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Why England need to take a chance on talent and alter their top six | Barney Ronay

It seems the same batsmen from the disastrous Test winter will keep their spots against Pakistan, despite the fact they are England’s weakest top six of the modern age

Nobody ever feels completely ready for the start of the English cricket season but here it is all the same, blooming up out of the April mulch with an agreeably heavyweight opening round of fixtures on Friday. As ever it is a part of this process to feel a bit anxious. A sense of decorative decay, of fighting constantly for space and air has always been a part of cricket in England.

This is, after all, a sport where the entire season tends to fold together into a microcosm of a single family day out at the English seaside, a five-month blur of travel, wet shoes, existential gloom, the consolations of ritual food and familiar faces, and buried somewhere along the way those brief, chancy moments of sun-drenched beauty that end up defining the entire experience in a snapshot.

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