England Men's Test Squad: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood
No surprises in the 17 man squad for the first two tests, except maybe Bairstow being back ahead of Bracey. People are a bit mad about that but with Foakes injured I think he has to be the backup, no?
Archer and Woakes injured, Pope is also carrying an injury.
So no Stokes. Fully back him taking a break and props to him for asking for it and being up front about why - plenty in the past would have made up a physical injury, but no denying it's a huge blow to England.
Team selection now has to be Sam Curran at 7 or six batsmen you'd think, and the latter means probably having no spinner again - Jack Leach seems to be the permanent casualty of England's batting weaknesses.
I have a feeling they pick Bairstow at 5/6. I wouldn't do it, but pulling him out of the Hundred to carry drinks would seem unlikely.
Pope supposedly doubtful for the first test, so my expected side is:
Burns Sibley Crawley Root Bairstow Lawrence Buttler Robinson Broad Wood Anderson
I'd much prefer to see Scurran at 7, either Lawrence or Bairstow at 5 and Leach in for one of the right arm seamers. But I can't see it.
Gill and Mayank (concussion) both ruled out of the first test. Assume there's a decent chance Pujara gets pushed up to open and Vihari comes into the middle order? Or do they get KL Rahul to open? Can't imagine Anderson and Broad would be upset about that potential.
England to bat first, looks like it might do a bit early on. Drop anchor, Dominic!
Bairstow, Curran, Lawrence, four seamers and no Leach. Absolutely hate that we keep sacrificing a front line spinner on the altar of making our batting less shite. Not least because Jack Leach averages more opening than anyone else in the side does
Baffled by this England team. If you pick SCurran, you pick him at 7 as a fifth bowler allowing you Wood or Leach, surely? His batting is wasted at 8 and his bowling is well short of what Wood or Leach would offer, surely?
It looks like a team picked entirely because they don't trust the top six. Which is probably what it is.
Balladeer: Happy new year and Christmas and all that to all. (Sorry - again, I mostly browse on mobile, so didn't see your earlier wishes!)
Dec 31, 2020 8:55:05 GMT
Mattzo: I hope you are all well, and good luck for 2021.
Dec 29, 2020 20:14:16 GMT
nemouk: Merry Boxing Day Test Eve!
Dec 25, 2020 12:59:41 GMT
waughandpeace: Merry Christmas all, and a happy new year - fingers crossed we'll all be back watching more cricket in 21
Dec 25, 2020 2:01:50 GMT
pierredelafranchesca: Gale and Pyrah to support Lions as coaches.....OK, i mean Gale has been shit for Yorks and is potentially neck deep in this racism case, but sure why not. In fact, keep the useless prick.
Dec 1, 2020 14:52:55 GMT
Balladeer: Definitely needed to be a thread. I came up with one of the same answers as you because I can't see the chatbox on mobile.
Jun 22, 2020 16:14:58 GMT