Time was, if a batsman needed to get a drink in the Last Chance Saloon, he donned his whites and went to number six. If he turns up there now, he’ll find that Ben Stokes has taken out a long-term lease on the premises. The Last Chance Saloon has moved up the street to number three.
Previously at number three, Gary Ballance has been kicked out. Ian Bell, who ain’t in great shape himself, will therefore move up to the spot that is increasingly appropriately referred to as ‘first drop’. Jonny Bairstow will materialise at five, doubling England’s wicketkeeper count and therefore chances of success.
Should Bell fail, England will presumably bring in an opener. This would allow Adam Lyth to drop down a spot to signify he is whatever the exact opposite of ‘next cab off the rank’ is.