England v Australia, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's July 15, 2013

Bresnan pushing for Finn's place

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Tim Bresnan and Graham Onions will again be pushing for Steven Finn's place in England's bowling attack after the selectors named an unchanged 13-man squad for the second Investec Test at Lord's.

As it was before the opening Test at Trent Bridge the one area of debate is the third fast bowler behind James Anderson and Stuart Broad although the selectors have resisted going outside their original group.

Finn had a poor Test, taking match figures of 2 for 117 in 25 overs; the economy rate a particular concern on a surface where scoring became increasingly difficult as the match progressed.

It was a tight call between him and Bresnan in the first place before the selectors opted to retain faith in Finn who had been in the side throughout the five Tests against New Zealand. However, if Alastair Cook does not feel able to entrust Finn with a greater number of overs a change will be required so that the workload can be more evenly spread among England's quicks with Bresnan the likeliest man to replace him.

Anderson had a grueling five days at Trent Bridge, culminating in his marathon 13-over spell on the final day, and was forced to leave the field during Australia's last-wicket stand. He returned to claim the matchwinning wicket after lunch and the official line was that Anderson only suffered cramp, but with just three days between games it will be a major test of his renowned fitness.

There remain concerns, too, over Stuart Broad who struggled with his right shoulder during the first half of the Trent Bridge Test after taking a blow from James Pattinson while batting although his performances improved markedly as the match wore on.

In hindsight, with the way the Trent Bridge surface developed, England may have preferred Bresnan's skills to Finn. Not only can Bresnan bowl lengthy, tight spells but he is also another good exponent of reverse swing.

Bresnan's Test record at Lord's is unflattering with five wickets at 66 in three appearances, while Finn has impressive numbers on his homeground - 29 wickets at 20.65 from five Tests. The final decision could yet come down to the surface; if the hot weather means another baked, cracked pitch there would be further weight behind a recall for Bresnan whereas if it appears like it may carry through with good pace, there could be a temptation to retain Finn.

Onions remains the outside bet to come into the side although he does bowl very well to left handers. The initial expectation was that Graeme Swann would be the major threat to Australia's left handers, but he was below his best at Trent Bridge and was played with relative ease by the likes of Ashton Agar and Pattinson.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY whoster on | July 15, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    Bresnan has to come in for Finn at Lord's - regardless of their respective records at HQ. Finn is infuriating because he can bowl wicket taking deliveries, but can also let batsmen off the hook with four-balls. Too many times Finn released the pressure on the Aussie batsmen, and that's a luxury England can't afford. The Aussies sensed he was the weak link, and Agar especially, launched into him during that epic 10th wicket partnership. Bresnan is a solid bowler, and far more likely to keep things tight while bowling a lot of overs. He'll also strengthen the batting. With the heatwave set to continue during the 2nd Test, England will need four bowlers who the captain can trust to keep things tight and apply pressure when wickets may be difficult to come by.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | July 16, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    He is 6'7 skyscraper, young, talented the only thing is missing is aggressiveness. He don't bowl like a tall, angry, bad guy, aggressive bowling- work in these things fella.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | July 16, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    JG2704 on (July 16, 2013, 7:48 GMT) Yes Fella I'm on my words. I support Tremlett over Onion & Bresnan, the column is Bresnan pushing Finn so thats why I support Tremlett. Root & Cook as an opener one of wish come true. One more thing that i want is AD Hales in all format.

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 16, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    @stumpedlloyd - it depends what you mean by bare. There is plenty of fast bowling talent around, but England have wasted the opportunity to get it involved, so they now lack depth. When Broad & Bresnan were clearly struggling with injuries last year they were continually thrown to the wolves instead of being sorted out properly, which would have been the perfect time to get the likes of Meaker, Harris and Roland-Jones involved and begin rebuilding a stock of pace bowlers. Now they're all injured or out of form, so there's no real choice but to go back to what are, admittedly, proven international performers - I think plenty of sides around the world would like to have a player like Bresnan or Onions in reserve to be fair.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | July 16, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    If there's any doubt over Broad's shoulder at all, England should leave him out. That would mean both Bresnan and Finn will play at Lords. Onions is a fine bowler, but as people have said Lord's is Finn's hunting ground, so surely Finn will be preferred?

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | July 16, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    @cric_J, totally agree with in regards to Bresnan at lords, for some reason hes never really settled at the ground as a bowler. I think his best is 1/155 in a game.

    My concern over fin at Lords is based on what happened in the SL game where he was signifcantly wayward, so much so that Strauss had to resort to putting in a leg stop to prevent the Leg byes that were being conceded.

    The only other option is Onions who is far too similar to Anderson, except that he bowls much more wicket to wicket.

    In this case its very much a Frying pan and Fire excercise so I have to stick with Finn though I suspect Bresnan will be drafted in to strengthen the batting at the bottom.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 16, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    @mikeyp147 on (July 15, 2013, 9:43 GMT) Seem to remember Finn getting worse treatment from Tino in that game and to be fair I think Tino just had one of those games. Until Tino , both Onions and Finn had good figures

    @AKS286 on (July 15, 2013, 14:53 GMT) You say disturbing a winning squad is not a good idea but then you talk about bringing Tremlett in - a guy who is not even in the squad ...

  • POSTED BY on | July 16, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    I would like Finn to keep his place and open the bowling. His best spell at Trent Bridge was with the new ball in the first innings, a whisker away from a test hat trick. Dropping Finn after the first Test would go against England's philosophy of keeping a consistent team. I think both Broad (recovering from that blow on the shoulder) and Swann (more overs under his belt now) will bowl better at Lords, so no need to panic. Finn must open the bowling though.

  • POSTED BY cric_J on | July 16, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    I have always believed that players who have historically done well on a particular ground , should be given a preference unless they are as horrible as Dernbach. That's why I wanted Bres in for Finny at Trent Bridge as he had a better record there.

    Now Finn , although he was pathetic at Trent Bridge , has an impressive record at Lord's. Also it is his home ground. Bres , on the other hand , has been very poor here. So ,I'd probably go for Finny.

    But then the pitch needs to be looked at as well. The one used against NZ was pretty slow and lacked bounce. That won't bode well for Finny and in that case Jimmy may have to bowl 13 consecutive overs gain, which is the last thing I want to see. Also Lord's is usually a good batting pitch and we need a workhorse sort of bowler for that. Bres pips Finny in this regard.

    I am a bit confused now with it being 60-40 for going with Finny and would look at the pitch first.The good thing is that both Broady and Jimmy have pretty good records here.

  • POSTED BY venkatesh018 on | July 16, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Onions will be the ideal replacement. Wicket to wicket bowler who can bowl consistently over long spells. And in this DRS era, he will be very handy with his line and length.

  • POSTED BY whoster on | July 15, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    Bresnan has to come in for Finn at Lord's - regardless of their respective records at HQ. Finn is infuriating because he can bowl wicket taking deliveries, but can also let batsmen off the hook with four-balls. Too many times Finn released the pressure on the Aussie batsmen, and that's a luxury England can't afford. The Aussies sensed he was the weak link, and Agar especially, launched into him during that epic 10th wicket partnership. Bresnan is a solid bowler, and far more likely to keep things tight while bowling a lot of overs. He'll also strengthen the batting. With the heatwave set to continue during the 2nd Test, England will need four bowlers who the captain can trust to keep things tight and apply pressure when wickets may be difficult to come by.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | July 16, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    He is 6'7 skyscraper, young, talented the only thing is missing is aggressiveness. He don't bowl like a tall, angry, bad guy, aggressive bowling- work in these things fella.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | July 16, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    JG2704 on (July 16, 2013, 7:48 GMT) Yes Fella I'm on my words. I support Tremlett over Onion & Bresnan, the column is Bresnan pushing Finn so thats why I support Tremlett. Root & Cook as an opener one of wish come true. One more thing that i want is AD Hales in all format.

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 16, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    @stumpedlloyd - it depends what you mean by bare. There is plenty of fast bowling talent around, but England have wasted the opportunity to get it involved, so they now lack depth. When Broad & Bresnan were clearly struggling with injuries last year they were continually thrown to the wolves instead of being sorted out properly, which would have been the perfect time to get the likes of Meaker, Harris and Roland-Jones involved and begin rebuilding a stock of pace bowlers. Now they're all injured or out of form, so there's no real choice but to go back to what are, admittedly, proven international performers - I think plenty of sides around the world would like to have a player like Bresnan or Onions in reserve to be fair.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | July 16, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    If there's any doubt over Broad's shoulder at all, England should leave him out. That would mean both Bresnan and Finn will play at Lords. Onions is a fine bowler, but as people have said Lord's is Finn's hunting ground, so surely Finn will be preferred?

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | July 16, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    @cric_J, totally agree with in regards to Bresnan at lords, for some reason hes never really settled at the ground as a bowler. I think his best is 1/155 in a game.

    My concern over fin at Lords is based on what happened in the SL game where he was signifcantly wayward, so much so that Strauss had to resort to putting in a leg stop to prevent the Leg byes that were being conceded.

    The only other option is Onions who is far too similar to Anderson, except that he bowls much more wicket to wicket.

    In this case its very much a Frying pan and Fire excercise so I have to stick with Finn though I suspect Bresnan will be drafted in to strengthen the batting at the bottom.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | July 16, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    @mikeyp147 on (July 15, 2013, 9:43 GMT) Seem to remember Finn getting worse treatment from Tino in that game and to be fair I think Tino just had one of those games. Until Tino , both Onions and Finn had good figures

    @AKS286 on (July 15, 2013, 14:53 GMT) You say disturbing a winning squad is not a good idea but then you talk about bringing Tremlett in - a guy who is not even in the squad ...

  • POSTED BY on | July 16, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    I would like Finn to keep his place and open the bowling. His best spell at Trent Bridge was with the new ball in the first innings, a whisker away from a test hat trick. Dropping Finn after the first Test would go against England's philosophy of keeping a consistent team. I think both Broad (recovering from that blow on the shoulder) and Swann (more overs under his belt now) will bowl better at Lords, so no need to panic. Finn must open the bowling though.

  • POSTED BY cric_J on | July 16, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    I have always believed that players who have historically done well on a particular ground , should be given a preference unless they are as horrible as Dernbach. That's why I wanted Bres in for Finny at Trent Bridge as he had a better record there.

    Now Finn , although he was pathetic at Trent Bridge , has an impressive record at Lord's. Also it is his home ground. Bres , on the other hand , has been very poor here. So ,I'd probably go for Finny.

    But then the pitch needs to be looked at as well. The one used against NZ was pretty slow and lacked bounce. That won't bode well for Finny and in that case Jimmy may have to bowl 13 consecutive overs gain, which is the last thing I want to see. Also Lord's is usually a good batting pitch and we need a workhorse sort of bowler for that. Bres pips Finny in this regard.

    I am a bit confused now with it being 60-40 for going with Finny and would look at the pitch first.The good thing is that both Broady and Jimmy have pretty good records here.

  • POSTED BY venkatesh018 on | July 16, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    Onions will be the ideal replacement. Wicket to wicket bowler who can bowl consistently over long spells. And in this DRS era, he will be very handy with his line and length.

  • POSTED BY dkmemon on | July 16, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    Dropping FINN will be a mistake,it will ruin the career of the young fellow. Remember Anderson has had the similar issues when he started his career but persistent trust has made him a great bowler.FINN can learn a lot from Anderson.Now talking about Bresnan is wastage of time...as some one said,,he should go back to domestic cricket...!!!I hope English selection will reconsider about FINN selection...

  • POSTED BY wgtnpom on | July 15, 2013, 21:40 GMT

    I'll have to read my history books again CapitalMarkets. I was sure JT Murray was an England wicketkeeper, not West Indies...

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | July 15, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    Bresnan's still the same quality bowler that skittled Aus last Ashes, but his 3 game return from surgery shows he's still got work to do. If he's picked I'd still back him to take 5-fer alongside Anderson.

  • POSTED BY H_Z_O on | July 15, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    Bres has to come in. I understand that Finn has a better record at Lord's, I can also understand the idea that the conditions there will probably favour him over Bres. If it were that simple, I'd support Finn's selection.

    But it's not. It never is with Australia. They saw what happened when Agar blasted Finn in the first innings and there was clearly a plan to target him in the second. It worked, too. They'll sense he's broken, and with an old-school Aussie at the helm, a man forged in the fiery pits of the steeliest Australian batting lineups, he'll tell his boys to keep going after him. If they knock him out of the attack again, regardless of the outcome, it could swing the series.

    Our best bet is to put their batsmen under the microscope again by not giving them any easy runs. One of the reasons we kept going back to Jimmy wasn't just because we needed a wicket; he was also the only one with control. Finn is a luxury we can't afford unless Swann is bowling well (and atm he isn't).

  • POSTED BY jackthelad on | July 15, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    It's not Finn's figures in this Test that are the issue - any bowler can have an unlucky game - it's the fact that he never looked threatening; even the wickets he got were more due to poor shots than good balls. Bresnan would probably be the obvious replacement, as he is generally dependable even if rarely devastating. The thing is, Broad is consistently injury-prone and this throws unnecessary weight on the third seamer, who should therefore be a 'shock' bowler. I'd go for Onions, myself, though I doubt if the Flowers/Cook axis would agree.

  • POSTED BY on | July 15, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    Bresnan is a county trundler ... also where is Compton? he is far better than both Root and Bairstow. Both loooked out of depth against a decent bowling attack,

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | July 15, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    I think Finn is a much better bowler than county trundler Bresnan. Bresnan should go back to Yorkshire, they will need him there. Panesar should come in for him. If the pitch is dry at Lord's, England would do well to play two spinners. Australians have a genuine weakness to spin which India exposed a few months back. So 2 fast bowlers in Anderson and Finn; 2 spinners in Swann and Monty. Or if England are confident with their batting, they could remove Bairstow and play Broad as an all-rounder at 7. That would give them an extra fast bowler.

  • POSTED BY CapitalMarkets on | July 15, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    Apologies. The technology meant that same comment was posted twice. I live in a world of numbers and these don't lie. They tell me that in the last test Australia bowled 208 overs against Englands 175. Australia's two busiest bowlers sent down 100 overs (48% of the total) and had a combined age of 46. Equivalent figures for England are 119 overs (68% of the total) with a combined age of 65. Australia could introduce an untried 19 year old because they already had four seamers in the side plus two part time spinners (I don't know why Clarke bowls himself so sparingly, as I've never seen an untidy spell from him). My point is that it's not necessary for lower order batsmen to "score runs consistently". They need to stay in, that's all. Even the much maligned Finn can do that as he showed against NZ. Swann is 34, has had two elbow operations, spins the ball at 2400 rpm and bowled 63 overs. Could England introduce a 19 year old bowler under "six batsmen plus four bowlers"? Of course not!

  • POSTED BY CapitalMarkets on | July 15, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK ... it is not necessary to "score runs" when one of the top six is present. The aim is to hold up one end (in the same way as the obdurate J T Murray did for the great West Indian side, playing at number six, with four pacemen and Lance Gibbs to follow). The much maligned Finn has already shown that he can hold up one end against NZ. But I live in a world of numbers and numbers don't lie. In the first test match Australia bowled 208 overs to Englands 175. Contrast the two busiest bowlers! For Australia, 100 overs (48% of the total) were sent down by two 23 year olds (combined age 46). The equivalent for England is 119 overs (68% of the total) which were sent down by a 31 year old (in a few days time) and a 34 year old (combined age 65). Australia could blood an unknown 19 year old because they already had four seamers in the side. The 34 year old has had two operations on his right elbow and spins the ball at 2400 rpm. Could England introduce new blood? Of course not!

  • POSTED BY on | July 15, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    Finn had a poor first test. But he's a wickettaker, a quality strike bowler. England's treatment of him in recent times hasn't been great, dropping him for Bresnan in the ODI side didn't make much sense, and Bresnen traveled plenty during the death overs, exploding the myth of him offering far greater control. Also important it is to compare their test records overall and particularly across the last 12 months.

  • POSTED BY CapitalMarkets on | July 15, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    @salazar555 and those who think six batsmen and four bowlers is the way ahead, please consider the points made by others. Firstly, @ADB1, even if England's batting is better than Australia's (probably true), the issue is that Australia's bowlers are better batsmen than England's. I haven't enjoyed the spectacle of watching an Englishman deliberately wasting time because the best bowler was exhausted and the captain had lost confidence in one of the others. Secondly, I don't think it is unreasonable to expect five batsmen (three of whom are part time bowlers) and a wicket keeper batsmen to get the total to 300 plus with two all-rounders and three bowlers to come. That's 50 each batsman, which is healthy aspiration. Thirdly, @Tigg, @maximum6 et al is arguing about ONE bowling slot and @ADB1 makes the excellent point that "six batsmen-four bowlers" makes it hard to bring in new bowlers. Very good bowlers like Onions go backwards by being permanent 13th man and Anderson gets too much work.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | July 15, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    @CapitalMarkets (post on July 15, 2013, 12:19 GMT): we've all been through this so many times before. Broad and Bresnan are not all-rounders; relying on them to consistently score runs is hopeless. England are unfortunately not blessed with genuine all-rounders like Kallis, otherwise the England number six saga would have been settled ages ago. Given that 20 wickets wins a match, and the merry-go-round number sixes (with the exception of Root who was stupidly hoisted up the order to open) have not consistently performed with the bat, many of us have wished to see a 5-1-5 formation (or I would even settle for two specialist spinners instead of 1 +3 seamers). But England are: (a) stubborn and superstitious; (b) winning, so why bother changing? (c) usually fit and robust. Very much doubt we'll see any formation changes throughout entire Ashes series now.

  • POSTED BY CapitalMarkets on | July 15, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    @salazar555 and those who think six batsmen and four bowlers is the way ahead, please consider the points made by others. Firstly, @ADB1, even if England's batting is better than Australia's (probably true), the issue is that Australia's bowlers are better batsmen than England's. I haven't enjoyed the spectacle of watching an Englishman deliberately wasting time because the best bowler was exhausted and the captain had lost confidence in one of the others. Secondly, I don't think it is unreasonable to expect five batsmen (three of whom are part time bowlers) and a wicket keeper batsmen to get the total to 300 plus with two all-rounders and three bowlers to come. That's 50 each batsman, which is healthy aspiration. Thirdly, @Tigg, @maximum6 et al is arguing about ONE bowling slot and @ADB1 makes the excellent point that "six batsmen-four bowlers" makes it hard to bring in new bowlers. Very good bowlers like Onions go backwards by being permanent 13th man and Anderson gets too much work.

  • POSTED BY MartinC on | July 15, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    It will depend on the pitch. If its as dry and slow/low as we had at Trent Bridge there is no point playing Finn who's strength is pace and bounce. However if it looks to have a bit of hardness about it and the promise of some pace on the first couple of days at least then I would give Finn another go at a venue he bowls well at.

    Lords tends to get easier to bat on as the game goes on and with the weather set fair unless it rags square (which it does not normally do at Lords) I can this being a game with a lot of runs and both teams struggling to take 20 wickets.

  • POSTED BY on | July 15, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    @stumpedlloyd Quite a few very promising fast bowlers (Mistress) Meaker, Roland Jones, Harris and a couple of others. However Flower likes to stick with what he knows. Anderson and Broad are shoe-ins (for Flower at least) and then Finn, Bresnan and Onions ought to give him plenty of options. Pace, reverse or orthodox swing respectively. Either way I wouldn't play 3 seamers at Lords anyway.

    Given how hot and dry it is and continues to forecast it would be Panesar every time for me - even Tredwell. Lords is going to be a turner by day 4. A slow turner with dust-up and a crumbling pitch - and that is Panesar's forte more even than Swann who prefers a faster pitch with more bounce.

  • POSTED BY on | July 15, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    If it's as dry as it is now and forecast to be then Panesar should be in for Finn. Forecast is weather to stay closer to 30 degrees with no rain for as far as the forecast goes. Panesar on slow turners is a better spinner than Swann who is better on faster bouncier turners. 2 seamers - 2 spinners. Trott and Root to bowl maybe 4 overs an innings each to give the others a break or try and "golden arm" a wicket.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | July 15, 2013, 14:53 GMT

    Disturbing the winning squad is not an good idea. England's back bench are out of form with Onions & Bresnan. Tremlett is the good idea, Tremllett performed impressively in previous Ashes. Bresnan lacks pace & bounce but Finn has the both. I don't think Tim or Onion are going to replace Finn. Lord's pitch need Finn or Tremlett.

  • POSTED BY salazar555 on | July 15, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    @capitalmarkets

    I think 4 bowlers is enough in test cricket providing those 4 bowlers are pulling their weight. Broad was injured in the first innings and Finn was a liability in both innings, especially the second innings.

    You can't have 2 bowlers doing all the work, even Swann wasn't playing that well, which is why Jimmy was on his last legs by the end of it all.

  • POSTED BY Cyril_Knight on | July 15, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    @stumpedlloyd - your question about pace bowlers is interesting, I've only missed a handful of days this season watching Surrey and am struggling to name an impressive bowler (not helped by watching most cricket at The Oval I must add). Roland-Jones is very good and the only stand out bowler for me. Chris Jordan is leading wicket taker, but is mightily erratic, I don't think he has the strength of character for Test cricket either. Looking at the other leading bowlers this season, none are anywhere near good enough for England.

    The cupboard is filled with promise, Dernbach, Overton, Meaker, Brooks and Roland-Jones. But it is only promise at this stage, which is why we are always discussing Finn, Onions and Bresnan. Those gone like Tremlett, Shahzad and Plunkett will never return.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | July 15, 2013, 13:27 GMT

    Finn might be down in confidence (I don't think he's the most confident bowler anyway) and Australia are extremely good at picking up on lack of confidence and exploiting it. Finn bowled one really bad spell (against Agar), a couple of good ones and one that can be discounted, when Haddin decided to have a slog and hit some perfectly good balls over the top. However, the main problem is that he didn't bowl enough. He's a bowler to whom rhythm is everything and a couple of overs here and there won't get the best out of him. If Cook doesn't feel that Finn can be given 6/7 over spells, he shouldn't be there. It's a pity because he was by a distance the fastest bowler on either side, but it wasn't a pitch that rewarded speed.

    I'd rather see Onions than Bresnan. Onions is a class bowler who rarely gives anything away and bowls straight. He'll also reverse it when needed. I just don't think Bresnan's quite test class as a bowler and with a 4-man attack, the best 4 bowlers must be picked.

  • POSTED BY stumpedlloyd on | July 15, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    To anyone following English county cricket: I, unfortunately, do not follow county cricket closely, so was wondering if the pace bowling cupboard really is as bare as it seems. It seems England's only options always seem to be Bresnan or Onions. I cannot recall the last time Onions played a test, so perhaps he's due one, but Bresnan, if memory serves, wasn't all that impressive the last few times he played. If the ball isn't swinging, he seems rather one-note. Or am I mistaken? Is Tremlett injured or has he recovered and in poor form? Are there no other quality paceman who could easily come into the test side, or is this a case of Geoff Miller and Co. simply sticking to known commodities. Finn seems to be sorely lacking in confidence; might do him a bit of good to return to Middlesex to regain his form. Is county cricket not producing paceman as it should?

  • POSTED BY GeoffreysMother on | July 15, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    Genuine question - how well does Onions bowl on dry pitches? His performances when there a bit of green in the wicket are excellent - but from my memory he got some tap on both the Indian and New Zealand wickets in the warm up games. Is this generally the case in county cricket?

    Mind you if England are under the cosh by the fourth test then get some water on the Durham wicket and open with Onions!

  • POSTED BY ADB1 on | July 15, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    @CapitalMarkets, I agree re the five bowlers. England's batting is better than Australia's, and if there are concerns about over-bowling Anderson through ten Tests, this is the perfect time to put in a fifth bowler. I also like the idea that it gives England the chance to work out of Bresnan and Onions (and eventually Tremlett?) are still up for it. As it is, England always seem to have Anderson/Swann/Broad and then a raffle for the fourth slot. Long-term of course, a five-man bowling attack would enable you to blood up-and-comers with less risk. Otherwise, England might end up with the worst of all worlds if Anderson is injured: your major bowler gone and only rusty or untried bowlers to replace him.

    Anyone else, feel free to flame this argument. Am I on the wrong track here?

  • POSTED BY CapitalMarkets on | July 15, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    I heard the ex-Yorkshire and England captain, Ray Illingworth, asked about England's "four bowler, six batsmen" policy and I had to agree with his assessment that England have been lucky to get away with selecting only four specialist bowlers so far. Selecting on the premise that no bowler is going to break down or perform poorly in a match makes no sense to me, particularly when playing "five days on, two days off" test matches. Five specialist batsmen, a wicketkeeper who is a batsman turned keeper, a couple of all rounders and three specialist bowlers is the way forward for me, particularly when the main strike bowler gets overused and is thirty plus anyway. I think they should rebalance the team, by substituting Bairstow and Finn with Bresnan and an out and out attacking bowler like Boyd Rankin. They won't do it, but they are doing England and Jimmy Anderson no favours by overbowling Anderson like this.

  • POSTED BY salazar555 on | July 15, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    Forget Tremlett, he's nearly 32 and bowling poor at the moment. He's had his day and was injured on it.

    This is between Finn, Bresnan and Onions. If the pitch at Lords is as dry, slow and low as this pitch was then Finn needs to be out, Bresnan or Onions in. Cook thinks Finn is a liability at the moment. He bowled him for 2 overs and they went for 25. That would be bad bowling in a 20/20 game let alone a test match

  • POSTED BY whatawicket on | July 15, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    R_U_4_REAL_NICK same here when i saw the wicket i though Bresnan. over the last couple of years he has been a better reverser of the bowl then ever the great JA

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 15, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    mikeyp - as did Finn and Bresnan. Onions came out of that game with 4 wickets and by far the best economy rate of the three bowlers.

  • POSTED BY LancsTwins on | July 15, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    Interested in the idea that Anderson brings consistency, whilst Broad/Finn are more incisive. I think this is less true than it has been, as increasingly Anderson is seen as wicket-taker. The real problem is that a four man bowling attack requires everyone to have good days all the time. Finn didn't have this in the past Test, and it put way too much weight on Anderson, who has to stay fit and firing. I think Bresnan will come in on this basis, and the fact that we look like we're going to get another baking hot Test on another non-bouncy wicket will clinch this. I like Finn and I'm sure England will stick with him, but he may have to take a step back just for now.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | July 15, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Before the 1st Test I was in favour of playing Bresnan on the basis that he had performed well at the venue on a couple of occasions,whilst at Lords had done nothing of note. Vice versa Finn. As it was the selectors chose Finn over Bresnan and the result was not good. Bresnan has a poor record at Lords and to play him there and drop Finn would be akin to NOT choosing the horse for the course. Coming after NOT choosing the horse for the course first up I can only think the selectors are doing themselves no favours. Instead I would keep Finn in mind with his local expertise and add Onions into the mix and still probably choose Finn. It has to go right some time,but in any case Bresnan at Lords should be a NO_NO. Of course the best solution might have been Tremlett, but that ship has sailed I suspect. Anyway bresnan will do quite nicely later in the series I am sure.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | July 15, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    @Cyril Knight, I wouldn't say Tremlett is finished, but you are quite correct that he is nowhere near selection and those calling for his inclusion have no idea what they are talking about. Given Lords is Finn home ground & he has an excellent test record there of 29W@20.24 I would be tempted to leave him in. However apart from his new ball burst in the 1st inns here he did not bowl well & if the 2nd test was anywhere else I think he would have to be replaced.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | July 15, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    Bresnan - as I've already said - should be in for Finn. Finn was terrible and bowled like a Mitchell Starc always does: he relieved pressure, didn't think and couldn't bowl line and length with any consistency, resultantly, he got hammered. However, the spell where he was close to a hatrick showed just how much potential he has to be a very good quick. But right now, Bresnan - who could perform Anderson's necessary complimenting bowler perfectly - seems the right fit with his ability to gain reverse swing and bowl long spells. He looks even more suited because of the expected dry pitches. But, if he bowled anywhere near the standard of what he did in his last four tests he will be dealt with more ease than Finn was and will bowl in the Ashes again.

  • POSTED BY Tigg on | July 15, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Onions, Onions, Onions.

    The best bowler in county cricket. Sharp pace nagging wicket to wicket line with just enough swing and seam to cause batsmen trouble. The one time he's played a test as part of a three man atatck that included Bres and FInn (against the Windies) he outbowled the by miles.

  • POSTED BY george204 on | July 15, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    @wibblewibble - it's a very good point. So many of the centrally-contracted players play almost no county cricket at all, which I think is a bad thing.

    On the one hand, you want to manage the workload & keep your players fresh, but on the other hand they need to be used to playing "real" matches, for runs & wickets that count (& first class cricket still does, or should, count). I often feel that some England players may be match fit but not match hardened.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | July 15, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    The problem I see is that Bresnan doesnt bowl well at lords his best bowling in a match at lords is 1-150 odd hardly inspiring.

  • POSTED BY liz1558 on | July 15, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    Without Finn's two breakthroughs on the first evening, England might not have got back into the game. He is a game changer and worth persevering with because he can produce the goods on a regular basis. The JA praise is overblown; he's the most consistent bowler in England's attack, but Broad and Finn have frequently been more incisive and destructive, possibly because JA is so consistent.

  • POSTED BY mikeyp147 on | July 15, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Whenever Onions is touted as coming back into the team, I can't help but remember him getting pasted all around Edgbaston by Tino Best. He's an extremely reliable and successful county bowler, but I think he lacks the pace for Tests.

    Finn goes for too many runs, and his confidence looks shot to pieces. Cook also has no confidence in him - in low-scoring games his profligacy can be the difference between winning and losing.

    Personally, I'd give Tremlett a go, as he frightened the life out of the Aussies in the last series, but as he's not in the squad I guess that means Bresnan, who will probably do a decent job and can score runs at number 8.

  • POSTED BY wibblewibble on | July 15, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    Finn looked like he didn't have a clue yesterday, but that's fine - he's young, plenty of time to learn how to bowl on dead wickets like that. I think Finn's biggest problem is that he spends so little time playing cricket apart from for England, when is he supposed to learn this stuff?

  • POSTED BY Cyril_Knight on | July 15, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    Whoever's chatting about Tremlett hasn't seen him bowl this season so ignore them. He is nowhere near good enough for England any more. He is a shadow of his former self. 4 or 5 over spells, taken off after 3 overs with the new ball regularly. He is dreadful, 80-82mph, untold balls down the leg side, stiff and slow.

    Please stop mentioning him discussions about England. He is finished (sadly).

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 15, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    I'd go with Onions at Lord's. Has a ridiculously good FC record at the venue, even better than his one at his home ground up in Durham. That said, until this year the Lord's pitch was different in the Championship than the flat one that is often produced for Tests: it usually offered a touch to the seamers. Just feel that Onions is the line & length bowler that Lord's always helps; he's in the McGrath/Pollock/Philander style of bowler, all of whom were lethal at HQ.

  • POSTED BY TheDoctor394 on | July 15, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Bresnan's skills with the bat shouldn't be overlooked either. The more England can match Australia's lower order batting, the better.

  • POSTED BY JeffG on | July 15, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    England made a mistake by playing Finn instead of Bresnan at Trent Bridge but don't compound that mistake by now playing Bresnan at Lords. Finn's record at Lords for both England and Middx is great and the mere fact of keeping his place should fix any confidence issues. Bresnan on the other hand, has been uniformly poor at Lords (and, if we're honest, he's been poor in general since his injury.)

  • POSTED BY Redxabi on | July 15, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    From an overs point of view Eng are currently using Finn as the strike bowler with Anderson being employed as a stock-bolwer. Anderson is being completely over bowled which will tell sooner or later. Anderson should move to the strike bowler max 5 over spells and someone brought in to perform the stock bowler option. If that is Broad then you could keep finn.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | July 15, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Don't change a winning side is one of the truisms of sport. There are, however, a number of weighty reasons for dropping Finn for Bresnan. First, Finn's propensity to leak runs at an alarming rate almost delivered the match to Oz: Haddin, sensing SF was out-of-sorts, out-of-rhythm, rightly targeted him in the latter stages. After two awful overs, Cook had to resort to a weary Broad & eventually, an exhausted Anderson. It was the equivalent of pressing the red panic button & it was justified. Finn has never bowled 'dry', but the trade-off was he is meant to be a wicket-taker. Not here, not when the match got to the sharp end. Secondly, Eng is now one up. Denying Oz a way back into the series is paramount as further Eng. victories shd accrue in Oz's desire to get even. Bres will deny quick runs, is absolutely reliable & most importantly, takes his full share of overs without causing alarm to his capt. If Eng is looking after JA, then TB goes shotgun. TB also gets runs & fields..reliably!

  • POSTED BY george204 on | July 15, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    Yes, Finn had a poor game, but it would be insane to drop him for a game on his home ground where he has an impressive record, for someone whose record at Lord's is mediocre at best.

    Finn should be retained, but if he doesn't deliver at Lord's, then maybe a change would be worthwhile...

  • POSTED BY salazar555 on | July 15, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    I like Onions and Tremlett as bowlers but I think Bresnan is a good all round option. He bowls a good line and rarely goes for a lot of runs. He can reverse swing the ball and he bats well too. The extra runs he can provide and the fact that Cook will be able to throw him the ball and know that he will keep it tight suggests to me he should come in for Steven Finn. Finn looks out of sorts, his confidence isn't there and worst of all, the Captain doesn't trust him. If I was picking the teams, Bresnan would have played the first game, I think even Finn fans know Bresnan has to come in for the second game.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | July 15, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    I was surprised they picked Finn over Bresnan for first game; however, what's done is done, and England won. The 'injury' to Broad was significant, because we'll never know if young Agar would have done so well against a fit, fired-up Broad in that first innings.

    I'm not going to rule out Finn for Lord's at all. There'll be a coin-toss between Finn, Bresnan and Onions, and there's chatter about Tremlett as well.

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | July 15, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Has to be Onions for me. In better form than Bresnan and doesn't go for many runs unlike Finn and Bresnan currently. That isn't to say that he won't chip in with a few wickets as well

  • POSTED BY Cyril_Knight on | July 15, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Bresnan's style is not a perfect fit for Lord's. His fuller length is vulnerable to the slope, slipping down leg side. His first-class record there is very poor for a bowler of his ability, 43.91.

    It is all down to confidence though, Bresnan always seems happy within himself, Finn, on the other hand, looked absolutely shot yesterday. Bresnan can come in and bowl to the plans, but he had no X-factor. It would be a gamble to pick Finn, but if he shows up well in training, then he is better suited to hurt Australia at Lord's.

    But if England think they can get Australia's weak batting line-up out through well executed plans, without the unpredictable, magic element, then Bresnan must play.

  • POSTED BY Cyril_Knight on | July 15, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Bresnan's style is not a perfect fit for Lord's. His fuller length is vulnerable to the slope, slipping down leg side. His first-class record there is very poor for a bowler of his ability, 43.91.

    It is all down to confidence though, Bresnan always seems happy within himself, Finn, on the other hand, looked absolutely shot yesterday. Bresnan can come in and bowl to the plans, but he had no X-factor. It would be a gamble to pick Finn, but if he shows up well in training, then he is better suited to hurt Australia at Lord's.

    But if England think they can get Australia's weak batting line-up out through well executed plans, without the unpredictable, magic element, then Bresnan must play.

  • POSTED BY yorkshirematt on | July 15, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Has to be Onions for me. In better form than Bresnan and doesn't go for many runs unlike Finn and Bresnan currently. That isn't to say that he won't chip in with a few wickets as well

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | July 15, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    I was surprised they picked Finn over Bresnan for first game; however, what's done is done, and England won. The 'injury' to Broad was significant, because we'll never know if young Agar would have done so well against a fit, fired-up Broad in that first innings.

    I'm not going to rule out Finn for Lord's at all. There'll be a coin-toss between Finn, Bresnan and Onions, and there's chatter about Tremlett as well.

  • POSTED BY salazar555 on | July 15, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    I like Onions and Tremlett as bowlers but I think Bresnan is a good all round option. He bowls a good line and rarely goes for a lot of runs. He can reverse swing the ball and he bats well too. The extra runs he can provide and the fact that Cook will be able to throw him the ball and know that he will keep it tight suggests to me he should come in for Steven Finn. Finn looks out of sorts, his confidence isn't there and worst of all, the Captain doesn't trust him. If I was picking the teams, Bresnan would have played the first game, I think even Finn fans know Bresnan has to come in for the second game.

  • POSTED BY george204 on | July 15, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    Yes, Finn had a poor game, but it would be insane to drop him for a game on his home ground where he has an impressive record, for someone whose record at Lord's is mediocre at best.

    Finn should be retained, but if he doesn't deliver at Lord's, then maybe a change would be worthwhile...

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | July 15, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Don't change a winning side is one of the truisms of sport. There are, however, a number of weighty reasons for dropping Finn for Bresnan. First, Finn's propensity to leak runs at an alarming rate almost delivered the match to Oz: Haddin, sensing SF was out-of-sorts, out-of-rhythm, rightly targeted him in the latter stages. After two awful overs, Cook had to resort to a weary Broad & eventually, an exhausted Anderson. It was the equivalent of pressing the red panic button & it was justified. Finn has never bowled 'dry', but the trade-off was he is meant to be a wicket-taker. Not here, not when the match got to the sharp end. Secondly, Eng is now one up. Denying Oz a way back into the series is paramount as further Eng. victories shd accrue in Oz's desire to get even. Bres will deny quick runs, is absolutely reliable & most importantly, takes his full share of overs without causing alarm to his capt. If Eng is looking after JA, then TB goes shotgun. TB also gets runs & fields..reliably!

  • POSTED BY Redxabi on | July 15, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    From an overs point of view Eng are currently using Finn as the strike bowler with Anderson being employed as a stock-bolwer. Anderson is being completely over bowled which will tell sooner or later. Anderson should move to the strike bowler max 5 over spells and someone brought in to perform the stock bowler option. If that is Broad then you could keep finn.

  • POSTED BY JeffG on | July 15, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    England made a mistake by playing Finn instead of Bresnan at Trent Bridge but don't compound that mistake by now playing Bresnan at Lords. Finn's record at Lords for both England and Middx is great and the mere fact of keeping his place should fix any confidence issues. Bresnan on the other hand, has been uniformly poor at Lords (and, if we're honest, he's been poor in general since his injury.)

  • POSTED BY TheDoctor394 on | July 15, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Bresnan's skills with the bat shouldn't be overlooked either. The more England can match Australia's lower order batting, the better.

  • POSTED BY SDHM on | July 15, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    I'd go with Onions at Lord's. Has a ridiculously good FC record at the venue, even better than his one at his home ground up in Durham. That said, until this year the Lord's pitch was different in the Championship than the flat one that is often produced for Tests: it usually offered a touch to the seamers. Just feel that Onions is the line & length bowler that Lord's always helps; he's in the McGrath/Pollock/Philander style of bowler, all of whom were lethal at HQ.