I love English cricket. The way over-reaction leads to rediculous decision-making. Can someone clarify for me: Mark Ramprakash has been playing 2nd Division County cricket, has he not? Wow, maybe look to England under 17s and give one of those blokes a go. Tescothic has retired from test cricket but his name is thrown around. Why not ask Gooch to come back: Alderman isn't playing this time. Perhaps Gatting is worth an ask: no Warne. Is there a decendant of WG Grace that they could call? Wait, I know - who was that bloke that was brought out to Aus during a tour in the 70s who was in his 40s? That's right: Cowdrey - the bloke who introduced himself to Thommo at the non-striker's end with "Good afternoon, my name's Cowdrey".
Bopara has been a disaster in every innings he's played. Bell's selection was doomed from the start as he is, um, well he's just not very good at batting is he? Cook looks like the Cook of old and Collingwood will hang around for you but as we don't have untimed tests anymore he's unlikely to make a 100. It is a real worry that the guys who are in the side for bowling and keeping are doing a better job than the batsmen. One article I've seen has suggested Prior should move up the order. What a great idea! Make him face the new ball as he's been swinging 40s off 30 balls he should open!
If I bet on cricket I'd put alot of money on Australia for the Oval. England will not come back from here as it's impossible to see where the spark will come from. With Johnson you knew if he could land it better he'd get results. Onions and Anderson need it to swing to get anything. As I remember 2005 I do not feel at all sorry for England but it is a shame that Strauss will be forever remembered for this series. The pressure on the guy to make runs and hold a fragile team together must be immense. Since he granted a last minute inclusion of Manou I've got respect back for his character (after the 'physio' incident). I'm not so sure of his batting. Short of a length outside off makes him want to play his favourite shot - the cut. It's done him a couple of times by getting big on him and being a little too close for the shot. Cook looks like his feet weigh 75 kilos when he moves forward to defend on the off-side.
To Fred or not to Fred. Sort of elementary as I'd give my wine collection to my worst enemy if he isn't picked. Harmison blew his chance to impress so he'll go out. But it's the batting that's the main problem: how the hell can England make 400? Even if they bat first I'd still back Aus to win comfortably. I know this is cocky but what I saw of the 4th test: England looked scared like 06/07. Imagine Siddle, Johnson, Clark and Hilfenhaus watching Bopara or Bell coming out to bat. They'd be gagging to get the ball in their hands like I do when my grandma gets to the crease.
As you can tell I'd go with an unchanged 11. I said before the 4th test that Aus should go all pace and blow England out of the water. I feel the same about the Oval. It doesn't appear that Watson can be trusted with overs so 3 quicks is thin in my opinion. Sorry Hauritz as I've been very impressed by how you've answered your many critics (myself included). I'd rather get Clarke or Katich to bowl a few part-timers than Hussey or Watson. In fact I'd rather Hussey didn't play at all but we won't go there again.
Oh, and I just thought of another player England could call up. Is Douglas Jardine still alive?