Ashes Series 2009 3rd Test Buildup
Does the England Starting XI Pick Itself?
Here’s the England Squad for the 3rd Ashes Test at Edgbaston . . .
England Likely Lineup to be picked from: Strauss (c), Cook, Bopara, Bell, Collingwood, Prior (w), Flintoff, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Onions (???), Harmison (???), Panesar
The old mantle in sport of never changing a winning team/formula lives on for the simple reason that for the most part it works. On this occasion, however England’s hands have been tied with the loss of KP delivering a hefty blow to their pre-match preparations. The Ian Bell recall was pretty much a formality, the nearly man of English cricket will want to break his Ashes hoodoo and show the world that style and substance are words that can be used in the same sentence as Bell. The only way he can do this is by securing that elusive Ashes century. With his imperious form in County Cricket and a far blunter Aussie attack – how glad Bell would be to see the back of Warne and Mcgrath – you wouldn’t bet against him.
The fact the selectors have only picked 6 top order batsman means the top order picks itself. Question marks over Bopara’s credentials at number 3 have still not been answered and the manner of his performance contrasted with that of his IPL and Twenty20 world cup exploits are baffling. Lets hope goold old GG has got hold of him at Essex and given him a few frank works. But the top order will be unchanged with Bell slotting into KP’s spot.
The bowling department is an area of much more contention. England won’t pick 2 spinners at Edgbaston so Panesar is sure to miss out. The certainties in the attack are Flintoff and Anderson without a shadow of a doubt. It would appear that Stuart Broad finds himself in this category as well, despite calls from certain ex England stars for him to make way for a double headed Durham pace attack, see what Bob Willis writes here. So the real question is who misses out between Onions and Harmison? Can we still ignore the exploits of Steve Harmison?
Whilst you should never change a winning team it is also important not to tread water and find yourselves static or stagnant against the inevitable Aussies backlash. The rather inocuous second innings display from Onions at Lords will no doubt have him sweating (sorry) on his place but my money that his first innings figures of 3 for 41 will keep him in the side. For my money Harmison should be in there. And so should Onions, they are the only bowling attack to have forced a result at Edgbaston all season.
Who knows who the selectors will plump for come Thursday Morning but lets make our predictions anyway . . .
England Likely Starting Lineup Ashes 3rd Test, Edgbaston
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