During the dark days of English cricket, when we lost many more than we won, the England side never seemed to have a very familiar look about it from one week to the next.
This was a time when England fans would often be seen looking at a page on teletext wondering: ‘Who the hell is this bloke they’ve called up now?’ or ‘He didn’t deserved to be dropped that quickly!'.
The anger of fans was directed at the ECB and their selectors, as they never seemed to be giving players a chance to settle into the side, or were being replaced by people who didn’t thoroughly deserve it.
But in recent times, as England’s cricketers have begun to find themselves in the higher reaches of the Test rankings, the selection policies and the selected players seem to be improving.
This summer has been one of the tougher summers for England selectors with many people putting their hands up for a place, and one or two putting their hands down.
Nick Compton’s selection as Test opener at the end of last year was seen as the right choice after his superb domestic summer. He performed solidly in India and did well in New Zealand with back to back centuries.
The only problem was that he always looked prone to dismissal, a theory proved when New Zealand played the return series in England earlier in the year when Compton scored a meagre 39 runs from 4 innings.
This happened to coincide with the immense form of Joe Root, who seemed to score runs whenever he was at the crease. The Yorkshireman's position in the One-Day side was a big advantage he had over Compton, as he was able to prove himself to England selectors throughout the International summer.
And so it proved when Root was picked to open in The Ashes, a gift which he repaid this week with a superb 180.
A selection issue which arose before the First Test was for the spot of the third seamer. Tim Bresnan put his hat into the ring with a superb century and wickets against Essex, but it was decided that Steve Finn should get the gig instead.
But the Middlesex paceman disappointed at Trent Bridge where it was obvious that captain Alastair Cook was reluctant to bowl him. Going into the Second Test at Lord's, everyone was wondering whether Finn would keep his place, and I believe the selectors made the right decision in dropping him for Bresnan.
The all-rounder plays with all his heart, and the skills he showed with bat and ball against Australia proved that he was the right selection.
I hope for England’s sake that their selectors keep making these good decisions because they are in fine form and shouldn’t disrupt a winning team by making any unnecessary changes.
The strongest XI has now emerged, on home soil at least, and should allow England to return to the top of the world rankings.
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