Ashes: Strauss mulls over Melbourne changes

Monday, December 20, 2010

LONDON/PERTH - England cricket captain Andrew Strauss is reported to be mulling over making changes to the team for the fourth Ashes Test to be played against Australia in Melbourne from December 26.

According to the BBC, Ian Bell could move up the order from number six, while the bowling may come under scrutiny after Australia squared the series with a 267-run win in Perth.

Asked about team changes, the BBC quoted Strauss, as saying: “I won’t rule it out, we have to look on what we can do better. But ultimately, this is not a time for panic, we have to keep a cool head.”

Warwickshire batsman Bell has 213 runs in four innings in the series, despite often getting stranded batting with the tail.

England could also consider bringing in Middlesex batsman Eoin Morgan for Collingwood, while in the bowling department seamers Tim Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad are waiting in the wings.

“If we can keep playing that same brand of cricket we have played in the majority of the series, then we have a great chance of retaining the Ashes,” said Strauss.

Team director Andy Flower echoed his captain’s belief that knee-jerk reactions were unnecessary, but admitted elevating Bell would come under consideration.

“It’s a very disappointing defeat, no doubt about it. We came fully expecting to play the same brand of cricket that we played in Adelaide. We were in a great position after bowling them out for 268 and then being 70-odd for none in reply. The batting in both innings was sub-par. But we have to retain a sense of perspective. This result doesn’t make us a bad team overnight,” said Strauss.

“We need to retain the confidence we built from the first two Tests and come out all guns blazing in Melbourne. We’ve said all along the side that’s going to win the series is the one that grabs those crucial sessions by the scruff of the neck,” he added. (ANI)

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