England sending out confused messages

Little more than a week ago, England’s coach, Trevor Bayliss, stated that playing eight batsmen was “almost a waste” and amounted to “papering over the cracks” and “saying we’re not confident with our batting line-up.”

Yet on Wednesday Joe Root, the England captain, admitted England were considering playing eight batsmen. Dawid Malan, Root said, may come into the side, shunting Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali back to No. 7 and No. 8 respectively and provide more batting depth. A final decision will only be made having inspected the pitch on Thursday morning and ascertained how much value could be gained from playing two spinners.

Little more than a week ago, Bayliss talked of Liam Dawson as England’s “first choice spinner,” described Moeen Ali as “a batter who bowls a little” and suggested the balance of England’s side “you could pretty much pick on any type of wicket.”

Yet on Wednesday it…

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