England’s Alternative Batting Options

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James Hildreth (Somerset)

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/15348.html

Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Yorkshire)

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/470633.html

Ross Whiteley (Worcestershire)

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/288617.html

Living the Dream!

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Liam Livingstone hit the headlines in early 2015 when he struck 350 off 128 deliveries in a club match…

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/cricket/liam-livingstone-world-record-350-9078151

Then he hit the headlines again later that year when he got glassed in a fight…

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/cricket/lancashires-liam-livingstone-lucky-injuries-9875869

A few weeks later he didn’t hit the headlines when he was dismissed first ball in the T20 Blast final…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/natwest-t20-blast-2015/engine/current/match/804711.htmlhttp://www.espncricinfo.com/natwest-t20-blast-2015/engine/current/match/804711.html

He hadn’t exactly hit the ground running in the shortest format of the game and still averages below 20 but he didn’t half hit the ground running in the County Championship last year. Though his season tailed off slightly, he still finished with in excess of 800 runs at an average of just over 50. Having played a lot of club and second XI cricket and in an era where many players make their professional breakthrough whilst in their teens, I was hesitant to the idea of Livingstone being rushed into the England set-up too soon. The structure of the England Lions however provides great opportunity for he and others to acquire more experience and develop. Oh and how he’s developed! In England Lions current match against a decent Sri Lanka A outfit, LL has made scores of 105 and 140 not out…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO41600

His First Class batting average has now soared to 54.52 and recalling England’s batting horror show in India, it’s encouraging to see a batsman prospering in the sub-continent. England head to Oz next winter for the Ashes but even if Livingstone doesn’t make the breakthrough to the full national side soon, it could be that he’s saved for the next time England head to spinning terrain.

Last term, even if he wasn’t making runs, his name was all over the scorecards as he claimed catch after catch (31 in 17 FC outings to date) and his leg-spin bowling has some potential.

Elsewhere for England Lions, Toby Roland-Jones has led the line and contributed with the bat whilst the Curran brothers (Tom and Sam) have continued to enhance their reputation. It’s been a bleak winter for Jack Leach however. The Somerset man has struggled with the required adjustments to his action and was left out of the Lions side because of those struggles. Upon his return, his first innings figures of 18-1-97-1 don’t make for pleasant reading. The winter has not been so bleak for the consistently penetrative Ollie Rayner however. The German turner has surely usurped Leach in the England spin queue.

It’s been good to see that the Lions set-up hasn’t just been for the kids and that seasoned county players such as Roland-Jones and Middlesex colleague Rayner have been presented with the opportunity to press their case for international selection. If they did so, they wouldn’t be the first players to have successful international careers having only entered the stage around the age of thirty mark… Mike Hussey, Chris Rogers, Adam Voges and Misbah-ul-Haq amongst them.

Update: Jack Leach immediately responded to my bleak assessment of his winter by claiming figures of 2-3 as England Lions nearly pulled off a marvellous heist in Dambulla. Stumper Ben Foakes also claimed ten dismissals (8c / 2s) and contributed scores of 30 and 54 in this match.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/1080255.html

Extras

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The second instalment of our new little feature where we cram a few articles or shorts into one…

Bye: This article by Tim Wigmore…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/review2016/content/story/1073177.html

Leg Bye: The Japanese batsman that walked off the ground to change their bat only they didn’t request the umpire’s permission so were promptly dismissed ‘retired out’. They were on seven at the time. A lesson to all young cricketer’s out there!
No Ball: D’arcy Short smacking 61 from 29 deliveries on his Big Bash debut for Hobart Hurricanes. A rare example of an Australian cricketer with actual aborigine heritage making waves on the professional circuit. He made his List A debut way back in 2011 but only made his First Class and T20 debuts this season. As is so often the case down under, at 26, he’s only just making his way in the game. Some in Australia have been critical recently of the ageing Test debutant (Hussey, Voges, Ferguson).
If their players aren’t making their domestic debuts until they’re 26 (Short isn’t a one-off) then what do they expect?
Wide: Doesn’t end Well-ington for Dernbach! Everybody’s favourite England cricketer (And his own!) Jade Dernbach, has been dropped form the Wellington team after a late night and has since engineered a return to England. His chances of an England recall (Ha!) have surely gone up in smoke!

Voges Voided, Ferguson Forgotten?

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Less than two weeks ago Silly Point announced that the forgotten man of Australian cricket, South Australia’s Callum Ferguson had been drafted into Australia’s Test squad. (See previous post: Ferguson Not Forgotten!)

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/ferguson-not-forgotten/

Unfortunately CJ Ferg’s induction into Test cricket couldn’t have gone much worse. Run out for three in Australia’s abysmal first innings 85 all out against South Africa, he managed to add only a single in the second innings. Since then heads have rolled on Australia’s selection panel and Ferguson’s chances of doubling his number of Test caps in the third and final Test in hometown Adelaide next week are hanging by a particularly fine thread. There might not even have been a thread but Adam Voges’ concussion injury during the current round of Australian domestic matches mean that maybe, just maybe, if the selectors don’t want to make wholesale changes, though the suggestion is that they do, Ferguson might be saved. As for Voges, his Test career is almost certainly over, at least temporarily and at the age of 37 and despite a surreal Test match batting average of 61.87 possibly eternally.

Runs for the likes of Travis Dean, Peter Handscomb and Matt Renshaw amongst others in the current round of Sheffield Shield matches mean that Australia should be handing out some brand new baggy greens in Adelaide.

International Duck Watch!

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There was excitement in Tasmania earlier today when what was thought to be a Pacific Black Duck (Anas Superciliosa) was spotted in Hobart however it turned out that it was actually Australian batsman Adam Voges being dismissed first ball in the second Test.

Australia were bowled out for a woeful 85 with captain Steven Smith (48 not out) scoring more than half the runs. The only other batsman to make double figures was Joe (Not too) Mennie who made 10. Remember that bowler Mennie was selected ahead of Jackson Bird because of his superior batting ability. Debutant Callum Ferguson who featured in a recent post (See previous post: Ferguson Not Forgotten)…

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/ferguson-not-forgotten/

… highlighted the batting horror show by being run out for just three!

In response to the host’s abject display South Africa finished day one on 171-5 (Amla 47, Starc 3-49).

Ferguson Not Forgotten!

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Ignore any silly blogs calling for a recall for Ashton Agar!

Following defeat against South Africa in the first Test of a three-match series in Perth, Australia have recalled Joe Burns for the injured Shaun Marsh and have also granted a long awaited Test call-up for the extremely unfortunate Callum Ferguson for the second Test in Hobart. South Australia captain Ferguson will be 32 on November 21st and would surely have earned more than thirty ODI caps and three T20I appearances for his country if it wasn’t for a series of knee injuries. If CJ Ferg (That’s probably what his mates call him!) does debut, at 31 he’ll have a head start on some that have made their Test bows in recent times. Look no further than Australia teammate Adam Voges, 35 when he first wore the baggy green. In the last month Ferguson has made scores of 154 in a List A match and 101 in a First Class appearance. The possibility of a five year plus, few thousand runs international career could still be a possibility for the North Adelaide born right-hander.