Matthew Wade’s Test record is ordinary. If you don’t believe me…
He has however been tearing it up on the Australian domestic circuit in recent seasons and does appear to have genuinely improved as a player. The wicketkeeper by trade is focusing on his batting in order to get back in the national side and wielding the willow as high up the order as possible.
On the Australia A-team’s tour of England he’s made back to back hundreds (117 & 155) in the two List A games played so far…
Admittedly the bowling attacks of Northamptonshire and Derbyshire aren’t comparable to England’s. It’s still not going to be easy for the thirty-one-year-old to force his way into Ashes reckoning but if he carries on like this then you just never know.
I’ve previously written about Joe Clarke and how I didn’t want him in the England team anytime soon…
This followed unsavoury revelations about his personal life in light of the Alex Hepburn rape trial. Fair play to Clarke though. What he needed to do was let his cricket do the talking and make his case for selection extremely difficult to ignore.
Clarke has not committed a crime or been accused of one. I previously said that given time and maturity then I’d have no qualms about him representing England.
He has commenced the 2019 campaign with scores of 112 and is currently 97 not out on his competitive debut for new employers Nottinghamshire…
Should he carry on like this then an Ashes call, though he’d probably have to move up to three, could be almost certain.
As touched upon in my article posted earlier today…
English batsmen up and down the land are putting their hands up and demanding international recognition. It’s a welcome change to recent seasons.
Following a frustrating injury hit first campaign with his adopted county, former Kent captain Sam Northeast commenced the new season with an impressive knock of 169 for Hampshire against Essex.
It’s easy to assume that Northeast has fallen down the pecking order in terms of England selection but if he can back up his opening knock with more of the same then there’s no reason why he couldn’t gatecrash the Ashes. Incumbent Joe Denly is currently sat on the bench at the IPL. He is very much an Ed Smith selection however. Denly made 69 in his last Test innings but then James Vince made 76 in his. With Northeast performing at three and Vince opening, could the Hampshire duo both make England’s next Test squad?
Yorkshire’s Adam Lyth made runs too. He’s a very good player but the fact that previous Test shortcomings occurred against Australia in England will probably count against him. There’ll be a clamour for Joe Clarke who let his cricket do the talking when making a debut ton for Nottinghamshire meanwhile Haseeb Hameed registered a double century against the students.
Ultimately the early season signs are that unlike recent seasons, England might have some difficult selection choices to make but in a good way.
Why is Joe Root so comfortable walking out to bat at three for England in ODI cricket but so reluctant to do so in Test cricket?
If Root were willing to operate at three in Tests, it would make it so much easier for England to accommodate a promising middle order player… or James Hildreth!
It’s the sort of inconsistency that irks me and talking of things that irk me… I wish that England were playing a Test tomorrow and Jason Roy was playing because I can’t stand all these ‘clever’ sods claiming that Roy could be our saviour in red ball cricket any longer. I CAN understand the logic if he scores over six hundred runs at the World Cup and the England management want to go with the flow but after all the talk of needing batsmen to reign in their attacking instincts, people want a feast or famine white-ball dasher who is at best a First Class number five to open in Tests against Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins and Lyon!
Oh and the Mark Wood bubble has burst already… 7-0-49-0!
Sorry, I’m being cynical (Or just joking) which is the reason why I stopped following 95% of all the other cricket blogs on WordPress!
Burns extinguished and England genuinely left without a clue as to who should bat in the top three come the Ashes!
Still, it should make for an exciting start to the county season and inspire England’s white-ball batsmen as well, not that they should need any further inspiration. The ODI World Cup precedes the Ashes and good form in big matches could result in a Test call-up.
It’s such a shame for Burns who has passed 1000 First Class runs in each of the last five seasons. Like many previous incumbents, he’s hinted at what he’s got to offer but certainly hasn’t nailed down his place.
It’s not even worth mentioning names and we’ve got one Test against Ireland to fix things! What if we pick a debutante and he gets a pair? Will he keep his place for the Ashes opener?
Disclaimer: At the time of writing, messrs Jennings and Denly are not out, so might cement their places for the Ireland encounter at Lords… might!
If fit, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc will lead the line for Australia against England come this summer’s Ashes series.
Which English batsman will be taking them on is anybody’s guess!
Up until only recently, it seemed as though Australia were in turmoil and that England were near-certainties for Ashes success. With home advantage and the returning Steven Smith and David Warner likely to be undercooked, at least in the longest format then England probably can still wear the favourites tag.
The identity of the England players and in which order they’ll walk to the wicket is somewhat uncertain and because of that, this summer’s Ashes encounter seems tantalisingly poised.
Australia had a few questions answered in their most recent Test. Admittedly there’s a lot of cricket (Though not Test) between now and the Ashes but Australia’s likely XI is as follows:
Warner, Burns, Khawaja, Smith, Head, Patterson, Paine (C&W), Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood, Lyon
England’s XI is not so predictable. At the very least, opening batsman, number three and first change pace bowler are places that are very much up for grabs, though Mark Wood might have just solved the latter and the top order have today to cement their places.
A name that I was not expecting to see when scouring scorecards across the globe this morning was… Sean Terry but guess who’s rocked up for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash?
I previously posted about Terry’s ‘retirement’…
but it turns out that he’s been representing Melville in Grade Cricket down under. He’s been doing mightily well too, stepping up in some big games and thus earned an outing for the franchise from the West. Terry made only four in the Perth side’s final match of the campaign…
so what the future holds remains to be seen.
Ireland travel to England later this year for their first overseas Test. Could Terry gatecrash England’s Ashes prep as he has the Big Bash?
Only England are capable of regularly finding Test match opening batsmen capable of scoring Test hundreds (Compton, Lyth, Robson) but not actually capable of succeeding at Test match cricket!
Keaton Jennings is the latest to be dropped by England and he’s been replaced by Joe Denly (Not actually an opener) for the second Test against West Indies. The decision is both logical and illogical all at the same time. Jennings looks like a square peg in a triangular shaped hole but to have persisted with him this far! The fact that Adil Rashid has left the tour could be an argument for bringing in fellow leg-spinner Denly but with Jack Leach likely to return to the XI that’s stretching it a bit.
Jennings has been found wanting against pace once again and it’s hard to see a third way back… unless others don’t grasp the opportunity and we’re touring Asia… so we’ll probably see him again soon!
Denly has had a torrid time on tour (SL & WI) but now likely has two Tests to enjoy. He’ll open the batting but there’s that release of pressure of knowing he’ll be involved with the ball at least a bit too. His selection at the top of the order is likely to be a stop-gap selection. He needs to go out there, take the rough with the smooth and enjoy himself. He’ll likely need a Test hundred, ideally in the second Test then to open in the County Championship and absolutely plunder runs to keep his place for the Ashes.
Who opens the batting for England come this summer’s marquee series is anyone’s guess. If Rory Burns doesn’t deliver during the rest of the series then it really will be a shoot-out in the County Championship… which will be great for the competition.
I had hoped that KJ would find a way but it wasn’t to be. Wishing Joe Denly the very best of luck on Test debut and beyond!
England’s most frustrating batsman of modern times, Hampshire’s James Vince, walloped 75 from just 46 deliveries for Sydney Sixers against Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash in Sydney today…
But what are England to do with him? Is he really going to find a place in England’s destructive white-ball teams? With so few places for specialist batsmen up for grabs, is he likely to get another chance at Test level?
In a world of T20 franchise cricket, does it really matter? Is international cricket still the pinnacle?
Regardless, today’s innings was a demonstration of how much value Vince can add to a team, of his skill and stroke-playing prowess. Maybe we’re yet to see the best of him in an England shirt. Maybe the soon to turn twenty-eight-year-old could yet gatecrash England’s World Cup and Ashes summer!
*Disclaimer: A completely unoriginal headline that I and many others have used before. Sorry!