The third and final test in the England vs Sri Lanka test series is now at an end after the rain brought a damp squib of an end to the match.
So what have we learned? Not a great deal really. We are almost where we were three tests ago. Nick Compton would appear not quite of test level is one obvious conclusion. Personally speaking I feel it would be a little harsh to jettison him – I would give him the Pakistan series to make a final decision on him. I doubt that will happen, however and Lords was the last we will see of him in the whites of the three lions.
James Vince has probably done enough to stay in the side but needs a score against Pakistan to ensure he travels with the side in the winter.
Alex Hales might just be the opener England have been looking for. Ok, so he should have bagged himself a couple of tons – and he needs to watch the concentration – but it’s better to fail in the 80s and 90s rather than only register single digits.
Chris Woakes is a decent back up bowler and did himself no harm. I’m not sure he is an out and out replacement for Ben Stokes, however, and he is more of a bowler who is decent with the willow rather than the genuine all-rounder Stokes is.
Jonny Bairstow looks like he has cemented his middle order spot for some time with some great innings. His keeping, however, leaves a lot to be desired. But to be fair it’s not often you get a player who can bat as well as he can and keep wicket to the desired standard. Jos Buttler is similar to Bairstow in that he’s a hit with the bat but largely a miss with the gloves. England need to decide if they want a specialist keeper at the cost of the strength of the batting order or they are prepared to put up with slip ups from time to time. The keeping will improve with time too (as it did with Alec Stewart) so watch this space.
England need a world-class spinner…anyone got any ideas!?! Adil Rashid could do a job but is expensive.
So there we have it – plenty to chew on for the selectors going forward.
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