Some of the selections by England towards the end of the ODI series against Australia, which they lost 2-3, were quite weird.
They left their in-form players out of the playing XI in the crucial games.
Steven Finn did not feature at Leeds in the 4th game and was replaced by Mark Wood and then, in the game after that, which was the decider, it’s Liam Plunkett who had to make way for the uncapped Reece Topley.
Plunkett had been the most effective quick for England in the series and he had helped the team win the 4th game with the bat too as he had struck some decisive blows batting towards the end.
It seems the England team management is perhaps looking at a bigger picture. They are not too worried about losing the games at the moment, but, what they want is to have a look at all the players whom they believe can play a part for the team in the World Cup in 4 years’ time.
While, that’s okay, it’s also important that you try and win the bilateral series that you are playing against tough oppositions and that you can do only by putting your best XI on the park in crucial games.
If Topley had to have a look in, he should have been handed a debut much earlier in the series, not in the decider.
However, it’s not that England lost the decider because of that change that they made of replacing Plunkett with Topley. That had nothing to do with the defeat.
It’s England’s poor batting or rather Australia’s impeccable bowling which was the main reason which way that 5th game went, but, having said that, to leave Plunkett out was slightly harsh on the Yorkshire man and was uncalled for too.