Darren Gough column: Should England pick their weakest link?

I AM heading out with the talkSPORT commentary team for the one-day international series in Sri Lanka '“ and for me, England have it pretty much in the bag.

Up to the task?: England's one-day captain Eoin Morgan.
Up to the task?: England's one-day captain Eoin Morgan.

I think what we will see are decent pitches which will turn a bit and I think we will probably play two or three spinners.

We have got Liam Dawson, who is a good batsman and fielder as well, and there are also Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.

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For me, the hardest thing for England is fitting all their ‘gun’ batsmen into the starting 11.

Someone will miss out. There are people like Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan, Alex Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales. These players have a lot of batting armoury, but one will not play.

This is one of the real problems England have. First of all, I have got to say that I am a massive fan of Morgan, who has been brilliant for England.

But the problem is he is probably the weakest batting link in the side, but he is the captain. It must really be causing a headache on the selection front.

I really do not know what they are doing to go, but one thing is for sure – someone is going to miss out to shoehorn in Eoin.

It is not a bad problem for England to currently have, but looking at it, you have to say it is a problem longer term, going into next year’s World Cup, which is just around the corner.

People say that Eoin is a good captain and highlight his importance in that aspect. But looking at it, Buttler is also a good captain – and I always maintain does having a captain make that much of a difference really?

I have done it and know what it is like to be a captain. Yes, you need a strong captain and a strong personality to make tough decisions. But actually being a captain is over-played for me.

If you go to Australia, they say every captain who has won the Ashes has been brilliant. Because it was a rarity for England to win the Ashes there, everyone who did so is suddenly also the best captain ever, too – whether it be Mike Brearley or Mike Gatting.

Gatts only won two Test matches as captain, but because he won the Ashes, people talk about his captaincy skills!

So I always think there is too much emphasis on captaincy within cricket – and England have so many guys who can do it.

But with the batting line-up, it is still a nice headache for England to have as it is a strong squad all the way down.

As for the hosts, I do find it a strange decision that the Sri Lankans have got rid of their captain in Angelo Matthews.

For the last 18 months, he has averaged just under 60 in one-day cricket, but it has not stopped him being dropped for, as they say, not being fit enough.

They lost in the Asia Cup to Afghanistan and Bangladesh and it seems to me that they have gone for the throat of the captain. It is strange for them to drop him on fitness grounds when he is their top run-scorer.

Dinesh Chandimal has come in as captain over all formats and Sri Lanka are going to need him to score some serious runs, looking at their batting.

They have got Upul Tharanga opening their batting and then Thisara Perera, who is an all-rounder, and I think that they are going to rely on those batsmen in the middle along with Kusal Perera to get runs for them.

Bowling-wise, they have brought back a 35-year-old fast bowler in Lasith Malinga, which, I think, is strange, too.

I went to the Professional Cricketers Association awards this week and Kent’s Joe Denly got the player of the year vote, which was well deserved for me.

There were a few Surrey players in for it, but probably Denly – with 50-plus wickets in all forms of cricket and well over 1,000 runs – deserved it.

It is a good story, too, with Denly, back in the England Test squad now after 10 years out.

I presented the PCA County Championship player of the year award to a Lancastrian called Tom Bailey.

Seriously, Tom is a great lad and he has had a good season. It was another well-deserved award.