Tuesday, 14 December 2010

England look at Bright side after Melbourne struggle

England's warm-up game against Victoria at the MCG will go down as a draw in the record books and another unbeaten game on the current tour, but the fact Matt Prior doggedly had to hold on in the final session means it won't be a game that lives long in the memory.

The struggles of England's seamers was the main concern. The trio of Chris Tremlett, Tim Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad were tipped to be involved in a shoot-out to determine who will replace the injured Stuart Broad.

But combined figures of 1 for 216 in 78 overs on a lifeless wicket means the decision remains unclear and anyone who has bet on the Ashes will be anxious to find out who is selected.

England's laboured bowling was in stark contrast to the joys of Adelaide, where they ripped through the Aussie batting line-up twice to set up that historic innings victory.

Coach Andy Flower has put a positive spin on things by claiming the tricky three day match at the MCG was a "reality check". And Although I agree such matches can help keep a player grounded and focused, he surely must have wished his quick bowlers had helped him decide who to pick for Perth.

As it is Chris Tremlett looks favourite, but that in mainly due to his tall frame being suited to the Waca pitch rather than his performance against Victoria.
Matt Prior's century may hinder Tim Bresnan, who is seen as a man to strengthen the batting line-up as well as a handy bowler.

But with Prior becoming the six member of the touring party to hit a hundred Bresnan's abilities with the bat aren't rally a priority. That said anyone who has bet on top England batsman shouldn't expect Prior to grab that title.

England need someone to hit the deck and rough up the Aussie batsmen, Something Stuart Broad did well despite only picking up a couple of wickets in the opening two Tests.

For that reason I expect Tremlett to make a international return as England seek to secure the Ashes with a win at the Waca.

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