Ok, so no one is undroppable and if he is still struggling after another 6 or 7 tests then there could be good reason for dropping him. But talk of dropping him for the 3rd test against Sri Lanka is just madness.
There are a number of reasons why he shouldn’t be dropped,
1) After carrying Englnd’s batting for years, we owe him.
2) It was only 6 tests ago he scored a double hundred, before succumbing to his (so called) weakness of slow left hand bowlers – 227 runs later.
3) He averaged the small matter of 60 in the Ashes.
4) He scares the opposition, both Sri Lanka and India would rather not face him.
5) The opposition keep picking crappy left arm slow bowlers that the rest of England’s batsmen cash in on.
6) Consistency of selection – Alastair Cook and Paul Collingwood didn’t get dropped for far worse form.
Apart from all that he is a world class batsman, England need to back him, not drop him. Also, on the matter of slow left arm bowlers, Mike Atherton struggled against Glenn McGrath, Gooch against Alderman, etc – did we call for them to be dropped every time we played Australia? No, because they were our best batsmen and we rightly backed them.
Onto the TV coverage of Day 1 of the 2nd test and didn’t Ian Botham have a stinker. First he claimed the ball that got Andrew Strauss out LBW was too high and should be reviewed by England, before then seeing the replay show that it was hitting three quarters of the way up the stump.
Would Botham have slaughtered England for wasting a review had they done as he suggested? By the end of the days play, I believe he probably would have.
It didn’t get much better as he claimed that Sri Lanka wasted a review on Eoin Morgan’s wicket as the ball was (according to him) going down the leg side, before getting shown up again as the replay showed the ball hitting middle and leg.
As I haven’t been around for a while on here, I have another issue I wish to go back too and give my opinion on. I totally disagree with the criticism levelled at Andrew Strauss for allowing Ian Bell to complete his century on Monday.
I choose to look at this in the greater scheme of things and there are a number of factors why I think this was the correct thing too do. At the time an England victory was highly unlikely, so why not let Ian Bell further boost his confidence with another century?
England have invested a lot of time in Bell, centuries are only going to further build up Bell’s self belief and make him feel like he belongs in the England side. That’s why I think it was the correct call from Strauss, to criticise and say that England let Bell put a personal milestone ahead of the good of the team, is in my view, a short sighted theory.
For example look at the difference in Matt Prior’s performances last year against Pakistan when he finally felt part of the set-up. Bell seems like one of the more fragile players that needs to be built up like Prior was, this can only serve to help him.
It was a totally different set of circumstances from Mike Atherton’s decision to declare on Graeme Hick (98no) in Sydney back in 1995, but from what I can remember that proved to do England no favours at all in the long run.