Saturday, February 07, 2009


A total disaster.

But let's be positive. Thanks heavens this happened now, rather than in July. It's the catalyst to get rid of the dead wood.

Bell, for a start, can go. If Owais Shah is still carrying drinks by the time the next test starts, then something is seriously amiss.

Collingwood can join him. Yes, it's OK being a decent fielder and being 'one of the lads' when it comes to team committee meetings and doling out the high-fives when a wicket falls, but that doesn't provide runs in the middle orde, which is why the lucrative central contract was awarded. There are frighteningly few obvious candidates to take his place in the middle order, but it may well be worth placing a call to Robert Key - or give Rashid a try.

For anyone saying that the Yorkshire all-rounder isn't ready, answer this. If that's the case, why the hell is he in the squad?

Then there's Monty. In 4o plus overs, I counted precisely zero balls that turned in from off stump - and he's supposed to be an international spin bowler. At the same time, I counted, or actually didn't count, zero times when he changed the field on his own violition - and he's played over thirty test matches. There's no aggression, no guile, no wit, no subtlty, in fact seemingly no cricketing intelligence whatsover beyond trying to look good and bowl a lot of maiden overs without threatening the batsman one iota.

So he can sod off too. Put Swann in. At least he actually seems to care about his bowling, and actually seems to have a modicum of aggression and will to win.

Then there's Cook. Plenty more talk in the last couple of weeks about being a future England captain - amazing what a posh accent and good education will get you. At this moment there's some doubt as to whether he's actually a future England batsman, let alone capable of assuming the captaincy.

Mix in to this pitiful brew the fact that Harmison didn't go over 84mph on even the friendliest radar gun, and the fact that Sidebottom still doesn't look fully fit, and it's all pretty depressing.


Dave said...

But we can't drop Bell - he's a class act and he's been looking a million dollars in the nets!

Sadly, the only likely change is Sidebottom/Harmison dropped for Anderson.

harry said...

Well, as I've said before mate, we've got a Top 5 which, if you remove one particluar name, would pass for 6,7,8,9 in any other decent test side.

What odds on Cook and/or Bell making an adequate 60 next time out? Fairly likely.

What odds on either of those two playing a match-winning innings? Well i suppose there's a first time for everything.

Sadly, we'll never see Sidear5e at his very best again, 'twas a short but wonderful Autumn in his career.
We've seen Monty at his very best, and for me he's now 4th choice after Swann, Rachid & Samit. (Only on form, mind. Lovely lad and a character the crowd adore.... gotta be worth his contract for that alone, eh?).
Harmless is, once again, harmless. I suppose the poor lad is going through his own private hell having to play cricket in the Caribbean this Winter.

(What did Jimmy do to get dropped after being arguably our best & hardest working bowler for the past year?)

So yep, take the positives. Fred, KP, Prior and Broad had acceptable matches.

The rest didn't.

Now let's see if Strauss is more than just a good public speaker.

Andy Batt said...

It's a real mess isn't it. Truth be told, they've had it coming for years. This side has gone no further forward since Fletcher was kicked out.