Team selection for Mohali Test will define character of English cricket

December 18th, 2008 - 6:49 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 18 (ANI): The character of English cricket will be tested to the full when the selectors pick their side for second Test in Mohali, starting on Thursday.

National selector Geoff Miller reacted strongly to suggestions that he is running a closed shop but if England name the same playing XI that lost in Chennai the accusation will stick, the Daily Express reported.

England played their part in an epic first Test against India but the bottom line was that they lost again because they lacked the ability and ruthlessness when it mattered in the final day and a half and not for the first time.

Sometimes change is needed for its own sake and more competitiveness within the squad might translate into a more competitive edge on the field.

Take the batting: the only change in Englands top five during the 11 Tests this year has been an enforced one when Michael Vaughan retired as captain and made himself unavailable.

Owais Shah was by some distance the most accomplished English batsman during the recent one-day series on Indian soil yet he could not break into the side in Chennai despite Ian Bells unconvincing form.

Head coach Peter Moores said: It was one of the toughest decisions not to pick Owais because he played beautifully but we have very good players in that Test team and you want to show loyalty to players. We weigh it up every time.

The bowling, which was a blunt instrument on the last day in Chennai, will have to be changed with Stuart Broad, fit again after his recent hamstring strain, set to return.

He could replace any one of Steve Harmison, Jimmy Anderson or Monty Panesar depending on the conditions at Mohali where the air is much cooler and less humid than in Chennai.

Captain Kevin Pietersen hinted at changes when he said: Broad is a strong candidate to come back into the side there are a few players who are in a pretty good position to come back in. Everyone has a chance. (ANI)

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