England may know Alastair Cook is about to play his final Test, but little else appears certain about their immediate or longer-term future.
Coach Trevor Bayliss admitted after the series-sealing 60-run win over India in Southampton that he did not know whether captain Joe Root will again choose to drop down from No 3 to his favoured No 4 position, having done so in England’s second innings at the Ageas Bowl when Moeen Ali was promoted.
Other selection issues facing England include identifying a successor to Cook with an autumn Test series in Sri Lanka looming, as well as whether Jonny Bairstow will again be relieved of the wicketkeeping gloves by Jos Buttler, as he was in Southampton due to his broken finger.
“He is very keen to keep,” said Bayliss of Yorkshire’s Bairstow. “He tried it before the match, but he admitted it was not right to keep.He is one of our better batters, so he was always going to play as a bat if he wasn’t keeping – but going forward he wants to keep.”
On whether Root will remain at No 4 for the final test against India, Bayliss added: “I hope we can find someone who can do a decent job at No 3, and(Joe can bat where he feels most comfortable.
“When Rooty asked him (Moeen) if he was keen to do it, he jumped at it.”
I hope we can find someone who can do a decent job at No 3, and(Joe can bat where he feels most comfortable.Trevor Bayliss
“His challenge will be on the faster wickets ... (but) we haven’t got any of those for a while.”