Six to Watch: 2017 – Revisited

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Please find my original article entitled ‘Six to Watch’ by clicking the link below…

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/six-to-watch/

Here’s an early season follow-up on the players that were identified in that piece.

Jofra Archer, 22, Sussex, All-Rounder

If Archer is eligible to represent England now, then he could be an outside bet for an Ashes trip though he hasn’t graced the Lions squad yet and provided England’s penchant to have a look first, it might be that he has to settle for England’s bench squad for the time being.

Archer has 18 CC wickets at 24.56 including two five-wicket hauls. Couple that with two half-centuries to help him total 223 runs at 55.75 and you’ve got a very destructive all-rounder. After a slightly expensive start there were wickets and runs in the List A competition too and Archer  is surely a player that spectators and selectors will be following closely.

Daniel Bell-Drummond, 23, Kent, Right-Handed Opening Batsman

DBD started the First Class campaign with… starts but went on to make back to back hundreds in the One Day Cup. He then followed up a duck blip with 90 and totalled 443 runs at an average of 63.29 in the competition. His strike rate was a healthy 87.38. That’s good but the very top batsman are striking at 100% as a bare minimum. He’ll look to the England Lions games to press his case and could make the ODI squad this season if England choose to experiment and rotate ahead of an Ashes tour.

Dom Bess, 19, Somerset, Off-Spin Bowler

Bess was nowhere to be seen in the early stages of the county season and had a quiet introduction to the County Championship. He didn’t make the one-day games either but has this afternoon just snapped up a maiden 2017 County Championship victim. Hopefully he can now kick on.*

Jack Burnham, 20, Durham, Right-Handed Middle Order Batsman

With Mark Stoneman and Scott Borthwick gone to Surrey, it looked as though Durham would be looking to Burnham to pile on the runs. He scored 150 against Durham MCCU in April but followed it up with only 15 and 4 in the opening round of County Championship matches against a strong Nottinghamshire line-up. He doesn’t appear to have played any second XI games so may well be injured. In the meantime the likes of Graham Clark and Cameron Steel have had their chance in the first team and progressed steadily.

Nick Compton, 33, Middlesex, Right-Handed Middle Order Batsman

Injuries and poor form have combined to mean that Compton just hasn’t got going this term. He’s got runs in the second XI including a century and against MCC in Abu Dhabi but hasn’t reached 40 in competitive cricket this season. In truth he’s probably struggling to hold down a spot in the Middlesex first XI at the moment.

Mark Footitt, 31, Surrey, Left-Arm Fast Medium Bowler

Footitt went viral when he kicked off the campaign with 6-14 against Warwickshire. Since then he’s continued to claim victims but has gone at around four an over on occasions. With Test series against South Africa, West Indies and in Australia on the horizon, alongside the quality of Anderson, Broad, Woakes and Stokes, Footitt could be a great weapon to slot into the side for the odd Test from time to time. He’s not in the Surrey line-up for their current match though and constant injury niggles may cost him an international career, as might the ability of fellow left-armers, county teammate Sam Curran and Sussex’s George Garton, both of whom have made the Lions squad though admittedly that squad is specifically for limited overs matches.

For the record, Footitt has 20 County Championship Division One victims in four matches this term at 23.65 apiece but at a leaky 3.77 runs per over.

Here’s Footitt on his way to his 21st First Class five-wicket haul earlier this season, Lancashire the victims.

We’ll catch up with the six later in the campaign to see which players seasons have flourished, which have faltered and which had pressed their case or even reached international honours.

*Bess would actually go on to claim match figures of 10-162 including second innings career best figures of 7-117!

Extras

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Bye: Napoleon Einstein!

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/279540.html

Leg Bye: England outcast Ben Duckett is amongst those named in an MCC squad to play the annual county season precursor in Abu Dhabi. The MCC side will take on 2016 County Championship prevailers Middlesex in a match that commences on 26th March. With the North v South fixture also now part of the season, there are plenty of opportunities for fringe England players to put forward a case to the national selectors. Uncapped spin bowlers Mason Crane and Jack Leach are also amongst those in the MCC squad. For the full party please refer to the link below…

https://www.lords.org/news/2017/january/hameed-and-duckett-to-feature-for-mcc/

… and on the subject of the MCC, if anybody’s looking for a job…

https://www.lords.org/news/2017/january/chief-executive-and-secretary/

No Ball: A little precursor to our review of Roy Morgan’s Real International Cricket (Which won’t be for a while due to the small font size!)…

 

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Poor Fraser, out for a duck when absolutely everybody else made double figures!

Wide: Tune into this YouTube channel from a fellow cricket blogger…

Desert Anybody!

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A T20 tournament in the desert. Sounds a bit dodgy. Don’t worry, Allen Stanford is nowhere in sight!

There’s nothing we love more on this site than seeing the game make progress on the global stage. An eight-team associate tournament is surely an example of that.

Group A

Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Namibia

Group B

Netherlands, Hong Kong, Scotland, Oman

Hold on a minute. Two groups of four, teams play each other once, top two teams go through to semi-finals, semi-finals and final played on the same day. This is far, far too logical. What have the ICC been drinking?!

Afghanistan have been pencilled in as favourites by many and with rumours circulating that they’ll be applying for full membership complete with Test status soon, a strong showing here could be crucial.

It’s good to see Namibia back on the scene but there’s no place for the likes of Nepal, Papua New Guinea or USA.

The first matches will take place in Abu Dhabi tomorrow.

Disclaimer: Apologies to Hong Kong and Scotland re: the pic but Flags of the World doesn’t recognise you as independent nations!