This England squad as it stands will never beat the Australians in a test series.
Australia has just annihilated England at the home of cricket. Everything clicked just as we’d hoped: Smith, Warner and Rogers with the bat; Johnson and co with the ball. The debutant keeper held his catches on a traditionally difficult wicket to keep on. Even our all-rounder chipped in with some crucial wickets and a couple of big sixes.
In the end, England were lucky that Australia continued their now customary tactic not to enforce the follow on, because it could have been a seriously embarrassing innings defeat.
England chose not to pick their best batsman for this series. Make no mistake, Kevin Pietersen is still the best batsman in England. For all this talk about Joe Root, Alastair Cook and (the seriously out of form) Ian Bell, there is no replacement for Pietersen. Certainly not in an Ashes series.
Without Pietersen, the English side has no alpha whatsoever. Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad are the supposed intimidators, but really, they’re just annoying more than anything. Stokes has a bit of fire about him, but he bowls about 130 km/h and bats 6.
These guys don’t actually intimidate in the way that a Johnson can with the ball, or a Warner can with the bat.
So what does it say about English cricket, that they were comfortable leaving out their best batsman for an Ashes series, just because he was allegedly bad for team harmony?
It says that they’re not serious about winning.
By Dave Edwards