Telegraph Fantasy Cricket: T20 Blast 2019

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Here are my Telegraph Fantasy Cricket teams for the 2019 edition of the T20 Blast:

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After a disappointing World Cup with Afghanistan, can spin bowler Rashid Khan lead Kings of Khan to glory?

Aside from Rashid, paceman Tom Helm is highly thought of while the likes of Steven Mullaney and Wayne Parnell should make all-round contributions. Wicketkeeper Ben Cox is another proven performer in the shortest format while teammate Callum Ferguson excelled in the latest edition of the Big Bash.

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Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone will lead 2020 Vision and hope to catch the eye of the England selectors having fallen of the radar somewhat. It may be the last time that we see Michael Klinger in action and David Willey will want to prove that he should still be in England’s T20I squad having missed out on selection for the ODI World Cup. Pat Brown will also hope to back up some impressive performances in previous seasons having being touted as an England candidate while the likes of Laurie Evans (Prominent on the franchise circuit), Ryan Higgins and Ollie Robinson could also make a case for an England call-up.

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One of the season’s stars in Somerset’s Tom Banton will skipper Ghetto Blasters. Tom Curran and Liam Dawson will want to put the frustrations of sitting on the sidelines at the World Cup behind them whilst the likes Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan as well as possibly Sam Northeast, the precociously talented Delray Rawlins and even Banton himself might hope to catch Ed Smith’s eye.

I’ll let you know how I got on come the competition’s conclusion.

Matthew Gilkes and the Beauty of Cricket

So a rarity occurred today. I actually had the opportunity to watch some cricket, the subject that I blog about!

Perth Scorchers hosted Sydney Thunder and to the third delivery of the match, debutante wicketkeeper Matthew Gilkes dropped the mother of all sitters, despite three attempts, off the edge of Shaun Marsh’s first ball. He later displayed some village style glove work when letting four byes go through his legs.

How did he respond though?

By making a measured and assured 51 from 38 deliveries, sensibly playing second fiddle to the amazing Callum Ferguson (113 not out). To the first delivery he faced, he gloriously drove through the covers for four and continued to stay on top of the ball and not go too hard.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8044/scorecard/1152551/perth-scorchers-vs-sydney-thunder-41st-match-big-bash-league-2018-19

Gilkes displayed great character and temperament after such an inglorious entry to his Big Bash and professional career.

Instant redemption. The beauty of cricket!

Follow the Yellow Brick Road!

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In a sign of the times, Australia’s cricketers have a T20I scheduled into their calendar less than 24 hours before the commencement of a Test match. Said matches will take place on different continents with the three-match T20I series being played in Australia and Australia’a Test side on tour in India.

Australia’s Test squad will be as strong as it can be so there will be opportunities for some unfamiliar faces in the T20I squad. The series will take place not long after the conclusion of the 2016-17 Big Bash so Silly Point thought it was worth having a look at some of the contenders for the vacancies in Australia’s T20I squad.

Please be aware that I’m not naming a squad as such and players like James Faulkner, Travis Head and Chris Lynn are amongst those that I consider almost certainties (Assuming that they don’t get a Test call-up of course). It’s more players that would be coming in out of the international cold that I’m listing here.

Those who’ve played before, whether it be T20I, ODI or Test:

Michael Beer: No I haven’t been drinking! Two Test cap Michael Beer has been consistently economical when opening the bowling in the Big Bash and a call-up would be well merited.

Ben Dunk: Slam funk da Ben Dunk. He bats, he bowls, he keeps wicket. Won three T20I caps in late 2014. Could a recall for versatile Dunk be on the cards?

George Bailey / Aaron Finch: Both only recently jettisoned from the ODI squad but this fixture clash could provide an opportunity for these two to make a swift return to the international fold and possibly for one of them, as captain.

Callum Ferguson / Moises Henriques / Nic Maddinson: All players that’ve failed miserably in the Test arena in recent times but who will be hoping to get chances to redeem themselves in the pyjama plays.

Brad Hogg: With senior members of the bowling unit in India, could a recall for Hogg, who’ll turn 46 before the series begins really happen?

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/5681.html

Tim Paine: A man with an ODI century and Test best 92 to his name, Paine previously couldn’t find consistency at international level (Injuries didn’t help) but has been prolific throughout Big Bash history.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/engvaus2009/engine/match/350048.html

Rob Quiney: Had a bit of a horror show during his brief Test career which included a pair in his second Test though he did bowl ridiculously economically. That Test batting average of 3.00 may well have cost him caps in limited overs cricket but his run-scoring in the current Big Bash demands selection.

http://www.melbournestars.com.au/players/rob-quiney

Cameron White: An unfulfilled talent at international level, White’s chances may depend on how keen Australia are to win or how much they see this as an opportunity to blood youngsters.

A few other names that may come into consideration: Sean Abbott, Fawad Ahmed, Scott Boland, Clint McKay, Marcus Stoinis and AJ Tye.

Those who haven’t played before:

Tom Cooper: Last played for Netherlands in March of last year. Surely wouldn’t say no to a call-up from the country of his birth.

http://www.bigbash.com.au/video#videoId=5278578932001

Michael Klinger: Yes he’s 36 but Australia aren’t opposed to selecting ageing debutantes and if they do select a number of uncapped players, Klinger’s experience albeit at domestic level may count for something.

Ben McDermott: Would be a selection basically based on one innings and he looked rather pot luck early on against spin but who knows?

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/engine/match/1023627.html

A few other names that may come into consideration: Ben Dwarshuis, Daniel Hughes, Kurtis Patterson, Jhye Richardson and D’Arcy Short.

http://www.bigbash.com.au/#gender=men

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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A few Ozzies join the club today. First, please let me apologise because in the excitement of Zimbabwe’s Craig Ervine ducking yesterday, I neglected to mention that Australia’s opening batsman Joe Burns got burned fourth ball in Hobart to leave him with a series batting average of 0.5!

Joe (Not too) Mennie (Yes I know I’ve used that before!) who was selected ahead of Jackson Bird for his superior batting as much as his bowling (See previous post: The Bird and the Lyon)

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/02/the-bird-and-the-lyon/

… also joined the club as did Mitchell Starc who made our longest duck so far, being dismissed by his (Unlucky?) thirteenth delivery.

Callum Ferguson, a player that Silly Point detailed last week (See previous post: Ferguson Not Forgotten)

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

… managed to avoid International Duck Watch ignominy by scoring 1 in Australia’s second innings to add to his rather tragic run out for 3 in the first innings.

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).