After again getting overlooked for a test recall it would seem that the stories doing the rounds before the World Twenty20 that Rob Key wasn’t too popular with the England hierarchy may have had some substance after all.
It was said at the time that senior England players didn’t want Key as T20 captain and that is why we ended up with that disasterous decision to give it to Paul Collingwood again.
It has also been said since that Key’s face dosen’t fit with Andy Flower. Flower who is a staunch supporter of Ravi Bopara from his time at Essex is said not to be too keen on Key, whether that is not keen on him as a cricketer or person or both is not certain. If it is a personal problem then that could be to the detriment of the team.
It could be argued that Key’s form this year hasn’t been up to the standard expected, in fairness to the selectors he hasn’t exactly been kicking their door down with his performances to date. The fact is though that as an opening batsman by trade who can play his shots when he needs too, he surely has the game to fill the No.3 problem for England that they have had since long before Michael Vaughan retired.
If the selectors think that moving Bell back up to the position is a better option than Key then that dosen’t suggest they have any faith in him. Bell is hardly in the sort of form that warrants promotion up the batting order, and promotion to a position that he has failed miserably to settle into in the past.
The selectors have also stressed continuity over the series as well, wanting to keep changes to a minimum. A point emphasized when they brought Bell in for Pietersen as a straight replacement in the No.4 position for the 3rd test. The fact now that they would rather not only make a change to the team, but also shuffle the batting line up as well to accommodate it suggests to me that Key has no future under the current regime.