Malan the Man!

England T20I batsman Dawid Malan looks certain to complete what may seem a slightly surprising move north to Yorkshire.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/sport/amp/cricket/50056801

Malan’s long association with Middlesex seems at an end with the burden of captaincy and the need for a fresh start possibly playing a part in the decision.

England ambitions may also be a factor with Yorkshire playing in Division One of the County Championship whilst Middlesex continue to languish in Division Two. Malan is part of England’s squad for the T20I series in New Zealand and was possibly unlucky to miss out to Joe Denly in the summer’s Test squads. At 32, age might hinder the left-hander’s international ambitions but then again he’s younger than Denly. To be fair to Denly, he fought hard and went onto make some vital contributions for England.

With a line-up assembled from the likes of Lyth, Fraine, Ballance, Malan, Kohler-Cadmore, Brook, Tattersall, possibly Bairstow and occasionally even Root, Yorkshire’s batting could look extremely strong next season. It’s to be hoped that young players such as Brook benefit from the experience of playing alongside seasoned professionals such as Malan and don’t just find themselves confined to the Second XI.

As well as adding ballast to the four-day side Malan would be a welcome addition to Yorkshire’s white-ball outfit. Yorkshire have relied heavily on their top three (Lyth, TK-C and Willey) and once those guys have been dismissed the rest of the batting line-up have failed to fire. Mystifyingly and speaking as somebody who’s played in amateur leagues in Yorkshire, there’s been few signs of destructive young batsmen coming through the ranks. With the aforementioned batters at the top of the order Malan may have to settle for batting at four in List A and T20 cricket despite a history of opening in the shorter formats.

I’m a big fan of Dawid Malan and would love to see him at Yorkshire.

http://m.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/236489.html

I’m not a fan of a busy transfer market in county cricket but appropriate and logical transfers that enhance sides and provide players with opportunities are welcome. If all goes through as anticipated then I look forward to seeing Malan in a Yorkshire shirt in 2020.

Telegraph Fantasy Cricket: CC/ODC 2019 – Season Review

I set myself the target of a top thousand finish and I’m pleased to say that I achieved it!

I can only repeat what I’ve said before: pick players who play, generally don’t pick England players and select batsmen who bowl or the reverse. Also, you need to find those gem cheaper selections that aren’t in everybody’s team. Look at Luis Reece below. Yes he’s ended up in 30% of people’s teams but he probably wasn’t initially. At a rating of 5 he’s been great value.

You must check team news, ideally fifteen minutes before the start of play, use your transfers but keep some in hand. Watch out for overseas players coming and going and injuries etc. These are my key tips.

If anything I tinkered a little too much during the one-day cup but still had transfers to play with come the season finale.

The above graphic displays the top points scorers. As you’ll see they’re generally all-rounders or bowlers who can bat. The highest scoring batsman was the next man on the list which is Marnus Labuschagne, a batsman who bowls. Remember that a bowler scores 25pts per wicket but a batsman only scored 1 pt per run (-20 for a duck). There are other caveats to the points scoring but clearly it’s a bowler’s game. Getting your captain right and changing him when appropriate is absolutely crucial.

I’ll be back next year (Depending on the domestic schedule I guess) with my sights firmly set on a top 500 finish.

Telegraph Fantasy Cricket: T20 Blast 2019 – Season Review

A disappointing T20 campaign with my best placed team only finishing as high as 2,228th place. The winner accumulated 12,566 points and won by a margin of 23 points.

In truth I should probably have tinkered a little more early on. Leaving as many as three/four captaincy changes unused is just wasteful.

See below for the best performing players. Note how many are batsmen who bowl.

I remain optimistic of at least one top thousand finish in the CC/ODC competition and will update after the final round of matches this week.

County Lines

The County Championship returns tomorrow and not soon enough. I appreciate the skills required in white-ball cricket but just love the twists, turns and infinite possibilities that First Class cricket provides. Its return presents a great opportunity for numerous batsmen to make a case for an Ashes call given the indifferent form of some of England’s incumbent Test batters.

It also means keeping an eye on things in the hope of performing a late surge up the Telegraph Fantasy Cricket table.

Hopefully the weather will be kind up and down the land. Enjoy your cricket folks!

Will Doesn’t ReFraine!

He’s been around the counties a bit having been on the books of Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire as well as representing Durham MCCU but at home county Yorkshire Will Fraine has finally announced himself.

Having recently replaced a struggling Harry Brook at the top of the order for the Yorkies, against an attack led by Morne Morkel and Sam Curran, Fraine has today recorded not only a maiden professional fifty but gone onto score a hundred in sunny Scarborough…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/scorecard/ECKO44763

Having just turned twenty-three Fraine now has an opportunity to really go on and have a decent career in the professional game.

http://m.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/870785.html

Yorkshire and the Headingley (And Scarborough… and York) faithful will be hoping that he does just that!

Can Notts Take any Moores?

To look at Nottinghamshire’s team, it’s hard to fathom that they’ve failed to win any of seven County Championship matches this season.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/county-championship-division-one/table

They’ve got genuine young talent in Matthew Carter, the recently acquired Ben Duckett and coach Peter Moores’ son Tom behind the stumps. They also posses proven internationals like Stuart Broad and James Pattinson, granted they may not play every game. In addition they have thoroughly decent county pros, the likes of Chris Nash, Steven Mullaney and Luke Fletcher. Not to mention Samit Patel and Jake Ball! But they’re bottom of the County Championship and sometimes struggling to post 100 let alone 200. Is their coach to blame? Twice England coach Peter Moores wasn’t Kevin Pietersen’s cup of tea and didn’t have a glittering career let alone an international one. We’ll save ourselves the trouble of listing great sporting coaches who hadn’t had amazing playing careers mind. Let’s not forget that Moores has coached two separate counties to County Championship success and basically in two separate eras.

Perversely, defending champions Surrey, led by England great Alec Stewart are also winless. Yes they’ve had injuries and lost players to both England and the IPL but they’ve still fielded a near full international side (Burns, Elgar, Foakes, Meaker, Morkel etc) sprinkled with high quality young players such as Ryan Patel. Don’t forget the wise old heads of Rikki Clarke and Gareth Batty in amongst those international players either. Though not as successful or prolonged at international level as they would’ve liked they are serious contributors at domestic level.

So what’s going wrong?

This is where I should summarise and explain why but… who knows? I certainly don’t. What do you think I am? Some sort of cricket expert!

What are your thoughts on how two such talented teams have failed to win in thirteen matches between them in 2019?