Darren Gough – Why Joe Denly could miss out on the World Cup

England's Joe Denly: Could miss out.
England's Joe Denly: Could miss out.
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ENGLAND selectors name their final squad for the ICC World Cup next week and we have two obvious spinners in Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid – and the question for me is do they need to carry a batsman who bowls spin in Joe Denly?

I do not think they do – purely because Moeen can bat where Denly does and all of England’s bowlers can bat as well.

I love Denly as a cricketer and what he has done over the past couple of years in one-day cricket has been magnificent and he has deserved his Test call-up too. But for the team on this occasion in England, do you really need the extra batter?

Darren Gough

I love Denly as a cricketer and what he has done over the past couple of years in one-day cricket has been magnificent and he has deserved his Test call-up too.

But for the team on this occasion in England, do you really need the extra batter? Moeen can bat as well as anyone in that one-day middle-order.

It would mean an extra bowler in there, but we do have injury worries. There is Mark Wood, who we are not quite sure is fully fit, while David Willey was expensive the other day. But he still gives us that option of swinging the ball back into the right-hander, although the pitches at Bristol and Southampton were not really conducive to swing as the sun was out and the pitches were flat.

It was difficult for him to showcase his skills in those matches.

But when it is a bit overcast and there is damp in the pitch, Willey is someone who is going to be a handful.

Liam Plunkett has been ‘okay.’ I think he still has some technical issues. He says that he has been working on them, but I think he is collapsing his front leg more than he has ever done. But he is still a top performer with his mixture and change of pace. So I think he is going to get in.

The easy option is to leave Denly out. But if they are going to drop a bowler, it is a difficult one as Wood has not bowled much yet and I am not sure what is happening there.

After being left out of the two games earlier this week, it tells me that Jofra Archer is definitely in and they are now waiting on which one to leave out, whether it be Denly, Tom Curran or Wood if he is not fit.

I do think the recent pitches have shown that England do need someone with a bit of ‘mystery’ spin with Rashid and someone with extra pace in Wood and Archer.

England want fast pitches where the batsmen such as Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler can all play their shots along with Eoin Morgan and Joe Root.

Our batting line-up is absolutely frightening and brilliant to watch and one of them always turns up. Ben Stokes hardly gets a knock now at five or six.

England are favourites to win the World Cup and have taken one-day cricket to another level.

We have been ranked number one for so long, but if we don’t win the World Cup, it does not matter what we have done over the past three years.

Headingley is getting ready for tomorrow’s one-dayer with Pakistan and it is obviously a ground I really enjoyed playing at; you only have to look at my record there for Yorkshire and England which is pretty good overall.

It is a fantastic ground which has now caught up with the rest of the top venues in this country. It now has a new hospitality area which will be great and it is one of the fun grounds on the circuit with the usual suspects on the old Western Terrace. So it’s going to be great tomorrow.

Over the years, the pitch has got flatter. But one thing I always say at Headingley is that if you look above your head and it is overcast and cloudy, you must have a bowl. But when the sun is out, it will be flat as..

If you do not get it right at Headingley, you can travel, especially with the slope. It can be embarrassing.

Yorkshire-wise, Gary Ballance got another big score this week, scoring 159 against Kent in the County Championship match in Canterbury.

But I still think he will have to do something really special to have another go at it in the Test team as he has had so many go’s now.

I think what went against him was that he was a Root pick last time around. So he will have to do something truly special for possible Ashes contention.

But he has certainly put his name in the hat with three centuries.

The question that remains is can he carry it on as there are four or five fixtures before the Tests.

If he gets another two or three hundreds, then he is definitely knocking on the door.