Side for the 1st Test?

tonyw

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Not an easy decision picking 11 from the squad of 14:

Joe Root (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.

Assuming that Stokes is going to bowl a bit as the 4th seamer, then I assume the top 7 will be:

Burns
Roy
Root
Denly
Bairstow
Stokes
Buttler

But picking four bowlers from those seven is a tough ask.

If the pitch looks like it's going to spin at all, then Moeen has to play (although I might bat him #11 at the moment).

Would be really tough to drop Woakes or Broad given how they bowled against Ireland; but then are you going to drop England's leading wicket taker? Or the new guy/World Cup winner who offers the only genuine pace in the squad? Curran offers the left-arm variation and has hardly put a foot wrong when bowling in English conditions. I suspect Stone will miss out, but he did nothing wrong at Lords either.

Tough call.

Suspect I would go Woakes/Anderson/Archer if the pitch looks green, and Broad/Anderson/Archer if it looks flatter. But without much confidence that I'm making the right call!

Course a very similar decision is facing the Aussies - they've got to perm three from Michael Neser, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins...…..
 
Denly's been in ok form, but if Root's going to 3 surely he has to drop out? I can't see us losing anyone from the strong middle order to accommodate him.

I'd go: Roy, Burns, Root, Bairstow, Stokes, Buttler, Curran, Moeen, Archer, Broad, Anderson

I think it's a tough call leaving out Woakes after his bowling at Lord's, but there are still tests for him to come in an play - I don't see Broad and Anderson featuring in all 5. Also Stone has a future but Archer, if fit, has to play ahead of him as he has an extra yard-or-two of pace.
 
A side that batters the convicts, in the first and all the test matches in the Ashes would do ;)
 
Denly's been in ok form, but if Root's going to 3 surely he has to drop out? I can't see us losing anyone from the strong middle order to accommodate him.

I'd go: Roy, Burns, Root, Bairstow, Stokes, Buttler, Curran, Moeen, Archer, Broad, Anderson

I know Sam Curran's got a great record as a lower order batsman, but #7 seems way too high for him in a Test match against a strong bowling attack.

Plus, you've got six bowlers there. If we need six bowlers against this Aussie batting lineup then we're absolutely doomed.

Honestly, I don't rate Denly - but if the selectors think that he's one of the best seven batsmen in the country (including Stokes & Buttler) then he has to play.
 
Denly has said that he has been told he would bat at 4.
I would play Moeen, Woakes, Archer, Anderson.
I wouldn't be amazed if Broad starts instead of Moesn though.
 
I know Sam Curran's got a great record as a lower order batsman, but #7 seems way too high for him in a Test match against a strong bowling attack.

Plus, you've got six bowlers there. If we need six bowlers against this Aussie batting lineup then we're absolutely doomed.

Honestly, I don't rate Denly - but if the selectors think that he's one of the best seven batsmen in the country (including Stokes & Buttler) then he has to play.

Curran's an all-rounder really. He has a test average of over 32 and has helped us gets runs many times to dig us out of trouble, as well as having opened the batting in the IPL on occasion.
 
I think the first test may have come a week too soon for Archer, got a feeling we will give him another week to get over the side strain.
 
I wouldn't have picked Moeen anyway so I wonder if just going with Root/Denly as the spinning option.
 
I wouldn't have picked Moeen anyway so I wonder if just going with Root/Denly as the spinning option.

I think if Moeen comes out Leach will come in. He's shown he's good enough with the bat and he's as good as Moeen at spinning it. Whilst it's unlikely Edgbaston will turn much, I wouldn't want to risk playing only part-time spinners against the Australia attack.
 
I think if Moeen comes out Leach will come in. He's shown he's good enough with the bat and he's as good as Moeen at spinning it. Whilst it's unlikely Edgbaston will turn much, I wouldn't want to risk playing only part-time spinners against the Australia attack.

Agreed on Leach, deserved a chance after his batting in the Ireland test. He is certainly in better form with the bat.

I will say in Moeen's defence that he has in the past become a threat bowling after starting the series in poor form.
 
Agreed on Leach, deserved a chance after his batting in the Ireland test. He is certainly in better form with the bat.

I will say in Moeen's defence that he has in the past become a threat bowling after starting the series in poor form.

Yeah, I love Moeen (the hattrick to win the test v South Africa will always be a highlight), but if feels as if he's coming to the end of his international career now. His batting form has dropped off and he might soon have to rely on his spinning alone to do the talking, and with Leach/Bess/Parkinson/Virdi all looking like good prospects it'll be tough.
 
I think if Moeen comes out Leach will come in. He's shown he's good enough with the bat and he's as good as Moeen at spinning it. Whilst it's unlikely Edgbaston will turn much, I wouldn't want to risk playing only part-time spinners against the Australia attack.
Leach isnt in the squad?
 
Hmmmm….so anyone want to hazard a guess at which bowler has taken the most Test wickets in the past 12 months - not just for England, but for anyone (45 @ 23.13 in nine Tests)?

The same bowler who, in his last 10 matches in England, has taken 43 wickets at 21.04 apiece?

Just because he can't bat any more, doesn't mean he isn't still England's best spin bowler.


[EDIT - these stats are probably pre-Ireland, but it's hard to fault a spinner for not prospering on that seamer's paradise]
 
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Agree Tony.
Moeen is still by far Englands best spinner in my view
 
With the weather as it is, it could produce a seamer for the first day. I think the Bowlers are locked in as Anderson, Archer, Stokes, Broad and Ali. Harsh on Woakes, but that's my gut feeling.
 
Hmmmm….so anyone want to hazard a guess at which bowler has taken the most Test wickets in the past 12 months - not just for England, but for anyone (45 @ 23.13 in nine Tests)?

The same bowler who, in his last 10 matches in England, has taken 43 wickets at 21.04 apiece?

Just because he can't bat any more, doesn't mean he isn't still England's best spin bowler.


[EDIT - these stats are probably pre-Ireland, but it's hard to fault a spinner for not prospering on that seamer's paradise]

This was the point I was about to make. Moeen’s bowling has been excellent over 12 months. David Warner often thinks he can go after him too and often gets unstuck - he got him out four times in 2015.

As for our XI, I’ve stewed over this for some time. Personally I wouldn’t have Burns in there who is looking exposed and I have doubts over Denly too. I maybe would have considered Sibley and a recall for Malan who has plundered runs this year, but hey ho.

I’d go for the following based on the squad named.

Burns
Roy
Root
Denly
Stokes
Buttler
Woakes
Ali
Archer
Broad
Anderson

And I’m still not all that happy with it! I want Curran’s counterattacking batting in there, but can’t justify dropping Broad who raises his game for these occasions, Woakes who is in form and will be playing at his home ground, Archer who will terrify the Aussies and Anderson who can’t ever be dropped.

The only solace is that the Aussies have the same problem!
 
Burns
Roy
Root
Denly
Stokes
Buttler
Woakes
Ali
Archer
Broad
Anderson

And I'm going to say the same thing to you that I said to Battman…...

…...which is that we're going into a Test series where ball is destined to dominate bat. Where both teams have tons of bowling options but big worries over their batting. I just don't see how you can justify picking five bowlers + Stokes, and having Woakes (or Curran, or Ali) batting as high as #7.
If we can't bowl Australia out with four bowlers + Stokes, we're not winning the Ashes, period.

The only way I think you could justify it is if you think that - at the moment - there genuinely isn't a batsman in England who's more likely to score runs in the Ashes than Chris Woakes. Which is really, really sad if it's true!
 
With the weather as it is, it could produce a seamer for the first day. I think the Bowlers are locked in as Anderson, Archer, Stokes, Broad and Ali. Harsh on Woakes, but that's my gut feeling.
Got to play Woakes on his home ground surely? Especially after Lords last week.
 
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