Welcome to this episode of collab club. Today we discuss whether Ben Foakes can play with the returning Jos Buttler in the summer and beyond. Foakes had an extraordinary game against India with the gloves and also top scored in the first innings.
Lets see what the writers had to say Duke and Kookabura (Duke), Rob Rush (Rob), Tom Cricket thoughts (Tom) and All things cricket (ATC).
Tom: I'm saying yes they can
ATC: I say, yes, but at the cost of youngsters
Duke: Feel a distinction can be drawn between home and away. At home last summer we played five bowlers so squeezing both men in there would be tougher than having an outright top seven and four bowlers
If both did line up at 6 and 7 with Root and Stokes locked in 4 and 5 we are back to some serious shoehorning the best younger blokes into the side. Not straightforward
Rob: I’m going no for the moment. Pope would need to fall off a massive cliff in order for both Buttler and Foakes to play
ATC: Starting with you, Rob. Pope has been pretty average for a while, is he under pressure, with the reminder of just how good Foakes is with the gloves?
Rob: Yes Pope is under pressure. Foakes amazing performances with the gloves mean that the rest of the batting order are under pressure to score runs at will. However, I am more in favour of a consistent approach to the team, and thus wouldn’t make any changes yet
ATC: That's fair, but 2 50s across the summer and nothing of note yet in India. He's got talent, but seems to get in alot and gets out soon after
Duke, at home, I'm guessing no Foakes?
Duke: Pope does definitely need to score more consistently in fairness. Lots of promise, needs to deliver. I am going through some mental gymnastics to try and get Foakes in permanently home and away. His odds at home are longer I grant you.
ATC: But away on the subcontinent, Foakes is a lock. What about in places like Australia or NZ? Still a no at the minute?
Tom: Foakes should be a lock in subcontinent, but with the current management and selection team, they don't seem to be able to make the decision that will clearly benefit the side
Duke: Foakes' place is also dependent to an extent on Stokes' ability to bowl. Is he hampered in India at the moment? If he's not, and he is at 100% in future Foakes chances improve as we can squeeze another bowling option out of the line up. All roads lead to Stokes.
Rob: Stokes at the moment looks to be carrying some sort of knock, he only bowled 2 overs in the second Test
ATC: I think that's fair. How does your top 7 at home look if you pick Foakes for those picking him
Tom: Pope currently isn't averaging as much as he should at number 6 and is in a pretty rough patch. If he continues like this I'd back Foakes and Buttler to outscore him comfortably. Foakes will also save plenty of runs behind the sticks so will be worth his place with that side of things too.
Duke: Burns, Sibley, Crawley, Root, Stokes, Buttler, Foakes is my current home top seven. Pope needs runs as does Burns and Crawley. I would say just four are set at the moment.
ATC: If Stokes isn't bowling, does that rule Foakes out? Or are we going full Aussie with 4 man bowling attack?
Duke: At home we can probably get away with a four man attack. Away from home it would be folly
Tom: I feel it is a massive risk going in with the 4 man attack especially when we have players such as Broad and Anderson who are into the latter stages of their careers. This will always put them more at risk of injuries
ATC: I think that's fair, but given Foakes has a superior first class record than most of his competitors, I am team Foakes at home
Rob: Need to see what he does with the bat in the rest of this series compared to everyone else. It seems v unlikely the selectors are going to go to Buttler, who is very popular both with selectors and within the team and go “sorry Jos, you’re losing the gloves”. If Foakes can average 40-45 for the rest of the series and other people at risk struggle, then keeping Foakes in the team could be an option worth exploring
At the moment, I’m not keeping Foakes in the team. We’ve just found a settled top 7 for batting, so why are we so keen to change it? Continuity is key
Duke: As long as we don't give the gloves back to YJB (Jonny Bairstow)...
Tom: I think it is quite clear to everyone that Foakes is by far our best keeper and so should keep wherever. There just needs to be a mindset change from our selectors and they should be able to tell Buttler that Foakes is better so will have the gloves for now. There is a certain stigma attached to having the gloves taken away from the keeper and this needs to be changed. It simply means that Foakes is the better keeper.
Rob: Agree with Duke. The gloves competition should only be between Foakes and Buttler
Duke: Agree with Roberto and Tom it can only be between Foakes and Buttler. HMS Bairstow has sailed in Test cricket.
So there you have it, thats our thoughts, but this debate will roll on. Let us know @InsideEdgeCrick on twitter and we're on facebook too!