Skipper's blog

Horses for Courses v Stability and Loyalty

In the Third Test England finally picked a team for the pitch conditions and Hey presto won a Test. Obviously England's turnaround in fortunes can't completely be explained by picking Wood and dropping Bairstow down the order, but it did at least make an uncompetitive team competitive.

England eventually dropped Foakes and Curran to make a well balanced team. It could be argued that both players were unlucky to be dropped. Foakes was man of the series in Sri Lanka and Curran was man of the series in the previous series v India.

So when does pragmatism start and loyalty end? Wood was certainly more effective than Curran and was always likely to be in the West Indies. On that basis should Anderson played all 3 Tests in Sri Lanka?

Foakes has a better Test average than Bairstow and Buttler and is certainly a better keeper than both of them yet he was dropped ahead of his two more experienced teammates?

How much do Root's loyalty to long standing colleagues and presence of central contracts make some players undroppable and at an unfair advantage over newer members of the squad?

England need to find the balance between selection stability and picking the right side for the occasion, especially on tour. Hopefully in the future they will find that balance before the series has been lost.



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