England T20I batsman Dawid Malan looks certain to complete what may seem a slightly surprising move north to Yorkshire.
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.
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.
Here’s the link to this season’s original Six to Watch…
… and here’s this season’s review now that the 2019 county campaign had concluded…
Bell-Drummond has done okay (892 CC runs @ 35.68) this season and it’s particularly pleasing to see him move back to the top of the order for Kent. Of course his Kent teammate Zak Crawley has leapfrogged him in terms of England selection, a pick based on style over substance. Bell-Drummond has become a useful bowling option which makes him of even greater value to the team. Still only 26 the signs are encouraging and hopefully his most fruitful seasons can yet be ahead of him.
After a renaissance of sorts last year it’s now hard to see what the future holds for former England-man Briggs. Fellow slow-left-armer Delray Rawlins, a genuine all-rounder, has grasped his first team opportunities at Sussex whilst Will Beer has also had more game time this year thus limiting Briggs’ output. Briggs claimed only four County Championship wickets at 63.75 this term, did okay in one-day cricket but was largely ineffectual in the T20 game particularly when compared to many other spinners who thrived.
Burnham’s season has been far from outstanding (598 CC runs @ 27.18) but he’s been back on a cricket pitch and got some runs under his belt. This year was about getting back in the groove and though still only 22, Durham will need him to crack on in 2020.
It seemed that everything had fallen into place for Jones with an excellent run of form in limited overs international cricket earlier this year. Disappointingly however, after a fifty (64) on Test debut her form tailed off dramatically against Australia. Still, after struggling to build on solid starts she produced some crucial performances late in the domestic T20 campaign and is good enough to come again for England.
Plom has regularly featured for Essex 2nd XI and has appeared in the 1st XI squad in the latter part of the campaign. Technically he made a washed out First Class debut in 2018 but awaits a real opportunity for the current county circuit’s dominant outfit. Jamie Porter, Sam Cook and Aaron Beard don’t make Plom’s route to the first XI easy.
Wong debuted for Southern Vipers this year in the T20 format having already turned out for Warwickshire Women in one-day cricket. She claimed figures of 4-25 against Yorkshire (Typical!) in May. She can also solve a Rubix cube!
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.
Please have a listen to my thoughts on the release of spin bowler Karl Carver from Yorkshire…
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!
On Sunday I went to see Yorkshire Vikings host Derbyshire Falcons in the T20 Blast…
Yorkshire are so reliant on their top three of Adam Lyth, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and David Willey that if those three don’t fire then they struggle to post anything near competitive totals.
The white rose side played three spinners in the form of South Africa’s Keshav Maharaj, loanee Dom Bess and young Jack Shutt. None of them impressed nor did pace bowler Duanne Olivier. Admittedly the South African England hopeful (!) had a chance dropped but figures of 3-0-47-0 are pretty painful.
Yorkshire don’t seem to understand what they want to be in white-ball cricket. Are there no young and modern minded attacking batsmen coming thorough the ranks? Still, soon it’s back to the four-day affairs where the Headingley outfit should be much stronger… I mean they do tend to actually select their best players for that one!
Here’s my suggested England Test squad for the match against Ireland and ultimately the start of the Ashes…
Joe Root (Captain)
Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)
Mark Wood/Jofra Archer
James Anderson/Chris Woakes
The suggestion is that Archer and Woakes have injuries that need managing and may have to wait their turn. Of course Anderson is currently out of action and Wood is not going to play five consecutive Tests. Extremely good players are going to have to miss out and that may be the case for Sam Curran. I think that variety is essential in an attack but with slow left-armer Leach meriting selection ahead of Moeen that doesn’t help fellow leftie Curran’s case. I still believe in Moeen but he’s gone AWOL as a batsman and Leach should’ve played in West Indies. His batting and fielding have come on too. Moeen would be best served getting some county cricket under his belt. If somebody in the top/middle order fails after a few Tests then the others could be shuffled to accommodate Moeen as a second spinner or even allow Curran to come into the side. He himself is capable of batting at least as high as six.
On the batting front, Sibley merits selection. His ‘form’ isn’t just that. His sensational run started last year and included a hundred overseas. He clearly has a lot of ambition and concentration and could be just what England need. I’d have no concerns about tempo from the openers. Test matches last five days!
I also firmly believe that Malan is good enough to succeed at this level but his optimum batting position is number four. That’s why Root must move to three and embrace it. He might not like it but he’ll have a better team for it. Yes Malan has played before and averaged 27 like everybody else but he hinted at being good enough and is knocking the door down with an axe. You only have to look at the likes of Mark Butcher, Justin Langer and Marvan Atapattu, even Jonny Bairstow for players that came back stronger and age wise look at Mike Hussey, Kumar Sangakarra and Misbah-ul-Haq, even Andy Flower. Malan could yet have his peak years ahead of him. His inclusion helps maintain a good left-hand/right-hand balance throughout the batting order.
The likes of Gary Ballance and Toby Roland-Jones as well as Dom Bess could all be hitting form at the right time to keep incumbents on their toes. Sam Northeast is another one for whom a place in the XI is a genuine possibility. Like I say though, good players will have to miss out. That’s theory of numbers. Coad, Gregory, Porter, Denly and Roy etc, you cant squeeze them all in.
Regarding Roy, he simply can’t be trusted to be fit enough to field long enough to be allowed, in accordance with the rules of the game, to open the batting thus rendering his inclusion pointless if everybody else has to move higher up the order than they want too.
One more thing. What a shame that the England Lions players as well as most county squads can’t watch the World Cup final. Who scheduled this?!