The gamble on Ali to open didn't work in the UAE and so in comes the Compdog. No doubt Hales runs in the one day series will get him to start off with Captain Cook. If he fails then Compo can open. Compton deserves his chance and he is a fine player. I don't know what he did to get dropped originally but he won't let anyone down. As a man who practices against 90mph with a bowling machine from sixteen yards, he will be ok against the pace merchants over there.
|Return of the Compdog|
Gary Ballance will return to fight out the middle order spot with James Taylor. I presume he must have sorted out his technical problems against the quicks but you can't argue with his Test average. Ballance would be better down the order as opposed to three where he batted for England. At Yorkshire he has scored most of his runs lower down.
Then we have some very odd decisions. Firstly Adil Rashid is a potential match winner. Yes he bowled some buffet bowling in the UAE but he almost won us a match. He finds himself surplus to requirements. So what do the selectors do? Drop him and stick with Samit Patel. Just the confidence boost a young spinner needs hey? Give the guy a run in the side and in two years time we may have a "worldie" on our hands. Don't just drop him after three games, one of which he nearly wins for you.
Secondly, what has Liam Plunkett done wrong? Nine wickets in his last Test he is ideal for the quicker decks in South Africa. He was ahead of Chris Jordan in the UAE squad, yet the Sussex man has got the nod here despite neither playing. Does Jordan make a better standard of orange squash as twelfth man? Plunkett bowls at 90mph plus, can bat and field (pre requisites in this side) yet doesn't make it here.
The bowling looks light in general. Heaven help us if Broad or Anderson break down. Stokes is touch and go on the fitness front, and Wood and Finn are injured. They have brought in Footit. It is a big jump from playing in Division Two with Derbyshire to playing against the best Test nation in the world. The move to Surrey has obviously helped. Chris Woakes also gets the nod after impressing the management in the series with Pakistan.
Bairstow and Buttler both go on the keeping front despite poor form in the UAE.
South Africa is tough to pick a side in. Differing grounds, altitudes, climates and conditions all come into play. You need to pick a squad with variety. However, I am not entirely sure we have got this selection right.