In a recent post, I touched upon the subject of Joe Root’s axing from the T20I side and how it could spur him on to a great Test series performance against India. What Root’s dropping has done so far has inspired him to a sensational spell in the ODI team. Having lost the first match of a three-tie affair, Root struck back-to-back centuries to lead England to yet another series victory and enhance their credentials as World Cup favourites. He’s also helped provide England with an edge at the start of the Test encounters.
Yorkshire’s Root has had his critics recently, both for his T20I performances and his consistent failure to convert Test fifties into hundreds. Batting averages of 52.28 and 51.61 in Test and ODI cricket help scoff any suggestions that Root is anything other than a top player. An average of 35.77 at a strike-rate of 128.59 in T20Is are also pretty impressive figures with which to get dropped. He’s got some wickets in him too. Yesterday’s ton was his thirteenth in ODIs which is a new record for an England batsman. Root surpassed Marcus Trescothick who was an essential asset of England’s side in the early part of this century.
Having seen Root go onto make a ton and captain Eoin Morgan get near, James Vince will rue a missed opportunity. As in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, Vince was run out, this time having laid the foundations for a strong knock. With both Jason Roy and Alex Hales injured, Vince gained an unlikely but merited opportunity. A score of 27 won’t be enough to put the cat amongst the selection pigeons however.
In further Yorkshire news and once again revisiting subjects that I’ve mentioned previously, Yorkshire take on Lancashire in the County Championship soon. It’s a heck of a match for Josh Poysden to be thrown into on a one-match loan deal. Whether or not a one-match loan should even be allowed, I’m not sure. With Adil Rashid excluding himself from the red-ball game and Azeem Rafiq and Karl Carver clearly not filling Yorkshire’s hierarchy with any confidence, they’ve plucked Poysden from Warwickshire’s 2nd XI to spin them to victory. The leg-spinner actually claimed a First Class career best of 5-29 in his last County Championship outing though his economy rate is exactly 4.00. At 26, Poysden really needs to crack on. I mentioned how Yorkshire would be in the market for a spinner and a good show from the twenty-six-year-old could seen him snapped up full-time, playing first division cricket and pushing for England honours.
Rory Burns missed out for England Lions versus India A but it was great to see Scott Borthwick amass 175 not out for Surrey against West Indies A. The former Durham man will need a lot more knocks like that in order to add to his solitary Test cap. Mark Stoneman’s struggles continued however. He made only one in the first innings but did at least hint at a return to form by making 44 second time around. His season to date has been the polar opposite of last year’s glutinous run-fest.
In other news, Zimbabwe were bowled out for 67 in an ODI against Pakistan in Bulawayo today!
I’ve previously written about the value of persisting with players, particularly batsmen, specifically Shai Hope. Now it’s the turn of his brother Kyle. The elder Hope sibling totalled 41 runs during the Test tour of England, his average a paltry 6.83. A Test series in Zimbabwe provides an excellent opportunity for Hope to enhance his average and book himself a few more international caps. In the first innings of the first Test in Bulawayo he’d made it to 16 before becoming Solomon Mire’s maiden Test victim. With his average raised to 8.14, Hope arrived at the crease in West Indies’ second innings for potentially the last time. Two balls later he was dropped at short leg. Had Craig Ervine held the chance then Hope’s average would have been 7.13 and likely remained that way for eternity. As it was, he went onto make a career best 43, putting him on exactly 100 career Test runs. Following his dismissal courtesy of his namesake, the returning home side’s pacer Kyle Jarvis, his average has risen to 12.50. That 43 must be frustrating both for Hope himself and the West Indies’ selectors. It was an improvement, albeit with a little fortune but he’s not the first batsman ever to benefit from a drop however just seven more runs could have earned him another few Tests and filled him with confidence and relief for the second match of the series. As it is, you can’t help but feel that he remains in the proverbial last chance saloon. Come the second Test, either a maiden half-century is needed or some extremely pretty, gritty, stoic, classic or match winning 30s and 40s are required in order to prolong his Test career.
Utterly bizarrely, and this only highlights Kyle Hope’s struggles, despite the fact that he bats at three and his brother Shai at four, over the course of eight innings they are yet to bat together in a Test match!
West Indies’ national side appear to be taking positive steps and consistency in selection is a crucial part of that. The role of the selectors is, in regards to bringing in a new player, to make the right call at the right time. For the Caribbean outfit, the time for Rahkeen Cornwall to enter the international arena can’t be far off.
If you ever find yourself perusing West Indies domestic or A-team scorecards then you’re likely to see the name Cornwall all over them. He seems to take five-wicket hauls for fun, performed well against England in a tour match not too long ago and is right this moment performing admirably in an unofficial Test series against Sri Lanka A.
Windies Chairman of Selectors Courtney Browne has hinted in the past that Cornwall needs to do something about his size in order to represent the first XI. Cornwall is a big man as a quick glance at some of his images on his Cricinfo profile page confirm…
But he is what he is! He’s scoring all these runs and taking all these wickets whilst being the size he is. Players are supposed to be selected based on what their doing at domestic level and be expected to repeat those performances at the higher level. It seems wrong that West Indies would encourage a player that is prospering so much to change. We exist in an era where every sportsman is expected to be a supreme athlete but does that matter if Cornwall can rock up with reasonable regularity, strike a quick fire 60 odd and claim 3-51?
Zimbabwe away seems like it could’ve been a good opportunity to integrate the twenty-four-year-old Antiguan to Test cricket but fair play to West Indies for sticking with the England tourists. Cornwall will likely be better served playing against Sri Lanka A than bench warming in Bulawayo.
Cornwall is one of those guys who is good for the game. He’s a character even if that’s based on his physique not his personality but he’s also clearly very capable with bat and ball. Hopefully cricket fans will get to see him challenge himself in the international arena before too long.
West Indies are currently taking on Zimbabwe in the first Test in Bulawayo and it’s great to see the tourists displaying faith in the team that narrowly lost 2-1 in England.
Following a difficult tour of the UK, the likes of Kieron Powell and Kyle Hope as well as gloveman Shane Dowrich have been presented with further opportunity to showcase their international credentials and with Zimbabwe benefiting from the return of some experienced players, it should be a competitive series.
Brendan Taylor and Kyle Jarvis are back in the international fold for the hosts and that should bode well for Graeme Cremer’s team. There is part of me that feels these guys had turned their back on the global game and shouldn’t just waltz back into their national side however it can be seen as an investment. They should be better players for having played regular professional cricket in England for a few years and if that contributes to Zimbabwe’s matches against any side being close encounters then that is good for the game. They’d displayed strong strides against a regressive Sri Lanka outfit and the addition of Taylor and Jarvis as well as a reimagining of Zimbabwean domestic cricket provides an optimistic horizon for ‘The Chevrons’.
Keep up to date with how things play out between the two sides @ http://www.cricinfo.com
A torturous 16-ball nought for Ben DUCKett probably means termination of his Test career, at least for now. An 11-baller for Zafar Ansari will likely mean the same outcome for him too. Also, spare a thought for James Anderson, he might bat at number eleven but he takes his batting extremely seriously. Unfortunatley he registered England’s first king pair in 110 years!
That all adds up to a 246-run Test match victory for India and a 1-0 series lead with three matches left to play.
Zimbabwe are currently taking on Sri Lanka in a Tri-Series ODI in Bulawayo so Silly Point will provide a further IDW update later today… if necessary.