England Should Try For Ashes 2009, Not 2005

Tim De Lisle has an excellent Cricinfo column on England’s woeful selection strategy. He argues the team has arrived at its woeful current position — with only Kevin Pietersen as an attacking batsman, and no one as an attacking bowler — because the country’s selection committee prefers conservative choices to risks:

When you don’t have a born No. 3, a Ponting or a Dravid, the classic plan B is to pick a third opener, a David Boon or a Mark Butcher. England don’t have a third opener in sight. Why? Because they have picked Cook so often. England’s five specialist batsmen have the same problem as their five bowlers: most of them can’t take a match by the scruff of the neck.

Kevin Pietersen can, obviously, when not going through with a crazy shot like a bore in the bar who insists on finishing his point. Ravi Bopara has the personality, but it would be asking a lot for him to do it against Australia at this stage (when Ponting was his age, he was down at No. 6). Strauss, Cook and Collingwood – heroic though he was yesterday – strike fear into nobody. Like Flintoff, Broad and Panesar, they shouldn’t all be in the same team. If England beat Australia with this line-up, they will be defying gravity.

In a way, then, Flintoff’s latest injury could possibly change the side’s mental framework for the better. Sure, they may draft Harmison, which wouldn’t be a bad choice, but they could also go for broke and complete the team’s renovation, employing Graham Onions. Regardless, with no Flintoff, they’ll know for sure they aren’t playing 2005 anymore.

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One thought on “England Should Try For Ashes 2009, Not 2005

  1. […] a comment » Forget what I wrote. Who needs 2009 when you can have another 2005? Then again, there are differences between that […]

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