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Who to open the batting with Cook in the first ashes test?

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Who to open the batting with Cook in the first ashes test? Empty Who to open the batting with Cook in the first ashes test?

Post by gboycottnut Tue 28 May 2013, 10:28 pm

With Nick Compton failing with the bat in both test matches V NZ and with him only averaging around the 30 mark overall in test match cricket since his test debut V India last winter, what should England's selectors now do for the first ashes test match?

1) Stick with Compton but on a match by match basis (similar to what the selectors did with Botham's captaincy in 1981)
2) Move Trott up to open the batting
3) Move Bell up to open the batting
4) Move Root up to open the batting
5) Bring in someone like a Michael Carberry
6) Bring back Michael Vaughan out of retirement!

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Post by GSC Tue 28 May 2013, 10:29 pm

The only reasonable option is Compton.
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Post by Shelsey93 Tue 28 May 2013, 10:35 pm

I like option 1 and reject options 2-6. Varun Chopra would be my 'alternative'.

Though I haven't quite twigged the parallels with Botham's captaincy. Erm

---

Quick fact (courtesy of somebody on Twitter): At the same stage of their Test careers Michael Vaughan had 2 less hundreds and less total runs than Compton does now. Vaughan, of course, has in many ways led the calls for Compton's head.

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Post by gboycottnut Tue 28 May 2013, 10:38 pm

Shelsey93 wrote:I like option 1 and reject options 2-6. Varun Chopra would be my 'alternative'.

Though I haven't quite twigged the parallels with Botham's captaincy. Erm

Well Ian Botham was offered the England captaincy at the beginning of the 1981 ashes test summer but only on a match by match basis with the selectors refusing to offer him a guaranteed run in the side as the England captain over a multiple range (say 3 to 4) tests during the 6 test ashes summer.

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Post by NickisBHAFC Tue 28 May 2013, 11:02 pm

100% not Compton, he looked too scared and was a disaster. Which is a shame because i always rated him highly when he was with Middlesex and Somerset. I always wanted him to get the call up, but i think a return to county cricket is key now for him.

I would open with Root and Cook personally.

Batting order IMO

1. Root
2. Cook
3. Trott
4. KP
5. Bell
6. Bairstow
7. Prior
8. Swann
9. Broad
10. Anderson
11. Finn

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Post by gboycottnut Tue 28 May 2013, 11:10 pm

NickisBHAFC wrote:100% not Compton, he looked too scared and was a disaster. Which is a shame because i always rated him highly when he was with Middlesex and Somerset. I always wanted him to get the call up, but i think a return to county cricket is key now for him.

I would open with Root and Cook personally.

Batting order IMO

1. Root
2. Cook
3. Trott
4. KP
5. Bell
6. Bairstow
7. Prior
8. Swann
9. Broad
10. Anderson
11. Finn

What about bringing in Robert Key as the opener for the first ashes test?

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Post by NickisBHAFC Tue 28 May 2013, 11:11 pm

I would love it, because i think Key is a legend! But it will never happen.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Tue 28 May 2013, 11:14 pm

Mark Lathwell... Run

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Post by LivinginItaly Wed 29 May 2013, 7:41 am

I think michael atherton should come out of retirement for the following reasons:
1) with plenty of rest his back shouldn't cause him any problems.
2) no longer is there his nemesis mcgrath, so easy runs on offer.
3) his knowledge of dirt could come in handy if the ball isn't swinging.

Alternatively back in the real world the choice is compton or root. They will stick with compton at the top and root in the middle order.

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Post by Stella Wed 29 May 2013, 8:02 am

Compton deserves at least one more test. If he fails then I would bring in Carberry/Chopra.

Long term, possibly.

Cook
Trott
Bell
Pietersen
Root
Bairstow/Taylor
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Post by Mike Selig Wed 29 May 2013, 9:56 am

I don't think moving Trott or Bell up the order are viable options - they have been settled in their top/middle-order roles for a while, and Bell apart from a few times has really struggled at 3.

Root to open is an option because he is an opener by trade, but England clearly like him in the middle (and so do I).

Chopra is probably ahead of Carberry in line, but neither strikes me as particularly international class. However Chopra may be the more sensible option - you don't really know until you try.

A left-field option: James Taylor? A while back he was playing all his cricket for the Lions as an opener or number 3, and many of us commented that England thought that was his best position, and perhaps were grooming him as an opener to replace Strauss. Would be a big call, and even more so now he has somewhat fallen off the radar, but...

It's amazing how ex-players forget some things very quickly when they go into the commentary box. Frankly Vaughan gets on my nerves anyway.

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Post by Stella Wed 29 May 2013, 9:58 am

Bairstow to me doesn't look test class, whatever that means? Taylor on the other hand looked good, but didn't score many.

Five bowlers?
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Post by Duty281 Wed 29 May 2013, 10:22 am

Joe Root should open. Bairstow at 6.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 29 May 2013, 10:26 am

Stella wrote:Bairstow to me doesn't look test class, whatever that means? Taylor on the other hand looked good, but didn't score many.

Five bowlers?

Bairstow has scored reasonable runs this series and on his debut. May not have taken to Test cricket quite as well as Root, and there may be some technical issues to work on, but I'm not seeing where the not 'test class' comes from. He might be the one to miss out when KP comes back, but it's different being dropped at this stage of his career for someone who averages 50 in Tests over a long career rather than for someone unproven.

If it was purely about form, Bell would be the guy in most trouble in the middle order - he has again shown that when he needs to step up and be the senior guy he struggles. If only we could have grafted Paul Collingwood's brain onto Bell's body, we'd have had a truly outstanding batsman.

In the long run I can see Root moving up to open, but I doubt it will happen for the start of the Ashes series. I don't like the idea of opening with Trott (a specialist #3) or Bell (a middle order player), so I think at the moment the selectors are in a bit of a corner in having to either pick Compton again or try someone new and unproven.

Could we persuade Trescothick to come back to the Test arena for this one series?

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Post by Stella Wed 29 May 2013, 10:40 am

I was talking long term and not really for this series. Of course, if he scores runs then Bairstow should stay.
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Post by jimbohammers Wed 29 May 2013, 11:05 am

I would keep Root where he is, he has struggled against the new ball, but has flourished in the middle order.

I would go Carberry and Cook to open, but maybe i am biased as a Hampshire fan.. Whistle

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 29 May 2013, 11:17 am

Personally think we've got to stick with Compton.
Didn't he score back-to-back centuries just three or four tests ago?

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Wed 29 May 2013, 12:34 pm

I'd have thought stick with Compton, but reading between the lines of Flower's post-game interview it seems Compton needs to score big in the County games coming up to keep himself in the picture. I'm a huge fan of Root in the middle-order where he looks very much at home, so wouldn't favour pushing him up the order. Wouldn't fancy Trott either really especially as that would mean pushing KP up to 3 and Bell to 4 whereas Bell has shown time and time again that he's much happier at 5 or 6.

Mike brings up Taylor as a possibility which I find interesting...

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Post by JDizzle Wed 29 May 2013, 12:43 pm

I'm not sure they'll go with Taylor. Apparently he was discarded with due to a perceived weakness outside off stump. I can't see them bringing him back in as an opener. I'd stick with Compton and if he fails in the first game then bring in another specialist opener as a replacement rather than promote Root.

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Post by msp83 Wed 29 May 2013, 1:29 pm

Geoffrey Boycott!.
England would need his solidity at the top to deal with the demon speedsters from Australia led by the worldbeating all-rounder Mitchell Johnson to whom no contemporary England batsman has an answer!.

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Post by msp83 Wed 29 May 2013, 1:35 pm

Seriously speaking, I would prefer option 1. Trott or Bell I wouldn't really consider. Root is a possibility, but like many here, I think England are better off with the kind of solidity and adaptability that he brings to the middle order, particularly as Ian Bell is not in the best of form. An out of form Bell at 5 and Jonny Bairstow at 6? I am not sure at all.

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Post by hampo17 Wed 29 May 2013, 1:46 pm

James Taylor appears to have gone the same way Joe Denly did after a stint in the limited over side.

Carberry would be a good choice, an explosive hitter who can score very quickly. Could do a similar role to Trescothick used to.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 29 May 2013, 1:48 pm

msp83 wrote:Seriously speaking, I would prefer option 1. Trott or Bell I wouldn't really consider. Root is a possibility, but like many here, I think England are better off with the kind of solidity and adaptability that he brings to the middle order, particularly as Ian Bell is not in the best of form. An out of form Bell at 5 and Jonny Bairstow at 6? I am not sure at all.

MSP - add to that Broad at 8 who can hardly buy a run at the moment, and you are putting a lot of pressure on Prior to hold together the lower half of the batting order.

KP obviously comes back in at #4 if fit, but do you then keep Root at 5 and push Bell back down to #6 (assuming it is Bairstow that makes way)? For me, Bell has often looked better lower down the order, and has previously been excellent ant marshalling the tail.

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Post by Shelsey93 Wed 29 May 2013, 1:52 pm

hampo171 wrote:James Taylor appears to have gone the same way Joe Denly did after a stint in the limited over side.

I disagree. Taylor has been as consistent as ever this season. The problem that I think England see is that he is Mr. Consistency rather than somebody who frequently produces brilliance - contrast that to Root who had a moderate record before being picked but had already played some remarkable knocks, particularly the one at the Rose Bowl last year.

I'm not sure I quite agree with England's assessment of Taylor but it is hard to see how he gets into the side now. Given that he's never been a regular opener that would be a pretty big risk, surely?


Last edited by Shelsey93 on Wed 29 May 2013, 2:45 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 29 May 2013, 2:39 pm

Question for you all - if England open with Trott, Bell or Root (options 2, 3 and 4 in gboycottnut's article), what happens if Pietersen is not fit for the first Ashes Test?

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Post by JDizzle Wed 29 May 2013, 3:14 pm

Taylor's a better ODI player than he is four day player (not to say he isn't a bloody good player in the longer form) and yet he got his first chance in the Test side, not counting one rain affected game vs Ireland, which is generally the opposite way England do it. I would like to see him get a go at 3 in the ODI side, so many more gears than Trott. Anyway, that's enough on my favourite subject.

Guildford, if England open with one of those three and KP isn't fit I assume it would have to be one of Taylor, Morgan or Bopara come in. Either one of the first two would be fine by me but it is a very inexperienced middle order and even if we do stick with Compton or bring in a Carberry if KP isn't fit I'd still be very, very worried about our batting line up.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 29 May 2013, 3:28 pm

JD - yep. Whilst some people are very unhappy and vocal about the calibre of our opening partnership, I feel they might have more to complain about as regards the middle order if they get what they are wishing for. Almost certainly so if Pietersen isn't fit in time.

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Post by msp83 Wed 29 May 2013, 3:45 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Question for you all - if England open with Trott, Bell or Root (options 2, 3 and 4 in gboycottnut's article), what happens if Pietersen is not fit for the first Ashes Test?
Guildford, Not a difficult question, the obvious answer is Ravi Bopara!!.
Hope it won't come to that, cricinfo has reported that KP has already hit the nets. And if somehow Pietersen doesn't get match fit for the first test, I think Compton will be safe.

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Post by NickisBHAFC Wed 29 May 2013, 4:03 pm

Chris Nash deserves an England call up for one day format IMO. Been saying it for years.

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 29 May 2013, 5:02 pm

Msp - yes, things seem encouraging about Pietersen. I understand Surrey hope he'll play the week after next in the Championship match against Sussex at Arundel (should be some easy runs for him against Jordan, eh Nick!).

Just think there's still a bit of a way for him to go and that it shouldn't be automatically assumed he'll be ready for the first Ashes Test. Hopefully he will be but some "what if not" planning might also be wise.

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Post by teassoc Wed 29 May 2013, 5:12 pm

Option 5. Chose who's in the best form when selection needs to be made. Given how Compton looked and played sorry to say he'd be the worse possible choice.

We need Root's strength in the middle order. Too often we've seen that part of the line-up collapse. With Pietersen returning, I'd then drop Bell who has been out of form for a long while in most matches he's played recently.


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Post by ShankyCricket Wed 29 May 2013, 8:32 pm

Surprised no one's mentioned Alex Hales till now. A better alternative than Carberry, who'd be a backward move. I'd stick with Compton really though. And yes, I too like Root in the middle order.

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Post by Shelsey93 Wed 29 May 2013, 8:50 pm

Hales should be towards the top of the pile of ODI reserves but he just doesn't score enough runs to be considered for a Test place in my view and very poor this season in both formats.

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Post by Mike Selig Thu 30 May 2013, 10:35 am

I like Hales - good player, fairly compact, gets in line well and good range of strokes. Not sure he's ready for test cricket yet, but he may be one of those who flourishes instantly. Interesting shout.

Rumours flying around suggest that Compton is effectively dropped, but still under consideration, so effectively now is in the situation of having to score runs to force his way back into the side, and he has to outperform his rivals to get his test spot back. Nobody seems really sure of what the preferred alternative is at the moment - a bit of noise about Root opening, but not very convincing. We may well be back to the stage when Strauss retired: a few options and no one really in the driving seat, so the next few weeks should decide it.

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Post by GSC Thu 30 May 2013, 10:38 am

I'd have given Hales a go in ODIs, but not tests yet
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 30 May 2013, 10:53 am

I'd go on a test by test basis for Compton.

I'd be against moving Root up whilst he's doing so well in the middle order, and I think he's actually already been out to the 2nd new ball twice already, so make of that what you will.

I'd like to see this line-up for Trent Bridge;

Cook
Compton
Trott
KP
Bell
Root

I'm yet to be convinced by Bairstow
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Post by Stella Thu 30 May 2013, 10:58 am

That would be my top six, although I would bat Bell at six. He seems to prefer it there.
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Post by Marcus Fri 31 May 2013, 3:25 pm

Root.

Compton is nowhere near good enough to be in the England side.

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Post by alfie Fri 31 May 2013, 4:40 pm

If there were a third Test against NZ , one might try Root at the top. But straight into an Ashes series ? Less likely...won't want to weaken that middle order. I wouldn't , anyway.
Agree they aren't too keen on Compton at the moment : that tortuous second innings has done him more harm than a quick duck , I suspect...they fear he has lost all confidence...and they may be right. Now if he gets a hundred for his county , and maybe a biggish score against the touring Australians , this might change... In fact I think a revitalized Compton would be the best option for England for the Ashes.
Failing a return to form for Compton I suppose a few players are in the frame : all the usual suspects have been named on here I think , and of those I like what I have seen of Hales , and certainly wouldn't complain if Taylor were to be given another try , though maybe opening isn't his go ?
Actually thinking it over Hales might be the ideal type to complement the more sedate types in Cook and Trott at the top of the order...if he is good enough. I have only seen him play limited overs cricket so I would have to defer to the opinions of those who have watched him in first class matches.

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Post by Marcus Fri 31 May 2013, 6:09 pm

Compton was only picked due to a good start to the 2012 season. Before 2012 was he on anyone's radar for England? No.

He plays at Taunton, generally accepted to be the best batting wicket in the country. If a batsman can't score runs there, then there's something wrong.

He had a good run of form last year, but he hasn't got the requisite class to maintain it. It is time to look elsewhere.

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Post by gboycottnut Sun 02 Jun 2013, 12:55 pm

If England are going to dispense with Compton's services and they also don't want to move Root up the order to open the batting at the moment, perhaps they could use Pietersen as the opener in perfect batting conditions, or if the conditions are cloudy and seaming/swinging a lot, they could use Bell as the opener as Bell does have an excellent batting technique.

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Post by robbo277 Sun 02 Jun 2013, 4:24 pm

I'd say Root will end up opening for England, but we should move him up there when he's ready to open, not just because there is a lack of options.

The 3/4/5 of Trott, KP and Bell is quite established and has served England well, so I'd stick with that.

So I'd probably stick with Compton. The guy scored over 1,000 runs last season and already has two test hundreds. Back the guy, let him play his way back into form and we'll have a great opener while we allow Root to develop.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Thu 06 Jun 2013, 11:55 pm

Compton got a good hundred for Somerset today. Good character shown by the lad, hopefully will use it to kick on and secure his place in the Test side
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Post by alfie Sat 08 Jun 2013, 6:43 am

Obviously that hundred brings Compton back into consideration , if you accept that he was virtually dropped before ; but it won't guarantee his selection , needs a decent follow up.
Makes the game against the touring Australians a big one for him. Often the counties leave their Test players out of tour games , but surely it would not be in Compton's interests to do that : would look like he was ducking ...
But if he plays and fails...well so long for now.
Makes it a real audition : pressure will be on him , which is no bad thing. Because if he comes through well he'll have earned his spot - and lifted his confidence.
Is it fair to base it all on one match ? Probably not , but it isn't about fair , it is about getting the best team onto the field for England. Tests are about both skill and character.

I wish him luck.

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Post by LivinginItaly Sat 08 Jun 2013, 9:32 am

I agree that compton should definitely play in the tour match. I think he needs to know himself that he can do it when the pressure is really on. In the recent series he reminded me of a player trying to establish himself in the team during the dark period of the 90s. A player crippled with fear of failure whose sole intention was to survive.

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Post by Mike Selig Sat 08 Jun 2013, 10:09 am

I agree with the above 2 posts.

I particularly like alfie's "it isn't about fair , it is about getting the best team onto the field for England." I think that sums up the situation nicely.

Compton's runs for Somerset are a good start, because he has found some form and hopefully some confidence. However what is in doubt is not his ability to score runs consistently at county level, but his ability to score positively under the utmost pressure.

Fairly sure England will insist he plays the tour match, and more than the number of runs he scores will keep an eye on how he bats. A confident 30odd would mean more than a scratchy 30.

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Post by Marcus Sat 08 Jun 2013, 2:39 pm

Don't care how many runs he makes for Somerset. In test match cricket he's out of his depth, both technically and mentally. Yes he scored a couple of tons against NZ, but they have one of the weakest attacks in test cricket.


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Post by gboycottnut Sun 09 Jun 2013, 9:10 pm

LivinginItaly wrote:I agree that compton should definitely play in the tour match. I think he needs to know himself that he can do it when the pressure is really on. In the recent series he reminded me of a player trying to establish himself in the team during the dark period of the 90s. A player crippled with fear of failure whose sole intention was to survive.

Like that of a certain Zimbabwean born batsman Graeme Ashley Hick, who having batted prodigiously in county cricket where he destroyed many a bowling attack e.g. against Somerset in 1988 where he made that 400 odd score, he suddenly found the step up to a higher level of the game a very difficult one to cope with particularly with most of the opposition test teams at that time having great fast bowlers in their ranks (such as Hick's arch nemesis Curtley Ambrose, Waqar Younis, Merv Hughes) who had the ability to throughly probe and critically analyse Hick's character and ability for playing the fast-well-directed short ball rising to Hick's chest, throat, and ear levels. What is interesting is that when Hick was been put through the mill many times by Ambrose during his test debut series V West Indies in 1991, his batting when he went back to play for his county just wasn't what it was before he played that West Indies test series. Former South African player Omar Henry in his autobiography makes the point that when Worcestershire played Henry's county Scotland in a limited overs match during the 1991 season, Hick's confidence appeared to be totally shot to pieces as he just didn't play like the same kind of player who had dominated all county bowling attacks in the previous couple of seasons.

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Post by meden_820 Fri 21 Jun 2013, 9:30 am

Definitely give Compton the chance to play against the Australians for Somerset and score some runs against them. (hopefully) He deserves a chance, yes he's had a bad start to the summer, but he made a solid start in India, plus scored two hundreds in New Zealand.

I look back to Ian Bell looking all at sea against the Australians in 05, if that had been the 90's he would probably have disappeared without trace. I believe that they will stick with Compton for the first couple of tests at least, and he merits that opportunity.

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Post by Gregers Fri 21 Jun 2013, 11:57 am

Not Root, he isnt an opener. Move him up to 5 and let him develop

I'd stick with Compton and tell him his place is secure until after the winter ashes, let him get comfortable

Compton
Cook
Trott
Bell
Root
Taylor/Bairstow
Prior
Broad
Bresnan
Swann
Anderson

That is the squad we should pick for the Ashes, KP doesnt deserve to come straight back in if he isnt fit/prove his form in County Cricket

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