Sharpen the England Test team pencil

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Third seamer – Chris Jordan? Can we start assuming this now, or is that going too far? It’s just it would mean one less thing to keep track of, and the less we have to keep track of, the more we can concentrate on the important stuff, like moaning about the players who definitely are going to make the Test XI.

Jordan took a five-for in the latest round of championship matches and seems genuinely promising rather than the word just serving as a synonym for ‘in his early 20s’. We also like his oversized glue-encrusted hands.

As for the openers, up until now we’ve assumed that Sam Robson will replace Michael Carberry. But with Jonathan Trott now seemingly (and sadly) gone for good, how about his becoming a good, dour, plodtastic number three? Carberry’s apparently been having a series of sessions with Graham Gooch who is still, for the moment, England batting coach, and has therefore not been booted out so forcefully that he can’t just amble back again with a hurt facial expression.


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  1. The top six should be divided into two groups, three in each. The first group (numbers 1, 3 and 5) should be coached by Graeme Gooch. The second group (numbers 2, 4 and 6) should be coached in consecutive weeks by David Gower, Ian Botham, Kevin Pietersen and the ghost of Kenny Everett.

    UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should the players in the second group be allowed to approach, talk to, or look at Graeme Gooch. Nor should they be allowed to grow a moustache, unless it is Salvador Dali’s moustache. Moreover, they should never be allowed to read The Theory and Practice of Front Foot Weight Transference in Constructing a Solid Defence by Chris Tavare, and instead be only allowed to read How To Become King of Albania by CB Fry.

    The wicket keeper should be coached by Animal from The Muppets.

    1. I should say, of course, that I was departing into the realms of the impossible with my second group of coaches, as there is no chance that Kevin Pietersen would be allowed to do it.

  2. Ian Bell will probably bat at 3, which really leaves the number 4 position the most ‘debatable’, by which I mean, crap. It is a horrible Pietersen-shaped hole.

    1. Root, surely?


    2. Give me Taylor and Ballance for Root and Morgan, and anyone still playing for Tufnell and that looks okay. On the basis that the spinner isn’t going to bowl, but you still have to pick one because balance, go for Rashid. Or Borthwick. Or Moeen.

      They could always try to convince Robson’s brother he’s English too.

  3. I’ve not seen much of the lad Robson, but he’ll get a chance to press his case later today against Yorkshire (weather allowing). 5 sessions in the match left and 350 behind.

    1. Look, we think Ballance should be in the Test team. We just wish he’d make it easier for us to say that.

  4. So Robson, Ballance and Jordan in.

    It’s been a long road, but with Prior and Stokes in there too we are right on the cusp of finally getting to more players born out of the UK than in it.

  5. Small point – if the glue on Chris Jordan’s buckethands has reached the point of being a crust, won’t its adhesive quality have diminished?


    1. If we’re talking about important stuff, surely the rampant trolling of Cricinfo’s county cricket blog needs a mention? Included copious IPL references, people pretending to be Indian, and Jimmy Anderson’s mother.

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