The selectors have just named their squad of hungry, rampaging Lions for the first test. It’s the XI who played more like sausage dogs at Headingley, plus Steve Finn and flavour of the month Adil Rashid. I don’t expect either of the new guys to play, but it at least shows they’re in the selectors thoughts.
I’m quite pleased with Rashid’s inclusion, and suspect there’s an outside chance he might play alongside Moeen at Cardiff if the hot weather holds. I’m less pleased about Finn’s inclusion, and to be honest I’m a little mystified.
Finn just hasn’t looked the same since his ‘un-selectable’ period, and I think his action looks mechanical, unnatural and doesn’t utilise the full rotation of his arms. He also looks uncomfortable in his skin.
With Liam Plunkett injured, the selectors probably think they’re short of options. What a shame they don’t seem to believe in Mark Footitt.
Perhaps Footitt’s relatively poor showing in the championship against Cook’s Essex counted against him in the end. England’s skipper actually played in that game and would have seen the Derbyshire tearaway at close quarters.
Despite his great form in recent weeks, there’s no place for Jonny Barstow. Personally I think it’s right to keep faith with Gary Ballance for now – if only because it’s fun hearing One Test say his name over and over again.
However, I would like to see Bayliss reverse Moores’ rather odd experiment of batting Ballance at 3. I would play Bell at 3 (time to step up as the senior player, Ian) with Root 4 and Ballance 5. This is more in keeping with their county positions.
England Squad: Cook (capt), Lyth, Ballance, Bell, Root, Stokes, Buttler, Moeen Ali, Rashid, Broad, Wood, Anderson, Finn
We’d love to hear your thoughts folks. Pleased? Frustrated? Ambivalent?