Balance of England attack questioned

England

Former opening batsman Nick Knight has implored England to select an additional specialist bowler, ahead of Wednesday's third ODI against Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

Former opening batsman Nick Knight has implored England to select an additional specialist bowler, ahead of Wednesday's third ODI against Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

A host attack without the services of the rested Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Graeme Swann were entirely outgunned in Sunday's second fixture at Old Trafford in Manchester, where skipper Michael Clarke's century afforded the Aussies a vital series lead.

"It was a poor decision at the toss and I think it was made because of the balance of the side – England felt they had absolutely no chance but to go that way and it proved to be an injudicious decision," Knight told <i>Sky Sports</i>.

"I'm really disappointed with England's selection. We were down in Malahide just a few days ago and we saw Ireland get 269 against this very England attack and I felt watching the game there that England surely can't go in to this series with that same attack.

"With no disrespect to Ireland, if they are going to get 269 how many will Australia get? It proved too many. Therefore inevitably your batting side, however good they are – however good Stokes is at eight – is going to be put under tremendous pressure to chase 300-plus."

Seamers Boyd Rankin and Steven Finn, all-rounders Ben Stokes and Ravi Bopara, spinner James Tredwell and part-time slow bowler Joe Root were collectively substandard. The uncapped Jamie Overton and Chris Jordan, meanwhile, went unselected.

"I would have left out Joe. Why? Not because I don't think he's good enough to get in the team but because they need to have a look at an Overton or a Jordan, so they can re-balance the bowling line-up. If that doesn't work at least they give themselves a chance of staying in the game at halfway if they happen to be bowling first," concluded Knight.

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