The state of England’s batting
Winning a Test by an innings is not to be sniffed at. What exactly would you expect to smell? England didn’t exactly dominate the series like they dominated this last match though.
Overall, the team looks okay, but there are quite a few flaws, the most glaring of which is the middle order batting of Bell and Collingwood.
Ian Bell looked like England’s best batsman in Sri Lanka but didn’t really influence proceedings. In New Zealand he hit a hundred when it was least needed. In this series he’s been virtually absent.
Bell will stay, but Paul Collingwood is currently Mark Knopfler (he’s in Dire Straits). Like Bell he’s rather prone to the ineffectual fifty. He’s not been dreadful until this series and if he does get dropped it’ll be for a lack of hundreds.
We can’t escape the feeling that Tim Ambrose isn’t ‘the answer’ either.
England v New Zealand, third Test at Trent Bridge, day four
England 364 (Kevin Pietersen 115, Tim Ambrose 67, Stuart Broad 64, Iain OβBrien 4-74, Kyle Mills 3-76)
New Zealand 123 (James Anderson 7-43)
New Zealand 232 (Brendon McCullum 71, Jacob Oram 50, Ryan Sidebottom 6-67)
England win and take the series 2-0
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We have still only read two chapters of A Last English Summer