A lucky break

Joy at another person’s injury is probably a little bit cruel. It’s not like being dropped or losing form, it’s actual pain that goes beyond the sporting arena. That said, I’m apparently a slightly cruel person as I am very glad to hear that Ravi Bopara has a quad injury and is a major doubt for the first Test. (I was also happy when McGrath stepped on that cricket ball ahead of the Edgbaston Test in 2005.)

I’m glad because with Compton only scoring 20-odd for the Lions, Bopara looked like he had secured an spot in the Test side. As I have mentioned more than once Bopara should not be anywhere near the Test side, so this injury is a very good thing for England. It’s unfortunate for Bopara, of course and I would prefer that he had simply not been selected. Whatever the actual reason, however, England needed to keep him out of the Test team and this will accomplish that.

Now the question of who to bat at six becomes more interesting too. Compton has still had his incredible start to the season even though he only made 20-odd. Taylor scored a very impressive century, however, to put him in almost the opposite situation to Compton. Bairstow also scored a fifty on the back of his 182 for Yorkshire last week. There’s still a second innings to come, so we may have a clearer picture then, but right now I would still give it to Compton, with Bairstow as the second choice. I don’t think one innings is enough to put Taylor in form or Compton out of form. Bairstow, meantime, I think has consistently done almost enough to be selected. He would certainly not be a bad choice either.

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