The Investec Ashes 2013 July 6, 2013

Root to open as England name Test squad

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England have confirmed the ascent of Joe Root to opener for the Ashes by naming a 13-man squad devoid of surprises for the first Investec Test at Trent Bridge, beginning on Wednesday. The return of Kevin Pietersen, who missed England's last three Tests against New Zealand with a knee injury, means Nick Compton drops out, while Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann have both been passed fit.

The announcement means there is no late reprieve for Compton, who scored back-to-back Test centuries in New Zealand in March but struggled in the return series. He was left out of England's warm-up match against Essex, with Root moved up to partner Alastair Cook and Jonny Bairstow retaining his place in the middle-order, and despite making runs in two successive tour matches against Australia he has lost his place after nine Tests and 479 runs at an average of 31.93.

Root made 41 and 26 at the top of the order against Essex, while Bairstow was not at his most fluent in scoring a brace of twenties. England, however, had signposted their thinking with the announcement of the squad to play Essex, when the national selector, Geoff Miller, described Root as "currently the best opening partner for Alastair Cook". The young Yorkshire pair are the only members of the squad yet to play in an Ashes Test.

Compton made just 39 in four innings against New Zealand in May and Andy Flower, the England team director, said after the Headingley Test that Compton had to get back to scoring runs for his county. He made a century and two fifties in first-class cricket for Somerset, as well as 79 playing for Worcestershire against the Australians, and the decision to drop him against Essex prompted Compton to claim he had not been given "a fair crack of the whip" by England.

Pietersen is back after several months out with bruising to his right knee bone, having only played one first-class innings since March - although that was a knock of 177 not out for Surrey two weeks ago. Tim Bresnan is involved with the Test side for the first time since elbow surgery over the winter and will likely vie with Steven Finn and Graham Onions for the third seamer's spot.

Onions' inclusion could also be precautionary, after Broad missed the game against Essex and required a cortisone injection in a shoulder injury sustained during the Champions Trophy final - although he declared his confidence that he would be "100 percent right" on Thursday. Swann, too, was briefly the subject of anxiety after being struck on the forearm by Essex's Tymal Mills but fears of a broken bone were quickly dispelled.

"This is an incredibly exciting period of cricket coming up against Australia and we know we will need to play to our full potential throughout the entire Investec Ashes series if we are to retain the Ashes," Miller said. "We are satisfied with our preparations so far ahead of the first Test with both Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad recovering well from the injuries they picked up earlier this week. The squad will continue their hard work over the next few days and will be eagerly anticipating the start of the series on Wednesday at Trent Bridge."

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

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 6, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    Awesome team selection from England. Root may be being thrown in at the deep end, but he has shown he's more than capable of overcoming tough tasks, and has probably the best technique of any batsman in the world at the moment. He is Vaughn-esque, a classical looking player made for the 21st century. Even if it takes him a test to grow into the position, we know he has the character and skill to score loads of runs. He has all the shots in the book. Compton didn't. A great choice.

  • 5wombats on July 8, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    Root to open in an Ashes series.. wow! What an honour and responsibility - and he's only 22....

  • H_Z_O on July 8, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    @JG2704 yeah, I'm not underestimating the Aussies at all, especially that bowling attack. They've got more depth and variety than we have and I'd say their bowlers are more incisive. Their batting has talent and I'd say the only edge England have is experience. Lehmann's own playing experience will be handy and that's why his appointment has probably made this anyone's series. I back us to do it, but that's mostly because of my bias as a fan, if I'm honest.

    And if we're going to talk about series performances, the South Africa series both spring to mind. We were supposedly favourites going into that, yet at no time did we look like it. Meanwhile Australia were expected to get steamrollered and until the last Test they were not only in the contest, but on top. They had South Africa on the ropes at Brisbane and only a stellar knock denied them in Adelaide.

    Not sure either series is relevant, but the South Africa series were at least played in conditions similar to the ones we'll see.

  • Speng on July 8, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    England's brittle fast bowling lineup is their major concern over these Ashes series. A couple injuries/bowlers out of form and it starts becoming difficult.

  • on July 8, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    Big decision from England for dropping Compton and Root has been upgraded as an Opener. Root is an excellent player and will play for a long innings for England however I am thinking that it is a very haste decision by England by making him an Opener.

    Root has all the three qualities, a great batsman, great fielder and very useful spinner which makes him ideal for a test side like England who normally play one spinner only. If that spinner can't bowl or the pitch is taking turn, he will be extremely useful. I still prefer Root to come three down and instead Bell could open the innings with Cook.

  • JG2704 on July 8, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    @H_Z_O on (July 7, 2013, 15:17 GMT) Yeah understand your points. Not sure what the logistics are of preparing a spinning pitch but I'm sure it's not as straightforward as some make out although with this hot weather burst I'd have thought it was more doable. I still think we should have tried a 5/1/5 on several occasions in the last few years and I don't think (since India) England have been that brilliant and certainly not as sorted as the media make out. You look at the series results and I'd say only the India away result was above our expectatioins and even in that series we made an awful selection blunder in the 1st test - did we learn nothing from UAE? NZ/WI home were expected and NZ home was only made to feel better because of the away struggle. The other 4 series were all below par results. I'm certainly not expecting Aus to get thrashed in this one based on one poor series in India. Take that out and since India 2011 I'd say Aus have done better

  • jmcilhinney on July 8, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    @SDH12 on (July 7, 2013, 19:01 GMT), I'm guessing that the inclusion of Onions was primarily because of the injury cloud over Stuart Broad. If Broad isn't fit in time then that means Anderson, Finn and Bresnan would be the three seamers and Onions would be the cover for a last minute injury. Once the XI is named, I'd expect Onions to be released back to Durham. Unfortunately, their game against Derbs will be mostly done by then. Maybe he'll be released in time for the start of that game if Broad proves his fitness in time. It doesn't really benefit anyone for Onions to miss out on playing the Test and the CC game, except Derbs and possibly Australia.

  • on July 7, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    My prediction is Compton will be back during this Ashes series at some point. As good a player Root is, he may or may not struggle opening the batting against a quality Australian bowling attack. With Bairstow, well he might play a brilliant knock, but the way he plays, you'd think that he'd fail more than he'd succeed. What's going to happen is either Root will struggle up the order, or Bairstow will struggle down the order. In the worst possible scenario for England, both will struggle. But one of them will struggle, methinks that will be Bairstow, and than, Root will be moved down the order and Compton will be called back.

  • hhillbumper on July 7, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    For those seeming Indian fans bemoaning Monty.He was backed by English fans and team.Trouble is that he needs pitches in his favour and does not have the guile to bowl that well in England.Warnes joke about him having played the same test a number of times is unfortunately true. We would all love to see Monty in full flow but he has done nowt this year for Sussex.

  • on July 7, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    Dropping Nick Compton is going to haunt and hurt England. This man did everything that was asked of him, and he's been dropped for having one bad series. Maybe we as fans do not appreciate what it means to carry the weight of a family legacy. How well has someone like Ben Hutton or Rohan Gavaskar done in Test cricket? The answer is: nothing at all. Neither one of them have represented their country at the highest form of the game. Nick Compton carried the weight of his family name and has already scored 2 hundreds at the highest level and forced his way into an England XI at the age of 29.

    I am of the opinion that this man Compton is a very strong character and he deserves a place in the starting XI for England.

    I've lost all respect for Andy Flower. He's worse than a Line Manager in the Corporate World who blindly favours one employee at the expense of another. Andy Flower has used different yardsticks to measure what Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow have done and what Nick Compton did!

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 6, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    Awesome team selection from England. Root may be being thrown in at the deep end, but he has shown he's more than capable of overcoming tough tasks, and has probably the best technique of any batsman in the world at the moment. He is Vaughn-esque, a classical looking player made for the 21st century. Even if it takes him a test to grow into the position, we know he has the character and skill to score loads of runs. He has all the shots in the book. Compton didn't. A great choice.

  • 5wombats on July 8, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    Root to open in an Ashes series.. wow! What an honour and responsibility - and he's only 22....

  • H_Z_O on July 8, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    @JG2704 yeah, I'm not underestimating the Aussies at all, especially that bowling attack. They've got more depth and variety than we have and I'd say their bowlers are more incisive. Their batting has talent and I'd say the only edge England have is experience. Lehmann's own playing experience will be handy and that's why his appointment has probably made this anyone's series. I back us to do it, but that's mostly because of my bias as a fan, if I'm honest.

    And if we're going to talk about series performances, the South Africa series both spring to mind. We were supposedly favourites going into that, yet at no time did we look like it. Meanwhile Australia were expected to get steamrollered and until the last Test they were not only in the contest, but on top. They had South Africa on the ropes at Brisbane and only a stellar knock denied them in Adelaide.

    Not sure either series is relevant, but the South Africa series were at least played in conditions similar to the ones we'll see.

  • Speng on July 8, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    England's brittle fast bowling lineup is their major concern over these Ashes series. A couple injuries/bowlers out of form and it starts becoming difficult.

  • on July 8, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    Big decision from England for dropping Compton and Root has been upgraded as an Opener. Root is an excellent player and will play for a long innings for England however I am thinking that it is a very haste decision by England by making him an Opener.

    Root has all the three qualities, a great batsman, great fielder and very useful spinner which makes him ideal for a test side like England who normally play one spinner only. If that spinner can't bowl or the pitch is taking turn, he will be extremely useful. I still prefer Root to come three down and instead Bell could open the innings with Cook.

  • JG2704 on July 8, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    @H_Z_O on (July 7, 2013, 15:17 GMT) Yeah understand your points. Not sure what the logistics are of preparing a spinning pitch but I'm sure it's not as straightforward as some make out although with this hot weather burst I'd have thought it was more doable. I still think we should have tried a 5/1/5 on several occasions in the last few years and I don't think (since India) England have been that brilliant and certainly not as sorted as the media make out. You look at the series results and I'd say only the India away result was above our expectatioins and even in that series we made an awful selection blunder in the 1st test - did we learn nothing from UAE? NZ/WI home were expected and NZ home was only made to feel better because of the away struggle. The other 4 series were all below par results. I'm certainly not expecting Aus to get thrashed in this one based on one poor series in India. Take that out and since India 2011 I'd say Aus have done better

  • jmcilhinney on July 8, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    @SDH12 on (July 7, 2013, 19:01 GMT), I'm guessing that the inclusion of Onions was primarily because of the injury cloud over Stuart Broad. If Broad isn't fit in time then that means Anderson, Finn and Bresnan would be the three seamers and Onions would be the cover for a last minute injury. Once the XI is named, I'd expect Onions to be released back to Durham. Unfortunately, their game against Derbs will be mostly done by then. Maybe he'll be released in time for the start of that game if Broad proves his fitness in time. It doesn't really benefit anyone for Onions to miss out on playing the Test and the CC game, except Derbs and possibly Australia.

  • on July 7, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    My prediction is Compton will be back during this Ashes series at some point. As good a player Root is, he may or may not struggle opening the batting against a quality Australian bowling attack. With Bairstow, well he might play a brilliant knock, but the way he plays, you'd think that he'd fail more than he'd succeed. What's going to happen is either Root will struggle up the order, or Bairstow will struggle down the order. In the worst possible scenario for England, both will struggle. But one of them will struggle, methinks that will be Bairstow, and than, Root will be moved down the order and Compton will be called back.

  • hhillbumper on July 7, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    For those seeming Indian fans bemoaning Monty.He was backed by English fans and team.Trouble is that he needs pitches in his favour and does not have the guile to bowl that well in England.Warnes joke about him having played the same test a number of times is unfortunately true. We would all love to see Monty in full flow but he has done nowt this year for Sussex.

  • on July 7, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    Dropping Nick Compton is going to haunt and hurt England. This man did everything that was asked of him, and he's been dropped for having one bad series. Maybe we as fans do not appreciate what it means to carry the weight of a family legacy. How well has someone like Ben Hutton or Rohan Gavaskar done in Test cricket? The answer is: nothing at all. Neither one of them have represented their country at the highest form of the game. Nick Compton carried the weight of his family name and has already scored 2 hundreds at the highest level and forced his way into an England XI at the age of 29.

    I am of the opinion that this man Compton is a very strong character and he deserves a place in the starting XI for England.

    I've lost all respect for Andy Flower. He's worse than a Line Manager in the Corporate World who blindly favours one employee at the expense of another. Andy Flower has used different yardsticks to measure what Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow have done and what Nick Compton did!

  • SDHM on July 7, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    Not really sure why they're dragging Onions around - we know he won't play, so it's just depriving him of game time for Durham, where he can stay match sharp and then called on if needed. On the other hand, it shows clear intent to play him at some point during this series, which is not a bad move with these 10 Tests coming up. I know there's an injury concern over Broad but you'd think Bresnan would be the injury cover in that case.

    Anyway, I don't have the concerns over the batting line-up that some have. It is indeed harsh on Compton, who, being a Somerset fan, I'm a big supporter of & would love to have seen him retain his place, but the move to bring in Bairstow reminds me of the one to bring in KP in 2005. JB's not in that class, but he is exciting. He's got cojones of steel too, as shown by his return against SA last year. Basically, I think Bairstow can win you a game off his own bat, technical issues and all. I'm not sure Compton can. It's a gamble, but an exciting one.

  • kearon47 on July 7, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    1. A.Cook, 2. J.Root, 3. J.Trott, 4. K.Pieterson, 5. I.Bell, 6.J.Bairstow, 7. M.Prior, 8. S.Broad\T.Bresnan, 9.G.Swann, 10. S.Finn, 11. J.Anderson.

  • H_Z_O on July 7, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    @JG2704 sorry, maybe I should have been clearer. I'm not in favour of the 5 man attack for two spinners unless the conditions call for it (not sure Trent Bridge will). I'm also not in favour of picking an extra bowler "just because", but if that bowler has something the others don't. We had that in 2005.

    You could make an argument that we have that now but I'm concerned that going in with one less batsman is an aggressive move that could backfire. If the Aussie bowlers skittle us cheaply they'll grow in confidence. I'm not sure we'd recover.

    Our best bet is to grind their attack down, avoid getting bowled out either innings and put the pressure back on them to show they're as good as they say they are. I think they are that good, but it'll certainly be a test for them.

    I also wasn't a fan of dropping Compton or moving Root from 6 so I agree it made more sense sticking with the 6-1-4 system if Compton was still opening. I wouldn't change it just yet, but maybe as the series goes on.

  • JG2704 on July 7, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    @H_Z_O on (July 6, 2013, 22:50 GMT) For once I'm going to disagree with you. Yes the last time we tried it (4 years ago) the game didn't go too well but could that also not be because the players simply didn't play well enough? We had poor results in 2012 with the 6/1/4 formation so does that mean that doesn't work either? We've obsessively searched for that reliable number 6 for years and years and it's not happened and when it looks like it has (with Root) they change it all around. Our best performing side (in a series) in the last 30 years was the 2005 Ashes side and that was 5/1/5 which basically became 6/1/4 for the last test only because S Jones got injured. There are pros and cons for both formations. The cons being if the 5th bowler or 6th batsman isn't contributing enough.

  • RednWhiteArmy on July 7, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    Joe Root & John Bairstow are the young batsmen australia wish they had. 35 year old openers with 1 game? Haaa! The forecast for Nottinghamshire is 0% chance of rain on all 5 days. More good news for the hapless aussie team haha

  • ben.p. on July 7, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    I recall that Geoff Miller was made to look very foolish in the wake of Darren Pattinson's nonsensical selection five years ago. I strongly suspect the same will happen now with the omission of Nick Compton. Never mind. He comes from a long line of chairmen of England selectors - among them Bedser, May, Dexter and Graveney - who hadn't got a clue what they were doing. It's quite a tradition. I hate to think how many Tests and series they've cost us. The only consolation is that Australia's selectors appear recently to have developed a similar taste for incompetence. It's given England the kind of advantage they've long been giving to the opposition themselves. However, with the appointment of Lehmann, Australia may have turned a corner. Remember 1989? They got their order right and batted England out of the series, even though they hadn't got much bowling themselves. Compton has proved he can do the job. Leave him there until he's proved he can't. Root is a new boy as Test opener.

  • jmcilhinney on July 7, 2013, 1:54 GMT

    @GeoffreysMother on (July 6, 2013, 21:09 GMT), I agree re Bairstow. He's never really had a proper run in the team and several of his appearances have been one-offs with little preparation. Yes, he looked to have issues against the short ball when playing WI but it's a bit stupid to say things like "Bairstow cannot handle the rising ball" when he looked quite confident in his next match against SA. Of course, what can you expect from people like that? Compton and Bairstow currently have pretty much exactly the same Test average so I don't really see Bairstow as a bigger gamble than Compton anyway. I'm not completely sure of either for this series but I favour Bairstow to have a greater impact in the long run.

  • kensohatter on July 7, 2013, 0:47 GMT

    I think Australia will be relatively happy with the team selected. Compton and Cook are the best options to nullify Australias ONLY threat Pattinson and Starc. Even if on day 1 its 0/150 rocking their enthusiasm and momentum will be important for the series. In this set up the australians know they get to have a crack at Root with a new ball and then only have to deal with Bairstow in the middle (arguments for run rate are crazy when they already have selected Peterson and Bell this is not an ODI). I also believe only one of Broad and Bresnan can be picked as both have been average then monty can be included. Tactically i think cook needs to make sure that anderson is fresh when clarke comes to the wicket... its lack of depth in the bowling ranks that could sink england but australia dont have the batting strength to capitalise aside from clarke who will score runs all day if no one gets him to nick one early.

  • IPLSTARS on July 7, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    Really harsh on Compton. He deserved to be in England playing 11. Hope selectors will get him back for the next test.

  • on July 7, 2013, 0:38 GMT

    It seems many readers have not seen Root play for his county, so well and for so many matches, even before he got his first chance to play for England! I was about to say, check with Boycott. Then hesitated, considering his soft corner for Yorkshire players!

  • H_Z_O on July 6, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    Can't believe people still think picking two spinners against Australia will work just because they struggled in India. This. Isn't. India. The ball will swing, and probably won't turn sideways. Picking six specialist batsmen against Pattinson swinging it at over 90 miles an hour? Yeah, that's smart. Not like Clarke plays spin well either.

    Just because it turned during the Champions Trophy doesn't mean it will during the Tests. Only one of the venues for the Champions Trophy will be used for the Ashes, and the ball will be different (a Duke instead of a Kookaburra). Chalk and cheese.

  • H_Z_O on July 6, 2013, 22:50 GMT

    @Hotu Chainani We tried the "five specialist batsmen with Prior at 6" idea in 2009 at Headingley. To say it didn't work would be an understatement. Only two got into double figures (Cook and Prior), we were bowled out for 102 and lost by an innings. As if to rub it in, Australia's top scorer was their specialist batsman at number 6.

    No thanks.

    Root can bowl spin quite handily and conditions are unlikely to favour two spinners until Old Trafford at the earliest, and then only there and the Oval.

  • landl47 on July 6, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    Picking Bairstow is a risk, but his upside is much greater than that of Compton. Root seems to be able to deal with anything from Indian dustbowls to David Warner's fists, so putting him in the position he's played in most of his career isn't that big a gamble. I just hope England goes with Finn and not the bits-and-pieces player Bresnan.

    Australia's two best players of spin, Clarke and Smith, are right-handers. However, they have 5 left-handers in the squad, none great against spin. I can't see Monty getting a game.

    @dear old RandyOZ: well, Bairstow did make 54 and 95 in a test against SA last year, but perhaps Steyn and Morkel can't bowl the rising ball?

  • YorkshirePudding on July 6, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    @Hotu Chainani, why too spinners in english conditions, if it was in india or sl then you might have a point, but with covered wickets now you wont have 2 spinners in a tam in england.

  • David_1946 on July 6, 2013, 21:09 GMT

    IMO some folk here are missing the point. It's not about whether Compton "deserves" to play, or whether opening is an "unfair" burden to place on Root. As Ian Chappell once said, selectors must pick the batsmen whom they believe are most likely to make 100s, and the bowlers most likely to take 5-fors. Pandering to appease the needs or wishes of individual players is folly. Whether rightly or wrongly, Bairstow has been selected ahead of Compton; if the move fails, the selectors can always make changes later in the series.

    @Cobus: you can't select on the basis of insuring against every possible outcome of injury. Injuries are all part of the luck of the game, just like the weather, which team gets best use of the conditions, "freak" dismissals, umpiring decisions.

  • GeoffreysMother on July 6, 2013, 21:09 GMT

    Bairstow needs and deserves a full series - not one match in, one out an then carrying the drinks in ODI's rather than playing four day cricket. Compton will only ever save a test, Bairstow if he is successful, is likely to bat at a rate which wins them, and once Pieterson is gone England will need someone who is capable of doing that. If he doesn't do that this summer then Taylor's performances this season are more impressive than Comptons and is likely to be the next cab on the rank.

  • on July 6, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    England missed a trick here. They would have done well to go in with two spinners, three pacers, five specialist batsmen and the keeper - not forgetting that they also have bowlers who can bat a bit.

  • Aussiesfalling on July 6, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    I hear that the Trent Bridge pitch is very dry so Geoff Miller might be ringing Monty Panesar on Monday night.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 6, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    @AKS286 (post on July 6, 2013, 18:40 GMT): are any of those guys even considered for tests, never mind the squad for first game of Ashes series? You just sound a bit surprised they haven't been picked here - that's all.

    @RandyUK: for once I agree with you! Been saying all along I think this is a big mistake by England, and playing into Aus. strengths rather than their weaknesses. Doesn't really matter if Aus. pick Siddle, Bird or Harris now for the remaining slot, whereas had Compton opened there'd only have been one sensible choice.

  • TenDonebyaShooter on July 6, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    In regard to the selection of Bairstow, I'm trying to remember the last time England began an Ashes series with a specialist batsman in the team who had been given several opportunities to prove himself at test level, but had not yet made a century. I came up with two precedents from 20 years ago: Wayne Larkins (1990-1), and Bill Athey (1986-7). Neither made a century in the series concerned, but in terms of real impact on the series, the latter was clearly a success. England will be hoping Bairstow's selection will follow the pattern of a player who used to be a county colleague of his father, rather than the effect of Larkins' selection. @couchpundit; the selectors will have in mind Monty's struggles in New Zealand (with the ball, if not the bat) at least as much as his success in India.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 6, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    People shouldn't really have expected anything different - this team's been more-or-less picked months ago, regardless of what went on in warm-up games etc.

    I've said all I wanted about Compton's snub, and the unexplained knee-jerk promotion of Root up to open on other threads, so nothing else to add. As for the comments below about playing Panesar/two spinners... HA! Hello - this is England team. They're never going to try something smart like that, regardless of venue/opponents. SA are pretty safe at the number 1 ranking in tests for quite some time me thinks.

  • RandyOZ on July 6, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    No Compton? Great news for Australia, especially considering Bairstow cannot handle the rising ball. Pattinson and Starc will have a field day. Lets hope Bresnan plays though haha!

  • AKS286 on July 6, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    I always in favour of Root as an opener but I don't want this experiment in Ashes. Compton must open or bats in middle order. Tremlett is ahead of Bresnan, Onion, Finn and broad. If Compton will not play then i'm supporting J.Taylor, Hales & Lumb.

  • king78787 on July 6, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    Where is the aussie team defiency? Playing spin aggressively and successfully. 2 spinners in Swann and Panesar with Anderson and Onions as the 2 seamers. The batting line up is Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Prior, Bresnan. The XI for the first test: 1. Cook 2. Root 3. Trott 4. Pietersen 5. Bell 6. Prior 7. Bresnan 8. Swann 9. Anderson 10. Onions 11. Panesar.

  • Whatsgoinoffoutthere on July 6, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    Compton can feel himself to be a little unlucky that Bairstow is in the side and not him. Root's absence was never in doubt.

    Onions won't play. I suspect they'll prefer Bresnan to Finn on account of the former's batting, but personally I believe that Finn is the better bowler and should be the one picked.

    And no, Monty probably won't play at all. I think England are missing a trick, because seeing the current Australian team there is at present a lack of spin bowling in the Australian squad. I'm surprised that England resisted the temptation to prepare a pitch that turned square from teatime on the first day. Monty didn't look at home in New Zealand - but I think someone behind the scenes was trying to coach him in bowling. Just leave him be, he's got hands like dinner plates and wrists of rubber, he doesn't need to be told what to do.

  • on July 6, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    Compton will be back. Dont worry. he needs to keep on scoring in county. Thats all.

  • on July 6, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    Poor Compton! He did not deserve the snub. Not convinced by the squad.

  • on July 6, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    I think England are taking a big risk that could cost then the 1st Test ; bowlers, Anderson, Broad, Swan and how ever.If Swan or Broad or both gets injured, then what.That for me is more of a concern then the batting.If one or both of then gets injured, I will have my money on Aussies.

  • couchpundit on July 6, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    @Chandrasekhara Rao Sasanapuri - monty will not play for england unless they tour subcontinent. English think too low of him and use him as work horse. Despite his results in india...if you had watched english media swann was praised and not ponty....not even the team members talk openly about montys contribution.

  • Syd_F on July 6, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    @BRUTALANALYST, I second you.

  • Syd_F on July 6, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    England is putting undue pressure on Root. He may have very sound technique and temperament and few other positive attributes, but putting such immense pressure in such a high profile series England is doing injustice to his talent. Having Compton to open and Root at would have been a far better path for England. They seem pretty complacent, and it might lead into their downfall. I'm predicting pretty ordinary series for Cook, Root & Bairstow. Then wanna see what England do with Compton. Just to accomodate Bairstow for future is not the way to go. They are looking too far ahead. I hope I'm proven wrong and we've a pretty competitive series. Let the best team win.

  • on July 6, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    England's squad look half-baked. Root is new comer, Bairstow not in good form and inclusion of Bresnan and Onions when there are serious other contenders present outside the squad. Perterson also doesn't have enough match practice. Australia will exploit this.

  • on July 6, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    There are some organisational favourites or so it seems - one bad series and Compton funds himself out.

  • Tigg on July 6, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    People need to realise that Root/Compton is not the problem, it's Bairstow/Compton. Why England insist on Bairstow over Compton is a mystery. A couple of decent 50s do not a test player make. I'd keep Root at 6 and open with Compton until a decent middle order player emerges (be it Bairstow or someone else).

    Also, for me, Onions has to play.

  • PACERONE on July 6, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    Australian batsmen have to put runs on the board and not get dismissed in under a day.The batsmen batting with Watson and Clarke should not be taking risks.leave the wide balls and bouncers over their heads alone.Don't be padding up and not playing a stroke.Very simple play straight.No need to try and entertain the crowd,England never does except for Pietersen.Aussie bowling can candle England's batsmen.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 6, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    I have no complaints about this side as it is the one I would have picked. I wonder about 3rd seamer here. Most people would pick Finn. I see the reason,but I would argue that Trent Bridge has proved a great ground for Bresnan. Finn has the pace, Bresnan the variety and the batting. Of course 20 wkts have to be taken, but as Sir Gepoffrey points out you still have to have enough runs on the board. Cricket cannot be reduced to a number of easily quoted aphorisms really. E.g.- Pakistan sides often have the bowling but the batsmen are not there to make the runs. Somewhere along the line the accurate Onions might be preferred. Selection therefore is not so easy, thankfully. Sometime in the series I would love to see |Monty too alongside Swann. The Aussies failed in India so a turning track could be a winner,st the Oval or Old Trafford. Also somewhere will be Tremlett. England are in a good place I think.

  • on July 6, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    I would have preferred to keep Root where he was and persevere with Compton. Compton has worked hard in County Cricket after the NZ series and deserved another chance. Now we have an unproven opener (at test level) and a no.6 with little experience and a patchy record in tests (Ave 31). Compton is entitled to feel a bit hard done by.

  • on July 6, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    AUS are vulnerable against left arm spin. Ravindra Jadeja has really troubled them in the series against India. And also, ENG wickets are helping left arm spinners in these days. RJ was the leading wicket taker in the recently concluded Champions Trophy. Considering all these facts, I would love to see Monty in the final 11. Unfortunately he is not in the squad itself. After seeing this ENG squad, I feel their Ashes journey this year may not be easy. Don't under estimate, AUS at any time. They are capable of pulling things back at any time.

  • gsingh7 on July 6, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    root will be weak link as he has yet to face quality fast bowling on green tops. cook have to prove his mettle that can he surpass sachin record of 100 hundreds and 35000 runs in international cricket.jimmy is only good bowler in english lineup and without swing conditions he is listless as we have seen against sl in ct2013. aus have got best fast bowling unit alongside sa in the world. want them toplay to their potential and win 1st test.

  • on July 6, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    don't see now bresnan fits into the mix of this high performance english team...Don't foresee him playing any of the matches unless there are injuries. Compton would have been good at the top. Not sure Root is opener material. He's more no 3 or 4 material. Good luck to the English team. Looking forward to an exciting Ashes series...

  • gudolerhum on July 6, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    The selectors have done the expected, picked the latest eye catcher and dropped someone who has not 'failed'. They continue this policy of sacrificing certain good players on the slightest whim. After Flower said that Compton had to get back to scoring runs for his county as the objective to stay in the squad and he goes and does exactly that, it is a slap in the face of any intelligent person not to include him in the initial match. If he does not produce, then it may be time to consider Root to open. I wish Joe Root well, more reluctantly than I would like to be doing, because in my view, he is in the team purely at the expense of another player who does not deserve to be sidelined. Mr Flower, you are going the way all English managers seem to do, you are becoming a little too assured of the infallibility of your own decisions. Time will tell.

  • on July 6, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Going back to the "roots" always helps. If any Tom, Dick and Harry can be made an opener, Joe certainly can, especially when he had been consistently performing for his county, further re-inforced by his good shows after getting a few chances to represent England... I had been mentioning the desirability of bringing in Joe Root as an opener, even before Strauss retired, by just seeing him bat in a few televised matches of his county's game. A very good decision indeed. He is a more dynamic modern 'avatar' of Geoff Boycott! Good luck, my boy! ( By the way, he can take it on the chin, and play very normally, the very next day!)

  • on July 6, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Monty for variety, monty bowled England to series win against India, remember Aus are vulnerable against spin

  • 2nd_Slip on July 6, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    Very harsh on Compton I would say. Would love to see Onions in for Bresnan. Bresnan does not qualify as an allrounder in my book, so I would rather go for an out and out bowler.

  • MartinC on July 6, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    The top 7 from that list pick themselves given who is in the 13. Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow, Prior. Then we pick 4 bowlers. Personally I trust my top 7 to score me the runs I need so I want the best 4 bowlers to take 20 wickets so I discount Bresnans batting and pick Broad, Swann, Anderson and Finn.

  • on July 6, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    Bairstow and onions will sit out

  • on July 6, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    was hoping Compton would open.

  • BRUTALANALYST on July 6, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    Root and Bairstow are weak links imo as is Broad especially if he's not 100% I'd go with Onions either way.This would be my 11 1.Cook 2.Compton 3.Trott 4.KP 5.Bell 6. Root 7. Prior 8. Swann 9. Onions/Bresnan 10.Anderson 11. Finn

  • gzk89 on July 6, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    What else does Compton have to do to get a look in? Told to go away and get runs, he did, with a big 166 v Durham. He averaged 55 against the Aussies in the two tour games. Hope he gets a look in for the later Tests.

  • gzk89 on July 6, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    What else does Compton have to do to get a look in? Told to go away and get runs, he did, with a big 166 v Durham. He averaged 55 against the Aussies in the two tour games. Hope he gets a look in for the later Tests.

  • BRUTALANALYST on July 6, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    Root and Bairstow are weak links imo as is Broad especially if he's not 100% I'd go with Onions either way.This would be my 11 1.Cook 2.Compton 3.Trott 4.KP 5.Bell 6. Root 7. Prior 8. Swann 9. Onions/Bresnan 10.Anderson 11. Finn

  • on July 6, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    was hoping Compton would open.

  • on July 6, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    Bairstow and onions will sit out

  • MartinC on July 6, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    The top 7 from that list pick themselves given who is in the 13. Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow, Prior. Then we pick 4 bowlers. Personally I trust my top 7 to score me the runs I need so I want the best 4 bowlers to take 20 wickets so I discount Bresnans batting and pick Broad, Swann, Anderson and Finn.

  • 2nd_Slip on July 6, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    Very harsh on Compton I would say. Would love to see Onions in for Bresnan. Bresnan does not qualify as an allrounder in my book, so I would rather go for an out and out bowler.

  • on July 6, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Monty for variety, monty bowled England to series win against India, remember Aus are vulnerable against spin

  • on July 6, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Going back to the "roots" always helps. If any Tom, Dick and Harry can be made an opener, Joe certainly can, especially when he had been consistently performing for his county, further re-inforced by his good shows after getting a few chances to represent England... I had been mentioning the desirability of bringing in Joe Root as an opener, even before Strauss retired, by just seeing him bat in a few televised matches of his county's game. A very good decision indeed. He is a more dynamic modern 'avatar' of Geoff Boycott! Good luck, my boy! ( By the way, he can take it on the chin, and play very normally, the very next day!)

  • gudolerhum on July 6, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    The selectors have done the expected, picked the latest eye catcher and dropped someone who has not 'failed'. They continue this policy of sacrificing certain good players on the slightest whim. After Flower said that Compton had to get back to scoring runs for his county as the objective to stay in the squad and he goes and does exactly that, it is a slap in the face of any intelligent person not to include him in the initial match. If he does not produce, then it may be time to consider Root to open. I wish Joe Root well, more reluctantly than I would like to be doing, because in my view, he is in the team purely at the expense of another player who does not deserve to be sidelined. Mr Flower, you are going the way all English managers seem to do, you are becoming a little too assured of the infallibility of your own decisions. Time will tell.

  • on July 6, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    don't see now bresnan fits into the mix of this high performance english team...Don't foresee him playing any of the matches unless there are injuries. Compton would have been good at the top. Not sure Root is opener material. He's more no 3 or 4 material. Good luck to the English team. Looking forward to an exciting Ashes series...