Trescothick lined up for the real Test

Stephen Brenkley feels Somerset's opener has earned his big chance

In a revolutionary departure from normal practice which suggests either that they have seen more than, or not nearly, enough, England's selectors will announce their squad for the Third Test tomorrow. This is almost a week earlier than expected and prompted the thought that the team must be going to Manchester, as they used to embark on overseas trips, by boat.

In a revolutionary departure from normal practice which suggests either that they have seen more than, or not nearly, enough, England's selectors will announce their squad for the Third Test tomorrow. This is almost a week earlier than expected and prompted the thought that the team must be going to Manchester, as they used to embark on overseas trips, by boat.

The players, at least, will not be able to complain of lack of preparation time. They will have an extra practice session a week tomorrow and none of them will play for their counties in the next round of matches beginning on Friday.

Unusual and unexpected all this may be but in its way the decision makes sense. It seems to demonstrate certainty of thought and gives no opportunity for any Johnny Come Lately to give them an old-fashioned last-minute nudge in the Championship next weekend. So much, indeed, for the Championship.

The announcement of the 12, 13 or 14 players will also serve to reignite immediate interest in a Test series which is tied dramatically at 1-1 but has already been on hold for three weeks. Now, on with the stuff of summer. Just before leaving the one-day tournament, however, it will, if the gods are kind, be recalled for generations as that which gave a the world a new England player.

Marcus Trescothick took to the international arena quicker than an addict to a needle and his long-anticipated failure will not preclude his presence in tomorrow's line-up. Much has already been said and written about the Somerset left-hander's batting method. He does not move his feet, he is prone to trouble outside the off-stump in the corridor of uncertainty, his shot selection might be found wanting.

That, for the moment, is so much hi-falutin' poppycock. Trescothick may fail in the long-term and he will certainly never find the international game as easy as it might have occasionally seemed in his first month but he has done more than enough to deserve an opportunity to become Michael Atherton's 14th opening partner.

There will probably be one other batting change, as well as a bowling alteration,to the side, who triumphed by two wickets in the excruciatingly tense, low-scoring contest at Lord's. Nasser Hussain will return in the middle order. It is also possible, though improbable, that Graham Thorpe will be summoned. Thorpe's class is in no doubt but he has not put it through its paces enough lately yet to merit a place.

England's batting has not been good enough for some time and the fact bears repeating that in their last 63 Test matches and 116 innings they have been dismissed for below 200 on 36 occasions. More often than not they have failed to take a first-innings lead. There is not a queue of batsmen waiting to take their place in the team but it is important, while nodding firmly in the direction of continuity, that there is pressure for places.

Thus, the two men who will make way in a winning side for Trescothick and Hussain are Mark Ramprakash and Nick Knight. The experiment with Ramprakash as opener always seemed to have an element of last-ditch about it and was never going to be the cure for cancer. He should have stayed in the middle order, where he had done nothing wrong. It is possible his recent county form may save him but he will not be holding his breath on that, or for a recall in the future.

Nick Knight, having also narrowly been found wanting on bad pitches, will be the other one to go. The seam bowlers should be unchanged. Matthew Hoggard is the latest fast bowler to emerge quickly, it seems. Whither Ed Giddins, man of the match in the First Test of the summer, and Steve Harmison? Robert Croft will be discarded. If his place goes as it might - albeit deservedly - to the left-arm spinner Ashley Giles (Lancashire have used three spinners at Old Trafford this summer), whither the selectors' faith in spinners turning it away from the West Indies left-handers?

Possible squad: N Hussain, M A Atherton, M E Trescothick, M P Vaughan, A J Stewart, G A Hick, A Flintoff, C White, A F Giles, A R Caddick, D Gough, A D Mullally, M J Hoggard.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
science
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
News
Comedian Ted Robbins collapsed on stage during a performance of Phoenix Nights Live at Manchester Arena (Rex)
people
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
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

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links