Alastair Cook, Ashes, Australia, Cricket, England, Joe Root, Steven Finn, Tim Bresnan
There was talk in the cricket betting world that selectors would drop Finn for Tim Bresnan after the former took just two wickets at the cost of 117 runs over the two innings. Finn struggled at Trent Bridge and was the main reason Australia’s fantastical run chase became so nearly a reality.
After Jimmy Anderson took three early wickets on Sunday, Cook turned to Finn in hope the 24-year-old would clinch the 10th but Brad Haddin had different ideas, smashing the seamer for boundaries past square leg and long on.
To compound a miserable final day, Finn gave away four byes and dropped a catch that cold have cost England the first Test. He was probably as relieved as Cook when James Anderson’s 10th wicket was given on review.
Bresnan, with bags of experience and the consistency to bowl a good line when required, would be a far better option heading into a Lords’ Test that Australia usually enjoy. The Yorkshireman’s average is slightly worse than Finn’s but his economy isn’t and that’s what almost cost England the match on Sunday.
As for Root, he joined the top order in controversy after ousting Nick Compton and was under pressure to perform. A 30 in his first innings showed promise but five off 31 deliveries in the second exposed a nervous player lacking confidence. Root’s place was probably saved by his wicket of Ed Cowan when playing two overs as recovery spinner and that talent means Graeme Swann is not the only spin man Cook can turn to.
Because the second Test is just four days after the first, it’s easy to see why England stuck with the same team. However, those who bet on the Ashes can expect a couple of changes if England fail to perform at Lords’, with Finn and Root the main candidates for demotion.