Schedule:One Test, Three ODIs & One T20I (All matches to be played in Malahide).
Test Squad: Maxime Bernard, Enzo Petit, Christophe Martinez, Youssef Rizvi, Louis Petit, Zvonimir Pitko, Marwan Leroy (Wicketkeeper), Xavier Le Tallec (Captain), Anthony Toure, Louis Martin, Mehdi Qadri, Zidane Thomas, Alexandre Rivière
ODI Squad: Maxime Bernard, Jean-Luc Chevalier, Christophe Martinez, Zvonimir Pitko, Louis Petit, Zidane Thomas, Hugo Olivier (Wicketkeeper), Xavier Le Tallec (Captain), Paco Georges, Phillipe La Roux, Bruno Hernandez, Gilles Smith, Maurice Noe, Incroyable Mpenza
T20I Squad: Hippolyte Gregory, Jean-Luc Chevalier, Zidane Thomas, Matteo Phillipe, Louis Petit, Christophe Martinez, Hugo Olivier (Wicketkeeper), Xavier Le Tallec (Captain), Gabin Sauvage, Phillipe La Roux, Incroyable Mpenza, Gaspard Harris-Gourcuff, Thibaut Keller
Disclaimer: Big Ant have released a new patch that has fundamentally altered the batting dynamics. It probably isn’t going to be very pretty!
Sri Lanka 391 (de Silva 116, J.Mendis 92, Fernando 88/Martinez 2-32, Qadri 2-91, Martin 2-122)
France538 (Martinez 182* Rizvi 94, Le Tallec 69/Vandersay 6-187, de Silva 2-66, Lakmal 1-71)
Sri Lanka 597 (Fernando 174, de Silva 143, Mathews 95/L.Petit 3-110, Qadri 3-129, Pitko 1-59)
Won by 14 runs
Won the series 2-1
Disclaimer: I’m currently playing some A Team games. This will provide experience to some of the extended squad members and allow them to push for full international honours. An announcement regarding future fixtures and squads will be announced shortly. I hope to find the time to get back to writing full reports on at least some matches as I’d like to think that’d be a bit more appealable to followers than just perusing short scorecards!
Borthwick deserted Durham when things were going to pot on and off the pitch. He wasn’t the only one. The one-time Test cap had aspirations of getting back in the England team but it was fellow Durham deserter and Surrey teammate Mark Stoneman who settled in quicker at The Oval to win England honours. Stoneman dried up and since being dropped by England has never really got going again. Since heading south Borthwick has never really got going at all. He’s done okay but not nearly enough to return to England contention and that ship has surely sailed for both. Would it even be a surprise if Stoneman followed Borthwick back up north?
England have been desperately seeking a Test number three for some time. Someone with the resilience of an opener but enough stroke play and the right mindset to set the tempo. They want a player that can prevent the middle order stroke players from being exposed to the new ball and crucially leave Joe Root in his optimum number four position.
The player they’ve identified doesn’t have a bucket load of First Class centuries nor has he spent years being groomed in the England Lions. He’s been in and out of the England team, up and down the order but should now get a run at three where he’s already thriving. That’s particularly impressive given the lack of competitive preparation.
The player in question is not James Vince, Sam Northeast or any other celebrated or touted batsman… he’s Zak Crawley and he’s just struck his maiden Test ton…
It was pleasing to see batsmen Dawid Malan and Ben Duckett in the runs in the County Championship yesterday, particularly Malan as he’s now playing for Yorkshire! The 32-year-old finished the day undefeated on 145 against an admittedly low-calibre Derbyshire bowling unit.
Duckett, another fringe England left-hander, made 116 against a slightly more formidable Lancashire attack.
Both were in the 55 but have a lot to do to gain further England recognition. Injuries have hampered former Middlesex man Malan’s chances, both last year on ODI debut and missing this summer’s 50-over games. His Test career is probably over and despite a stellar start, he’s by no means guaranteed to add to his T20I caps.
Duckett has far more time on his side but needs to relentlessly churn out big scores like he did a few years ago. He should be knocking the door down in all formats but at least the seeds of recovery have been planted. Despite the odd misdemeanour, he remains highly thought of enough to have made the 55.
Only time will tell if either Malan (An Ashes centurion/T20I batting average: 52.11!) or Duckett (ODI batting average: 41.00) will score another international run. As the divide between formats continues to grow, that might just aid their chances.
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
The time has come for England to move on from Joe Denly. Denly has fought hard and contributed useful innings but he’s also been extremely (And I mean extremely) lucky. You only have to count the amount of times that he’s been dropped (I mean by fielders) in his career.
With Joe Root certain to return to the England side the following batting line-up: Burns, Sibley, Crawley, Root, Stokes and Pope can not only hopefully be a top six for a number of years but have provided enough evidence to suggest that we can do more than hope.
As for Denly, the likes of James Hildreth and Sam Northeast amongst others will despair at the opportunities that he’s had. I’ll say it again though, Denly has contributed and he’s tried his best but with Dan Lawrence and co. waiting in the wings, it’s time to put a full stop on Denly’s Test career.
Test Cricket returns tomorrow when England host West Indies at Southampton. Whether or not it should really be classed as Test status is debatable. Yes, Test cricketers will be playing but they’ve prepared by playing intra-squad matches and there’ll be no spectators in the ground. It is of course arguable that fans could attend and maintain social distancing however it’s more the getting there (Unnecessary risks on public transport etc) and getting in and out of the ground that are the problem.
West Indies are short of a few players. It’s perfectly understandable that some players, at least one of whom has suffered tragedy in his life, doesn’t want to tour England. Two of the absent players hail from Guyana where until recently at least, there hadn’t been many deaths. That may have changed as Coronavirus gains a grip on the Americas but it’s easy to comprehend that they didn’t want to visit a country where there’ve been thousands upon thousands of deaths, even if a little digging might suggest that a lot of those deaths have been in care homes. Of course BAME personnel do seem to be more vulnerable.
England will also be deprived of a player in the shape of their captain Joe Root. That possibly earns Joe Denly a reprieve and means that England’s batsmen will be competing against each other. Ben Stokes will lead England against a West Indies side who have some exciting young players in and around their squad.
West Indies have been written off before, only to show England up. Let’s hope for some competitive cricket to feast upon once again. Whether or not there’ll be artificial crowd noise like in the football we’ll have to wait and see.
May I take this opportunity to thank anybody and everybody for visiting my blog. You might like to visit my football blog http://www.leftbackfooty.com Please do… because nobody is!
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)