England need to play three spin bowlers, in all four tests, against India.
Firstly, England’s best bowler (from recent form) is injured – Steven Finn.
Secondly, Samit Patel’s batting was great in the warm-up games so he MUST play.
So, batting will be
Compton & Cook
Bell / Bairstow
Assuming Swann, Anderson and Broad play it will come down to Bresnan vs Panesar.
If Bresnan plays, it is very unlike that any of the three quick boys will bowl more than Patel.
Which means that England should have played a second full-time spinner, ie, Monty.
So if Monty and Swann play, two quicks should be enough and Samit’s bowling should always be regarded as a bonus – he is a proper batsman.
If you think Jimmy is out of form, or Broad’s injury is an issue, then play Bresnan instead of either of them. NOT instead of Monty.
Spin is the only way to trouble batsman in India.
At least Monty, Samit, and Graeme are all different types of bowler.
And if any of those three can’t play, pick James Tredwell instead.
There is a stat doing the rounds that says when England play Swann and Panesar they don’t win. Who cares? That is a stupid meaningless stat.
England MUST play 3 spinners for the best chance of a win.