DeFreitas: Drop Ballance and recall Rashid


Phillip DeFreitas thinks Gary Ballance should be dropped and has called for Adil Rashid to be included in the England side for the third Test against Pakistan.

Ballance was recalled for the opening Test of the four-match series at Lord's this month, a year after losing his place in the squad during the Ashes victory against Australia.

The left-hander has failed to score a half-century in three innings at number five on his return to the international stage, but was on Wednesday named in the squad for the third Test in Birmingham next week.

All-rounder Ben Stokes has been ruled out due to a calf injury sustained on Sunday in a win at Old Trafford, which brought England level at 1-1.

DeFreitas wants England to overlook Ballance and keep the faith with James Vince, while also giving another chance to leg-spinner Rashid and Steven Finn.

The former England all-rounder told Omnisport: "Ben Stokes is a big part of the England team. He'll be a loss, but on a positive note Chris Woakes is in the form of his life. It was nice to see Stokes and Woakes in the same side, so it is a shame [about Stokes' injury].

"You look at the Old Trafford side with Ben Stokes in it, I would have left a batsman out because I think with Stokes, Woakes, [Jonny] Bairstow, [Moeen] Ali, [Stuart] Broad and [James] Anderson you can afford to leave one of the batters out.

"As it turned out we didn't need Rashid, but looking forward I would play an extra spinner. I would leave Ballance out, then you can push everyone up a bit when Stokes is fit and I would think Finn will come back in at Edgbaston."

Vince is under pressure due to a lack of runs in his first five Tests, but DeFreitas feels he can come good given time and expressed his surprise that Ballance was brought back into the set-up.

"I definitely did not expect Ballance to come back in and I would stick with Vince," he added.

"I think he needs the opportunity. He has this problem driving outside off stump, but when he hits the ball it's beautiful and looks great.

"It's got him out as well obviously, but when he's worked on that technique I'm sure if they have faith with him he will come good."