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South Africa hold whip hand

Jonathan Agnew | 18:42 UK time, Saturday, 19 July 2008

So much for the snakes in the Headingley pitch, and helpful bowling conditions - South Africa batted with tremendous discipline and determination and are well on course to take the second Test by the scruff of the neck.

Only one wicket fell all day, and that was a very poor lbw decision by Daryl Harper, with Darren Pattinson the fortunate bowler after Hashim Amla inexplicably missed a leg-side full toss.

Pattinson celebrated his first Test wicket, but looked exposed and out of his depth when he returned later in the day to bowl at only 78 miles per hour.

Significantly, Michael Vaughan did not give him the second new ball and again one is left to question the judgment of the selectors who felt that he warranted international selection on precious little evidence, and over the heads of other more worthy candidates.

Darren Pattinson and Ashwell Prince

Stuart Broad was also disappointing, bowling too many four balls as Ashwell Prince, who scored his second hundred in consecutive Tests, and AB de Villiers put together the partnership that dominated the day.

Broad, though, is very young and learning fast. He will have bad days as well as good as he discovers his consistency.

Vaughan was forced to turn to Monty Panesar, but Prince quickly two big sixes which prevented the spinner from settling easily into a spell. Neither batsman missed a scoring opportunity, and with England playing catch-up, Vaughan had little option but to set attacking fields which left plenty of gaps.

So, England are up against it now and the pressure will be firmly on their top five batsmen when the time comes to start their second innings.

South Africa's fast bowlers will run in hard and if the weather stays fine, should force a win. Then the recriminations about the team selection will start in earnest.


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  • Comment number 1.

    rather like kevin keegan when he sold andy cole, englands selectors should be made to stand in front of the western terrace and explain why pattinson and not hoggy/harmy/jones/tremlett/shrek etc etc
    was chosen.

    whilst they're on they could also explain why they've chosen only 4 batsmen (vaughany cant play straight ones at the minute) to play the best attack since the 1980s (allegedly)

    we had south africa on the run until vaughan stupidly enforced the follow on. now we're staring down the proverbial.

    a very angry paul from wakefield

  • Comment number 2.

    I am utterly disgusted with England in this test match. Yesterday morning, when the teams were announed, it was obvious which direction this test match was heading.

    Tim Ambrose would not bat at 6 for his county but he does for England?

    Darren who, would not get into the Notts team if Sidebottom and Broad were not on international duty, but he is opening the bowling for England.

    Something is seriously wrong. I was convinced Hoggard must be injured when he was not drafted into the squad on Thursday evening.

    Clearly Geoff Miller must resign now, and be replaced by a Mr Hussain, who is not only highly passionate but also very knowledgable about England cricket.

    Goodbye Ambrose, goodbye Postman- bring back Jones!!


  • Comment number 3.

    The selection was pretty poor. Can you answer me this question Aggers, whats the point of cenral contracts if the selecters are able to pick someone out of nowhere?

    It does send a very good signal to the rest of the guys and may have a direct impact on their moral and motivation.

  • Comment number 4.

    I simply cannot believe it. Perhaps now the selectors will find some good grace and resign, taking MV with them

  • Comment number 5.

    I absolutely love cricket, and will always support England pasisonately, but sometimes I do feel like just giving up! Wot on earth has happened with this Pattinson?? I mean, even Boycott, who some while ago accused Harmison of not trying hard enough or something equally derogatory, believes that he is bowling so well he ought to at least have one more Test Match.

    Surely he or Hoggard or even Simon Jones for goodness sake would have done far better than an unknown with 11 first class matches to his name. Hoggard = excellent swing bowler and its his home ground / Harmison = vicious and bouncy, and Jones, well we all know he was instrumental in taking Australian wickets. And Pattinson, er = wot exactly? 80 mph and no particular weapon. Wot the hell has happened, and why on earth was Tremlett in the squad FOR THE WHOLE SUMMER, if when an injury finally occured, he wasnt even picked?? Where is the sense is that??

    We are going to lose this test without doubt, even if we fight back fairly well, and we deserve to quite frankly, playing a nobody against the 2nd best team in the world and having an average batsman at 6!

    I am livid.

  • Comment number 6.

    I cannot understand why the selectors have picked what is arguably the worst England side for years. We have a tail starting with Ambrose (who is no better than a no 8), and Vaughan is out of form. Coupled with England's traditionally unreliable batting we signed our own death warrant before the game even started.

    Our bowling attack is also poor. While I am a big fan of Broad, he is not taking wickets at the moment. Flintoff hasn't played test cricket for years, Pattinson has only played 11 first class games! Are we expecting Anderson to take all the wickets?

    We are effectively playing with 7 players - Vaughan, Pattinson, Broad and Ambrose are contributing nothing in this game.

    All the more worrying is the fact this was totally predictable, yet the selectors seemed to pursue it anyway.

  • Comment number 7.

    Spot on as usual Aggers, No place to hide for Vaughan, Moores, the England team AND the selectors.

    It feels very unfair to vilify Pattinson on the basis of this performance as by all accounts he was as suprised at being called up as anybody!

    Other than a noticeable improvement in the fielding, since Mr Moores has appeared on the scene,can we honestly say that we are a better team? I think not.

    As a team England have undoubtably had the worst of the conditions but, all the same, the lack of penetration from ALL the bowlers is now more than just a little worrying. It seems that putting in good performances against a weak NZ batting line up are not the guide to form and ability that some would have us believe.

  • Comment number 8.

    I think it is now time for England to sort themselves out the Captain should not be playing he just is not good enough with his batting, we should have won the last test it was his bad decision to make South Africa follow on that created the fiasco, also his batting is abysmal who's idea was it to select Pattinson there are plenty of much better bowlers than him, and why the manager leaves Read out from Nottingham as the wicket keeper is unbelievable, Ambrose is a liability.

    Fed Up

  • Comment number 9.

    I agree with all of the above apart form MV getting flak for the selection of Pattison.

    The selectors forced Pattison on him and MV even admitted that he knew nothing about this guy.

    The selectors have managed to weaken both the batting and bowling with two inept decisions.

  • Comment number 10.

    The Pattinson pick over Hoggard or Tremlett just doesn't make sense. The only case could have been if he was different i.e. extremely quick, or a left arm swing bowler. Miller has just managed to upset the applecart with this "left-field" selection - 1. By selecting him before at least five more worthy candidates; 2. By the is he or isn't he English nonsense; 3. By putting Pattinson himself in a very awkward position even if given a bit more time he can develop into an England player. We'd have been better off keeping Collingwood in the side.

    The team for Headingley is flawed. How can Ambrose be batting at No.6? He can't score for love nor money at present and has to be replaced by Foster or Prior for the next match. Vaughan is rapidly becoming the new Mike Brearley being picked for his captaincy rather than his batting which means we must bat at least to No.9 in the order. Next time out:

    Jones S

  • Comment number 11.

    Time for a change, guys
    Butcher (should never have left)
    2 strike bowlers, 2 reliable swingers, a different spinner, batting down to 8 and a half. What do you think?

  • Comment number 12.

    Forgot the keeper (replace Siders with Reid, please!!!)

  • Comment number 13.

    England were correct to enter with 5 specialist batsmen, 1 wicket keeper and 5 specialist bowlers. In international cricket Bowlers and Wicket Keepers are expected to support the top 5 in getting a big score and then bowling well as a unit to take 20 wickets.

    This is not rocket science.

    England were asked to bat and made a poor 1st innings total, partially due to the conditions but mainly due to the batting unit 1-5 failing once again.

    England were correct to drop Colly - if you are not scoring runs you don't deserve your place.

    Vaughan is the next man under focus - Mr Vaughan if you are hanging on so you can reclaim the Ashes next year as Captain you had better buck your ideas up and get some runs. Come down off the mountain and play some county cricket and get some confidence and runs under your belt.

    On a wider note that is what English cricketeers should be doing when there are gaps in the itinerary (and I appreciate there was not one here between the 1st and 2nd test) - getting overs in and scoring runs. Being a centrally contracted player should allow some of that - England for several years have not kept "practising" enough between tests and the demise of Harmison, the variability of Anderson are two perfect examples.

    Regarding the bowling, once again selection wide of the mark. I admire consistency when you pick a consistently good side.

    Pattinson or Skippy as he appears to be known was a one-test selection that should not be repeated.

    4 Quicks and a spinner. Panesar is the correct choice and will be for years to come it must be galling for the King of Spain to ratify his selection every week - Ashley you couldn't turn a ball like Monty, period - he needs to learn other arts and he will do that by playing counting cricket - change of pace, other wonder deliveries etc.

    4 Quicks. Flintoff is class and always will be - why was he not in the 1st test?

    That leaves 3 - Sidebottom was not one and is being exposed as a trundler who can swing the ball - when I saw him at Trent Bridge he loved his image, moaned at everyone on the pitch, and was so busy on focusing on himself, forgot to field. Ryan, go away and become at least 5mph quicker.

    Broad is a trier and his runs are priceless. England must keep patience with this lad - his father was made of granite and so is he.

    Simon Jones should have been picked for this test and perhaps someone with Yorkshire experience. Hoggard or Bresnan or both would have been fine.

    So my 4 quicks would be Flintoff, Hoggard, Broad and Anderson.

    With Mr Harmison and Tremlett in the wings....

    Who would be a selector eh?

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    AAAARGH. These ENDLESS comments on Broad... "he's young.. he'll learn" etc...

    So what? He should learn at county level. At the highest level he is simply not good enough to get wickets and there are a very significant number of better batsmen.

    Aggers, PLEASE, justify your support for Broad. He has doen NOTHING at county level save for a good 20 20 last year. Is that enough for test selection?

    What is wrong with the cricket selectors/commentators (inc you Aggers)?

    I don't dispute Broad has talent. Let him hone it at county level.

    The whole selection of the England side is farcical. We have no shortage of good players. Clearly we have a shortage of good selectors. Pattinson is merely a case in point. How on earth has he justified selection? PLEASE, someone tell me. Bresnan must be close to legal action against the ECB.

    We have a captain who clearly does not merit his place; a young opener whose average has fallen consistently since his first test; without doubt, the worst test No. 6 in the world (incl Bangladesh - look at the stats), a semi pro opening bowler (watching Broad and Pattinson bowl in tandem was a national sporting disgrace. Other cricket nations are laughing at us). Bringing Fred back is just plan desperation.

    I could go on and on just like many others here. The whole situation is inexcusable. And Aggers, by spouting nonsense like "Broad will learn" shows that there are too many people in the game that have no place commenting on it.

  • Comment number 16.

    The Pattinson question is fair enough. But the real failure was the English batting yesterday. KP and Flintoff both gift-wrapped their wickets, Vaughan's hopelessly out of form, and Ambrose just doesn't look up to the part. If the SA batsmen were as generous in parting with their wickets, we wouldn't be arguing about bowler-selection now.

    (Incidentally, in fairness to Pattinson, he produced more results than any of the other bowlers in tough conditions today, that's including England's officially designated cutting edge, Flintoff.)

  • Comment number 17.

    I think the current selectors should return to their counties. And perhaps county members/ members of the public/anyone who doesn't wear a suit most days of the week should get to vote on who becomes a selector.

  • Comment number 18.

    Agree 100% with Paul from Wakefield. The selectors have contrived to pick just 4 batsmen - a remarkable achievement it must be said. Vaughan should be nowhere near the test side. The surprise was not that he got out for 0 but that he actually managed to nick it to slip rather than be clean bowled by a straight one - his dismissal of choice.

    Also, if England want to have a 5 man attack then they must know that Flintoff is not in much form with the bat - therefore moving Ambrose to 6 was ludicrous. If you go with 5 bowlers then pick the best batsmen-wicketkeeper who is capable of scoring runs - Prior. If you're going to go with Flintoff in a 4 man attack then pick the best gloveman - Read or Foster. Ambrose is neither, and frankly Broad is a better batsmen than him!

  • Comment number 19.

    I haven't seen much of the play today, but I watched Pattinson's spell yesterday and his first spell this morning carefully and I thought he bowled pretty well. I think to say he's 'out of his depth' is pretty harsh when you consider that Broad, despite his obvious qualities with the bat, hasn't looked particularly threatening in either this game or the Lord's game.

    Those who don't understand why Pattinson was picked should go and have a look at this summer's bowling stats. Then you might have a better idea.

  • Comment number 20.

    Jonathan Agnew has not been fair with his opinions. He set out his stall yesterday with regards to Pattinson, and today has jumped on him further. Agnew has provoked hatred for the man before he even took to the pitch and pushed it further today.

    I agree that Patinson did look out of his depth today, however, he should be given a chance and judged on his perfomance. If he doesn't do well over five days, then he doesn't play again. It is that simple.

    What century are we living in, honestly.

  • Comment number 21.

    Good blog as usual Aggers but i'd like to point out a slight error. Much as i dislike the selection of Pattinson i have to say that in the laws of the game his wicket was correct. If the batsman is hit on the full between wicket and wicket then the umpire must presume that the ball is going to hit the stumps regardless of whether or not it would have.
    Bring back Harmy!

  • Comment number 22.

    RE: 20, There is not hatred for Pattinson. He cant really fail as nobody expected him to do anything. I personally thought that he bowled well today.
    What the decision has done is cause unrest in the English camp and that cant be a positive thing.

  • Comment number 23.

    well, I really feel for this poor guy Pattinson. It's quite true that he probablt should not be there, but in the circumstances, and given his inexperience, he could have done much worse.

    The selectors really need sorting out though. Absolutely insane that we get this guy over Jones, Harmison, Hoggard, Tremlett, Saj, ... what on earth were they drinking?

  • Comment number 24.

    Was Pattinsons selection a case of the selectors wanting to make a name for themselves? I think they should come and justify why this guy was selected above Hoggard, Harmison, Tremlett, Jones etc. Hoggard has lost a yard of pace apparantly -well I think he would have offerred a lot more guile and craft than Pattinson. He looks way out of his depth and we are carrying a passenger because the selectors tried to be clever and this has clearly unsettled the team. Jones whilst known for reverse swing also conventionally swings it, and at pace.

    Does anyone else think that England should have enforced the follow on at lords? I thought it was a big gamble at the time, with Lords record, and back to back matches. Posting a few more runs would have scuffed up the pitch a bit more and allowed our bowlers 3 hours or so recovery. We still may not have won but I think it would have given us a better chance.

    I have a nasty feeling that Prior may be back soon at number 6 to allow Fred to bat at 7. Ambrose is not a 6. And Broad needs to take wickets - thats what he is in the team for.

    I think we have missed a trick in not using Duncan Fletchers expertise in some way - under him England were the best they have ever been in the last 20 years or so.

    Very disaapointed.

  • Comment number 25.

    Rashid ?

    You must be joking

  • Comment number 26.

    Broad for all his effort, is not going to be the top line test bowler he has been made out to be certain sections of the press.

    He does not have the pace or variety to dismiss top players. Yes, he is young but a big young fast bowler should be putting the fear of god into batsman. On flat wickets he will just leak runs and on bouncy wickets he will not have the pace to disrupt the flow of a batsman.

    I guess he could learn more in county cricket, but I fear he will never quite be the player he was marked out to be.

    As it is I think he is in the team as his batting shores up a very long tail. But lets face it, he is in the team for his bowling, and that currently lacks a lot.

  • Comment number 27.

    Batting conditions have improved a great deal on Day Two. If England batsmen show application and determination in their second innings, they too can come up with a challenging score. But first their bowlers need to come with some special effort on Day Three. The match is still wide open and no side can be written off yet.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 28.

    It has been said by the Aussies, that in roughly the same number of years fo Test match Cricket, they have 400 odd capped test match players. England by contrast have 700 odd. I believe that England selectors take far too many gambles that don't pay off. I believe it is fair enough to gamble on a 20 year old like Stuart Broad, but to be handing a 29 year old a debut on the back of a handful of first class games is soft I beleive. The selectors should stick with bowlers who have been there unless they are bringing in a young gun. Whats was the problem with Hoggard. Home ground, Local knowledge, good bowler, consistant, and can go the distance. Pattinson to stay...No Chance

  • Comment number 29.

    So Aggers, "Broad, though, is very young and learning fast. He will have bad days as well as good as he discovers his consistency." But Pattinson was apparently "out of his depth".

    Pattinson may be a few years older than Broad, but he is considerably less experienced, both in First Class and in Test cricket. Will he not also have his bad days as well as good? He didn't look out of his depth to me, though he wasn't particularly threatening either. He has made a decent, hard working debut, and it is unfair on him to blame him for the vagaries of the selectors.

  • Comment number 30.

    There is only one reason why Pattinson was picked in my humble opion, and that is, it is the 'easy' option for the selectors.

    First of all, if they had picked hoggy, harmy, jones or tremlett and they happened to take a hatfull of wickets it would have a selection headache for Ashley Giles etc to find a place for Sidebottom come the next test, when he'll be obviously be fit. They'll be no outcry when Pattinson is dropped for the 3rd test and no need for the selectors to make difficult decisions, perfect!! With Freddy back, he's been able to soak up the overs that Pattinson won't bowl, which is painfully obvious to the whole country including Vaughan, that Pattinson isn't up to Test standard!

    It's a complete cop-out from the selectors and an absolute disgrace that Harmison, Tremlett, Jones, Hoggard etc, (especially Hoogy) wasn't picked for this test match"!

  • Comment number 31.

    In a way, I kind of feel sorry for Pattison. He is clearly not up to Test match level, and he has been thrown in at the deep end by the 'knowledgable' selectors. I follow county cricket quite a bit and I can honestly admitt that I had never heard his name before. To leave out the bowlers of 2004 (harmy, jones, hoggy) and bring in someone like Tremlett/Mahmood would have been bad enough - but this?!

    The problem is people like Pattison can take wickets at county level by bowling at not a quick pace (80 odd), without much swing or bounce and a fairly accurate line. Test batsmen are better then that. To get a wicket you need either genuine pace, swing, bounce and accuracy. Harmy, Hoggy and Jones I think have 2, if not definitely 1. The logical selection had to be Hoggy - like swing bowler for Sidebottom AND on a swinging wicket AND on his own ground. It all makes no sense.

    Vaughan's form with the bat is worrying. I know he brings a lot to the side as a successful and experienced captain, but is that really worth the runs we are sacrificing at no 3, who should be our major scorer? I would consider sliding him down the order to 5, with Pietersen or Bell at 3, to take the pressure of. Even with this, he needs runs.

    Dont even get me started on Ambrose. He's not the best keeper, the best batsmen or even the best combination of the 2. I don't care who exactly, just get rid of him and replace with likes of Read, Jones, Nixon, Prior, Pothas etc.

    Mind you, the selectors might pick a random nobody builder from Australia instead ;)

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    What the selection debacle of this current match does expose is a fatal flaw in top-level English cricket: after those who currently occupy the Test positions there aren't many others around to step in.

    We see the same problem every time there is an injury or loss of form.

    People are talking about Hoggard, Harmison, Jones, Shah, Bopara...and then you start scratching your head for realistic replacements. That's one of the reasons non-performers - like Strauss or Collingwood were for so many matches - continue to play. They just cannot find suitable alternatives.

    I am not sure what the cause of this is, but I do believe it is a problem.

  • Comment number 34.

    i understand what this means

  • Comment number 35.

    Peter_Sp, you obviously know nothing at all about Pattinson (not even his name!) - Pattinson is a swing bowler, and has been pretty successful for Notts. Who has swung the ball significantly this innings? Flintoff? Anderson? Broad?

    The ball doesn't tend to swing at Headingley without cloud cover, and the clouds which covered Leeds yesterday converniently disappeared today to allow the South African batsmen a nice swing-free sunny day to bat on. None of the England bowlers threatened a great deal today, though tighter bowling from Broad and Pattinson would have been helpful. But Pattinson has been brought in to his own astonishment, and it would have been remarkable if he had overcome his nerves sufficiently to bowl at his best. He could have done an awful lot worse.

  • Comment number 36.

    Interesting idea, lets try and make a list of all the bowlers who didn't play and are yet better choices then Pattinson. See how many we get on the list.

    1. Hoggard
    2. Harmison
    3. Jones
    4. Tremlett

    here are the obvious which I think we can all agree on. Now move on to the more debatable:

    5. Mahmood - genuine pace
    6. Bresnan - young, home ground, can bat a bit

    starting to really push boat out - debatables
    7. Shreck
    8. Kirtley
    9. Onions
    10. Kabir Ali

    and then my knowledge of county cricket and memory runs out.

    Anyone beat that?

  • Comment number 37.

    Come on lads. How on earth can you question the selectors?

    We all know they are stubborner than a mule in concrete.

    How else do you explain the continued selections of Vaughan and Ambrose?

    Or is there some unwritten rule that bowlers can be expendable whereas batsmen are completely safe?

    The current side is the definition of the moveable object meeting the resistable force.


  • Comment number 38.

    If you take Vaughan out of the team, you have two problems: who to replace him with that can hold a bat properly, and who to make captain of the team. No wonder the selectors shy away from this one, because I'm sure the answers would mean admitting they were wrong.

    I presume Solanki and Maddy ruled themselves out by going and playing for a rebel team or something because they never get mentioned in any context. Solanki always seemed to be the fall guy, brought in to cover and dropped when No. 1 was fit. Maddy seems to be in a rich vein of form at the moment - and both these have captaincy experience.

    As for Pattinson - I'm reminded of Ehtesham-ud-Din for Pakistan, or Michael Whitney for Aus. Except they were brought in by touring teams without adequate backup. Poor lad - I hope he gets over this unfortunate week.

  • Comment number 39.

    Very worrying. England are still making no consistent progress under Moores.

    We are a bit better than New Zealand / West Indies / Bangladesh, but get beaten by everyone else.

    Our batsmen only score runs on the flattest of tracks (sometimes!)

    Our bowlers only take wickets when conditions are helpful (sometimes!)

    As for Pattinson, if the selectors are reading this, I'll let you into a secret...

    Don't pick Australians who are discarded as useless by their own flaming country!!!

    Match prediction: Innings defeat to South Africa some time on Monday.

  • Comment number 40.

    I just hope the skies are cloudy tomorrow, Pattos cleans up the tail and leaves people like Aggers and Peter_Sp eating their words. He has bowled no worse than Broad this test, despite the fact he has had to cope with jeering fans, 'know-it-all' armchair pundits, smarmy commentators, immense media pressure and a captain who doesn't trust him to bowl consistently - take for instance his 3-over spell at the start of the innings. If Flintoff went for 30 off his first 3 overs would he be taken off? - would he ever?

    All I ask is that people get behind him and leave their judging until the test has cleared and we can compare his figures to those of his teammates.

  • Comment number 41.

    Oh and as for the Vaughan/Ambrose issue, replace Vaughan with Shah, who bats at 5 with Bell at 3, and swap Ambrose with Read, who can bat, averaging around 50 this season in the CC and is arguably the best keeper in the country.

    Oh, and will people stop calling pattinson australian! HE IS NOT AUSTRALIA QUALIFIED, HE IS 100% ENGLISH!

  • Comment number 42.

    The reason England are losing is because, as a team, they have been under par.

    Agnews post though;

    1st paragraph fine, 2nd 3rd 4th paragraphs digs at Pattinson, 5th 6th paragraph balanced comments on Broad, 7th 8th paragraph fair reporting, last paragraph another dig at Pattinson and the selectors.

    I think too that Pattinson's selection is quite out there, but it is not Agnew's place to post what he has. He is here to post a BBC balanced view. If he wants to pick on people, then he should move to the tabloid papers.

  • Comment number 43.

    Re. 22

    The decision has not caused any unrest in the camp. I am linked to the camp in my own way and know their thoughts and feelings on the matter.

    I am not a big cricket buff. I go to matches, enjoy myself etc.. but I know enough about reporting, the BBC and other things to qualify me in what I am saying.

    All your comments are fine, but there is this layer of commentators out there who just annoy people in the game.

  • Comment number 44.

    I'm blaming for Sven Goran Erikson. He's clearly either advising or is the inspiration for the England squad selectors:

    Unbalanced attacking options with star players not fully back from injury... so pick unknown, untried guy from no where.

    Enough with this "Postman" nickname... its "Theo" from now on...

  • Comment number 45.

    Broad should be sent back to his county so he can prove himself.
    He has clearly been earmarked since he was about six!
    HIs bowling is predictable and unpenetrating.
    Go back and prove yourself and come back when you are worthy!!

  • Comment number 46.

    Whether commentators annoy people in the game is irrelevant - they should say what they think.

    It is fairly clear to those of us who watched the game that Vaughan did not have full confidence in Pattinson. We are now asked to believe that he was a punt of James Whittaker.

    However, putting the best construction on events, I am hoping that the selectors were just buying time, before bringing Simon Jones back in.

    My expectation is that the side for Edgbaston will be Prior and Jones in for Ambrose and Pattinson.

  • Comment number 47.

    I keep mailing, why is Vaughan in the team, let alone captain?
    I take it he was part responsible in choosing the 'unknown' fast bowler.
    So much for 'team spirit' which he is surely responsible for!
    What is 'Sport England' doing?
    They certainly can't moan about lack of money.
    Maybe they ain't good enough!
    Live and learn, fat chance.....

  • Comment number 48.

    Poor from the selectors. How does this make tremlett fell who has been included in all the squads this summer? He made an impressive start to this test career last summer and now seems to have dumped by england.

    I fell sorry for patterson, as he is trying and giving his best, but his best is just not good enough at this level.

    Englands selectors, bar some massive miracle, have lost england this test match and possibly the series.

  • Comment number 49.

    Shah and Tremlett must feel very welcome in the England dressing room. It doesn't mater if you rate the two or not, they have been next in line for the last 10 test matches. The selection lottery is not giving those a chance which is why people get angry.

    As for all those blaming Vaughan for enforcing the following on, please!

    he would have been killed if he didn't and give his bowlers the maximum time available on a slow pitch. Imagine if he batted for a few hours and S Africa still got the draw? Would have been carnage in the press and these blogs.

  • Comment number 50.

    *Pattinson- Give him a chance! How do we know Tremlett would have done any better??
    * I would have gone for Bresnan. He's familiar with Headingly, and playing well at the moment..
    * Jones - NO, dodgy knees, even though able to trundle in for Worcs, at 1/2 pace.
    Harmison - NO, end of.
    Hoggard - NO, but he admits he's not quite ready yet. Soon perhaps.
    * MV, p**s poor at the moment, in most respects!

    Bring back Aggers - He was always brilliant, allegedly.. How many caps?

  • Comment number 51.

    Vaughan will definately get a hundred before the series is out, he always does when he is under pressure, which he handles better than any other England batsman with the exception of Pietersen.

    Stripping him of the captaincy would only burden another player with it.

    Every single player who has been made to captain in England in last 15 years or so has suffered a huge drop in form as a result. I mean Vaughan himself was the best batsman in the world when he was made captain. Freddie really struggled with it, Hussain's form disintegrated. Stewart couldn't cope and Atherton suffered as well.

    Even Collingwood has struggled since he was made ODI captain.

    However if I was Vaughan i would walk as i would not want to captain a side where i was given absolute donkey's instead of the players i wanted.

  • Comment number 52.

    Last test it was Freddy would have made the difference,now it's Jones.The truth is that England's attack is toothless(as most bowlers are on a good pitch with no help from atmosphere).
    The more I see of Vaughan as captain,the less impressed I am.He should not have enforced the follow-on last test.Too hard on bowlers,Ponting keeps his bowlers in mind,when it comes to those sort of decisions.
    The real blame lays with England's batsmen in their innings.This test was probably lost on day one.

  • Comment number 53.

    To 50

    *Bresnan is a very average county level bowler who would make Broad look like a world beater.

    *Jones is not bowling at half pace for Worctershire at all. He is getting the ball through at the 90mph mark.

  • Comment number 54.

    IMHO, Darren Pattinson's selection was a 'political decision' to keep (his Notts team-mate) Sidebottom's place in the side (see post #30: "csmyth1974") .
    I also think it very sad that the man was jeered by English supporters. Very bad news.
    Glad for Pattinson that he's taken a wicket. Here's hoping that he takes a hatful more!

  • Comment number 55.

    Simon Jones is a must for the 3rd test.

  • Comment number 56.

    I think of all the contributors to this blog, politeboobie is one of the few on the right lines. The problem with English cricket, as it has been for some years, is that the the cupboard is bare. To have recalled either Harmison, Hoggard or Jones instead of the injured Sidebottom would habe been just to recycle people who, in Harmison and Hoggard's case, were pillioried and discarded for sub standard preformances only a few Tests ago. Why are they suddenly world beaters now? And when we talk of the need to replace Ambrose, who is there to step in? Prior was deemed to be sub-standard, and rightly so, and Jones, Mustard and Read were shown to be some way off being Test standard. Equally, what's all this nonsense about Shah being the obvious replacement for one of the Top 6 bastsmen. Are you sure? Have you been watching when he's played before, and the same could be said about Bopara, Key, Solanki and countless others who thrive in County cricket but fail to make the next step up. In many ways, Pattinson had as good a chance as anyone of succeeding.

    And I'm going to end on a controversial point. Honest, energetic, likeable and down-to-earth as he is, what makes us think that Flintoff is a world class all rounder? Cricket is one of the few games where statistics rarely lie and if you look at Flintoffs batting and bowling averages, he's strictly middle drawer. He goes long stretches without five-for wicket hauls and centuries and he influences games far more infrequently than people imagine. His reputation is based on rare outstanding performances and a media friendly personality. A Jacques Kallis, Richrad Hadlee, Imran Khan, Ian Botham, Wasim Akram he most certtainly ain't!

  • Comment number 57.

    Why pattinson and flintoff were picked i dont know!!

    Look at the bowling stats this summer....

    Murtagh - 44 at 22.90

    Harmison - 41 at 22.82

    Tomlinson - 36 at 28.94

    Ali - 35 at 20.40

    Jones - 32 at 15.53

    Bresnan - 31 at 25.61

    All of the above have more wickets than pattison and some at a better average. So therefore if they were picking him on performances this season it really does not add up. Hell Hoggard, Onions or even Woakes are more deserving than a 29 year old who has played just 11 first class matches!!

  • Comment number 58.

    Pattinson has a test bowling average above Agnew (93.25, 4 wkts). Maybe he'll get a job with the BBC too?

  • Comment number 59.

    Hurrah! Broad is finally being exposed as an innocuous test match bowler by some quality opposition. He looked ok against New Zealand, but has looked about as threatening as blancmange against the South African top order. He should not be in the England side because he has 'potential', he should be allowed to develop his skills in the crucible of county cricket, playing lots of matches and learning his trade. The national side should be for the country's elite bowlers, not untested tyros. My personal view is that he will never be good enough against the very best.
    Ambrose could barely hit it off the square against NZ, and looked totally out of his depth against good quick bowling. His keeping isn't flawless either.
    Sidebottom needs help from pitch or conditions to take wickets.
    Cook does not move his feet enough, and Strauss is moving his feet all over the place, because nothing is instinctive for him any more.
    I could go on, but will take a break for now.

  • Comment number 60.

    sredniw how can you post a select xi and leave out Panesar? i can only assume it slipped your mind with all this talk of pace bowlers.

    How many other countries can guarantee you a batting collapse every two or three games? New Zealand maybe but Australia? South Africa? India? These are the best Test playing nations in the world and if we want to get anywhere near them we need consistency.

    The fact that the Pro40 is being scrapped will undoubtedly help our prospects in the future in the international arena as our cricketers will be playing the right formats for a start!

    It does seem that Vaughan is being picked for his captaincy but who takes it if he's dropped? We have just dropped our one day captain, Freddie hasn't really excelled as a captain and is injured every 5 minutes, Strauss? The same man we were all talking about dropping a couple of months ago?

    How many of our players would get into the Australian side? 3 maybe, KP, Panesar as they are lacking a spinner these days with that bit of class and Freddie when fit, it's not good.

    Ambrose has to go, especially if we are going in with a 5 man attack.

    Let us not forget the fact that 10 minutes ago we were all saying drop Bell then he hits 199.

    Selecting a team is not easy, although this Pattinson business is ridiculous, you pick Tremlett as he's your 12th man or you pick a different 12th man.

    Simon Jones is playing well but i don't think he has played enough yet to bring him back in give him a bit more time and then call him up if he is proving he still has that consistency.

    Harmison? Possibly but how many times do you see the real Steve Harmison?

    Hoggard? If it is a 5 man attack he has to be there, he will get a wicket with the new ball time and time again.

    My XI

    Prior/Foster (Probably Foster)

  • Comment number 61.

    Yes it was a mistake selecting Pattinson but at the end of the day but he has taken 29 wickets this year so you can see why, plus the England bowlers have only taken 8 wickets i think since making S.A following on at lords, and all yuo that blame Vaughen for following on are crazy, he had the chance of winning the match without batting again which was always the right thing to do! You cant Ponting and the Aussies batting again when they can win the test with a day to spare!!!

    As for the section of this test match yes it was a mistake but we can learn from this, first of all Ambrose batting at 6 is crazy! Colly shouldnt of been dropped.

    My Team if everyone was fully fit would be as follows

    1. Strauss
    2. Cook
    3. Vaughen
    4. Pieterson
    5. Bell
    6. Collingwood
    7. Prior
    8. Flintoff
    9. Sidebottom
    10. S Jones
    11. Monty P

    this would leave are batting strong and keeping the 4 bowlers with a mix of pace swing and reverse swing with collingwood, vaughen and pieterson making up the other overs.
    I would leave rashid out of the international scene for the moment but maybe take him when you tour india or pakistan to give him some experience about being on tour.
    Id go for prior as he has montains of runs this year and why not strauss came back and has been one of are best players so far.
    If you really wanted to mix things up why not play graham napier from essex? a big hitting all rounder who can bowl! I no test matches isnt perhaps his main strength but that was the same with andrew symonds and in my opinion hes now one of the best batsman in the world.

  • Comment number 62.

    This England performance has been so depressing, and it's made worse by the fact everyone was saying this was going to happen and England must fight hard to prevent it happening, it has just been plain dreadful.

    I mean Michael Vaughan is as bad as anyone, hes probably the worst test match number 3 in world cricket, and his captaincy is nothing special, even i can wave my arms about and put fielders in bizarre places. Yet i can also ask my bowlers just to bowl at the top of off and be patient, something that seems to be beyond him.

    Ambrose should never bat at 6!!! That is a joke, he has one shot, and his keeping is average.

    Pattinson...LOL...i mean this is just handing the saffers the upper hand.

    I like Broad alot, but he's just not up to it yet, i'de rather have Jones in for Pattinson and bring Colly back.

    Shah should also bat at 3, with Prior batting so well this year he has to play surely, even if he doesn't keep wicket!???

  • Comment number 63.

    So Why Is Samit Patel being left out.
    Yes many say he's a one day specialist, but this year He's been outstanding recently hitting 134.

    He provides something with the ball yet he is overlooked, yes hes in the provisional icc squad but im not sure he will make it in to the final cut, knowing the strange decisions that england are currently making. I am a notts fan and im also baffled by Pattinsons inclusion.

    Another point is Chris Read. do england have something against him, he constinstaly performs but never makes it.

    England need to get their act together before they start slipping even further down the rankings.

  • Comment number 64.

    The saffers are seriously good and are exposing all our weaknesses. There is nowhere to hide, the only players who have looked international class from England have been Anderson, Flintoff and KP (perhaps a little unfair on Monty as this is clearly not a pitch for spinners - did we actually need him this match?)

    No more 'continuity', look where that has got us, a complacent batting line up and a toothless attack. We need to shake things up a bit, give some hungry players a go - Bopara, Jones, Prior. Cook and Vaughan - you both need some runs or you should be dropped. Players in the team on form (but not just thrown in like the postman).

  • Comment number 65.

    There really is no point in picking Prior he can't keep and bottles it. Foster possibly deserves a chance but i never had a problem with Read.

    Broad deserves his place if only for his batting since the extra 50 or so runs we can leak out of the tail are vital. However Sidebottom is starting his decline and about time he should be replaced especially when Jones, Harmisson and Hoggard are doing well at county level. Oh and don't get me started on Pattinson.

    As for the batting well in the past i would have said we need Vaughan for his captaincy but even that is starting to look shaky. He keeps taking bowlers out of the attack and hoping that a change will bring a wicket but when you're bringing in players like Broad and Pattinson then don't bother. This is more evidence why Simon Jones should be bought back after his performances in the ashes. I'd give Vaughan the rest of the series to prove himself but there really is no one to take the captaincy. Pieterson and Flintoff are not captains, you could possibly go for Strauss but it wasn't long ago we were all calling for him to get dropped. I also feel i'd like to see Shah back as he has a special talent of performing when others have failed much like Graham Thorpe.

    Here's the team i'd like to see the team for the next test giving the frailties of Vaughan's batting:


    However if Vaughan fails as we all expect and Read/Foster shows some promise then here's how i would see it after that:

    Strauss (captain)

    You could possibly have Bell and Shah the other way around.

  • Comment number 66.

    Actually i feel i'm being slightly harsh on Anderson therefore i would pick him over Jones in the next test but my future team is growing on me the more i look at it.

  • Comment number 67.

    All the optimism we had after three days of the Lords' test seems to have vanished. The call is for changes in the team.

    I feel a bit sorry for Mr Pattinson: he was on a hiding to nothing after his absurd selection. He didn't bowl badly today but any one of Harmison, Hoggard, Jones or Tremlett would have done just as well if not better. The five-man bowling attack, which I agree with, looked very tame today.

    When Sidebottom is fit again, he should replace him. I can't understand why so many selector/bloggers want him out. He has done a great job for England in recent times. He may not have a long future ahead of him but then, does Flintoff?

    Broad may be due for a rest back at his county. He hasn't been very effective recently, except with the bat, and he is not in the team for his batting. We are not short of replacements -- see above -- and his time will come again, because he is very promising.

    I am not particularly knowledgeable about wicket-keeper/batsmen but I think it is time Ambrose gave way to any one of three or four other options. In the future, Somerset's Saffer Craig Kieswetter may fit the bill. He is a very good aggressive batter and an effective gloveman. (You can see I'm a ciderman and a happy one, as Somerset were briefly back on top of the First Division today!) But he is not yet qualified to play for England and is still very young, not yet 21. His time will come.

    Vaughan is long overdue for a big one and, if it doesn't come very soon, he will have to go. I think he is a very good captain but he can't justify his place in the team just on that.

    I suppose what I am saying is that England is not short of excellent cricketers and it is only the selection policy that is holding us back. The Pattinson affair was the last straw but the selectors have not been doing their job for a long time. I saw nothing remarkable in maintaining the same eleven for six successive tests when it wasn't the best eleven and not particularly successful. The four test run in the 2005 Ashes was much more impressive and when a change was forced on the team management by Simon Jones's injury, everyone regretted it. Noone would have regretted seeing changes during the recent "record-breaking" run.

  • Comment number 68.

    Far from showing how strong England's bowling attack is with Flintoff back, this test actually demonstrates how weak it is without a fully-fit Sidebottom.

  • Comment number 69.

    Think Broad is a great prospect, but should be given longer in county circuit, not sure I'd advocate calling up Bresnan in his place tho, poor man's alternative.
    Pattison was a bizarre choice, but that's not his fault, and I don't think Vaughan should be dropped all in all he's captained well - a few people being wise after the event with the follow on decision in first test - and his batting form will return. Class is permanent, form is temporary, so team should be...

    S Davies (wkt) (imao)

  • Comment number 70.

    oh and I wish people would stop calling for Read's inclusion. With the bat he is techically inept. He'll never be able to bat above nine in test level and his, admittedly flawless, keeping is not enough for his inclusion. Admittedly, the alternatives aren't great, altho aside from Davies I'd be interested to see how Mustard does if given a handful of tests

  • Comment number 71.

    I agree that the England selectors have been completely headless here, which is not uncommon in the whole scheme of things. Too many of their decisions smack of desperation - including this belief that Australians, regardless of their pedigree, will be better prepared for test cricket.

    Anyway - what concerns me more is the role of the 12th man for home series. It's happened with both Anderson and Tremlett in recent years that driving up and down the country, hanging around in dressing rooms and hotels is the best way to loose form and motivation. England should just forget about 12th men for home matches, it makes no sense at all. Poor Tremlett, this is at least the second time I recall him being 12th man for a summer, then not getting the nod when the opportunity comes around. The time I'm thinking of was the Oval 2005. Then, Vaughan admitted that Tremlett's form had dropped off a bit, having waited around for a lot of the summer. So instead, the 'safety first' decision was made to pick an extra batter, Collingwood, who won an MBE for his efforts.

    Which brings me to my final point: If England wanted to open the bowling with a swing bowler who bowls at high 70s/low 80s, we should have kept Colly in the team! Only kidding - the Hog's omission in this case, even as just a temporary replacement for Sidebottom, is apalling.

  • Comment number 72.

    England fans, there is always a bright side to every inconceivably bad situation. Calamitious decisions like this won't be repeated for next year's Ashes, guaranteed. The selectors have flushed it all out of their systems. Lesson learnt.

    As for the heavy criticism on the make-up of the team, I'm sure the selectors are as frustrated as you are. The bowling stocks in England are dire at the moment and not a single player (Flintoff included) would be guaranteed a spot in an Australian, South African or Indian team. The fact that your next best propects are half-fit has-beens is testament to that. Simon Jones was a great bowler, for three Tests three years ago. You have to stop looking at the past.

    The wicket-keeping situation is even worse and the finger needs to be pointed at the domestic game for not producing someone worthy of replacing Stewart. Rotating Ambrose, Prior and Foster when it suits isn't the solution. This can't be good for them or the team. We know what Prior and Foster are capable of. Just wait for the next real prospect before dumping Ambrose.

  • Comment number 73.

    Got to laugh at Vaughan before the Test, pointing out you need to take 20 wickets to win Test matches. Well you also need to score more than 203! And it is ironic, England have still not reached the magic 20 mark after bowling 13 sessions in the series (4 and 1/3 days)

    Of course picking two bowlers who now have nine Tests and 19 wickets between them isn't exactly the best way to go about taking 20 wickets.

    As for the batting, well Collingwood was dropped a Test or two too late, Vaughan has averaged 25.00 in his last 14 innings yet is "undroppable" and England fatefully decided to weaken the batting further. Highest score from six to eleven? 17. Yes the batsmen should have gone on and made more runs, but there were only three scores of single figures and two of them were ducks. Not one batsman can really escape blame, well maybe Cook

  • Comment number 74.

    I have not been able to understand the selectors decision for this test sice day 1. Headingly suits 4 bowlers better. Pattison clearly does not have the experience and the batting line up does not inspire any confidence.
    I can understand the iclusion of ambrose but i think it's time for a change. Also i'm really getting concerned about vaughan's form. ah

    As for the selection the comments on this forum confirm tha nobody can explain them. They seem so out of sinc with normal policy or reason. It has lead me to wonder if all the speculation about who would make the line up before the test made a good betting market.... need i say more

  • Comment number 75.

    Surely, we are all missing the point of a piece of tactical mastery by the selectors. Rather than see Pattinson steaming-in next summer as an Aussie bowler (knowledge and experience of English conditions under his belt), the selectors have now made him ineligible. They have also succeeded in doing the seemingly impossible; firing-up Harmison as well as drawing attention away from Flintoff's return to ease the pressure on him. Hmmm........perhaps not, they just don't have a clue.

  • Comment number 76.

    I am intrigued by the fact that most bloggers have singled out the selection of Pattinson as a cause for great concern. I was as surprised as most with his selection, but on the bare facts and stats he is bowling better than Hoggard at present (granted Hoggard has a proven record at international level) and so based on an assumption that the ball would swing, what is so massively wrong with it? As things have gone to date in the test, Pattinson has held his own with the rest of the bowlers (perhaps Flintoff aside). The real problem lies with the very unbalanced nature of the English seam attack. Without swing the attack has zero potency. Even Flintoff, as great as he is, does not have sufficient pace to make up for his lack of lateral movement.

    Finally, and with the greatest of respect to his achievements, is it time for Michael Vaughan to step aside? He is a clearly accomplished captain and no doubt the best that England has to offer, but surely that is not enough to justify a place?

  • Comment number 77.

    The whole Pattinson thing reminds me of a few years ago (it might also have been Headingley?).

    Jimmy A had been following the team around, and when Hoggy was out injured on a swinging wicket, Siders got a surprise call up ahead of Jimmy.

    The rest is history.

    However, it was probably a bit too much to think that call up a random Notts player would work twice. Just like the theory that it is best to have a wicketkeeper at number 2 for ODIs, since Gilchrist did it's taken years to get rid of that notion!

  • Comment number 78.

    csmyth1974 got it spot on in my view...

    had Hoggard, Jones or Harmison been recalled and bowled well there would have been a huge selection headache for the third test.

    I still cannot fathom the decision for Ambrose to bat at Six though. If they want to balance the team by having five bowlers then they need a wicket keeper who really can bat (keeping deficiencies aside that means Prior).

    Vaughan has never been the batsman he once was since taking over the captaincy - he was averaging 50 a few years back compared to 34 or thereabouts since becoming skipper. It can't be too much longer before he has to deliver or step down.

    Let's work on the principle that MP will not be dropped this summer

  • Comment number 79.

    Same old, same old. THere are some encouraging results against lesser opposition - NZ in this case, and then its time to stand up and be counted in front of real competition. In fairness, MV has failed to make his mark in either home series, and inspired captaincy or otherwise needs to be dropped and get some runs in the counties. Strauss is a perfectly able stand in.
    Batting is a worry, mainly because the top 5 have very little consistency. Trying to hit our way out of trouble on Day 1 was a poor decision, and look at the number of edges given to the slips/WK. Ambrose has to go, he's batting way too far up the order, and can't get a score for love or money.
    What were the selectors drinking when they chose the bowling line up? Pattinson has too little experience at this level and the returning Ashes guys are right back on song in the counties.
    There's too much of a clique going on in the England cricket set up, and a major rethink is needed. For starters, the batsmen in particular should be getting away and playing in the counties to get some confidence runs and stay in touch.
    Anyway, now thats off my chest, here's my line-up for the third test:

    Strauss (c)
    S Jones

  • Comment number 80.

    The problem with this Test series so far is that there has been a complete absence of competitive cut and thrust on each of the seven days. At Lord's there were three days of total domination by England followed by two days of dogged domination by South Africa. At Headingley South Africa has completely controlled each of the two days with England barely competing at all. Such one-sided cricket will not appeal to anyone. Spectators increasingly enticed by Twenty20 won't come so readily to see days when hardly a wicket falls (Days 1,2,4,5,7) and will fail to be impressed when wickets clatter with token resistance (Days 3,6).

  • Comment number 81.

    I still cant believe that Pattinson has been singled out for such criticism(and no im not a notts fan,just live there!).Obviously he will never play for england again,but his performance has hardly been worse than most of the other bowlers has it.Colly should never have been dropped,afterall had one chance on the lords featherbed and got a shocking decision.Oh and the day Anderson produces a matchwinning performance against a class test match team,my team Derbyshire will be 20/20 champions ! My team would be :

    Collingwood (capt)
    Jones (wkt) still the best option!
    Simon Jones if fit/Hoggard
    Panesar until we find a real slow bowler

  • Comment number 82.

    Agnew - this nonsense about Broad learning must be stopped. He clearly has potential with bat and ball and has an excellent temperament. However he looks short of test class a bowler at present. Test Matches are not a training ground. Simon Jones to return with Sidebottom. Vaughan out, Shah in. Ambrose out, Prior in. Strauss to captain.

    I watched at Lords and Vaughan cut a lonely preening figure, cut off from players from a different generation. Added to that his reflexes have gone against pace early in his innings.

  • Comment number 83.

    Selection is always a big issue with England and 9 times out of 10 we get it wrong. Is this England team really the strongest we could field for this test match? I really belive you could select another England 11 that would give this one a real run for its money.
    How about :


  • Comment number 84.

    great post nbakewell. I would love to see that game too! All we need now is a millionaire investor and we're all quids in!

  • Comment number 85.

    How different it would have been if JA had appealed and Harper had made for once the correct decision regarding Prince plumb lbw on 10. Was it that he was just so dispirited with the whole Vaughan/Amla catch/no catch fiasco?
    I don't think we'd be having this blog now if he had.

  • Comment number 86.

    to bluebard (#50) Jones at 1/2 pace? Behave H's bowling at 90+mph this season and has staye fit thoughout the entire summer. He should have been close to being picked for the 2nd Test, or even picked. How many chanes does Harmison warrant. He seems to have become a better player whilst not in the England side but the states don;t lei. His have declined year-on-year since 2004/5

  • Comment number 87.

    (Now in English) to bluebard (#50) Jones at 1/2 pace? Behave! He's bowling at 90+mph this season and has stayed fit throughout the entire summer. He should have been close to being picked for the 2nd Test, or even picked. How many chances does Harmison warrant? He seems to have become a better player whilst not in the England side but the stats don’t lie. His have declined year-on-year since 2004/5. I'm a huge fan of Broad's but per the general consensus, Test Cricket is not a learning ground and his first job in the team is to take wickets. Right now he doesn't have the prerequisite penetration. His runs should be a bonus at 8, not justification for his continued selection ahead of more penetrative options

  • Comment number 88.

    Pattinson has done no worse than any of the other bowlers so attacking him is stupid.

    The selection process is mystifying i have always thought that people deserve a chance and selections should be based on a series basis,but it is for many people match by match now.You have to set your stall out as a selector as to what you expect of people and i dont see that being done and it sends out the wrong messages as can be seen.

    Whether Vaughan gets runs or not he is not the man to be taking on the aussies this should be his last series and a new skipper take the team to india and lets work from there,but he should remain in charge for the rest of this series.

  • Comment number 89.

    Jonathon, your comments are grossly unfair, it isn't only Pattinson who is not of Test class as a bowler.

    Broad is averaging 49 after bowling 279 overs and only has 18 wickets, a wicket every 15 1/2 overs.

    Apart from that the batters, batted poorly, all the so-called experts predicted how hard it would be to remain at the crease, yet Prince and de Villiers have more than made a mockery of that assertion.

    If Broad continues to play it must be at the expense of Flintoff, and you also need an additional bowler who can bat, possibly Swann or Rashid to replace Panesar with Anderson, Sidebottom and another b/w Hoggard, Jones and Harmison means England's tale begins at 9, or 8 if Panesar is included.

  • Comment number 90.


    England's inability to take twenty wickets with 4 specialist bowlers is the result of Duncan Fletcher denying the likes of Bell, Collingwood and Pietersen the chance to improve their bowling.

    Australia's secret was that when McGrath, Warne or Gillespie weren't firing on all cylinders, which was rare, they could still get a few overs from Martyn, Ponting, Hayden and Clarke so that an end be tied up and give the strike bowlers a chance to refresh.

    Either of Bell, Collingwood or Pietersen have/had the ability to have a better average than the 49 currently achieved by Broad.

  • Comment number 91.

    Prior isnt a good enough keeper at Test level. I wouldnt mind seeing him at One dayers were he should make the runs to make up for his mistakes.
    The issue of Broad is that he is the best number 8 we have had since Giles, by selecting him it shows that we are looking at the future, but he should not be a cert for every game. It is clear that he is knackered after the Lords test and should have been rested for Tremlett. But at the moment Broad is a better one day player than he is test.

    The reason for playing Pattison is ludricous- he bowls wicket to wicket and can swing it? I dont know what the selectors expected from him. Im sure the guy will still get county wickets and he might be a nice guy etc, but by selecting him the selectors have once again welcomed the rest of the world to laugh at England.
    Fred was always going to come in for Colly, fair enough but then there was injury concerns about Broad and Sid. As I said Broad should have been rested for Tremlett, but as there was a late fitness test for Sid why couldnt Colly been drafted in. If the batters had batted like the saffers then we would not have to worry so much about playing two days in the field.

    it should have been


    Colly may have had to bowl more overs than he is use to but hey thats what you have to do.

    But you cant always blame the selectors they are not playing the game, the players are.

  • Comment number 92.

    dibblydobbler, there is one glaring difference in the case of sidebottom as opposed to pattinson: sidebottom has a record of fine performances at county level over YEARS, not a handful of games in one season.

    the selectors should be made to go public and EXPLAIN the choice of pattinson. (if that is not a contradiction in terms!!!)

    i am NOT blaming pattinson: he was as amazed as anyone at this bizarre and embarrassing selection. in the circumstances he has bowled ok, (even though amla was clearly not out), but the point is that we deserve to know what thought processes the selectors went through in choosing pattinson... (what am i saying, 'thought processes?' if the selectors had a thought between them it would be a miracle.)

    vaughan is not worth his place: drop him now and start again. we don't want to be changing captains in the build-up to the ashes again (remember the strauss/flintoff cock-up last time in oz?)

    finally, re: ambrose... does anyone remember the comment about ringo starr not even being the best drummer in the beatles. well the same applies to ambrose: not only is he NOT the best keeper in england, he's not even the best in the current team!!!

  • Comment number 93.

    An absolute joke.

    We have got carried away with results againt a very very ordinary New Zealand side.

    England's selectors are idiots. You cannot play with a tailm starting at 6. I agree with pggtips- look at the aussies. Their bowlers (lee warne gillespie and now johnson) can bat. And their batsmen (clarke ponting martyn) can bowl- a bit.

    We cant pick bits and pieces cricketer but we cannot afford to be a 5 out all out team.

    To summarise:


    Pattinson, Broad Ambrose Vaughen and Strauss

    Need a final warning

    Cook Panesaar anderson


    Jones (S) Harmison shah (give him a proper run) Key and Jones G

  • Comment number 94.

    An interesting read all this.

    I have to take is with post 79 which points out the problem with Ambrose at 6 and then suggests Read there...

    IMO although we have been unlucky with the weather, there was some very dodgy selection decisions. I personally would have had S.Jones in for Siders, Foster for Ambrose, possibly dropped Panesar for another batter (either kept Colly in or give Shah another go).

    And for what it's worth, I agree that the shock selection I would have liked to see would have been Napier.

  • Comment number 95.

    #81, I'd love to see Derbyshire win something. Then again, I'd love to win the lottery ;) Haha!

    Anyway, as people have said, the inclusion of Pattinson is merely so Siders can walk back into the team when he is fit and ready. If indeed this was the selectors thinking, then they should be sacked right now. England should look to win every session of every day of every game, and picking a randomer (11 first class matches. I don' care how good his stats look, you can't really judge him after only 11!) just to make the next selection easy is ridiculous.

    Next time a middle-order batsmen gets injured they can give me a call, so when he regains fitness, I can just make way.

    Selection headaches with too many in-form, quality players, fighting for a place in he side are the best kind of headaches.

  • Comment number 96.

    Some of your bloggers seem to forget the nature of Test cricket. England were sent in to bat on a day when the ball swung. They batted carelessly admittedly, but I would guess that if SA had batted on firdau they would have been all out for around 300. On Saturday there was no swing, and no turn for Panesar. The conditions on Firday favoured bowlers. On Saturday they favoured the bat. I guess England' batsmen would have flourished on Saturday just as South Africa's did. When there's no movement and a good wicket any genuine Test match side should make a good score. Simple as that, really.

  • Comment number 97.

    In response to those people who say Vaughan shouldn't have enforced the follow on at Lords.

    We couldn't bowl SA out in over two days, so not enforcing the follow on would leave us less time to not bowl them out.

  • Comment number 98.

    It really is poor logic to suggest not enforcing the follow on was the correct decision, Sir-Benjamin is quite right.

    MV would have been absolutely hammered if hadn't enforced the follow on.

    To suggest otherwise is desperate; "well enforcing the follow on didn't work, therefore the opposite would have.."

  • Comment number 99.

    enjoy reading the comments,id like to add this comment is it not we apply the same eason to our spin attact as we do with the keeper,we dont pick the best keeper because he cant bat (read the averages) so why do the same with spun bowler, lets be honest he cant bat and if you look round you can find spin bowlers may not as good but can bat.

  • Comment number 100.

    ironleftyrules i recognise that team. Glad to see someone agrees with me.


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