Boycott correct to advocate fewer seamers
England’s potential to make a successful recovery from their opening-match Test defeat to India last week lies in the most part to their bowling attack, according to former batsman Geoffrey Boycott.
Boycott spoke to BBC 5Live on Monday, a day after England’s three seamers proved ineffectual as the team fell to a nine-wicket loss, and revealed his views on where England went wrong.
“I don’t think we stood a chance of actually bowling India out,” Boycott said. “[India’s] two spinners took 13 of their wickets and they won, it’s as simple as that.
“It’s extremely rare to get a pitch that helps seamers in India. I’ve seen one at the Jubilee Test on 1980: Ian Botham got 10 wickets and we won.”
Boycott couldn’t be more correct in his denouncement of England’s seamers, who struggled terribly over the first Test: James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan mustering a pitiful one wicket from 72 overs. Something needs to change before the second Test in Mumbai later this week and Boycott advocates mirroring the opposition.
The former opener suggests dropping a fast bowler in place of another spinner to play alongside Graeme Swann: the only effectual threat in England’s arsenal with nine wickets in the first Test. Yet Swann cannot do it on his own and there are loud calls in England cricket betting markets for the reinstatement of Monty Panesar.
Now, Panesar has proven his ability to turn the ball for England and is seen as the obvious replacement for a seamer. However, he is out of international form and doesn’t have that batting ability that Anderson, Broad and Bresnan provide.
Captain Alastair Cook therefore has a difficult choice to make. None of the seamers impressed in the first Test and all are under threat of losing their place, but with Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow also available for cover, Cook has plenty of choice to make before they attempt to defy the England Cricket Betting in Mumbai.