London, Jan.31 (ANI): England's malfunctioning middle-order is likely to be changed in the wake of the two Test series loss to Pakistan in Dubai.
With the trio of Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan contributing 94 runs between them in 12 innings, speculation is afloat that batsman Ravi Bopara and wicket-keeper batsman Steven Davies could be in the mix for inclusion in the eleven for the third England-Pakistan Test, if required.
What Pietersen needs to do, if possible before Friday, is to get the bat swinging down the pitch towards the ball, not across it.
Bell and Morgan are more complex. Bell is a perfectionist, but still has question marks over him when playing against the best spinners, while Morgan is down on confidence having only recently come back from injury.
With Flower unlikely to fix all three in time, one will surely have to be replaced by Bopara, with Morgan the most likely to miss out.
England are currently the No 1 Test team, though that as well the 175,000 dollar prize from the ICC might be forfeited by April, should they fail to win the final Test against Pakistan, which starts this Friday.
Meanwhile, Graham Gooch, England's batting coach, has set up a scholarship programme with funds he raised himself.
Every winter, he sends promising players from Essex to spend a few weeks at the Global Cricket School at the Cricket Club on India in Mumbai.
The England and Wales Cricket Board now run similar excursions as part of their Performance Programme, taking batsmen, spinners and wicket-keepers to Pune in India, for spin only camps.
Run by former England players, Peter Such and Graham Thorpe, they are an attempt to match the success of the fast bowling programme, which had a 10-year start over them.
The fruits of their efforts are unlikely to be seen for a year or two, which means England, rather than replace it, will try to fix their middle-order malaise. (ANI)
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