I was pleased to see the England selectors resisted the urge to make wholesale changes for the third Test at Edgbaston next week.
If James Whitaker and his selectors had been swayed by the massive amount of abuse directed towards Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance and Ian Bell after the embarrassing defeat at Lord’s, the team would have seen a very different look heading to Birmingham.
There has been far too much chopping and changing with the England team over recent years and it’s good to see they’ve resisted pulling the trigger on Lyth and Bell ...... for now.
Ballance absolutely had to go, he needed putting out of his misery.
He genuinely looked terrified before he had even reached the crease and if he’d have taken guard any closer to the stumps he’d be trampling all over them, and as if we need to give the Aussies any wickets as it is.
There have been lots of calls for Lyth and Bell to also be dropped.
Lyth is on very thin ice, agreed, but he definitely deserves another Test or perhaps the series to try and save his skin.
He has shown weakness outside off stump and I’m sure he is working hard on that.
He is a confident kid and if he can get a score under his belt next week I am sure he’ll stick around for a bit at least.
We’ve seen the ECB selectors become keen to give Alastair Cook’s opening partners the chop far too early in recent years.
Michael Carberry, Sam Robson and Nick Compton have all come and gone, while Joe Root was shunted up the order for a period too.
Any team in any sport benefits from stability and cricket is no different.
If he fails again at Edgbaston the knives will be sharpened again and it will be tough to make a case for him though.
Bell always produces when his back is up against the wall, and I agree that moving him up to number three is a good move.
Ballance absolutely had to go, he needed putting out of his miseryDaniel Gregory
Playing at a ground he knows only too well at Edgbaston, Bell will have extra responsibility on his shoulders come the time he strides to the crease, and hopefully he will respond well and cash in.
Carberry, Hales and Notts’ James Taylor have all come into some form recently and will be pushing very hard for a call up should the pair fail next week.
Fingers crossed the players re-pay the selectors faith in Birmingham, if they don’t the axe over their heads will loom large.