December 10, 2010 in Uncategorized
Although I must admit to feeling somewhat gleeful in Australia’s panic-stricken changes for the Third Test at the WACA, there is a problem in the England ranks, too. This comes in the form of a Stuart Broad shaped hole in the line up. Broad is the man who provides solidity and menace with the ball, combined with useful runs at 8 or 9.
Unlike Anderson who is either good or bad, Broad has tended to pick up wickets no matter how he is playing, and has developed control with the new ball which Finn does not yet possess. He has more pace and bounce than Bresnan, more menace than Tremlett and more control than Shahzad. He has the capability of ripping apart the opposition batting order, something which all three of the potential replacements have never done for England.
I fear that the England selectors will opt for Bresnan as he is the handiest with the bat and is the safe option. They will ignore his lack of pace, limited swing option and general stodginess as a bowler in order to be assured of not having 3 rabbits down the bottom of the order. I feel this places too much pressure on Swann and Anderson with the ball, and would go for Shahzad for a bit of extra pace and the ability to reverse swing a ball, as an option as a third strike bowler. Tremlett is the third option, he has a 6-for already on this tour, from what I remember he can hold a bat too. A tall bowler with a bit of pace, I would leave him out on the basis that Shahzad has been next in line for England for a while now, time to see if he can step up.
I cannot but feel that this one will end in a draw, with neither side able to bowl the other out. Australia will not produce a green top and skittle England twice like SA did with Morkel and Steyn at the start of the year – which looks the best way to beat us. The lack of consistency in Australian selection undermines any set plans they have, but they have enough in their batting to target Finn and whoever comes in for Broad, meaning the workload on Swann and Anderson will be too great.
England 1-0 up with two to play, I feel.