Skipper's blog

England's bowlers lack the Ballance of their batsmen

England failed to take enough wickets in Antigua, can they improve for Grenada?

All the talk prior to this series was about the England batting. Would Cook retain his form? Can Trott regain his powers? Could Ballance recover from a woeful World Cup? All this with KP hovering over them like a vulture circling a rotting carcass.

Whilst only the latter of the three troubled batsmen has silenced his critics so far, the England batting line up has twice recovered from poor starts to post impressive scores.

However, the one-dimensional nature of England's bowling attack has gone under the radar. Until now.

England's attack in Antigua had less penetration than any in the last dozen years. Neither Jordan nor Stokes are good enough to be the third seamer in a Test team. Broad is not the bowler he was and Anderson breaking Botham's Test wicket record doesn't disguise the fading of the light in England's premier bowler.

All four bowlers are right handed fast medium bowlers, bowling around 85mph, looking for the outside edge with only middle and late order batsmen troubled by their shorter balls. England need the variety of either extreme pace and bounce, a left hander or a specialist inswing/yorker bowler.

This predictability is amplified by the lack of a Test class spinner. Tredwell simply doesn't bowl wicket-taking balls. He was outbowled by Joe Root in the second innings.

England need to make at least one change. Jordan needs replacing by Plunkett or Wood. This weakening of the lower batting order will leave Tredwell vulnerable to the recently arrived Moeen Ali.

The selectors won't make many changes to a side that almost won the First Test, so the misfiring Cook and Trott will be safe. For now.

How should England change their bowling attack?



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