Eng­land’s se­lec­tion dilemma

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

re­luc­tant to go down that route again.

How­ever, loy­alty only goes so far and Jonny Bairstow, who has been in pro­lific form for York­shire, could be brought in with Root per­haps pro­moted to num­ber three.

“I am not re­ally sure,” said Eng­land cap­tain Alastair Cook when asked about po­ten­tial changes to the or­der in the third test which be­gins on 29 July.

“It is some­thing the se­lec­tors might have to look at. It’s down to the play­ers; I don’t think it is where peo­ple bat. Peo­ple have got to get stuck in and we did not quite man­age to do that in this game.”

Since scor­ing a cen­tury against New Zealand in May, Lyth, Cook’s latest open­ing part­ner, has done noth­ing to sug­gest he could be a long-term so­lu­tion af­ter Michael Car­berry, Nick Comp­ton, Sam Rob­son and Jonathan Trott failed to ce­ment their places.

“Over the last few games now, we have been three-down for 40-odd, and it’s hard to al­ways ex­pect the mid­dle or­der to get us out of trou­ble,” Cook said. “That is ob­vi­ously an area of con­cern.” There are ques­tion marks over the bowl­ing at­tack too.

James An­der­son, Eng­land’s lead­ing test wicket-taker, failed to claim a sin­gle vic­tim at Lord’s, the first time that has hap­pened since the match against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2010.

An­der­son needs pitches with more life than those pre­pared at Cardiff and Lord’s, though Cook in­sists Eng­land have not been ask­ing grounds­men to pre­pare flat, slow wick­ets.

Stu­art Broad did bowl well, pitch­ing the ball up more than An­der­son or Mark Wood and earn­ing his re­ward with four wick­ets in Aus­tralia’s first in­nings.

Ben Stokes also failed to take a wicket as the fourth seamer and Eng­land may be tempted for a left-field call-up of un­capped Mark Footitt, who has gen­uine pace and would pro­vide left-arm va­ri­ety, in place of Wood.

Aus­tralia were not afraid to make changes fol­low­ing their loss in Cardiff, bring­ing in all­rounder Mitchell Marsh for the more ex­pe­ri­enced Shane Wat­son and wick­et­keeper Peter Nevill.

The en­er­getic Marsh chipped in with key wick­ets at Lord’s while Nevill had a fine match with the gloves and scored a use­ful 45 in the first in­nings.

Eng­land will mull sim­i­lar moves but the smart money is on an un­changed side tak­ing the field in the third test at Edg­bas­ton as they seek to es­tab­lish con­ti­nu­ity and sta­bil­ity at the start of the Cook/bayliss era.

— Reuters

Aus­tralia's Chris rogers (left) and Aus­tralia's David Warner run be­tween the wick­ets on the third day of the sec­ond Ashes cricket test match.

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