Date registered: Mar 2005
Location: In Virtual Reality
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
England face selection dilemma
International Tests England
by Jonathan Stevenson - BBC Sport (U1987325) 22 July 2008
Rarely has it felt like the outcome of a series could depend so heavily on one announcement.
On Saturday, England will name their squad for the third Test match against South Africa which starts at Edgbaston on Wednesday 30 July. But who will they pick?
Michael Vaughan's men are 1-0 down in the four-match series and the captain himself has admitted their selections for the 10-wicket defeat at Headingley were "confused".
The out-of-form one day captain Paul Collingwood was dropped and Andrew Flintoff, badly struggling for runs since returning from injury, was recalled.
England's best bowler Ryan Sidebottom had a back problem and he was replaced by Darren Pattinson, an Australian-raised seamer with only 11 first-class matches to his name.
The extraordinary changes only served to unsettle England and they proceeded to produce a below-par performance as they were outplayed in just about every session during a comprehensive four-day hammering.
Of the specialist batsmen, only Alastair Cook made a half-century in the match - compared to the two enormous hundreds Ashwell Prince and AB de Villiers made for the visitors.
Once again, the top order must take a long, hard look at themselves after giving their wickets away far too easily in both innings. Should they all keep their place? Should Collingwood come back in? Or should someone like Owais Shah be given a run in the side?
Is Michael Vaughan's time as captain running out? He has scored 69 runs in four Tests since a hundred against New Zealand and he needs a big score to silence the critics.
Wicket-keeper Tim Ambrose, ludicrously promoted to six in the order despite being short of runs himself, again found the going tough - should the selectors keep faith in him or is it time for someone else to have a go behind the stumps?
If Sidebottom is fit he will surely come straight back into the team for Pattinson, but that apart, do England need to make any more changes with their attack?
Should the likes of Steve Harmison, Simon Jones or Matthew Hoggard be rewarded for their fine form in county cricket, or do Stuart Broad and James Anderson deserve another crack at the South Africans?
As for Broad, after his stunning 67 not out on Monday do you think he could be converted into a batting all-rounder? Could he end up as a Test match number six?
Use the England squad selector to pick your team for the third Test and send it to your mates.