England have announced the squad for the 3rd Test against India, and there is a re-call for Dawid Malan.
The left handed batsman looks set to play in the 3rd Test, as opener Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley have both been left out.
Sibley has endured a torrid time of late. The Warwickshire batsman is averaging below 20 (19.77) from his ten Test matches this year.
- England squad in full: Joe Root (C), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood
Also added to the squad is Lancashire bowler Saqib Mahmood. The pace-man impressed during his three 50 Over ODI matches against Pakistan earlier this season.
He has also looked impressive during his stint playing for Oval Invincibles in The Hundred competition.
Analysis – Dawid Malan recall to England Squad is long overdue
At the start of this series two issues stood out for me with the squad England named for the first two tests.
There was a serious lack of experience in the squad, and the team lacked balance…. and I don’t mean Garry Ballance!
The balance issue wasn’t difficult to resolve. England knew they had no Ben Stokes, and they didn’t trust their batting.
In order to compensate for the lack of batting depth, England decided to go without a spinner.
Picking Moeen Ali for the 2nd Test was obvious. It wasn’t hindsight, and why it wasn’t done for the 1st Test is beyond me.
Typical England under this red ball regime. Always one step behind, playing catch-up!
Moeen brought spin into the side, and he has a decent home record against India. His inclusion also added some experience to the squad. Which brings me nicely onto my second point.
Malan adds experience to the squad and starting XI
When you are playing against an accomplished side, arguably the best all-round team in world cricket, like India, and you have a tough tour of Australia on the horizon, you need your most battled hardened, experienced players.
You will always have the odd player out of form, as England have. So to supplement that with a whole host of young and/or inexperienced players in the team was rediculous.
I see it on social media all the time, who is there to replace the likes of Sibley, Burns, Lawrence, Pope, etc. Well there is the players out there.
There is Moeen Ali, James Vince, and Dawid Malan. Moeen has vast experience, while Malan and Vince are experienced campaigners.
3rd Test Betting
- 10Cric >>> ENG @ N/A – DRAW @ N/A – IND @ N/A
- Casumo >>> ENG @ 2.62 – DRAW @ 4.00– IND @ 2.35
- Betfair >>> ENG @ 2.63 – DRAW @ 3.60 – IND @ 2.38
Malan has a Test century in Australia to his name, and his inclusion is a no brainer.
You can’t go into a series like this with rookie players like Zak Crawley, Dom Sibley, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Pope and Ollie Robinson all in the side. One or two of them, yes, but four or five, certainly not.
An England team with Rory Burns, Dawid Malan, Joe Root Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali isn’t perfect. But it’s a team with a lot more experience, and it has a lot more know how than a side full of guys trying to establish themselves at Test match level.
It also helps the established players already in the side. They will have more confidence in their team-mates, rather than constantly thinking ‘if I get out we’re in trouble here.’
I’m not for a moment saying not to pick these players full stop. Just that it has to be done at the right time, and in moderation.
Regrettably for England, they don’t seem to see this until it’s too late.