Cricket Captain 2018: Statistical Highlights… and Lowlights!

Five full years into my tenure as Coach/Selector of the England cricket team, here’s a round-up of the highs and lows that we’ve experienced as a collective thus far…

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Yes that does say 43 all out against Pakistan at Edgbaston! That’s an England all-time low and a slap in the face for our decision to bat exclusively (And optimistically) for a draw. The sweet success of 806 against Sri Lanka in Kandy seems a long time ago.

Joe Root’s 292 against India in Nottingham, came after he’d been dismissed for 230 twice during my tenure and in the same innings that James Vince briefly (Very briefly) held the record when making 246.

Leg-spinner Matthew Parkinson’s 7-82 against New Zealand, also at Edgbaston, are the best individual bowling figures in an innings while Stuart Broad’s 11-98 against West Indies in Jamaica in 2019 remain our best match analysis.

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The year before the 43 all out debacle, 436 against the same opponents in Leeds, had been a none too shabby effort in a One-Day International. In truth, our limited overs batting has regressed since then. As in the Tests, it’s former captain Joe Root who leads the way with a rare double ton (214) in the fifty over format, indeed it was in that innings of 436 against Pakistan in front of a packed and vibrant Headingley crowd.

Somerset speedster Jamie Overton claimed astonishing figures of 6-14 against Australia in the infancy of his international career but lost his way a little in ODIs. He is however averaging sub 30 in the Test format and has become a valuable option in the longer format. He’s no slouch with the bat either.

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Errrr, yeah, 41 all out against South Africa in a T20I. Like I said, highs and lows. Never an easy place to bat is Cape Town!

Alex Hales 124 against arch-enemy Australia in Bristol has been the best batting output in the format whilst the often economical Tom Curran’s 5-26 against West Indies in Delhi at the World Cup is our best individual bowling analysis.

It’d be great to post 1000 runs in a Test innings but with the need for declarations this can often only be feasible in a dead rubber. 500 in a ODI and 250 in T20Is would also be welcome. It’d also be great to see an individual batsman reach a triple ton in a Test match but should they approach Sir Len Hutton’s 364 then I might have to declare!

Derby England’s New North!

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I’m looking forward to attending some cricket in 2017.

Maybe I’ll go and watch some matches at the Champions Trophy.

Oh wait, all matches will be played in either Birmingham, Cardiff or London.

Maybe I’ll go and watch some matches at the Women’s World Cup then.

Oh wait, all matches will be played in either Bristol, Derby, Leicester, London or Taunton.

That’s a minimum four-hour round trip for us Yorkshire folk. Pity any Durham fans that would like to see some major tournament action!

Eire Exposure

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Ireland will take on England in two ODIs next year in what is not only a great move for Irish Cricket but hopefully for associate nations in general. Ireland, recently granted First Class, List A and T20 status at domestic level are seeking further exposure against Test playing opposition and as well as two matches against the Three Lions will also host a Tri-Series involving Bangladesh and New Zealand shortly after. Ireland have taken advantage of Bangladesh and New Zealand’s need to adapt to northern hemisphere conditions ahead of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.

The ODIs with England will take place at Bristol and Lords. This will save Ireland set-up costs but one match in Dublin followed by one at Lords could have been an innovativeĀ approach. If Ireland do gain Test status in the near future a bi-nation series with their neighbours, playing their first ever Test match in Dublin followed up by a match at Lords could be very special. It’s the sort of move that other nations could taken advantage of, for example Australia andĀ Papua New Guinea playing series across both Northern Australia and PNG or India taking on Nepal across both nations. This development of both neighbourly support and rivalry could really help the game develop away from the well trodden path.

Ireland will wrap up the summer by hosting an ODI against West Indies in September.

Ireland Cricket’s Summer 2017 fixtures:

ODI Tour of England

England v Ireland, County Ground, Bristol, May 5th

England v Ireland, Lords, London, May 7th

ODI Tri-Series

Ireland v Bangladesh, Venue TBC, May 12th

Ireland v New Zealand, Venue TBC, May 14th

Ireland v Bangladesh, Venue TBC, May 19th

Ireland v New Zealand, Venue TBC, May 21st

ODI v West Indies

Ireland v West Indies, Venue TBC, Sept 13th

As mentioned, having been granted First Class status at domestic level and seeing a significant increase in ODI activity against Test level opposition, Ireland really do seem to be being groomed for a promotion to Test status.