At one point Ryan Sidebottom was England’s best bowler. That was, however, at a point when the rest of England’s bowlers were rubbish. Steve Harmison was suffering away from home. Hoggy had lost his nip. Jimmy Anderson, England’s perennial 12th man, hadn’t played regularly for about four seasons. Sidebottom swung it a bit, bowled full, and demolished probably the worst New Zealand batting line up ever away and then home.

Times have changed. Jimmy Anderson is now one of the best bowlers in the world. Stuart Broad shows signs that he could be that good too. Graham Onions deservedly got an England place, has taken a few wickets – including notable scalps, and has looked more than useful. Sidebottom wasn’t getting a look in, and to be fair, no-one could really complain about that. Sidebottom swings the ball and bowls full, however, I don’t think he does it quick enough or late enough to be a match winner against the very best test sides.

So, England dropped Onions and brought Sidebottom in for this test match. I can think of no good reason for this other than England wanting variety, but I fear that they have opted for variety at the expense of the better bowler. It would have made more sense to drop Pietersen or Trott.

Prove me wrong tomorrow please Ryan, because England’s batsmen have royally buggered things up today!

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