Deja Vu

Well, after winning the toss and batting (again), England made a decent fist of the first day at the SCG. Flintoff began to look like a proper batsman once more, Pietersen got himself out and Bell made another stylish half-century before falling to McGrath (again) when a century was starting to appear likely (again). While it has to be viewed in the context of England's wide range of more serious failings, Bell's inability to reach three figures in Australia has, along with the under-performance of Strauss and Cook at the top of the order, been one of the more disappointing aspects of their batting. If he can't do so in the second innings at Sydney, he'll hopefully cash in later in the year against the West Indies and India.

But I was more concerned, as usual, by the team selection. Despite the fact that Hoggard was ruled out by injury, it was a great pity that England weren't prepared to place a bit of trust in Jamie Dalrymple. On a wicket which usually turns we now have both Mahmood and Anderson in the attack (more than a tad worrying after the way they've bowled so far) and Mahmood to bat at eight. Okay, Dalrymple's not the greatest spinner in the world, but, with a first-class career best of 244 and a rock-solid temperament, he'd surely be a better bet at number eight than Mahmood. In all probability, in fact, he'd go in at seven, ahead of Chris Read.

Early wickets tomorrow will surely spell trouble, but, if Flintoff and Collingwood can settle themselves in again the tail might not be exposed.

Let's hope so.

No comments:

Subscribe in a reader