They have taken jersey the precaution of bringing 13 players

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A draw at Old Trafford is all England need to win the series against South Africa but Dale Weise Youth Jersey that would be a fatal frame of mind with which to approach the final Test that starts on Friday.The weather forecast is not too bad and the way both sides have been batting suggests a draw is highly unlikely. So does recent history. England have drawn only one of their past 14 Tests, the match in Rajkot last winter. More alarmingly for the England camp – though history does not have to repeat itself – is this ominous fact: since The Oval Test against India in 2014, England have lost the last match of the series eight times and drawn once. So it is probably best not to take too much for granted as the circus comes to Manchester.The neutrals crave a close game; the first three Tests lead us to expect a fast one with the side batting last subsiding conveniently. After the handsome victory at The Oval it is tempting to conclude that England have the upper hand; but that is what we all assumed after the Lord’s Test. The hosts are capable of playing some high-quality cricket but we do not entirely trust them yet.They have taken the precaution of bringing 13 players to Old Trafford. Steven Finn is there as cover in case one of the pacemen has a mishap.There will, though, be another debate about the 11th man. At The Oval his identity was Dawid Malan since the sages concluded with some justification there would be constant help for the seamers so that two spinners would not be necessary. If the pitch is drier or slower and the forecast sunnier, then Liam Dawson could return, which may not be a source of universal jubilation.After the last Test the coach, Trevor Bayliss, reiterated: “In my view we don’t need more than seven batters in the team.” He is content with a lineup that has Jonny Bairstow at five and Moeen Ali at seven. This enables England to play their “joker” possibly at eight, although Dawson does not obviously fit into this categoryBayliss’s stance makes much sense and his preferred balance of the side must be an attraction for any coach/captain. There is something to be said for the 11th man selected being dictated by the conditions. At The Oval, England opted for the extra batsman (Malan, who did not get the opportunity to display his leg-breaks) though this choice also hinted at the lack of confidence in some of the batsmen up the order. On other occasions that man may be a finger spinner (currently Dawson but it could be someone such as Jack Leach); or a wrist spinner, though Adil Rashid seems to have been discarded for now, while Mason Crane is not yet ready except among those who indulge in wish fulfilment; or it may be the extra seamer, especially if the necessity arises to limit the amount of bowling done by Ben Stokes.When Jake Gardiner Jersey Chris Woakes returns to full fitness the flexibility increases since he sits comfortably at No8 in the order, as does Toby Roland-Jones at No9. When selecting seven – as opposed to eight – batsmen Joe Root should never be short of options in the field; this is an enticing and unusual prospect for a captain, though not a unique one.The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian's sport coverageRead moreCast back to the early 1970s when Ray Illingworth was in charge. England had success in that era in part because of the presence of so many fine all-rounders. In 2017 there is Bairstow, Stokes, Moeen plus the possibility of Woakes; in 1972 there was Basil D’Oliveira, Tony Greig, Alan Knott and Illingworth himself from No5 downwards along with three specialist bowlers, one of whom was always a spinner (there were more options in that department then).Bayliss and Root are right to be excited by the possibilities created by the current all-rounders. However, their team does not have the solidity provided by Geoffrey Boycott and John Edrich at the top, as when Illingworth was in charge.At Old Trafford they have stuck with Keaton Jennings, whose second-innings 48 was just enough to keep him in the side. Perhaps the dropped catch by Dean Elgar when Jennings was on six will prolong the Durham left-hander’s Test career beyond only one more game.However, for that to happen the opener surely needs a significant score, an intriguing sub-plot to a fascinating game. The selectors are sticking to the “one game too many is better than one too few” philosophy, which sometimes does the player concerned no favours since the route back, if he is finally dropped, can become ever longer and more tortuous.The South Africans have their problems at the top of the order as well. Elgar is becoming as frequent a visitor to cricket’s equivalent of Soulmates as Alastair Cook. Heino Kuhn has found runs even harder to come by than Jennings in this series but South Africa’s only alternative is the inexperienced Aiden Markram.By contrast England have a host of county cricketers out there who would love the chance to replace Jennings. Unfortunately, none of them has faced a red ball for almost a month, a situation that may have helped Jennings to survive and which will be exacerbated further in 2020 when there will be two T20 competitions, not one, occupying the middle of the summer.“As to her claims about drugs … she has been subjected to due drug/doping control procedures like other athletes by the European and other anti-doping agencies and they have all proved negative.“We find it totally unacceptable that she continues to direct allegations aimed at damaging the reputation of the athletics federation and her former coaches.”It is not only Azerbaijan that is trading in athletes. Every Olympic medal ever won by Bahrain has been by an athlete born in Africa. Ruth Jebet, a 20-year-old from Kenya, claimed the country’s first ever Olympic gold in the 3,000m steeplechase in Rio last summer while Eunice Kirwa, also from Kenya, won silver in the marathon.Leonard Mucheru, a Kenyan distance runner, moved to Bahrain in 2003. The attractions were manifold, not least because it is so difficult to get in the Kenyan national team, which has a proliferation of world-class runners. But Mucheru says he quickly realised the promises he had been made when he agreed to switch allegiance were not going to be honoured.“I began to feel like a slave,” he says. “When we got to Bahrain we realised that these guys could not allow you to go in a shop, to go to an entertainment joint. They would take your passport. I told them no because I need it to send money to my family back home. But they said I wasn’t allowed to leave the hotel room anyway.


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