The fight to be England’s third seamer is not a classic. It is a pillow fight, at best.
In the warm-up matches, Chris Tremlett has taken one wicket in 37 overs; Boyd Rankin has three wickets from 49 overs; while Steven Finn tops the wicket tally with five wickets in 55 overs. Finn also has the best average of the three, at 51, despite conceding 4.63 runs an over.
You might think: ‘warm-up matches, schwarm-up matches,’ but this does make a mockery of all that talk about competition for places. If there’s competition here, it’s in the style of Go For Broke where the players are competing to achieve the exact opposite of what you might expect.
At present, the choice seems to be between Boyd Rankin’s ineffectiveness and the occasional wicket from the run-haemorrhaging Steven Finn. We’d go for Monty Panesar. Or we’d play Jonathan Trott as an all-rounder. You can’t beat a bit of slapped-back dobble.