50 in 10 innings so, if he "comes right", he'll be scoring runs like Bradman :-).

  • POSTED BY MarkTaffin on | June 24, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    There a whiff of the pressurized, blundering cackhanded about this, however not unexpected. To keep Bairstow in, someone who has not scored a Test hundred, one with two has been dropped... Bairstow has been a figure of such selectoral doubt he has pinged in and out of the side, not even picked up a bat for a month, while Compton has gone back to county cricket and, as asked, scored runs... Meanwhile, English cricket's latest star, Root, has to be chucked in against Australia's one strength, new ball bowling. Still, Compton has the perfect chance to fire straight back against those same bowlers, while JR and YJB face the might of Essex's trundlers. What would Miller say then about the vital team building exercise in Chelmsford...?

  • POSTED BY bored_iam on | June 24, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow, Prior, Broad, Anderson, Swann, Finn. Wow! Dont see too many weak links in that team. And if Trott & Pietersen carry even 60% of the form theve shown in the CT & the Championship respectively, the Ozzies are in for a LONG grind.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | June 24, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    A top 7 batting line up of Cook, Root, Trott, KP, Bell, +1, Prior, with the +1 being either Bairstow, or Taylor could be good.

    Personally I think it may be the right time for Root to step up, as an opener as this is the postition he plays at county cricket. Although I thought they may have waited until the return series.

    However nothing is set in stone and it may be that compton comes right for somersett.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    I think Root will handle opening just fine, though it's a shame for Compton missing out. I'm less certain that Bairstow is ready to come in. I like him a lot but - and I'm sure I'll get a lot of stick for this- I think Bopara would be the right choice at this moment in time, on the back of a strong champions trophy performance, at the safety of no. six, and offering an extra bowling option. Having said that, Bairstow is one for the future and I'd be delighted if he proved me wrong.

    Stranger is the selection of Rankin. With five seamers in the squad I presume he won't play but I'm surprised if he's now ahead of Tremlett and Woakes...and James Harris for that matter.

  • POSTED BY ThyrSaadam on | June 24, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    I am a support of the Indian cricket team, and as an outsider looking into this series, i think its going to be much closer than some of the predictions going around, add to it the wonderful monsoon eh summer in England. Is it just me or has someone else also noticed that the England seem to crumble under pressure with the favorites tag ? They probably have to think twice before recruiting more SA to play for them.

  • POSTED BY zoot364 on | June 24, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    It's a close call but I think I trust the England management enough to give them the benefit of the doubt. Remember Pietersen and Thorpe in 2005? After this decision, interesting to see what happens if one of the batters is injured.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 24, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    Over thinking the decision. I don't see it as panic. Lots of people doubt Bairstow but not sure why. After a nervous start against Windies he withstood immense pressure against the best bowling attack in the world vs. S.Africa and scored about 90. Bairstow has been very unlucky not to be picked more. It's not the end for Compton but he needs more innings with Somerset to score more runs. One century is not enough. Listening to certain characters within the game England have monitored and tested Root since he was a young boy, this isn't knee jerk. Hope Compton scores a 1000 runs for Somerset by the end of the season as no way will the batting line up stay same for ten tests v Australia.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    Seems an odd move to me, Compton has been solid if not scintilating while Bairstow is far from a proven performer. It seems to me that in a couple of years from now England will be looking for several fresh middle order batsmen in any case, would it not have been better to keep Root in the middle somewhere, perhaps moving him to no.3 when Trott goes? This is for me similar to the kind of manouvering expected from Aussie selectors over the last five years and it hasn't worked well!

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | June 24, 2013, 17:44 GMT

    Well a lot of people saw this coming - some even pleaded it happen. I like both Root and Compton, so I agree with most posters below in that I doubt this will be the end for Compton in England whites. Personally, I preferred Root down in the middle/lower-middle order, where he has shown great temperament and ability to switch between gears depending on a games needs and circumstances. Up opening with Cook... well, we'll see! Big ask for a young, vibrant player. I just hope this isn't too much of an ask. Remember, the opening overs of games against Australia's quicks will be key! It's only once this infamous Aus. pace battery runs out of puff that England's batsmen can make hay (if the sun finally shines in UK at least!).

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | June 24, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    The only justification that I can see might be the following:

    Don't give the Australians any weakness to attack. If we are not totally confident in our opener let's replace him and make the top four even stronger so that they can't target early wickets.

    Of course, by doing that, they open a potential weakness at 6... unless Prior is going to move up and we are going to play 5 bowlers. And no, I am confident that we will not go with the 5-bowler and Prior at 6 option!

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    Tough on Compo,yes but not quite done and dusted.Should Joe fail miserably against Essex and Comps get a big one against The Aussies,then ultimately Bairstow could miss out on an Ashes start. Compo has not become a bad player overnight,and this is an opportunity for the selectors to try out an alternative,but he's not the type to take it lying down and you can be assured we've not seen the last of him at Test level.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | June 24, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    Brave selection putting Root under pressure. He won't last too long, but he's a good 'un and is the future. Expect a good Ashes II wherever he bats. Why Rankin? What's happened to Meaker?

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 17:11 GMT

    People citing other young English players in the past who failed into impress when thrown into the deep end. This kid is definitely 100% not one of them. Not only is he extremely talented but has a very good temperament. I will stick my head out and say he is going to have a better record than Cook. However, I think it is quite harsh on Compton who has been doing well domestically. Whats the rush to get Root in at the top? He is still young and he fits in perfectly in the middle order. Its not like England are desperate they already have a very good top-order.

  • POSTED BY ScottStevo on | June 24, 2013, 17:09 GMT

    Bad idea moving a promising young talent into the firing line so early in his career. He's made good progress in the middle order, don't see any point in moving him to open just now, even if Compton is a bit dubious.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    Strange move by the pommies, James Pattinson will be licking his lips! Then again, Compton probably couldn't any better job than Root as an opener, so they must try something. Why is Jonny Bairstow still in the best XI? Awful batsmen. If England didn't lure so many South Africans they would be in the same boat as Australia... heading down .... creek. Cupboard completely bare. Australia has the advantage in the fast bowlers and they have Michael 'The Don' Clarke on their side. This upcoming Ashes will be a 2-2 draw in my humble opinion.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | June 24, 2013, 17:05 GMT

    I'm going to stick my neck out: Joe Root is the right call to open with Cook. Joe may look very young & he is making his way (quite well, I think most will agree) in the senior form of cricket, and yet he hasn't been fased by any situation he's found himself in thus far. Moreover, Yorks have groomed him as an opener & therefore he was always going to open for England sooner or later. As it is, with Nick Compton scratching around this season in a Somerset side that seems to have lost a great deal of confidence, it turns out to be sooner than some find comfortable or think wise. As I said, I disagree, because I trust what I see with my eyes. He will take to it readily, just as he has with everything else. BTW, once set he will keep the scoreboard ticking. That is something that Compton has never done in his brief Test career. And the last Yorkshire man to open the batting against Australia, aged 22? Len Hutton.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    Obviously this cannot be Compton's end , but the problem is when will he get another chance and what will be his morality at that point. He is ok and yes, there were few failures but everyone does have. Root is a good player, yet why not let him craft a bit more. If he plays well, then that is good. But what if he fails? Will the same selectors back him up?????

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 17:01 GMT

    I'm so gutted for Nick Compton. I'm not surprised but I'm still gutted for him. I always thought when he was originally selected that he was the short term replacement and that Root would end up being the man, now is his time. As for Bairstow, I'm not sure whether he is the right choice for number 6 but at the moment I think he is the best that England have on offer. Whatever happens now though this series will be absolutely huge for both Root AND Bairstow

  • POSTED BY brusselslion on | June 24, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    I have to agree with @CricketingStargazer and @siddhartha87.

    OK, Australia look like they may have a decent attack and Compton struggled in the last series but, as they proved, the Kiwi bowlers were no mugs. Not the right time to be making these changes.

  • POSTED BY 64blip on | June 24, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    This is Compton being dropped for Bairstow, not Root, as Bairstow was the one to lose his place on KP's return. Root opening had to happen at some point and the selectors have decided that it's worth doing now. I'm not sure the Aussies will be particularly pleased. They would certainly have had plans for Compton and would have been looking forward to get inside his head, as he cut a disconsolate figure against NZ. England had got bogged down a few times with Compton/Cook/Trott and it handed the initiative to the opposition. KP/Bairstow/Prior looks lively, doesn't it? Not sure on the thinking with Rankin, he's nearly 29, not exactly one for the future. Is he in scintillating form?

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    I suppose that perhaps England wouldn't want Compton playing two matches back-to-back, which is what would happen if he plays in the match for Somerset against the Aussies starting on Wednesday and ending Saturday. And if I were Andy Flower I'd rather have Compton playing vs the Aussies than against Essex. So maybe this is a storm over nothing?

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    A desperately bad and panicky decision by the England management. They may have seen or found a technical issue with Compton, true; and if so, then they need to make the change. But if this is a form decision, Compton is averaging 37.7 in first-class cricket in 2013. Bairstow is averaging 42.3.

    In 2012, Bairstow averaged 49. Compton averaged 77.

    And so to substitute a promising but still-inferior batsman in the lineup, you have moved a much more promising young cricketer from the relative protection of #6, where he has played very well, to the relative exposure of opening. And what's more Root has had a lot of trouble against the new ball at international level.

  • POSTED BY Sammysong on | June 24, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    I think it's a good decision for the man's future. Root can bowl too, and with Swann spinning it at the other end, he can get into the knack of taking vital wickets. Of course, the Aussies are going to target him - but won't he stand up and show what it really takes. He seems to show that already; every single innings in both Tests and ODIs, whereas Compton seemed to struggle for a while and couldn't get over it mentally. He's also an excellent fielder in the deep.

  • POSTED BY mikey76 on | June 24, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    Thats a bold decision from the selectors who all to often play safe, I would prefer to see a genuine all-rounder come in at six though. Three candidates stand out from this years Championship. Borthwick who has had an excdellent summer so far both with bat and ball, Stokes who's bowling has been very consistent and just needs a big score to nudge the selectors, his ability to get reverse swing is also a big plus and Adil Rashid who is averaging over 100 with the bat so far this year and who's wrist spin could well upset this inexperienced Aussie top order. It takes the workload off the quicks and gives England that extra option when the wicket goes. Its hard on Compton but Root shouldn't be held back, he looks like the next great Eng player.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    Not sure this means the end of Compton, and certainly feel sorry for him if it does. Ironically he's just played his most fluent innings of the season in seeing Somerset home to a tricky chase at Derby, and I think the 'last chance' mentality would actually free him up for the Ashes. It certainly isn't the Root vs Compton debate the media have portrayed and for which there is only one winner, but in fact the Compton vs Bairstow dilemma. I had hoped England would err on the slight side of caution and stick with Compton as we know Root can handle the middle order nicely, and Bairstow is no more proven than Compton is IMO. This selection's actually the best of both worlds, a test of sorts for Root and Cook opening together while Compton still has time to impress the selectors with a big score against the Aus attack at Taunton later this week. Long term, Cook Root Trott KP Bell YJB is our most exciting top six, but I'd still give Compton the first test to show he's up to it in the Ashes..!

  • POSTED BY SevereCritic on | June 24, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    @siddhartha87 - Bairstow! This is a good move. I suspected that they would do something like that. Here's my ENG XI for Ashes:

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

    This looks like a very balanced side on paper - one of England's best ever.

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | June 24, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    This is uncharacteristically inconsistent from the selectors just 3 Tests after he scored back-to-back centuries. He made a 50 today on a difficult pitch v Derbyshire. It was equal highest score of the match and the commentators said that he looked a class above any other batsman on show. He has played 5 matches for Somerset in Division 1 and tops their averages with 51.22 and has 2x100 and 2x50 so, desperately out of form he is not.

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | June 24, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Oh dear. Not sure about Root opening. Won't the Aussies target young Joe? Their batting might have question marks over it but their bowlers have been praised. I fear they may be licking their lips. I hope this isn't the young Bell/Bopara story all over again. Root won't have experienced anything like the intensity of an Ashes match. His youth and naivety will protect him for a while. I really wish him well but worry that it might go horribly wrong. If it does we will have lost the solid progress he was making at 6. To make changes so late without any Test match practice is surely bad planning. Still seems unfair on Compton who bore the brunt of a nasty campaign by the Daily Telegraph to oust him. They must be pleased.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | June 24, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    This is probably the right way to go long term with Bairstow replacing Compton in the side and Root opening. I feel like Root is now part of the furniture-ie he's around for a while and Bairstow could ptove the living misery after the predations of KP and anyone else who fancies flogging attacks to all parts. It thus would be a more entertaining outfit, with Prior to follow, It is also good to see Onions in the mix,though the preswence of Rankin is slightly surprising but nice for him. Essex have had a rough time of it recently and might not find this game much more to their liking, although the return of Bopara reborn will help,as he will have to score most of the runs.

  • POSTED BY siddhartha87 on | June 24, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Who will be the no 6? Root was doing well at no 6.

  • POSTED BY king78787 on | June 24, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    Now comes the BIG test of Joe Root. He is no longer a middle order batsmen but a opener. He HAS to score runs because every time he doesn't Bairstow gets a chance to make runs. And if he has a poor run of form and is dropped....Compton will return and Bairstow will hold onto his place as he will most likely have done well due to Root's possible failures. And if Compton then does well, Root could be on the outside for a LONG time.

  • POSTED BY king78787 on | June 24, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    Now comes the BIG test of Joe Root. He is no longer a middle order batsmen but a opener. He HAS to score runs because every time he doesn't Bairstow gets a chance to make runs. And if he has a poor run of form and is dropped....Compton will return and Bairstow will hold onto his place as he will most likely have done well due to Root's possible failures. And if Compton then does well, Root could be on the outside for a LONG time.

  • POSTED BY siddhartha87 on | June 24, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Who will be the no 6? Root was doing well at no 6.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | June 24, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    This is probably the right way to go long term with Bairstow replacing Compton in the side and Root opening. I feel like Root is now part of the furniture-ie he's around for a while and Bairstow could ptove the living misery after the predations of KP and anyone else who fancies flogging attacks to all parts. It thus would be a more entertaining outfit, with Prior to follow, It is also good to see Onions in the mix,though the preswence of Rankin is slightly surprising but nice for him. Essex have had a rough time of it recently and might not find this game much more to their liking, although the return of Bopara reborn will help,as he will have to score most of the runs.

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | June 24, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Oh dear. Not sure about Root opening. Won't the Aussies target young Joe? Their batting might have question marks over it but their bowlers have been praised. I fear they may be licking their lips. I hope this isn't the young Bell/Bopara story all over again. Root won't have experienced anything like the intensity of an Ashes match. His youth and naivety will protect him for a while. I really wish him well but worry that it might go horribly wrong. If it does we will have lost the solid progress he was making at 6. To make changes so late without any Test match practice is surely bad planning. Still seems unfair on Compton who bore the brunt of a nasty campaign by the Daily Telegraph to oust him. They must be pleased.

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | June 24, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    This is uncharacteristically inconsistent from the selectors just 3 Tests after he scored back-to-back centuries. He made a 50 today on a difficult pitch v Derbyshire. It was equal highest score of the match and the commentators said that he looked a class above any other batsman on show. He has played 5 matches for Somerset in Division 1 and tops their averages with 51.22 and has 2x100 and 2x50 so, desperately out of form he is not.

  • POSTED BY SevereCritic on | June 24, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    @siddhartha87 - Bairstow! This is a good move. I suspected that they would do something like that. Here's my ENG XI for Ashes:

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

    This looks like a very balanced side on paper - one of England's best ever.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    Not sure this means the end of Compton, and certainly feel sorry for him if it does. Ironically he's just played his most fluent innings of the season in seeing Somerset home to a tricky chase at Derby, and I think the 'last chance' mentality would actually free him up for the Ashes. It certainly isn't the Root vs Compton debate the media have portrayed and for which there is only one winner, but in fact the Compton vs Bairstow dilemma. I had hoped England would err on the slight side of caution and stick with Compton as we know Root can handle the middle order nicely, and Bairstow is no more proven than Compton is IMO. This selection's actually the best of both worlds, a test of sorts for Root and Cook opening together while Compton still has time to impress the selectors with a big score against the Aus attack at Taunton later this week. Long term, Cook Root Trott KP Bell YJB is our most exciting top six, but I'd still give Compton the first test to show he's up to it in the Ashes..!

  • POSTED BY mikey76 on | June 24, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    Thats a bold decision from the selectors who all to often play safe, I would prefer to see a genuine all-rounder come in at six though. Three candidates stand out from this years Championship. Borthwick who has had an excdellent summer so far both with bat and ball, Stokes who's bowling has been very consistent and just needs a big score to nudge the selectors, his ability to get reverse swing is also a big plus and Adil Rashid who is averaging over 100 with the bat so far this year and who's wrist spin could well upset this inexperienced Aussie top order. It takes the workload off the quicks and gives England that extra option when the wicket goes. Its hard on Compton but Root shouldn't be held back, he looks like the next great Eng player.

  • POSTED BY Sammysong on | June 24, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    I think it's a good decision for the man's future. Root can bowl too, and with Swann spinning it at the other end, he can get into the knack of taking vital wickets. Of course, the Aussies are going to target him - but won't he stand up and show what it really takes. He seems to show that already; every single innings in both Tests and ODIs, whereas Compton seemed to struggle for a while and couldn't get over it mentally. He's also an excellent fielder in the deep.

  • POSTED BY on | June 24, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    A desperately bad and panicky decision by the England management. They may have seen or found a technical issue with Compton, true; and if so, then they need to make the change. But if this is a form decision, Compton is averaging 37.7 in first-class cricket in 2013. Bairstow is averaging 42.3.

    In 2012, Bairstow averaged 49. Compton averaged 77.

    And so to substitute a promising but still-inferior batsman in the lineup, you have moved a much more promising young cricketer from the relative protection of #6, where he has played very well, to the relative exposure of opening. And what's more Root has had a lot of trouble against the new ball at international level.