“No one doubts that Jonny Bairstow is a very good cricketer in all formats for England. No door is closed, ”said England coach Ed Smith. “This is also the case where we are where we were.
“When Covid-19 caused a suspension of cricket, Jos Buttler was the man in possession – he is still the man in possession – and he has our full support as an English goalkeeper. And Ben Foakes was the assistant to the Sri Lanka tour. This is where it is today. ”
It was a similar story with Moeen. “We are very pleased that Moeen is available again. It’s good news. “
By selecting 13 from the test team, Smith reduced the decisions to be made by new captain Ben Stokes and head coach Chris Silverwood on the morning of the match. The batter’s list was settled by the selectors, Denly keeping his place. We do not yet know for sure the exact order of the batter. “The captain has the batting order, as it should be,” said Smith. “It’s up to the captain to decide. I expect Joe Denly to keep third and Zak Crawley to beat four. ”
Smith spoke of a new test plan for the batting lineup. “The emphasis was placed on solidity at the top of the list and on the first heats. What we have seen is that since a slight change of plan this winter, the England team has fought with more consistency and solidity throughout the order and Joe Denly played a big part in that. ”
To add spice to the first four of the upcoming test, they all know that one of them will have to give way to Old Trafford to allow Joe Root to return to the team.
Wednesday, there will be no more anxiety about the identity of the English spinner. It will be Bess. The selectors excluded the possibility of playing two spinners despite a much improved forecast and they rejected the idea of having someone (Leach), who can divert the ball from the bat against a side of the Antilles which would probably include 10 to right- the attendants. They may miss Root’s bowling alley and his hitter. So much for keeping all the options open.
Stokes and Silverwood will be left with a very delicate choice to decide the final balance of the bowling attack. Despite all the discussion about rotation, no one ever wants to miss a home test. If they choose to play Jofra Archer and Mark Wood in the same camp for the first time, one of their main pillars will have to be missed.
“I wouldn’t want to speculate on this,” said Smith. “There is a real desire to have as much flexibility as possible. There are six tests in seven weeks; the science and medicine team did everything they could, but we don’t know how people will react. ”
Omitting Stuart Broad – or Jimmy Anderson – would be quite a call for Stokes to take charge of his first game, although it seems unlikely that he will hesitate to make the difficult decision.