When teams tend to do well on tough assignments, there is often the sweet problem around of having way too many choices for certain spots. The England selectors face such a dilemma ahead of their home series against Sri Lanka. After a really successful test series against South Africa away from home, the focus is now on the selectors to see which individuals are retained in the squad.
In the ongoing county circuit, discarded middle order batsman Ian Bell has done enough to get noticed. Bell’s likely contemporaries are Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance and right-hander James Vince. Vince can also be chosen ahead of Bell, as the selectors have shown instances of backing the youngster, who was a part of England’s squad in the ICC World T20.
Skipper Alastair Cook admitted that the selectors have some really tough calls to make for the upcoming series. “The selectors have tough decisions to make,” Cook said. “The guys went to South Africa and won and that gives the guys a lot of credit in the bank, but then again we did not score the runs at the top order we would have liked. “Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and Ben Stokes scored a lot of our runs so the selectors have got big decisions to make.”
James Vince found backing in former England skipper Nasser Hussain, who termed him as “elegant”. “If you ask me about the long-term potential, then Vince has got something about him that I would like to see more of – he is a very elegant player,” Hussain said. “Alex Hales stays as an opener – he is the man in possession and I don’t think people are bursting down the door to give me that position. I think Hales deserves a chance away from home and at home.”
On the other hand, Michael Atherton was in full support of Ian Bell and said that age shouldn’t matter for a player of Bell’s class. “In the past, I used to think a lot about age and where the team was going but now I just keep it simple, I just pick the best team,” Atherton said. “With Bell, although he is 34, you’ve got a guy with 22 Test match hundreds.”