Last time I found a moment to witter away on here I moaned because England’s senior cricketers hadn’t been producing the goods. Since then the third test has come and gone, Cook & Bell scored big runs and Anderson took a bag of wickets. There was also big runs from Ballance, six wickets from Ali and contributions from Root, Broad and Buttler on debut. This led to a comfortable England win, in fact this was the best performance since England won away in India a couple of years ago. Plunkett and Stokes were left out for this match with Woakes and Jordan coming into the side. Neither made any headlines but were both unlucky to finish wicket less in the match.
This leaves the series beautifully poised at 1-1 with two matches to play and the fourth test starts at Old Trafford tomorrow! This wicket should suit England’s bowlers, Plunkett is unfit so it seems likely England will name an unchanged side. The four seam bowlers will be expected to take wickets on this surface and after his performance at Southampton the pressure is off Ali for now. He looks a good cricketer but I’m still not convinced he’s a really top level spinner though I’d love to be proven wrong. Of England’s side Robson may start to feel pressure if he doesn’t make runs. It would be good for England if Root could move back to open and free up a space for another bowler.
I expect England to go on and win the series 3-1 from here but I’m still not sure we have a side that can compete with Australia next summer.