Wednesday, 30 July 2008

3rd Test, day one: England struggle against SA

Responding to the TMS report on England's poor first innings total at Edgbaston, I'm guessing Vaughan won't be dropped before the end of the series, that would be a big change, also remembering South Africa are probably the strongest side in the world at the moment. but if England aren't winning, then he needs runs to keep his place.

But Colly is surely sunk if he doesn't fire in the second innings. I just hope, Freddy can get stuck into the tourists early on day two and we can dig in for the second innings, so show some proper fight and give ourselves a chance of bowling them out to win the game, maybe Monty will be the man on days four and five?

Ambrose needs to hold all his catches and keep getting some half decent runs and maybe he'll get another series, we've chopped and changed so much since Stewart's retirement, we need to give someone a proper run, remembering Chris Read's treatment as a prime example. But Foster and Prior are ready and waiting for the call I'm sure, and clearly at least one will tour.

Sidebottom is Hoggard's successor, a solid, hard-working seamer, Anderson's still has to get important wickets under his belt to convince me.

Sidebtttom's role is not dissimilar to one-Test wonder Mr Pattinson whose inclusion ahead of Tremlett in the selected squad (let alone anyone else) was illogical and very much a hunch-based gamble.

Broad will be around for years to come, he's still young and needs to work on his bowling like anyone his age, his winter tour berth must be assured, as is Simon Jones's if he stays fit (fingers crossed), I think it's only right he proves himself for a full season.

I like Bopara, in theory a like-for-like replacement for Colly, but is he really strong enough to bat at 5 at Test level? And isn't Rob Key just another good county-level bully?

We have Cook, Strauss, KP and Bell all seemingly set, maybe it's time to find a younger proper batting prospect at 5 and let the keeper (?), Flintoff and Broad stiffen the early tail as part of a five-man attack?

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