Poor Liam Dawson. He did okay with the ball in Tests, providing something to build upon (Even if he batted abysmally after a strong start) only for England to go old school, succumb to media pressure and… drop him!
He’s thrived in the Pakistan Super League and performed well batting as high as five for Hampshire but… he only carried the drinks at the World Cup before doing the same in the recent ODI series against Ireland. Now he’s ruptured his achilles in his first game back for Hampshire and will surely miss the rest of this truncated county campaign. It’s such a shame for Dawson and a huge blow for the second White Rose County (Yorkshire being the first of course!).
Fingers crossed that Dawson can regain fitness as soon as possible and feature in whatever cricket is available upon his return, whether that’s next season or if any franchise jaunts are possible.
Please find below the details of what promises to be our most demanding tour to date. Fixtures have been confirmed with the Sri Lankan board and squads finalised following the completion of two practice matches.
T20I squad: Jean-Luc Chevalier (VC), Hippolyte Gregory, Zidane Thomas, Matteo Phillipe, Louis Petit, Christophe Martinez, Maxime Bernard (W), Xavier Le Tallec (C), Paco Georges, Phillipe La Roux, Mehdi Qadri, Zvonimir Pitko, Leo Baptiste, Hugo Olivier (W), Anthony Toure, Antoine Dubois
T20 warm-up match: Dambulla
1st T20I: Dambulla
2nd T20I: Kandy
3rd T20I: Kandy
ODI squad: Jean-Luc Chevalier (VC), Hippolyte Gregory, Christophe Martinez, Maxime Bernard (W), Louis Petit, Zidane Thomas, Hugo Olivier (W), Xavier Le Tallec (C), Paco Georges, Phillipe La Roux, Mehdi Qadri, Matteo Phillipe, Zvonimir Pitko, Raphael Besson, Anthony Toure, Antoine Dubois, Bruno Hernandez
One-Day warm-up match: Colombo
1st ODI: Colombo
2nd ODI: Galle
3rd ODI: Galle
Test squad: Jean-Luc Chevalier (VC), Enzo Petit, Christophe Martinez, Yussuf Rizvi, Louis Petit, Zidane Thomas, Marwan Leroy (W), Xavier Le Tallec (C), Anthony Toure, Louis Martin, Mehdi Qadri, Zvonimir Pitko, Gabin Sauvage, Maxime Bernard (W), Antoine Dubois, Bruno Hernandez, Thibaut Keller
Test Squad:Enzo Petit, Jean-Luc Chevalier (Vice-captain), Christophe Martinez, Zvonimir Pitko, Louis Petit, Zidane Thomas, Marwan Leroy (Wicketkeeper), Xavier Le Tallec (Captain), Paco Georges, Anthony Toure, Mehdi Qadri, Timothee Clement, Maxime Bernard (Wicketkeeper), Aymerric Gautier, Louis Martin, Thibaut Keller
Only Test: Abu Dhabi
France 220 (Thomas 59, E Petit 35, Leroy 26/Ahmad 3-37, Khan 3-22, Ahmadzai 2-43)
Afghanistan 150-4 (Alikhil 62*, Shah 39, Nabi 21*/Le Tallec 1-23, La Roux 1-29)
Lost by 6 wickets
Lost the series 2-1
T20I Squad: Hippolyte Gregory, Jean Luc Chevalier (Vice-captain), Zidane Thomas, Matteo Phillipe, Maxime Bernard, Christophe Martinez, Marwan Leroy (Wicketkeeper), Xavier Le Tallec (Captain), Louis Petit, Paco Georges, Phillipe La Roux, Zvonimir Pitko, Maurice Noe, Anthony Toure, Mehdi Qadri
Only T20I: Dubai
France 245-9 (L.Petit 65, Phillipe 54, Gregory 38, Martinez 26/ul-Haq 3-30, Ur Rahman 3-53, Khan 3-61)
Ben Duckett and Liam Livingstone are two players that I’m glad England haven’t given up on having named both in a 55-man trans-format training squad.
A wide variety of personnel are involved, many of whom have performed well for England Lions in recent times. The likes of Dan Lawrence for example thoroughly merit recognition whilst Will Jacks is an exciting proposition.
Amongst the recalled (It is only a training squad) players are James Vince, David Willey and perhaps most surprising of all… Reece Topley!
In the uncapped bracket both young and old are represented. Batsman Laurie Evans fully merits recognition having performed well both in England and overseas whilst Richard Gleeson may be a surprise to some but has been admired by the England hierarchy for some time.
Sam Northeast, Ben Coad and Harry Gurney will be among the disappointed ones having been omitted despite pressing their cases either on Lions duty, in county cricket or on the franchise circuit.
Other than those mentioned above there are lots more exciting players who could be called upon. Please see the link below for the full squad…
A century on ODI debut for Maxime Bernard. Like Gregory he nearly didn’t get there but an epic last wicket stand of 71 with Anthony Toure (22*) elevated his and the team score. Had Zimbabwe played their reserves in the first two matches then maybe the series would’ve been more competitive.
Only Test: Nantes
France 247 (Le Tallec 75, Thomas 73, Georges 30/Mpofu 3-32, Ngarava 3-82, Raza 2-16)
Zimbabwe 241 (Masakadza 120, Taylor 51/Qadri 4-37, Toure 2-51)
France 117 (Chevalier 41, Thomas 22/Mpofu 5-47, Mavuta 4-29)
Zimbabwe 125-1 (Masakadza 83*, Taylor 25*/Qadri 1-22)
Lost by 9 wickets
We recovered from 41-5 in our first innings and they collapsed from 146-1 in theirs. As for our second innings… don’t ask! Having performed a clean sweep in the white-ball games, it was disappointing not to complete the set by winning the Test.
Next we head to Afghanistan for one Test, three ODIs and a single T20I with serious question marks hanging over our struggling batting line-up!
Disclaimer: Apologies but I just needed a break from full on match reports of every game!
There’s a suggestion that if any international cricket is played in the near future that England could field multiple teams in order to play different formats on the same day.
Now whether or not that would be a crossover between red and white ball cricket or that ODI and T20I could clash obviously remains unclear. Let’s assume that each and every format was being played on the same day. Who makes which team? Oh, and for ease we’ll select for matches played in England… at the risk of being rather optimistic!
Joe Root (Captain)
Ben Foakes (Wicketkeeper)
Dawid Malan (Captain)
Sam Billings (Wicketkeeper)
T20I (Which I’ve prioritised over ODI due to the impending World Cup)
Jos Buttler (Wicketkeeper)
Eoin Morgan (Captain)
What are your thoughts on my selections? What would you do differently?
Best Bowling (Innings/Match): Tom Curran 6-9 vs. Papua New Guinea at Port Moresby
Best Bowling Average: Tom Curran 10.00(Minimum 10 wickets)
Leading Wicket Taker: Tom Curran – 22
Additional notes: Perversely, my leading run-scorer, best batting average, leading wicket-taker and best bowling average were all out of favour by the time we reached the semi-final. My leading catcher was also no longer my wicketkeeper. Maybe I’m not such a good selector after all!
Chris Woakes was named England player of the competition (20 wickets @ 13.65) for his consistent threat and penetration with the new ball.
Only days after defeating the Dutch on home turf in London we jetted to neutral territory in the form of Perth, Australia to take them on once again in the first Global One-Day International Invitational semi-final.
We made one alteration to the playing XI that prospered in match 14 with Jofra Archer replacing the unfortunate Tom Curran. Archer’s inclusion ensured that we had all bases covered in terms of speed, swing, right and left-arm bowling for what looked an intriguing deck in Western Australia. Contrary to perceived wisdom we opted to bat first after Netherlands called incorrectly at the coin flip.
What followed was a haphazard batting performance that undermined all that we had achieved upto this point. Jonny Bairstow was run out for 3 which begun a procession of wickets and left us in peril on 77-7 on Perth’s unpredictable surface. Only an eighth-wicket partnership of 56 between James Hildreth (36) and Jofra Archer (38) lifted us to an ugly 136 all out. Paceman Paul van Meekeren claimed 3-40 while spinner Pluto Schmidt registered figures of 2-7.
Netherlands reached 28 without loss to put themselves firmly in control but slipped to 39-4 in a passage of breathtaking cricket. Chris Woakes fed the hands of James Hildreth twice and Moeen Ali had the thinnest edge in history pouched by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler from his second delivery after the skipper had dropped one off the bowler’s first. There was also a run out courtesy of a sensational throw from the boundary by Jofra Archer. The Dutch recovered somewhat but when Pluto Schmidt (22) needlessly fell to Liam Trevaskis attempting an unnecessary and unorthodox shot they looked in trouble again at 86-6. Bryan Long (26) and Suman Engels (23 not out) steadied the ship but Joe Root of all people prized out Long before Lewis Gregory returned to claim the eighth wicket with Netherlands on 121. Fred Klaassen (5 not out) saw them home alongside Engels however to take the Dutch to the inaugural Global ODI Invitational and send us packing.
Having won the North Western Hemisphere Test Championship to lose at the semi-final stage of the GODII was a bitter pill to swallow but we only have ourselves to blame for not applying ourselves better with the bat. Congratulations to the Netherlands who although we pushed them hard thoroughly deserved to win.
Netherlands, led by Bryan Long’s 98 not out, would go onto thrash an insipid Hong Kong in the final.
Disclaimer/Excuse: A recent patch has made the game harder. With a wife and children constantly walking around the room and clambering all over me I didn’t apply myself with the bat as I needed to. I’m going to play the game in shorter more committed chunks in future in order to post competitive totals. I also intend to take more control over field placings and possibly play on the hardest level. Having concluded my custom Test/ODI competitions I just need to decide how I’m going to play the game going forward.
Many thanks to those of you who voted in my first ever poll. The results are in and we have a clear winner. It’s safe to say that ODI Cricket holds little appeal to people. I actually quite like the format. I think that having to construct a total in a limited but not too short amount of overs and manage a run chase require great skill and can be slow burning and exciting matches. Maybe ODI Cricket is everybody’s second favourite format.
Twenty20 placed second in the poll but by quite some distance. The shortest format received 17% of the votes.
Test cricket was the clear winner receiving 83%. What I love about Test cricket is the limitless potential of the possibilities. The twists and turns as the days go by are amazing and rarely can a team be considered truly out of the contest. A record last wicket stand is always there to be broken.
Clearly it was a small sample size but please share the link to my next poll with your friends and family.
Many thanks once again. I hope that the results are of interest to you and look out for my second poll soon…
P.S. Maybe next year we can do the same with The Hundred as an option!