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England Ashes Squad announcement today

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 23 Sep 2013, 10:26 am

Many rumours floating about that Stokes, Ballance and Rankin are in, Onions is out.

Announced at 12 today

Who do you think should be in
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Post by sirfredperry Mon 23 Sep 2013, 10:37 am

Love the way that, ahead of the squad announcement today by England, that Darren Lehmann is saying England play "dour cricket".
You can see how the Aussies are going to play it this winter - "we may be losing but England play defensively and we Aussies play all the bright cricket".
Personally, quite happy to see England playing "boringly" as long as they keep beating Australia. There's nothing dull about an Ashes victory.

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Post by Stella Mon 23 Sep 2013, 10:55 am

Rankin looks in, Ballance? Not sure. Probably as they don't like Taylor.
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Post by guildfordbat Mon 23 Sep 2013, 11:19 am

As I understand things, the England performance squad will be in Australia much of the same time and that players from there wil be able to supplement the Ashes squad if necessary.

Although I still think it would be a mistake, the insurance (ie immediately available cover) that gives probably increases the chances of Tremlett - whose fitness remains in doubt - being selected.

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Post by teassoc Mon 23 Sep 2013, 12:02 pm

I'd love to see Tremlett in the squad. They still remember him from his last visit.

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Post by teassoc Mon 23 Sep 2013, 12:08 pm

Just named:

Cook, Prior, Anderson, Bairstow, Ballance, Bell, Broad, Carberry, Finn, Panesar, Pietersen, Rankin, Root, Stokes, Swann, Tremlett, Trott.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 23 Sep 2013, 12:18 pm

No Onions, but Rankin gets picked? No Compton, but Carberry gets picked? Ballance over Taylor?

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 23 Sep 2013, 12:22 pm

so let's get straight to the talking points:

Assume Bresnan is still injured. Unfortunate as despite having a lot of detractors on here he bowled very well in the last series, as well as adding useful runs from down the order. Oh well... As such England have picked both Rankin, who was impressive in the ODIs, and Tremlett. No real surprise there, though Aus pitches don't offer as much bounce as they used to, and England's attack is likely to include at least 2 tall bowlers.

Ballance as the back-up (middle-order) batsman. Feels harsh on Taylor, who seemed to be next in line for most of the summer. Having said that, thought Taylor looked poor against Ireland which may have counted against him. Don't mind too much, as Ballance looks a very good prospect to me.

Carberry as the back-up opener. Hmmm. While we do need a back-up opener really, not sure he's the answer. Seems to have a very limited range of strokes, though that means at least he should be better suited to the longer form at least. Trouble is, very few openers are putting their hands up at the moment. Hope Root comes through strongly really.

Stokes over Woakes. England clearly feel his bowling is more likely to bother the opposition, and I agree. Woakes just never really looks particularly threatening to me. I know he has great FC figures but I just don't see him succeding at international level. Stokes could be a replacement for Bresnan, or an option if England want to go the 5 bowlers route.

Panesar as back-up for Swann makes sense. Australia got after Tredwell in the ODIs, and with mostly right-handers in the middle/lower order would probably do the same again. Kerrigan didn't look quite ready yet, and will benefit more from touring with the development squad and playing matches than from (probably) carrying the drinks. Panesar is a good, solid, experience Test match player, and won't let the team down.

All in all I'm pretty pleased with the squad. It covers all bases (if anything you could argue it's a bit too big). The only player I'm really unsure of is Carberry, but not sure there are better options...

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 23 Sep 2013, 12:26 pm

Forgot about Onions. A somewhat harsh exclusion, maybe. Ranking looked very good in the ODIs, and is surely a real prospect. The debatable one is Tremlett, so I'll appeal to the Surrey fans there...

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Post by shivfan Mon 23 Sep 2013, 12:30 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:

Carberry as the back-up opener. Hmmm. While we do need a back-up opener really, not sure he's the answer. Seems to have a very limited range of strokes, though that means at least he should be better suited to the longer form at least. Trouble is, very few openers are putting their hands up at the moment. Hope Root comes through strongly really.

England are looking for an experienced opener, if needed, and he fits the bill. Compton is too defensive, and not a team man, unlike Carberry:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/the-ashes-2013-14/content/story/673743.html

"That is particularly the case in their continued omission of Compton. England's management will not be swayed from the view that his game became dangerously introverted against New Zealand - and successes for Somerset and twice against the Australian tourists have not changed that. He has also suffered from a perception that outside his runs he gives little to the dressing room and because of his reservations about working with England's batting coach, Graham Gooch, who he feels does not understand his game. He also expressed his disappointment at his exclusion quite forcibly and this England management prefers its players verbally malleable."

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 23 Sep 2013, 12:35 pm

Pretty happy with that, I mean Carberry hopefully won't get any playing time anyways.

Not really sure Onions should be in, think his boat has sailed, only played 2 tests in the last 4 years and it's not really worth him carrying drinks all winter.

Would love to see some of Stokes bat at test level, his record suggests he is a decent bat.
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Post by sirfredperry Mon 23 Sep 2013, 12:42 pm

Not original, but can't resist the comment "Different Stokes for different Woakes".
Hats off to Derek Pringle in the Telegraph who was good enough/lucky enough to get the selection right in this morning's issue.

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Post by VTR Mon 23 Sep 2013, 12:46 pm

Not too unhappy with the squad, not much that is really questionable there.

Ballance is presumably seen as a more confident character than Taylor and more likely to make the step up as well as being a potential attacking option at 6 (Bairstow has not really delivered there)

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Post by alfie Mon 23 Sep 2013, 12:48 pm

We are never going to be all happy with a Test squad , but the only choice I really don't like is Carberry over Compton.
Think Onions is unlucky , but as they have said , if Jimmy got injured they could fly him in from SA easily enough ...which indicates that is the only role they see for him.  They do seem to have gone for overkill with the tall quicks , so I guess they really don't know which is the best choice yet , and the nets and warmups will decide that third bowler spot. Stokes is a possible fourth seamer at some point.
Monty ? Well MFC says he won't let them down...perhaps he means he can be trusted not to drop the drinks Smile    Seriously I wonder if he is going to enjoy touring much given his recent troubles , and if England are forced to pick him I think they are in trouble...but you could say that of any other spare spinner they picked.just hope Swann stays healthy.
Taylor might be unlucky too , but I have heard a lot of good things about Ballance so am not too surprised. Good luck to him.
Nice to see Bresnan is traveling with the team to continue rehab.  Addition later , perhaps ?


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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 23 Sep 2013, 12:54 pm

"Ballance suggests number 6 still an issue." Aggers.

Slightly odd as England were always going to tour with a back-up middle-order player, be it Ballance or Taylor. Not sure the choice of Ballance over Taylor should be taken as a lack of faith in Bairstow...

England certainly seem uncertain on the thid seamer, but the squad clearly shows they want Anderson Broad and a tall bloke, with at the moment three guys competing for that spot.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Mon 23 Sep 2013, 1:00 pm

Don't agree with Stokes over Woakes. Batting wise, Stokes has had a poor season and Woakes has bowled marginally better. I know, and understand (to an extent), the argument that Stokes 'looks' more threatening, but would point out that, on the last Ashes tour, Woakes took 6/45 in the ODI at Brisbane, so he can be threatening.
Also think Taylor's been pretty harshly treated. Again, I can appreciate that things other than pure stats are important when picking a team, especially a touring squad, but it must be something of a slap in the face to consistently perform at county level, only to be told that someone else (who, perhaps, hasn't performed as consistently for as long), is being picked ahead of you because, it is believed, you haven't got the requisite character or skill set, without really being given the opportunity to show if you have.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 23 Sep 2013, 1:04 pm

Woakes took 6 wickets because Australia tried to slog him, they won't do that in a test match. At the Oval he looked about as likely to take a wicket as Boycott's mum. I just don't see him being a successful bowler at international level.

Taylor is somewhat harshly done by, but the management feel Ballance is more likely to succeed at international level. That's their call, and having seen a bit of both I can see where they're coming from.

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 23 Sep 2013, 1:19 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:Forgot about Onions. A somewhat harsh exclusion, maybe. Ranking looked very good in the ODIs, and is surely a real prospect. The debatable one is Tremlett, so I'll appeal to the Surrey fans there...
I've voiced concerns about Tremlett throughout this season whenever he's been named in an England squad.

He's never looked properly fit for Surrey this year and, other than the CC match at Durham, hasn't been much effective. He's been left out of some games to rest and when he has played he's often been handled with kid gloves by his county. Anything but a leading bowler to get us out of trouble, let alone put us on top. His bowling spells have (nearly) always been in short bursts of between 3 and 6 overs. He tends to only bowl around 15 to 17 overs in a full day; that has been a significant problem for Surrey playing only four front line bowlers, resulting in the ordinary de Bruyn having to fill in too much with predictably poor returns - I fear similar problems for England if Tremlett makes the starting eleven. He's also a poor fielder and wonder how much that has been taken on board.

Please don't think it's just me. There's a lot of damning comments about him on the Surrey Supporters' website. A fair bit there relates to a perceived lack of effort (although I'm inclined to be kinder and link it to a lack of fitness as above). I also saw comments recently on cricinfo from a Somerset supporter saying he should be nowhere near the Ashes squad after he watched him in the CC match at Taunton.

That said, I do believe he's still got ability and know history supports that. I just unfortunately have doubts that it will sufficiently be recovered and certainly not by this November.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Mon 23 Sep 2013, 1:21 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:Woakes took 6 wickets because Australia tried to slog him, they won't do that in a test match. At the Oval he looked about as likely to take a wicket as Boycott's mum. I just don't see him being a successful bowler at international level.

Taylor is somewhat harshly done by, but the management feel Ballance is more likely to succeed at international level. That's their call, and having seen a bit of both I can see where they're coming from.
Do you think Stokes would have done any better at the Oval?
My point really, with both Woakes and Taylor, is that they've gone from first choice back-ups to not in the touring squad seemingly for no reason other than 'We like the cut of this other guys jib more than yours', even though the players chosen in their place haven't really performed any better than they have. It must be terribly disheartening for players to think that, "Unless I perform twice as well as some others at county level, I'm not going to play for England because I don't bowl quick enough/am not as aggressive a batsman/am not demonstrative enough/am too short".

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Post by ShankyCricket Mon 23 Sep 2013, 1:31 pm

Carbs over Compton and Tremlett over Onions is a disgraceful call IMO. And I'm in the "Anyone but Bairstow" camp. Rest is okay.

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Post by ShankyCricket Mon 23 Sep 2013, 1:35 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:"Ballance suggests number 6 still an issue." Aggers.

Slightly odd as England were always going to tour with a back-up middle-order player, be it Ballance or Taylor. Not sure the choice of Ballance over Taylor should be taken as a lack of faith in Bairstow...

England certainly seem uncertain on the thid seamer, but the squad clearly shows they want Anderson Broad and a tall bloke, with at the moment three guys competing for that spot.
I'm amazed that they still have faith in Bairstow tbh. He looks AWFUL to me. Ballance should bat at 6 and I'd go with Rankin as the 3rd seamer. Don't really like the backups.

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Post by ShankyCricket Mon 23 Sep 2013, 1:38 pm

Duty281 wrote:No Onions, but Rankin gets picked? No Compton, but Carberry gets picked? Ballance over Taylor?
Rankin is a shoo in after his county season and performance in ODIs. Its the selection of Tremlett ahead of Onions that rankles. He has had a very mediocre season.

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Post by ShankyCricket Mon 23 Sep 2013, 1:40 pm

shivfan wrote:
Mad for Chelsea wrote:

Carberry as the back-up opener. Hmmm. While we do need a back-up opener really, not sure he's the answer. Seems to have a very limited range of strokes, though that means at least he should be better suited to the longer form at least. Trouble is, very few openers are putting their hands up at the moment. Hope Root comes through strongly really.

England are looking for an experienced opener, if needed, and he fits the bill.  Compton is too defensive, and not a team man, unlike Carberry:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/the-ashes-2013-14/content/story/673743.html

"That is particularly the case in their continued omission of Compton. England's management will not be swayed from the view that his game became dangerously introverted against New Zealand - and successes for Somerset and twice against the Australian tourists have not changed that. He has also suffered from a perception that outside his runs he gives little to the dressing room and because of his reservations about working with England's batting coach, Graham Gooch, who he feels does not understand his game. He also expressed his disappointment at his exclusion quite forcibly and this England management prefers its players verbally malleable."

How do you know? Headscratch 

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Post by Guest Mon 23 Sep 2013, 1:52 pm

If Compton doesn't want to work with Goochy, then it's the right decision.

Quite how the England camp prefers its players to be 'verbally malleable', but allow KP to do what he wants and when he wants, is beyond me. It's one rule for one and one for everyone else.

Compton can't be surprised though. He walked into that side and expected to stay there, then when he was dropped bad-mouthed the decision. He was never going to walk back into that side without a huge serving of humble pie, and I think his mouth is too full of 'Nick Compton is better than Brian Lara' pie to even contemplate it.

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 23 Sep 2013, 1:55 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:

All in all I'm pretty pleased with the squad. It covers all bases (if anything you could argue it's a bit too big). ...
MfC - you're right to mention that a squad being too big could be a problem. You don't want too many players hanging around, kicking their heels and generally getting miserable. Strongly allied to this is the character of the players more likely to be on the bench than in the middle. How they react to not being picked is important and shouldn't be underestimated. I don't know nearly enough about the individual players to make specific judgments here but trust the selectors have taken it into account and got it right.

Going back to '70 - '71 and the first Ashes series I followed in Australia by means of an old transistor radio, I remember skipper Ray Illingworth (who was normally anything but a touchy-feely sort of guy) attributing a lot of our series win down under to Bob Taylor and the late Don Wilson. Neither played a single Test (Taylor understudied wicket keeper Knott whilst Wilson was an off spinner in reserve had Illingworth been injured) but were described by Illingworth as ''good tourists'' who continually supported and provided assistance to their team mates. That Ashes series was followed by a brief tour to New Zealand in which Illingworth successfully demanded that they both play a Test.

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Post by alfie Mon 23 Sep 2013, 1:57 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Mad for Chelsea wrote:Forgot about Onions. A somewhat harsh exclusion, maybe. Ranking looked very good in the ODIs, and is surely a real prospect. The debatable one is Tremlett, so I'll appeal to the Surrey fans there...
I've voiced concerns about Tremlett throughout this season whenever he's been named in an England squad.

He's never looked properly fit for Surrey this year and, other than the CC match at Durham, hasn't been much effective. He's been left out of some games to rest and when he has played he's often been handled with kid gloves by his county. Anything but a leading bowler to get us out of trouble, let alone put us on top. His bowling spells have (nearly) always been in short bursts of between 3 and 6 overs. He tends to only bowl around 15 to 17 overs in a full day; that has been a significant problem for Surrey playing only four front line bowlers, resulting in the ordinary de Bruyn having to fill in too much with predictably poor returns - I fear similar problems for England if Tremlett makes the starting eleven. He's also a poor fielder and wonder how much that has been taken on board.

Please don't think it's just me. There's a lot of damning comments about him on the Surrey Supporters' website. A fair bit there relates to a perceived lack of effort (although I'm inclined to be kinder and link it to a lack of fitness as above). I also saw comments recently on cricinfo from a Somerset supporter saying he should be nowhere near the Ashes squad after he watched him in the CC match at Taunton.

That said, I do believe he's still got ability and know history supports that. I just unfortunately have doubts that it will sufficiently be recovered and certainly not by this November.
You have been consistent , guildford , and had nearly convinced me Tremlett wouldn't make the cut. Perhaps he wouldn't had just 16 been selected ?
But I wonder if it is indeed a case of a man gradually returning to full fitness ; and being taken in this expanded squad in hopes he can complete his comeback by around the midpoint of the series - in time to play a major role at Perth and Melbourne again ? If so , it is a gamble in one sense , perhaps , but not a dangerous one , as there are others to do a job if he doesn't come up in time...

If it comes off and he takes 6/45 in Melbourne the selectors get the "genius" award Smile 

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 23 Sep 2013, 2:06 pm

alfie wrote:
You have been consistent , guildford , and had nearly convinced me Tremlett wouldn't make the cut. Perhaps he wouldn't had just 16 been selected ?
But I wonder if it is indeed a case of a man gradually returning to full fitness ; and being taken in this expanded squad in hopes he can complete his comeback by around the midpoint of the series - in time to play a major role at Perth and Melbourne again ?  If so , it is a gamble in one sense , perhaps , but not a dangerous one , as there are others to do a job if he doesn't come up in time...

If it comes off and he takes 6/45 in Melbourne the selectors get the "genius" award Smile 
Thanks, Alfie. I think it's fair to say that the England selectors have more faith in Tremlett than most Surrey supporters.

I'll certainly be celebrating if Tremlett takes 6/45 in Melbourne. Just wish he had achieved similar returns in Taunton and Birmingham this month!

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 23 Sep 2013, 2:45 pm

I think with Tremlett they see the reward far outweighs the risk which is true, there's two other guys who are more than capable, but if they can get him fit and firing, he's gonna cause havoc
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Post by KP_fan Mon 23 Sep 2013, 3:42 pm

England squad: Alastair Cook (Essex, capt), Matt Prior (Sussex, vice-captain), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance (both Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Michael Carberry (Hampshire), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Monty Panesar (Essex), Kevin Pietersen (Surrey), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Chris Tremlett (Surrey), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire


My comments:

--Hmm....Monty is back....as self interest presides ...& throws the high moral horseout of the window😆 

--Prior Vice Captain...good move...it would have been easy to hand it  to Broad...but some wisdom still prevails

--No Bresnan...undisguised blessing

--Bairstow?...what more does he need to do to get fired Shocked 

--Graham Onions...what did he do to get fired Shocked 

---and where is Woakes?....maan he was a good quality allrounder......86mph pace and straight bat ......averaged 45ish in his only test

--I dunno much about Ballance and Carberry...are they from England?.....Rankin I know was pinched from Ireland:8) 

---Compton ain't there.......because he muttered somethign publicly?.....so they cut their nose to spite their face...who will open the batting ?
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Post by NickisBHAFC Mon 23 Sep 2013, 3:52 pm

No idea why Boyd Rankin is in the team ahead of Sir Chris Jordan.

Monty shouldn't be in the team, if your acting like an idiot of the field, you don't deserve to represent your country. 

Happy Ballence and Stokes have been given a chance. Not sure Carberry is up to test standard of cricket, certainly proven though he is good enough for ODI and t20 at international level.

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Post by Guest Mon 23 Sep 2013, 3:59 pm

NickisBHAFC wrote:Monty shouldn't be in the team, if your acting like an idiot of the field, you don't deserve to represent your country.
So no KP for England then, no Gerrard or Rooney for the football team, no Mike Tindall for the rugby team, no Ronnie O'Sullivan at the Crucible...

One incident, when the guy was struggling to cope with the fallout of his marriage breakup, should not be held against him. He apologised even before it came to the media fore, and has been contrite and humble throughout. Unlike Nick Compton and his precious ego.

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Post by Stella Mon 23 Sep 2013, 4:01 pm

Azzy Mahmood wrote:
NickisBHAFC wrote:Monty shouldn't be in the team, if your acting like an idiot of the field, you don't deserve to represent your country.
So no KP for England then, no Gerrard or Rooney for the football team, no Mike Tindall for the rugby team, no Ronnie O'Sullivan at the Crucible...

One incident, when the guy was struggling to cope with the fallout of his marriage breakup, should not be held against him. He apologised even before it came to the media fore, and has been contrite and humble throughout. Unlike Nick Compton and his precious ego.
Well said Azzy. YOu could add a few to your list as well.
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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Mon 23 Sep 2013, 4:03 pm

As before, I am in total agreement with Guildford about Tremlett.  I suppose one counter argument in favour of his selection is that in tests we would expect to have Anderson and Broad anyway so there are then other pace options around with Finn, Rankin & Stokes as well as Tremlett.  So we would not be dependent on Tremlett to supply the height/bounce component of the attack.  It's not impossible that he could deliver a one off test match performance of maximum effort and hostility if Rankin and/or Finn were covering that role in most of the matches.

But even so, it strikes me as not a terribly good basis for the selection.

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Post by Guest Mon 23 Sep 2013, 4:09 pm

I think today's announcement has made for an intriguing Ashes contest. England have shown their hand, and there are a couple of jokers in there, now it's Australia's turn to come up with a squad that can match England's. So far we can expect one ace, two Kings, and a bunch of 6s.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 23 Sep 2013, 4:22 pm

@ Nick

Rankin is ahead of Jordan as he's (from what I've seen) a much better bowler, simples.

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Post by Mike Selig Mon 23 Sep 2013, 4:34 pm

Afternoon all.

An interesting and somewhat mixed selection: some fairly bold moves and at least one conservative one.

Let's get the easy stuff out of the way:
Cook, Root, Trott, KP, Bell, Prior, Swann, Broad, Anderson were all certs. What was left was always going to be a spare spinner, 3 other seamers, 3 other batsmen possibly including a reserve opener, and possibly an all-rounder.

The reserve spinner had to be Panesar, because there are no serious other options. Kerrigan showed he wasn't ready, and Tredwell getting tonked in the ODIs simply made England's job easy for them. Panesar can do a job, but if Swann gets injured I expect Aus to try to take him on (they may well try to take Swann on as well, but that is an entirely different proposition).

Bairstow was always likely to go because of his dual role as back-up keeper. I share some of Shanky's concerns about him however; beyond his technique which isn't perfect but is suitable for test cricket, he didn't seem to know how to bat in the ashes, and that is very very concerning (every bit as concerning as seriously faulty technique). I think England are right to take him, just, but he really has to figure out his game quickly. I wouldn't rule Ballance out of debuting in Brisbane certainly (I'll get back to Ballance in a moment).

I don't think anybody would criticise Finn being picked, despite an up and down season. I maintain that England have messed him about with this run-up business, but there were encouraging signs towards the end of the season.

Rankin bowled himself onto the trip in the ODIs, where he troubled the Australians with his bounce and movement from back of a length. He has a serious chance of debuting in Brisbane as the 3rd seamer.

Now onto what are the more contentious issues.

First of all, there are a lot of comments about how some selections are harsh, unfair, etc. This is nonsense. Selection is not meant to be fair, it is meant to be about picking the side you best think will succeed. Everybody who has missed the trip (the main ones being Compo, Woakes, Taylor and I guess Onions) has had a chance to show what they can do at international level. It might not have been many chances, or in their best formats, or whatever, but they have had chances. And clearly haven't shown the people who matter that they have what it takes to succeed. There is nothing unfair about this, or about other players being given longer. It is life at the topmost level, and those who are viewed as having more potential will be given longer to reach their potential. County runs/wickets don't mean you "deserve" a chance either; you deserve a chance when your game is good enough to make an impact at this level.

With that in mind, I entirely agree with the non selection of Woakes. And this isn't just purely based on the Oval or recent ODIs, but everything I have seen of him. Woakes is one who has had plenty of chances albeit mostly in ODIs to show what he could do and frankly he has never really convinced. This includes his 6-45, where most of his wickets came at the death with the Aussies slogging (the figures flattered him). His bowling is just not threatening enough - he could fill the Watson role with the ball (4th seamer) but for that he would have to bat 6, which he is not capable of yet (although I feel he has the potential for that).

His only test so far was fairly disastrous with the ball, even when he got more helpful conditions on the 2nd morning. It may seem harsh to discard him after only one game, but he just didn't show enough in that game to make him worth perservering with. He needs to go away and significantly improve his batting, or make himself into a genuine wicket-taking option with the ball; the former is possible, the latter looks IMO distant, because I just don't see what component of his bowling is going to trouble good players: he doesn't have pace, he doesn't hit the pitch hard, he doesn't swing the ball prodigiously.

Stokes on the other hand impressed in the recent ODIs regardless of figures. He does look like someone who could get good players out. Whilst I think it is far too early for him to be in a test squad, England seem determined to get an all-rounder in there, and for me there is no question that Stokes is above Woakes in the pecking order.

Stokes has had his discipline and attitude problems, and part of me also wonders whether his selection doesn't have a bit of a perverse character test about it: England probably won't pick him, but want to see whether he can show the right attitude during what could be a long tour without much (any?) game time.

So to sum up: Stokes vs Woakes = undoubtedly the right decision, even if harsh on Woakes.

The other contentious calls I am not so sure about.

Compton was harshly dropped, but from the moment England made the call that they thought he wasn't really good enough he was never really getting back into the side, unless the other options failed. I don't think his outburst did him any good, but ultimately I doubt it made much difference. They made the call, possibly it was harsh, but again the guys making the call are much better placed than we are, and if the rumours of him not understanding his game and not really wanting to learn are true then IMO they made the right call.

Where I am not sure they got the call right is in picking Carberry, or indeed picking a back-up opener at all. I don't see how Carberry will do anything better than Compo. His pick is an admission that England aren't 100% convinced about their top-order (with good reason) and want an option there in case things go drastically pear-shaped. I disagree with it in that I don't see the point of picking a reserve opener for the sake of having one; I can't see a situation where I would rather have Carberry open the batting than Root. If it really gets to the state where Root has to be moved, then the best option IMO would be to move Trott and Bell up the order. However I feel England will be all the more reluctant to do this because of Trott getting worked over quite so thoroughly by Mitch Johnson during the ODIs.

Of course it could be that the England management completely disagree with my assessment of Carberry and are preparing for him to open in Brisbane with Root moving back down. But personally I think this is a negative move, and England would have been better off picking another middle-order batsman, simply because there are options there who IMO could be good enough at this level.

Tremlett over Onions makes little sense IMO. If the view is that Tremlett is not yet match-fit but that England think he will become a really good option when he becomes so, then surely he would have been better off with the performance squad, getting overs under his belt in a controlled environment, and then moving with the full squad for the Perth test if things went well. I worry that England have been swayed too much by the reports of fast bouncy pitches and gone for tall bowlers as a result; but recently in Aus apart from one MJ spell against Sri Lanka it's been more classical pitched up fast bowling with swing and seam which has done the trick. Aus's 2 best batsmen Watson and Clarke are both probably more prone to balls hitting the stumps than nick-offs (Watson LBW and Clarke bowled are fairly common dismissals) and the taller the bowler the less chance there is of that. Although I suspect Clarke will get quite a lot of short stuff his way.

Finally onto the Ballance call. I like Ballance a lot, but I've been very impressed with Taylor's improvement this year. He is hitting the ball a lot harder and more cleanly than previously, probably as a result of England management directives. I have nothing against Ballance but it seems a bit of a speculative pick. Nothing against that in itself but usually when (as with Morgan going to India) there are few better options; I do feel strongly that Taylor has a future in test cricket, and he has made enough improvements to his game this year to earn himself another chance. With the caveat that I didn't see him bat against Ireland.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 23 Sep 2013, 5:04 pm

Mike Selig wrote:Tremlett over Onions makes little sense IMO. If the view is that Tremlett is not yet match-fit but that England think he will become a really good option when he becomes so, then surely he would have been better off with the performance squad, getting overs under his belt in a controlled environment, and then moving with the full squad for the Perth test if things went well. I worry that England have been swayed too much by the reports of fast bouncy pitches and gone for tall bowlers as a result; but recently in Aus apart from one MJ spell against Sri Lanka it's been more classical pitched up fast bowling with swing and seam which has done the trick. Aus's 2 best batsmen Watson and Clarke are both probably more prone to balls hitting the stumps than nick-offs (Watson LBW and Clarke bowled are fairly common dismissals) and the taller the bowler the less chance there is of that. Although I suspect Clarke will get quite a lot of short stuff his way.
Tremlett over Onions makes perfect sense to me. Tremlett will be competing for the 3rd seamer role, so might play. Onions wouldn't play, as he is pretty much Anderson's backup, so no point in him carrying drinks for a month or two, get him bowling with the Lions, so that if anything did happen to Jimmy we could bring in Onions who is in shape and hopefully some sort of form. That's how I see it
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Post by Mat Mon 23 Sep 2013, 5:16 pm

No place for Moeen?!?!

Seriously, happy he's got a chance in the performance squad, a bit of recognition for a superb season and continued improvement as a player.

Looking at the Main Squad, the Carberry decision is a strange one. I just don't see him as a test player, and even if stats aren't regarded as that important, he still only has 1 ton in 2 season of Division 2 Cricket which really isn't great.

Surprised that Taylor's been omitted as he looked to be next cab off the rank and couldn't have done much more this season in terms of run-scoring.

Can understand some of the thinking behind not picking Onions, but when Tremlett is the one picked over him, that seems strange.

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Post by JDizzle Mon 23 Sep 2013, 5:19 pm

I dunno, I can't see Tremlett playing tbh. I think both Rankin and Finn are ahead of him and rightly so. Onions much better value for that slot above Tremlett.

Just a question, say Broad goes down pre Brisbane, and he does have a little history, and Bres hasn't recovered from his injury. Anderson, Swann and (say) Finn are the other three seamers. Who comes in for Broad? Rankin? Tremlett? Long tail then, or do you roll the dice and go with Stokes as the third seamer? Touch wood this question never has to be answered!

This also must be the only occasion where scoring a first ball duck has moved you above someone who gets a scratchy 20 odd. Not that I am bitter.

Carberry abover Compton makes no sense to me really. Older and less proven at international level. Would rather prefer to have even Chopra out there than Carbs who hasn't really impressed me at all.

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Post by Nakatomi Plaza Mon 23 Sep 2013, 8:16 pm

Pleased for Carberry as he's a Hampshire lad, but think Compton's been harshly treated.

I'm disappointed that Onions hasn't been selected, as Rankin, Finn and Tremlett are very similar. He's not been picked for the Lions either, and hopefully he'll stay in shape bowling for Natal.

I wonder if Stokes will get moved down to the Lions squad if Bresnan proves his fitness.

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Post by Mike Selig Mon 23 Sep 2013, 8:22 pm

Rumours are very much that they expect Bresnan to be out at least until Melbourne as things stand.

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Post by msp83 Mon 23 Sep 2013, 8:50 pm

A very interesting squad from England. Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Finn pick themselves.
I would have liked Garry Ballance to play international cricket for Zimbabwe rather than England, but unlike say Trott, he has developed a lot of his formative cricket in English school system and so fair enough, perhaps Zimbabwe's loss would be England's gain, the lad is certainly talented, and has a good attacking game that could suit the number 6 position. Between him and Bairstow, I would like Ballance to get the go ahead for that first test. A bit harsh on James Taylor, but Ballance has earned his chance.
Think there is place for Chris Tremlett in a 17 man squad. There is Finn and there is Rankin in case Tremlett isn't quite up to the demands of a test match, but a Chris Tremlett on form is certainly a match-winner.
Rankin bowled very well in the ODI series against Australia, and besides not having a standout First Class record, there are some fine attributes for a test bowler in there.
I would even see a logic to the axing of Graeme Onions. Onions has evolved into a first choice backup for James Anderson, and he would be getting some match time with the A side and could always come in if he is really needed.
Very happy to see Ben Stokes in there. He had a decent ODI series, is a terrific potential as an all-rounder. I would say England should promote Matt Prior up to 6, he's more than capable of doing the job at 6, and bat Stokes at 7. India did something recently, the all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja batted at 7, with the skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni promoting himself up to 6 and that provided the side with a much better balance. Anderson, Broad and Steven Finn could then constitute the core of the seam bowling unit with solid support from Stokes, who does look capable of picking wickets at the international level. Being one of 5 man attack would suit Finn better than being part of a 4 man unit, and the Finster is a wickettaker of terrific quality.
Panesar is the 2nd best spinner in England, so he rightly gets his chance.
Bairstow's abilities with the gloves makes him a decent pick in a 17 member squad, don't think Buttler's longer format game is developed enough to be a serious challenge for Bairstow as the backup keeper, and Jos is anyways available with the performance squad.
Don't think I like too much the selection of Michael Carberry. He's at the wrong side of 30, and doesn't have a Chris Rogers like record that demands selection, neither are England struggling like Australia, just that young Joe could have been given more time to evolve into the classy opener that he can become. If England needed a backup, they should have gone for Nick Compton or Varun Chopra, the former has a pretty decent FC record and often managed to see out the new ball even though he didn't produce the big scores as often as was needed in international cricket. The latter has shown considerable signs of improvement over the last 2-3 seasons, and is younger as well. Carberry's FC record isn't great, and he did look a rather limited player as far as his range of shots are concerned.

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Post by GSC Mon 23 Sep 2013, 9:34 pm

Poor Compton. That's a shocking selection.

Taylor might as well start investigating his bloodlines to see if he's eligible for any other nation
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Post by Mike Selig Mon 23 Sep 2013, 10:43 pm

Msp makes some valid points, but I disagree on Stokes. I liked his bowling a lot during the ODIs and would have no issue with him playing as part of a 5-man attack, and the point that Finn may be a better bowler in a 5 man attack is an interesting one (although Anderson and Broad are certainly more effective when used in longish spells so a 4-man attack suits them better). My issue is that I don't think Stokes is good enough to bat at 7 (yet?) in tests. He strikes me as very similar to an early version of Flintoff; 8 is fine, but 7 a slot too high particularly with England's lately somewhat fragile batting. Whilst you could argue that Stokes, Broad and Swann collectively are good enough to make up 7, 8 and 9, that kind of reasoning has seldom worked.

The comparison with India is flawed, because the two sides have very different make-ups - India needed some control from a spinner because their 2nd spinner was underperforming, whilst you never really feel England need another wicket-taking option, which is what Stokes provides. Also, Jadeja for all his perceived flaws was technically a far better batsman than Stokes is currently. If England are after some control (which is what they may miss due to Bresnan being injured, particular if Broad has an off-day and/or Swann gets attacked) then I'm far from convinced Stokes is the solution, and in fact then Woakes may have been the better option all along.

One thing which nobody seems to have said about Stokes yet is how brilliant he is in the field.

I think England very much see Buttler as the long term replacement for Prior; as such it is best that he gets game time rather than hanging around the fringes - he already has enough experience of the HP environment with the ODI side. I don't think Bairstow is a serious option to keep in tests, but his being there means that if Prior breaks a finger on the morning of a match there is at least another option there.

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Post by Mike Selig Mon 23 Sep 2013, 10:51 pm

Onions and Taylor haven't even made the performance squad BTW. Apart from that no major surprises. Roland-Jones and Coles have had their demotion for their indiscretions confirmed (Stokes seems to have gotten back into favour much quicker). I am a bit concerned to see Tymal Mills in there, because I don't think he is very good. I know Meaker had a very poor season with Surrey, but he still looks a prospect to me. In fact the back-up seamers in the performance squad look decidedly average as a whole. Sam Robson gets his chance, and could well be the next in line to the opening slot shortly - certainly he seems to me to have a bit more about him than Carberry or even Compo; that's if the Aussies don't get there first of course...

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Post by GSC Mon 23 Sep 2013, 10:53 pm

Poor Taylor.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 23 Sep 2013, 10:56 pm

Mills has pace, and is a left armer. That's enough for England to think they can mould him into something
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Post by Mike Selig Mon 23 Sep 2013, 10:59 pm

I realise that Mills has pace, however I had rather hoped they had moved beyond the Plunkett/Mahmood days of "anybody with pace will do"...

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Post by GSC Mon 23 Sep 2013, 10:59 pm

No use bowling 95 mph to the slip cordon
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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Mon 23 Sep 2013, 11:11 pm

GSC wrote:No use bowling 95 mph to the slip cordon
 Unless via the edge of the bat.... Wink

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