Let’s see what they’re made of

After England’s cricketers convincingly beat World Test Champions New Zealand 3-0 in their last test series, the fifth test a rearranged test against last years World Test Championship runners up India, was going to always be a test to see how far Ben Stokes’ men have come.

If today’s action against the Indian’s at Edgbaston on the first day was anything to go by, it shows maybe the euphoria of England’s new-found confidence needs to be put back in check.

As impressive as The Three Lions were against The Black Caps, usually tactically sound captain Kane Williamson (and the New Zealand coaching team) inexplicably didn’t filed a front-line spinner against a rampant England side.

In the now concluded series, Ben Stokes’ side have batted first and been able to bat first and then chase targets. Some of the winning targets, were done in super-quick time, in face England were able to score their runs at 4.5 runs an over.

The three games against New Zealand, the home side England were able to put the pressure on the opposition, but the challenge now is when the opponent is the one putting the pressure on them.

In the first day of the rearranged fifth-test, this is exactly what England had to deal with. Matthew Potts who has been brilliant since coming into the England side was torn apart and so was Jack Leach (again) as India’s Rishabh Pant renewed acquaintances with Leach, the Somerset spinners nemesis.

A fifth century for the Delhi Capitals skipper means he has five in all, some feat considering MSD had five in his whole career. Of course this fifth test is a one-off test, but cricket fans, it emphasizes the point, England were good against New Zealand, but in parts the tourists New Zealand beat themselves.

The true challenge for England now is, how do they react after conceding a big first innings lead (most likely to be between (350-400) . If Alex Lees and the rest of the England batting line-up be more cohesive and not rely on Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, then well England do all of a sudden have a ‘new approach’.

Here’s to hoping I am proven wrong, but this new England nonsense? Not buying it. The omission of Jamie Overton and the baffling choice to continue with Jack Leach leaves me with no words. ECB don’t you have Matt Parkinson’s number then?

Bumrah, express pace, Shaheen Shah Afridi you guessed it, express pace as well as Alzarri Joseph and Kagiso Rabada shall I go on? An extra positive England play with a fast bowler who can win a match with aggressive bowling and a spin bowler who can cause fear into the opposition.

Shadab Khan, although he annoys me Tabraiz Shamsi, Adam Zampa, Aqueel Hossein and there’s many more examples of premier spinners in world cricket! England have Adil Rashid who is very potent, but the Yorkshire player plays only limited over matches these days.

Baz and Stokesy, go on be really bold, don’t be so conservative with team-selection. Put some match-winners in the line-up. If you do, then I will take you seriously.

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