England considering dropping Joe Denly for second Ashes Test and bringing in Sam Curran with middle order all moving up a spot
- England face Australia in the second Test at Lord’s starting on Wednesday
- Joe Denly scored just 29 runs as Australia won the first Test by 251 runs
- He could be dropped to make room for left-handed all-rounder Sam Curran
England are considering springing a second Test surprise and throwing Sam Curran into the Ashes fray at the expense of Joe Denly.
The bold plan would mean Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow being promoted in the order to accommodate the left-arm swing bowler and lower middle order batsman who made such an impact in home conditions against India last summer.
It had been thought England were loathe to leave out Denly after just four Test appearances and were planning on backing him to justify the faith of national selector Ed Smith that he can succeed in his best position of No 4.
Joe Denly – here training at Lord’s on Monday – could be dropped for the second Test
But the scale of England’s first Test defeat at Edgbaston and the failure of Denly in either innings, which leaves his Test average at a meagre 21, is believed to have forced Joe Root and Trevor Bayliss into a rethink.
Once the selectors have picked their squad and handed it over to the captain and coach the final decision should, in theory at least, be out of the hands of Smith but he is believed to have had an input into big late decisions like this.
Sam Curran is hoping for a recall having impressed in his fledgling Test career to date
If England go ahead with the move they will have a plethora of all-rounders and six front-line bowling options in what is expected to be a weather-affected Test, but the bottom line is that Curran may well be better equipped to score more runs at seven than Denly at four.
The final decision will be made today but England are already committed to making two changes from the line-up comprehensively beaten at Edgbaston, with Jofra Archer making his Test debut in place of the injured Jimmy Anderson and left-arm spinner Jack Leach coming in for the out of sorts Moeen Ali.
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