Not so long back, I advocated dropping Trescothick, because his recent form has been so disappointing. He scored a fine hundred in his first match back, and since then I think he has only passed 50 once, and against Pakistan he averaged less than 20, the first time he has ever had such poor figures in a Test series.
However, I would not drop him for the Ashes, but for a long time I have heard and read people saying that Tresco should move down the order, as he has such a good player of spin. How good he is is somewhat debatable because he didn't exactly dominate Murali. However, Tresco dropping down would mean Strauss and Cook opening, which worked in Nagpur.
Strauss, for my money, though, looks set to captain us in our forthcoming Ashes defence. It's often said that Captaincy and opening shouldn't be combined, and this would make a case for Strauss dropping down the order. He has proved a success at 3 or 4 in One day Cricket, and one wicket down is perhaps where you should have your best batsman. Whether this is Strauss is highly debatable ; but I wouldn't have the other contenders to that throne at 3. Pietersen should bat no higher than 4 in Tests as far as I'm concerned, in fact I'd have him at 5 : his record of playing spin, and shepherding the tail is already pretty impressive. Trescothick, for me the other contender, is out of sorts at the moment, and well, I've already discussed him dropping down elsewhere - needless to say I think Strauss is quite possibly England's most gifted batsman, and I can certainly see a good case for him batting at 3.
On the other hand, though, it's hard to feel sorry for Strauss having to carry the burden of captaincy and opening, when you consider that Flintoff captained, opened the bowling and scored four fifties and a 41 in 5 innings in India. As well as that, he and Trescothick have a fine record opening together in Tests, and Strauss's recent form, when captaining and opening, has been excellent. It's also worth nothing that Tresco and Cook haven't really batted together very often, as more often that not this summer it's been Tresco's wicket that has fallen first, though I think they did put a few on together at Lord's against Sri Lanka.
The final option, is, of course, that status quo. England have won four Tests out of seven with Tresco-Strauss-Cook as the top order, even if one was by forefeit. Strauss and Cook have weighed in with a fine share of runs, and surely Tresco has runs up his sleeve?
Cook, despite being a natural opener, seems to have taken to the number three role, and let's be honest, there's not been a whole lot of difference between batting at 1 or 3 lately, in terms of when you come in. However, in spite of Cook's impressive start to Test Cricket - he averages 54.35 - he does appear to have a weakness against spin. This will sound bizarre to some, but if Tresco and Strauss where to make great starts, andCook was coming in at 100+ for one down, Warne would be on, and I don't think he would score that many.
I don't know who I would drop down the order to be honest, but I would have Cook opening.