Mark Wood’s duff ankle means he won’t play the third Test against Pakistan. So who should replace him?
Over at Cricinfo, Andrew McGlashan argues that Liam Plunkett is the logical choice. Being as Chris Jordan was only a late call-up to replace Steven Finn, Plunkett is the next pace bowler in the order of peckery. Plus, as Mike Selvey has been arguing in the Guardian, England’s spinners ain’t done owt – Selvey reckons they’d be better off picking five seamers.
We disagree. We think this is a great time to recall the man Kevin Pietersen calls Sandwich Patel. Between them, Patel and Rashid are a decent Test match spin bowler. In the first innings Patel can keep it, if not tight as a mouse’s ear, then tighter than Rashid would, and then the Yorkshireman can do his thing in the second innings while Patel busies himself standing still.
More importantly, Samit Patel is actually really rather a good batsman against spin bowling and England possess really rather a poor middle order at the minute. One Test may not be enough to prove his worth – and doing so may have few consequences in the long run anyway – but he’s always impressed us.
Most importantly of all, Samit has plentiful energy reserves.