With almost a fortnight to go before the first test, England has shown its hand by announcing, as Cricinfo reports, that Geraint Jones will keep wicket in the first test.
Having watched Jones's performance in the 2005 Ashes on TV and read various reports about his attempts to recover some form, including an uneven performance in the Canberra match where, true to form, he took one very good catch but dropped a sitter, I'm surprised. It may be that playing him in preference to Read will turn out to be a blunder of the same magnitude as Nasser Hussain sending Australia in after winning the toss four years ago at Brisbane.
At the local level the South Australian selectors have dropped vice-captain and no1 wicketkeeper Graham Manou for the three day game against England. Shane Deitz will keep wicket in his place. SA chairman of selectors Paul Nobes is quoted in The Australian and Cricinfo as saying "Graham (Manou) continues to show he has talent with the gloves, but we need a stronger return from that position in the batting order.We need our 'keeper to not only keep well, but also to bat well." I think this is a very fair comment. Manou has looked out of touch with the bat this year and unfortunately for him the modern game expects the keeper to pull his weight with the bat.