Redcar Derek's blog
The England line-up
This month we have an article by Redcar Derek, who put together what he believed the England team should be for the Ashes. This was written and submitted immediately before the 1st Test at Cardiff. How does Derek's feedback ringtrue now 3 Tests in!
I had some very entertaining texts yesterday with a very good friend on the matter of the England batting line up. Being a Yorkie and desperately wanting Yorkshire to win consecutive titles, I'm naturally not too keen on losing Bairstow to England. Nevertheless, have to be honest - he should be facing the Australians and therefore thought I'd open up the debate on the England team amongst a select group of cricket fans.
Here are my honest thoughts (please feel free to comment):
Cook (never rated his captaincy but he is still a world class opener who would walk into the Australian team - keeps his place)
Lyth (was in the form of his life before being left on the England sidelines in the West Indies and isn't batting as well this season, but has to be retained, but please, please Mr Cook - he is the best slip fielder in England so put him at second slip. Keeps his place)
Ballance (his test average says I'm wrong but he ain't a test no 3. Australia bowled badly at him yesterday but he is clearly susceptible to a pitched up ball and England need to bite the bullet and send him back to Yorkshire). Two alternatives at no 3 - bring in Hales or push Bell up to no 3.
Bell (clearly having a lousy time with the bat, but he has class and I suspect he will keep his place this summer) I'd push him up to no 3 and, get ready for this Mr Norman, bring in Bairstow to replace Ballance.
Root (waited through his junior years for him to play for Yorkshire. Will have to wait a long time now to see him again for the county). Do I need to say keeps his place?
Buttler (prodigious batting talent. Not the best keeper but neither is Bairstow and therefore keeps the gloves and his place)
Stokes (best all rounder in England) keeps his place
Moeen Ali (do we need a no 8 bat who is a part-time spinner? Surely not. Rashid is a very good bat but is a genuine spinner and wicket taker). Rashid gets the place in my England team, but please send him back to Yorkshire if he isn't getting a game.
Broad (simply needs to learn to pitch the ball up. When he does, he takes wickets.) Keeps his place for now but if he persists with short pitched bowling, he will be susceptible to being dropped and replaced by Willey (will come back to that issue)
Wood (England need some pace in their attack) Keeps his place
Anderson (won't go on for ever particularly on dry wickets but you'd not leave him out against Australia) Keeps his place
Now for the back up - was at Lords recently and Middlesex members rate Finn behind Murtagh and Harris. Saw Jack Leaning put him out of the ground at Scarborough. Not for me - insufficient pace and another right hand bowler. Need a leftie as Yorks have proved with Sidebottom, the best leftie around but too old for England. Need to bring Willey into the squad. 3 final comments. If Bell stays at second slip for England when Lyth is in the team, that for me proves Cook will never make a good captain as long as he has a hole in his arse.
If Shane Watson hasn't been replaced in the Aussie team by Mitchell Marsh by the third test I'll be very surprised. Finally, England have 3 brilliant prospects for early in the order learning their trade at Yorkshire - Lees, Leaning and Rhodes (all aged between 20 and 22).
How has Derek fared?! Email us your thoughts!