Remember that mad notion that England needed to deliberately omit James Anderson and Stuart Broad to create ‘opportunities’ for new seam bowlers? England will play around half a dozen non-Anderson, non-Broad quick bowlers in the coming week alone.
It was always a bit of a nonsense. When the two lithe, middle-aged titans were omitted for that tour of the West Indies, England had already used nine pace bowlers in 12 months of Test matches without even trying.
They’re currently operating without Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes, Olly Stone, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Fisher and Mark Wood.
Opportunities to bowl quickly for England are plentiful.
This is especially true if you factor in the other formats. There are three one-day internationals against the Netherlands before next Thursday’s third Test, each of which will feature quick bowlers.
This kind of scheduling poses problems for team selection. With regards to pace bowling, the solution seems to be that Eoin Morgan gets all the left-armers, while Ben Stokes gets all the right-armers. It’s an interesting policy, but you can’t say the division isn’t clear-cut.
Now seems like a pretty good time to re-push our feature about format specialisation and why running separate teams can never be a clean way of operating within a fundamentally crappy ecosystem.
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