10.15am, Lord’s – Saturday, September 12, 2009
The same could be said after all three games so far – after another calamitous batting display by England improvement is again needed. More worryingly for them though is that at the Rose Bowl the lacklustre of the batsmen seemed to spread to the fielding as well, if the bowlers decide to join them England really are in trouble.
England have now took the decision to rest Paul Collingwood (3 games) and Jimmy Anderson (2 games) as they look to revive their fortunes. It could be that this is a polite way of dropping them both to try and revive the batting and bowling as in reality Collingwood hasn’t produced much since the Lord’s Test and Anderson the Edgbaston Test. The more positive spin from the English camp is that they have appeared in all three forms of cricket all summer and need a rest from burnout – either way the team needed freshening up.
England have Joe Denly and Stuart Broad available after injury, with Graham Onions also added to the squad they have more options to choose from. Two changes are certain with Collingwood and Anderson out. Denly could come in to open leaving Bopara to come in down the order, while Broad will almost certainly come in with Onions and Rashid pushing for a place as well.
The Aussies biggest problem is not a resurgent England but who to leave out for the returning Ricky Ponting. Cameron White’s performances have guaranteed he won’t be left out, although he probably won’t still be in the No.3 position. The openers are safe, as is Michael Clarke, with Callum Ferguson also impressing this series that leaves Mike Hussey and James Hopes looking vulnerable.
With Mike Hussey regarded as the finisher Ricky Ponting won’t want to lose his cool experienced middle order linchpin, while if it is James Hopes as expected who misses out the Aussies will have to replace his overs from somewhere.