Australia’s batting may look weak without Smith and Warner but their bowling attack can be ruthless
done little in preparation for next year’s Ashes series. It’s expected selectors will pick a team to win the current series but they also have to have one eye on the future. The England selectors have been myopic when it comes to the next Ashes series.
It’s fine for all
Englishmen to bask in the glory of Alistair Cook’s fairytale finish to his career but this shouldn’t blind everyone to the team’s shortcomings. Cook was more relaxed having made his decision to retire and that helped concentrate his mind to provide one last grafting memory. However those suggesting that Cook could have played on are completely ignoring the blindingly obvious evidence of the last 12 months — he was gone.
If it hadn’t been for the paltry output from his opening partners, Cook could well have been omitted a number of times in that period. He was fortunate to survive but he made his luck count by going out on an extreme high and enjoying the heart-felt warmth that the English public bestowed upon him for his enormous contributions to the team.
The selectors now need to uncover two opening batsmen as Keaton Jennings’ flimsy defence won’t survive against Australia’s premier pace attack.
Adding to England’s problems they still don’t have a viable 3 4
5/68 6/67 number three. Against Australia’s pace attack Moeen isn’t the answer to the first drop headache and he also hasn’t had much success as an off-spinner in Ashes series.
Consequently, England’s possible spin attack for the Ashes series is far from settled as I don’t see Adil Rashid being the answer. Whilst the England pace attack is good and performed brilliantly against India, it still lacks the option of a genuine speed merchant.
At the under-19 level (in 2012) 3 4
3/106 2/38 Jamie Overton appeared to be a possible answer to that need. Fast and combative he looked to have all the requirements but a series of injuries and limited opportunities with the new ball at County level have hindered his progress. His selection would require bravery but it could reap big rewards.
If either India or England underestimate Australia because of their recent travails they could well be punished. I await the next few months with eager anticipation.
The Indian batting, led by Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, will have to contend with Mitchell Starc & Co on Australia’s bouncy pitches.