England Fall At First Hurdle
The England selectors have many questions to ponder following their sides humiliating 166 run defeat by the President's XI, starting with "who agreed this tour schedule?" To prepare properly for the 1st Test England need to play 4 day games against weak-medium strengthened opposition, not a one-day match against an Australian A team. I doubt that Australia would have accepted a similar tour opener that could only serve the interests of the home team.
Other questions include:
- Who is going to open with Strauss in the 1st Test?
- Who will keep wicket?
- Who will be selected as spinner?
This disadvantage with having 16 players who all have a chance of making the final XI is the inevitable uncertainty of an unsettled team. England won the Ashes by selecting 12 players for the 5 match series, the only change being forced on them by injury. The selectors need to take a deep breath, decide on their starting XI and then ensure that these players get as much match practice as possible. That team should be:
Injuries and a poor selection policy have ensured that less than half these players can feel assured of the place in the team. This more than any other factor makes England the underdog for the coming series.