England will be taking on Sri Lanka in the 1st test at Lord’s in just a matter of days. The home sides squad will be announced later in the week. With that in mind, Cricketfeed’s writers have put together the side that they think England should go with on the 12th June. Please let us know your thoughts on England’s test side in the comments section below or on Twitter @Cricketfeeduk.
Rob Kearsey- News Editor (Twitter account: @RobKearsey)
England XI: Alastair Cook (c), Sam Robson, Joe Root, Ian Bell, James Vince, Moeen Ali, Matt Prior, Ben Stokes, Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
My England XI is very different from the side that took to the field in the last Ashes test in Sydney. Alastair Cook stays as captain because despite an awful winter, he is still the best man to lead England going forward. His opening partner is Sam Robson. The Middlesex man has been one of the highest scoring batsmen in County cricket for a couple of years now and deserves his chance off the back of an excellent winter with England’s performance squad and the England Lions. Joe Root is at 3 despite a poor winter. He is still one of the best young batsmen in the world and I expect him to prosper as long as he is kept at 3. Ian Bell at 4 is an very easy decision. Without Kevin Pietersen, he is England’s most free scoring batsman.
This could be controversial but I have James Vince at 5. The Hampshire batsman has had a wonderful summer so far, scoring heavily in both the Championship and the T20 Blast. He is also aggressive and scores his runs quickly, something England will need in the middle order without KP. At 6, I have Moeen Ali who is also the main spinner. With the surfaces this summer not set to favour spin, England can pick Ali to do a holding job while the seamers rotate. He also in good form with the bat after his 162 for Worcestershire on Sunday.
Matt Prior is my wicket keeper. He may have lost his form last year but he is still a class act. His experience will be important in a team full of younger players. Ben Stokes comes in at 8 because it will enable him to work on his bowling which has the potential to be world class. James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Jordan are the 3 other seamers. Jordan plays ahead of Steven Finn due to his outstanding performances for England over the past 6 months although I do expect Finn to feature in an England XI at some point this summer.
Jamie Bullen- Writer (Twitter Account: @JLBullen)
England XI: Alistair Cook (c), Joe Root, Ian Bell, Gary Ballance, James Taylor, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Monty Panesar.
Coach Peter Moores has a tough job on his hands this summer as he looks to transform a winter of discontent to a summer of promise for English cricket. The upcoming series against Sri Lanka is the perfect chance to blood the next generation of stars and build a side capable of scaling the ICC rankings. Losing three matchwinners in Trott, Pietersen and Swann could take time but the emergence of Gary Ballance and Chris Jordan in the ODI series is positive.
With Prior struggling for form and fitness the selectors should stick with Bairstow who has impressed for Yorkshire this season. James Taylor also deserves his chance after consistently racking up runs for both Nottinghamshire and the England Lions. The lack of spin options is a concern but on English pitches seam will be the main weapon. With 77 Test matches under his belt Panesar gets the nod.
Jack Vittles- Writer (Twitter account: @jackv1993)
England XI: Alastair Cook (c), Sam Robson, Nick Compton, Ian Bell, Gary Ballance, Ben Stokes, Matt Prior, Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Simon Kerrigan.
Starting from the top, I’ve chosen Sam Robson to be captain Cook’s chief ball blunting partner. He has impressed me with his sheer weight of championship runs for Middlesex and has to be the next cab off the rank at the top of the order. A slight technical deficiency on the front foot may have to be overcome but he’s my pick for this summer.
Nick Compton gets a recall at number three. Again weight of runs are hard to ignore and he deserves a recall at the expense of Joe Root, who needs time in the county game to rediscover his touch. Bell would become the lynchpin of my side and would be my star batsmen at number four.
Ballance and Stokes are, for me, the future of the England test middle order and should score thousands of test runs for years to come. Stokes also has the ability to bowl at 90mph and this makes him a must-pick when fit.
As far as I am concerned, Matt Prior is still England’s premier keeper batsmen. One bad tour does not make you a bad player and he was England’s player of the year as recently as 2013. Prior would be my first choice and also reassume the role of vice- captain.
Chris Jordan gets the nod for the third seamers spot due to his blistering white ball form and his ability to add vital late order runs. Think Bresnan then add 10 mph with the ball and 10 metres in the six hitting.
Finally the spinners position; probably the most debated place in the side. I think I would give Simon Kerrigan another go in the test side. He needs to bounce back quickly from his mauling at the Oval and against Sri Lanka in still early season conditions it could be the case that he is able to feel his way back into the test arena by bowling just ten overs an innings.
Danny Bracken- Coach
England XI: Alastair Cook (c), Sam Robson, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Gary Ballance, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, James Anderson.
There has been a steady decline in the performances and results of England’s test match team over recent series and therefore a change in attitude and approach is needed if they are going to regain the number one test team status.
This line-up allows England to move forward with a more aggressive approach to test match cricket. With shot-making batsman throughout the team, this batting line-up has the correct mix of experience and youth, and the combination of left and right handed batsman, has the potential to disrupt opposition bowler’s lines and lengths. The chosen bowlers also provide a balanced bowling attack, with the pace of Steven Finn, the swing of James Anderson and the control of Stuart Broad. Joe Root and Moeen Ali provide decent spin options to enable Alastair Cook to maintain control over the opposition’s run-rate, while the quick men are rotated to allow them to bowl short, quick, wicket-taking spells.
Whose XI would you go for? Let us know on Twitter @Cricketfeeduk or leave a comment below.
Also, click here to check out the 5 batsmen who could add power to England’s ODI batting order.