Bumble blogs on why Rikki Clarke should be in England Test team for New Zealand Tour
Bumble explains why he'd put Rikki Clarke in the England Test team for the tour of New Zealand.
Last Updated: 25/01/13 12:57pm
The only change I would have made would have been to put Rikki Clarke in the full Test squad instead of the Lions.
As suspected, Tim Bresnan is troubled by his elbow and that seems to have been a problem for quite some time. It seems sensible to get that sorted.
It's a shame for Bresnan because New Zealand would have been perfect for him, but he's clearly not fit. He might need surgery and he's got it all to do to make the team for the Ashes now.
But I would have brought Clarke in to the senior squad in his place and - I'm probably in the minority saying this - I would have him in the team.
It's taken him quite a while to find out what cricket's about, but I think he could be an established Test cricketer for the next two years. He's had a chequered career with Surrey and Derbyshire but seems to have found his right place at Warwickshire and he's playing good cricket.
He's 31-years-old, so you'd only be looking at a couple of years maximum and the selectors have gone for the potential of 23-year-old Chris Woakes instead. The problem is the eight-year difference, but I think Clarke is the better cricketer.
I've no problem with Woakes being selected because what he does is perfect for New Zealand; he swings the ball, he's nippy without being quick and he's a lower-order batter. He's suited to the conditions, which are very similar to England to be fair.
But I do think it's significant that Clarke has been put in the Lions squad. That squad is full of promising young ones like Ben Stokes, Ben Foakes and Toby Roland-Jones - and then you've got this 31-year-old who's way older than the rest of them.
That shows they are seriously looking at him as a potential Test player or else they would have picked another young kid. They're not giving him a tour for services rendered!
I've seen a lot of Clarke and I think he's a miles better cricketer than he was. If it was up to me, he'd replace Bresnan in the team.
England's performances in these last three one-day matches have been x-rated.
They're not bright enough, they're not busy enough and they don't have enough know-how. And if you look at the speed gun, the Indian bowlers are faster than ours.
The one bloke that England are missing the most is Jonathan Trott. He holds everything together, he goes at 75 runs per 100 balls and he averages 50. We haven't got anybody else who can do that.
Yet again we've spoken about the promise of Ian Bell, who played brilliantly in the first match, but he's done nothing since. We've seen nothing from Eoin Morgan, either.
The other issue after the third match is the bowling of Steven Finn, who was denied the wicket of Suresh Raina for once again clipping the stumps with his knee.
This goes back to last summer when South Africa were trying to disturb him by complaining about it. But the point needs to be made that the batsmen couldn't care less if the stumps are broken.
We saw the other day that it made no difference to Raina. He had no idea that the bails had come off and was grateful for the reprieve.
It's getting slightly farcical and it needs sorting. My view is that the law needs revisiting and the umpire should declare a no-ball, rather than a dead ball, so that the batsman can get full value.
We're seeing farcical situations where the batsman hits it for four and the umpire says dead ball. The penalty should be against the bowler, not the batsman.
We can't have a situation where the batsmen hits a boundary and doesn't get any runs!
The weather looks horrendous for this weekend, but I'll be down on the rattler to London for the final one-dayer against India.
We'll also be doing a "promotional shoot" for the rest of the season on Sky Sports. Four of us will casually be discussing cricket around a table (casually is the key word there...)
And then next Thursday we're off to New Zealand. It's all go.
Enjoy the weekend and I'll be back on the blog soon.
Join Bumble and the rest of the gang for India v England, fifth ODI, 6am, Sunday, Sky Sports 1 HD