Critics must be dropped in England quest for Ashes redemption

Well, we have seen. Sack Vaughan and make Graham Thorpe captain. Get rid of Geraint Jones - he looks as though he is keeping with a pair of cymbals. England cannot afford to carry passengers - Ashley Giles must go. Ian Bell looks out of his depth - ditch him. Axe Marcus Trescothick and let Vaughan open with Andrew Strauss. Pick Paul Collingwood and drop Andrew Flintoff to No 8.

These are a selection of the comments made in the aftermath of England's 239-run defeat to the world champions. Nobody has held back. Former Australian players - Geoff Lawson and Allan Border - have condemned members of the side, despite having seen very little of them in the last 18 months, and several retired England players have also called for change.

The most outspoken criticism has come from those who naïvely built up England's chances of regaining the Ashes this summer. And as England's last five wickets fell to Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne in 50 minutes of demoralising play last Sunday, it could not possibly be they who were wrong. The fault, of course, lay in England's weak, pitiful, pathetic cricketers. Yes, the same fellas who won seven successive Test matches last summer, and 11 out of 14 in 2004.

England's selectors, who will tomorrow announce their squad for the second Test at Edgbaston, have to come up with a side capable of defeating Australia. It may be unlikely, but England can still win the Ashes.

It is to be hoped the selection meeting between David Graveney, Geoff Miller and Duncan Fletcher does not last long. The manner of the defeat at Lord's was disturbing but the selectors have to show faith in the players who turned England into a highly competitive and much admired team. A team that is ranked the second best in the world.

Many cricketers have become better players through not playing against Australia, and Paul Collingwood is the latest. Calls for him to be picked in the Test side have increased since Sunday, and two hundreds for Durham against Somerset at Taunton will only have helped his cause.

Collingwood is a motivated, committed and ambitious cricketer. The 29-year-old makes the most of his ability and is desperate to establish himself on the Test stage. He played two Test matches in Sri Lanka 20 months ago and did well, but it is hard to see the Australians losing any sleep over his selection.

Back to back Test matches against Australia over the coming fortnight may encourage England to name a 13-man squad, but it would come as a surprise if the selectors turned to Collingwood ahead of Robert Key or Ed Joyce.

Joyce, with 1,123 runs at an average of 80, is the highest run scorer in first-class cricket this season and Key - 968 at 60.5 - is fifth. Collingwood has scored 476 runs in his last three first-class innings but Joyce and Key have games which are better suited to Test cricket.

The selectors will be reluctant to add another player to their squad because it does not send out a particularly positive message and it will only lead to speculation before Thursday morning, and this will not help Vaughan's preparations. Before the first Test against Bangladesh the selectors were decisive and Key was omitted for Bell. And they were again last week, when Thorpe was left out.

If any of these batsmen were to play it would be at the expense of a bowler. Being dismissed twice for less than 200 is not good enough but through picking Geraint Jones England are playing seven specialist batsmen. This should be enough and dropping a bowler would reduce England's chances of completing the goal they need to achieve at least twice in the next four Tests - taking 20 Australian wickets.

Giles struggled at Lord's. Australia's batsmen did not let him settle, and they are unlikely to for the remainder of the series. It is part of their plan. If Giles is hit out of the attack they know that Vaughan will be forced to bowl Andrew Flintoff and Stephen Harmison more than he would like, thus reducing their effectiveness.

Giles took nine wickets against the West Indies at his home ground 12 months ago and he should be given at least one more opportunity to redeem himself.

Likely team for second Test

M P Vaughan (Yorkshire, capt)

M E Trescothick (Somerset)

A J Strauss (Middlesex)

I R Bell (Warwickshire)

K P Pietersen (Hampshire)

A Flintoff (Lancashire)

G O Jones (Kent, wkt)

A F Giles (Warwickshire)

S P Jones (Glamorgan)

M J Hoggard (Yorkshire)

S J Harmison (Durham)

Twelfth man: C T Tremlett (Hampshire)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral