Why Samit Patel should play in place of Mark Wood

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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.


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  1. Two players combining to perform one role (as principal spinner) as opposed to each player performing at least two? Have you lost your mind?! This will never be allowed.

    Actually I’ve always been a fan of Fatel’s batting (22 first-class centuries, highest score 256!) so bring him in and bat him at six. Move Moeen back down to eight, drop Buttler and give the gloves to Bairstow (new no. seven), bring in Plunkett as well (he loveth a swing of the willow) at nine and ask Bell to open. Have I covered everything? Is that still eleven players?

    Where would Patel field? You’ve got to put him in a wide position somewhere, surely?

    1. Oh yeah, Jimmy Taylor’s got to be in there somewhere. I appear to have ‘overlooked’ the wee man.

    2. By my count, Mike, you’ve either got Stokes or Rashid at three.


      2. Bell
      6. Patel
      7. Bairstow
      8. Moeen
      9. Plunkett

      You didn’t mention anyone else dropped so that means a middle order of Root, Stokes and Rashid, which is somehow worse than the batting order we’ve got now.

      If they drop Buttler it’ll have to be for more specialist batsmen (ie James Taylor) and if Patel plays in a Buttler-less team it’ll be at five, I think.

      1. Cook
      2. Taylor
      3. Bell
      4. Root
      5. Patel
      6. Bairstow
      7. Stokes
      8. Ali
      9. Rashid
      10. Broad
      11. Anderson

      Looks a bit more meaty.

  2. Completely changing the subject, but Root’s a cheeky beggar isn’t he? Bit more interesting in his speeches that Alastair “Whiter Than White” Cook. You could have got an entire Badger out of that interview (and almost did). Shame I had to give the Telegraph a “hit” to read it, first time around.

    1. He’s been tight enough that he’s been bowled more than anyone else so far; he’s kept Rashid from having to do something for which he isn’t especially well-suited; and he’s allowed the seamers to attack. I think that’s a fair return from a spinner who could much more fairly be described as a part-timer.

      He also dislocated a finger on his bowling hand off his second ball. That might have put him off for a bit.

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