Big but not surprising blow to the England cricket team, and our chances of winning the little urn back from those dastardly Aussies. At the end of the day you cant play unfit or half fit player (unless of course you are on verge of retirement and will spill blood for the cause)
The No3 position in test cricket is the key batting position, you are always likely to lose an opener to the new ball, and as such your No3 is the player to get the innings going and build it up for the middle order. Ricky Ponting is the worlds best at that position, he is a craftsman, if he was a pilot he would captain 747's, he not only has all the shots, and is cool under pressure but most importantly plays the game at the right tempo for the position he plays.
Ravi Bopara is also very technically gifted player, but his tempo is too fast for the position he is playing in. He is a fighter pilot, looking for the next hit. He wants to hit sweet shots, feel the ball on the bat, see the scoreboard ticking over, its not what a No3 does. He should replace KP at four.
So that puts Bell in at No3, but that to me is why English cricket does not advance. His record is not good enough, he has had his chance, he is a second choice player he knows it, we know it, and the Aussies know it.
I think when you are in doubt you should give youth a chance, or bring another top opener in from the sticks and maybe drop Strauss or Cook down to No3. The latter option is far the riskier and problematic, but I think Micheal Carberry if asked will do the job given, either opening or No3.
My wild card choice would be to give Eoin Morgan a chance, at 23 the Aussies will know little about him, so he could be the surprise package that catches them out. Batting No3 is not his team position, but he has the temperament for it, which at test cricket is more important than your overall game. He has the right ticker, cool but attacking, and he certainly has the shots and he is unorthodox, this would give Ricky something else to work out.
This England selector is going to call up both Morgan and Carberry and decided the day before. But I am a gambler, Morgan looks to be my man.