Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity’s central character, Rob, is a record store owner and list maker extraordinaire. I guess it’s a bloke thing, lists. Most of us empathise with Rob. We love a good list. One of my pals Chubby is an extension of this phenomenon. He’s a team-maker.

Texts, tweets, emails, whenever, however. If there’s an opinion to be had on sport, it’ll be winging its way to me, extemporised in the form of eleven (or fifteen) names. Win or lose, new era or not, Chubbs will have an opinion and I’ll usually be the first to know it. He’s not been in touch yet re yesterday’s big cricket news which must mean he’s really got his thinking cap clamped on.

The fallout from the Graeme Swann retirement is still swilling around social media circles like bitter sediment at the bottom of a cask. The great man has gone, let’s move on. Stop expending pointless energy on whether his decision was ‘cowardly’ or ‘traitorous’ (it wasn’t either of these by the way) and look to the future. The immediate future is the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday. I am fairly sure England will line up like this.

Cook (c)
Carberry
Root
Pietersen
Bell
Bairstow (wk)
Stokes
Broad
Bresnan
Anderson
Panesar

Yep, there’s yet another list on its way. In the long term England are at the beginning of a new era so must plan accordingly. Michael Carberry deserves another crack at the Test arena, although in a year or two will make way for either Joe Root or Alex Lees as partner for captain Alastair Cook at the top of the order. Ian Bell is a shoo-in at four. Johnny Bairstow will come good. Stephen Davies is the best wicket keeper in the country so should come into the team. Durham have given England their newest star, Ben Stokes and his colleague Scott Borthwick, the young leggie, should be a de facto replacement for Swann. Stuart Broad is now in essence the attack leader and Steven Finn, I am confident, will come back a better player next year. Tymal Mills is bloomin’ quick and should be given a chance at the highest level with James Harris and Chris Jordan next in line for a Test call up.

Cook (c)
Carberry
Root
Bell
Bairstow
Davies (wk)
Stokes
Borthwick
Broad
Finn
Mills

Correspondence from Mr Chubb, incoming I dare say. We do it because we love it. We do it because we care. Even if it makes not a jot of difference.

Lists. Teams. Prattle.

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