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Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)

Engine room

November 22 2016, 9:44 AM 

Although I am in favour of bumping JB up the order I do understand the view that the current 6 and 7 have been pretty effective. If you have Woakes at 8 and Rashid at 9 you should in theory have enough batting partners left to allow Stokes and Bairstow to play their natural attacking game.

In my opinion dropping Woakes unbalanced the team. Rashid's batting is a work in progress at test level and once he is gone it's time to put the kettle on.

There may be all sorts of dressing room politics that would make it difficult to have Bairstow move above Stokes, then of course you have Ali at 5. It's difficult to argue that Bairstow isn't a better batsman than both of them and I tend to think you get your best batsmen in early before its too late.

As previously I don't buy this playing at 7 to balance out his workload. Didn't Alec Stewart open the batting and keep wicket!

Idle Man
(Login Idle_man)

Re: Engine room

November 22 2016, 10:38 AM 

I haven't checked, but my memory is that Stewart did not open and keep. When he started to keep, he dropped to around no 5. Oddly he kept much better than his part-time status would have suggested, but I don't think he was ever quite the force with the bat again. You can't win.

I'm regularly struck by how much modern batsmen like to know their position. As others have suggested a bit of flexibility would help to manage this situation. Jonny could bat at 5 if we bat first or if 1-4 (it might happen one day) bat for a long time and give him a rest. If he's done two days in the field he could drop lower. This sort of approach would have allowed Stewart to open - where he was most effective - when it fitted. Any club cricketer would recognise this sort of flexibility, but the pros don't seem to like it. It wasn't always like this, Closey used to muck about with the batting order for all sorts of reasons.

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