Ravi Bopara has struggled in the crucial number three role
England coach Andy Flower hinted that changes might be made to his side's middle order after the crushing fourth Test defeat by Australia at Headingley.
"That was a very bad performance - it was bad from ball one," said Flower.
"We have to think about the middle order. We've got one ton in this series - Andrew Strauss is holding us together - they've got eight.
"Ravi Bopara has had a hard time. He was very confident coming in, but he's taken some knocks."
Essex batsman Bopara cemented his place at number three earlier in the summer with three consecutive centuries against West Indies.
But the 24-year-old has struggled against Australia, scoring 105 runs in seven innings at an average of 15.
England flirted with the idea of playing Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott as a sixth batsman in Leeds and he could now replace Bopara in the fifth Test at The Oval, which starts on 20 August.
"When [Bopara] came in and scored three tons he looked good, composed, certainly talented enough, but the jury was still out about whether or not he was a number three," added Flower.
We've got our bad performance out of the way and we've got a pretty good record of coming back after bad performances
England captain Andrew Strauss
"That's still the case. I'm not going to say he's not going to be a top number three, he has lots of talent and he has a very high ceiling. But we'll let the dust settle before making any call on that.
"Trott was the next middle-order player that I, Strauss and the selectors thought would come in - he's in good form, he's been in the set-up before, and everyone has to debut some time."
Despite the innings and 80 run defeat at Headingley, Flower dismissed suggestions England were in disarray with one deciding Test to play.
"I don't want to look back and pick every single decision we made to pieces, we made a selection to win the game," he said.
"I don't think we're in disarray, we're 1-1 with a chance to win. Let's let this poor result settle and then we'll make decisions.
"It'll be a good Test wicket at The Oval, if we play really well, we'll win the game. We took 20 wickets at Lord's on a good deck, we can do it again."
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