Predicting England’s Next Caps: Revisited

A while ago, I predicted England’s next caps in each format of the game…

https://sillypointcricket.com/2019/01/12/predicting-englands-next-test-cap/

Here’s how my predictions fared…

Test: Prediction: Jason Roy, Actual: Jason Roy and Olly Stone

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18774/game/1152839/england-vs-ireland-only-test-ireland-tour-of-england-2019

ODI: Prediction: Jofra Archer, Actual: Jofra Archer, Ben Foakes and Dawid Malan

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18956/scorecard/1161014/ireland-vs-england-only-odi-england-tour-of-ireland-2019

T20I: Prediction: Jamie Overton, Actual: Jofra Archer, Ben Duckett and Ben Foakes

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18664/scorecard/1152840/england-vs-pakistan-only-t20i-pakistan-in-eng-2019

As you can see, there were multiple debuts in each instance but ultimately I got two out of three correct and we all know that “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad”!

Who’d be a Selector?

WARNING: I’ve become the pessimistic cynic that I used to criticise!

Jason Roy won’t do any worse than those who have been chewed up and spat out before him but is he really going to do any better?

He’ll likely average 27 but is also likely to be more Aaron Finch than David Warner, in Tests anyway. Roy is a player with no recent history of playing First Class cricket let alone opening the batting. He was all at sea against a moving ball in the World Cup final and should he score a few breezy thirties will that really be of benefit? Will he score Test hundreds more often than Keaton Jennings (Once every 8.5 Tests!)?

Yes Ed Smith and co. have gone down this route before with Jos Buttler and credit to both because it’s worked so far. This selection however is even more cavalier. How will Roy approach it? Like it’s an ODI or will he cramp up like Hales and try to play a game he has no recent history of playing?

I consider myself a realistic optimist (Or optimistic realist) when it comes to English cricket but appreciate that I sound pessimistic regarding the selection of Surrey’s Roy. I’ll back nearly everybody who is picked for England but just like I put my head on the line by advocating my proposed selections of players that others would dismiss as preposterous, I’ll equally express my opinion when I’m not convinced by the ones that we have selected. I expect our Selection Panel to be practicing what they preach and analysing every potential selection in extreme detail.

Will Roy pull his hamstring, not be able to field then not be authorised to open the batting meaning that Joe Root has to move up to three anyway? If you’ve spent a career running 100 metre sprints then suddenly try to run a marathon then you’ll likely get injured. Roy has spent a career, or at least the latter part, playing One-Day and T20 cricket and has recently struggled to fulfil those requirements. Now we’re expecting him to last five days!

I sincerely hope that Jason Roy has a long and fruitful Test career averaging forty plus home and away and I’ll be the first to provide an honest assessment and say well done… but he wouldn’t be my pick!

England have also selected Lewis Gregory but what is the Somerset man’s point of difference? His selection seems reminiscent of recent eras where early season form precedes consistency over the years. Gregory might currently be doing a bit better than Ben Coad, Jamie Porter or even Chris Rushworth but is he really a long-term solution, is he really better than those players? It’s the same as picking Mark Stoneman because he averaged 80 one year in a career of averaging 30 but ignoring James Hildreth for only averaging 40 most years. The odd peak amongst troughs wins selection over year on year consistency. The Somerset man’s selection smacks of a token “Yes we value county cricket” by the selectors. They’ve rested the likes of Buttler and Ben Stokes and feel that they can get away with bringing in a bowling all-rounder who’s topping the domestic charts for one-match (Keep county fans happy) against Ireland. Don’t forget that Sam Curran is capable of batting higher than he has done.

Lewis Gregory is a fine player whose all-round abilities can be of use to England but I’m just uninspired by these unoriginal selections. England have also selected Olly Stone. If I’m questioning Jason Roy’s fitness then…

If these players perform against Ireland in home conditions does that tell us that they’re good enough to be Test cricketers? Will the same people that malign Woakes as a horse for a course celebrate these players as the finished article based on a fifty of fifer against a country that has just three domestic teams? What message does these selections send to opening batsman out there or domestic bowlers who perform year on year? They can only beat what’s in front of them!

I’m sorry. I’ve become the negative, cynical hypocrite that I never wanted to be but so be it. That’s what being an England cricket fan will do to you. It’s not by choice!

Six to Watch: T20I Status – Women’s Special Revisited

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Hi all

Please find listed below six women’s international players that I suggested keeping an eye on when T20I status was dished out all around the globe. Firstly, here’s the link to my original post…

https://sillypointcricket.com/2018/07/01/six-to-watch-t20i-status-womens-special/

Louise Little (Ireland)

A tough time for the still only sixteen-year-old but hopefully she’ll be stronger for it.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ireland/content/player/1094718.html

Mariko Hill (Hong Kong)

Has shown glimpses of her ability but will want to make more significant contributions.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/343129.html

Pauke Siaka (Papua New Guinea)

A name synonymous with cricket in PNG, her games played are a small sample size on which to make a judgement.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/333936.html

Naruemol Chaiwai (Thailand)

Quite a few games under her belt now and performing well. She’s averaging 27.29 with the bat and has a top score of 64 not out scored against Malaysia in Bangkok last February.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/486944.html

Rubina Chhetry (Nepal)

Has produced some encouraging displays with both bat and ball including figures of 4-2 against Indonesia last January.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/500726.html

Cher van Slobbe (Netherlands)

Has chipped in with some wickets in her few games played.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/netherlands/content/player/577360.html

Six to Watch: T20I Status – Team Special Revisited

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Hi all

Please find listed below six men’s international teams that I suggested keeping an eye on when T20I status was dished out all around the globe. Firstly, here’s the link to my original post…

https://sillypointcricket.com/2018/06/14/six-to-watch-t20i-status-team-special/

The number in brackets denotes current world T20I ranking.

Argentina (56)

One of the few South American countries with any great cricket history, Argentina have plenty of work to do having fallen off the radar somewhat.

Canada (25)

A few years on from any meaningful international success, Canada will hope to climb back into the top 20 soon. South African Davy Jacobs leads the side nowadays. The successful launch of the Global T20 Canada and with it the attraction of international stars will hopefully inspire a new generation of Canadians to take up the game.

Denmark (24)

One of the early Associate trailblazers, Denmark are looking to make a name for themselves once again. Coached by Ireland cult hero Jeremy Bray, they came unstuck in recent World Cup Qualifiers finishing behind Jersey, Germany and Italy.

Fiji (48)

Like Denmark, Fiji’s proximity to a major cricketing nation, in its case Australia, made them an early Associate force but they’ve got a lot to do in order to ascend the current rankings.

Rwanda (77)

It’s early days but there’s a lot of cricket activity in Rwanda and they’ll surely be on the rise soon. They’ve got a lovely ground and cricket is the fastest growing sport in the country.

South Korea (64)

Languishing at the wrong end of the ladder, South Korea have some technically correct players but need to adapt to the modern game. In a recent regional World Cup Qualifier SK finished ahead of Japan and Indonesia but we won’t be seeing them in Australia next year.

Please click on the link below for full rankings:

https://www.icc-cricket.com/rankings/mens/team-rankings/t20i

Six to Watch: T20I Status – Men’s Special Revisited

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Hi all

Please find listed below six men’s international players that I suggested keeping an eye on when T20I status was dished out all around the globe. Firstly, here’s the link to my original post…

https://sillypointcricket.com/2018/06/03/six-to-watch-t20i-status-special/

Simon Ateak (Ghana)

Has made a couple of starts in the few matches that he’s played.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/308504.html

Harrison Carlyon (Jersey)

Struck 50 in his only T20I innings to date against arch rivals Guernsey exactly one month ago.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/1062706.html

Ahmad Faiz (Malaysia)

Has made some useful contributions with the bat in the past week including a knock of 43 against Maldives and helping see his team to another victory by scoring 27 not out against Thailand both in Kuala Lumpur.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/307639.html

Andrew Mansale (Vanuatu)

A tough time so far but he’s off the mark.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/275654.html

Calum MacLeod (Scotland)

One of the Associate games most proven players continues to go from strength to strength. He averaged 117 in the Oman T20I Quadrangular in February and recently struck an ODI ton against Afghanistan, not for the first time.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/scotland/content/player/232435.html

Carl Sandri (Italy)

Errrr, I may have got this one wrong. He’s not been seen for a few years!

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/7908.html

Mali Mauled!

It’s been well publicised that Mali Women were dismissed for the lowest ever T20I total last week… 4 all out against Rwanda!

What some of you may have missed is that they followed that up with 11 all out against Tanzania the following day then 10 all out against Uganda the next. That’s 25-30 then!

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/Ci/content/records/283168.html

They made 30-9 against Rwanda again yesterday mind…

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19349/scorecard/1188782/rwanda-women-vs-mali-women-7th-match-kwibuka-womens-twenty20-tournament-2019

So things are on the up!

This of course has brought into question the validity of the records being set and T20I statistics in general. I’ve heavily promoted my proposed structure of international cricket, one that would currently see a team such as Mali not hold full international status but have the right to earn it. Teams such as England would currently have full international status but could lose it. That’s meritocracy in sport (Hey Manchester City Women’s football team… meritocracy!).

https://www.icc-cricket.com/rankings/womens/team-rankings/t20i

As it stands, all international women’s teams have full status. I’m a big believer in being better for gaining experience. Mali will improve and I look forward to hearing about it. I’m not a fan of the idea of picking and choosing statistics. Cricket should be a global game and whilst this may have been a chastening experience for the Malians they will be better for it. International sport should be ruthless. That is how the best help the weaker sides improve and therefore create competition. Don’t get me started on critics of the USA Women’s football (Soccer!) team. for their celebrations against Thailand. Anybody who has a problem with that is not someone who should be allowed anywhere near competitive sport. Even if it’s the absolute doldrums of the village cricket circuit, I don’t ever want anybody taking it easy on me!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mali_women%27s_national_cricket_team