All Change For Lord’s?

First of all let me say how shocked I am that England managed to draw the first Ashes Test match. It was a remarkable effort from Andrew Strauss’ men, especially from Paul Collingwood, Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Monty Panesar.

They batted heroically and deserved their draw in the end. Fair enough, the session lost on Saturday evening helped England. However, at 70-5, even the most optimistic of England fans would have said that defeat was inevitable anyway.

For the first time in the series though, they showed some fight and some passion. They did something we didn’t expect them to. Despite being dominated for the majority of the Test match, they came out with a draw to leave Australia extremely frustrated.

There is no getting away from the fact that England were completely outplayed though and that they were very poor in many areas. The top order didn’t score enough runs, the seamers got their line and length wrong too often and the spin duo of Swann and Panesar only managed one wicket between them.

England have a clean slate to move forward with though and they can go into the second Test at Lord’s knowing that they are still level in the series. This is a huge bonus. What changes should be made though?

Well, one of the spinners has to go as Lord’s is normally rather seam friendly. This probably means that Panesar will have to miss out.

Swann wasn’t at his best in Cardiff, but he is England’s No.1 spinner right now and will stay in the side for consistency purposes.

As for who comes in for Panesar, well there are a number of options. Most would agree that it is between Durham’s Graeme Onions and Steve Harmison, but the likes of Tim Bresnan and Matthew Hoggard shouldn’t be completely ruled out. They have been in the wickets for Yorkshire recently anyway.

Personally, I would go for Harmison – I think. If he can get it right against Australia, they will fear him. After the first Test, they won’t be fearing many England bowlers so this has to be something to consider. The Durham man is fit and in form so has to play.

It doesn’t matter if he won’t be selected this winter in South Africa. We need him to perform this summer against Australia. That’s the most important thing. At home, he can be a very threatening bowler and whether he turns it on or not is probably worth the risk. Elsewhere, there probably won’t be any changes. Stuart Broad was poor with the ball, but he can come back fighting. The top order didn’t score enough runs, but who would you bring in to replace any of them? Ian Bell?!

For England, the Ashes starts this Thursday at Lord’s. Hopefully the momentum from this draw can be used to produce a much more positive performance so make sure you stay on top of the Lord’s Test odds.

Guest post by Thomas Rooney

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