Wednesday, November 02, 2005

England in Pakistan 3

Despite the best efforts of our batsmen, Giles and Plunkett have bowled England to a 52 run victory - both took four wickets, with Udal chipping in with the last two.

Seven wickets is a good return for your first match in international colours - Plunkett moves alongside Anderson and Udal in the competition for the last bowler's spot. Loudon appears to be out of the race.

An important thirty-odd for Colly today. Unless Bell scores big in the last warm-up match, I think there's every chance he'll be left out. Presumably both will play in the third test, as it seems Strauss will be back in Blighty attending the birth of his first child.

Problem is with most batsmen struggling, Freddie and Harmo returning, and Hoggy out of the wickets, there's a shortage of slots for the last game (against Pakistan A, starting Sunday). I guess they'll have to leave out Banger and Gilo, who've proven their form, and one other from Hoggard and Collingwood (or fudge and play 12, but I think that's unlikely to be allowed). No place for Prior or Loudon, neither of whom can expect to play in the Tests, barring injury.

My guess, assuming only eleven, would be:

Strauss, Vaughan, Bell, Pieterson, Collingwood, Flintoff, Jones, Udal, Harmison, Plunkett, Anderson.


Ken said...

My guess is Udal has a place in the team unless he fails miserably. Pakistan have so many spinners in their squad its inconceivable that they won't be playing on turning tracks, and you need a specialist second spinner in those cases.

Infoholic UK said...

I suspect you're probably right Ken - there's been a lot of talk by Woolmer et al that they wouldn't necessarily prepare big turners. However, if I were a Pakistan groundsman (or selector), I'd be looking at how the English batsmen played Warne - and perhaps more importantly how our seam bowlers destroyed the Australian top order - and I'd be thinking hard about baking grassless dustbowls without question. Obviously that would point England towards a second spinner. The only thing that might sway the management is that they've had great success with the four seamers formula, but I think Fletcher and Vaughan are both intelligent and pragmatic enough to adapt. If Udal's learnt as much from Warne as I think he has, he may be a real asset on this tour.