Australia: Naive or Cunning?

Australia have neglected to select even a part-time wicketkeeping option in their World Cup squad…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/26526151/smith-warner-make-world-cup-return-handscomb-hazlewood-out

Should Alex Carey fall ill or get injured just before the start of a match then Australia will be looking around for a sub-standard stand-in. I think that I’ve seen Aaron Finch keep wicket briefly.

Now they can call up an injury replacement if required. I hope that they’re not going to have one of Paine, Handscomb or Wade, all of whom are in an A squad that’s touring England during the World Cup, at the ground incase. If they do then they shouldn’t be allowed to make a same day change. All teams have been allowed to select a fifteen man squad… not sixteen!

I may be doing Australia a disservice here as I’m preempting actions but I hope it doesn’t happen then their integrity need not be questioned… again!

Mankad? – Mancan!

No introduction needed…

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Take care followers.

Edit: I neglected to say that I have no qualms about it being a pre-determined tactic either. Just like teams prepare to ball short stuff to a batsman with a dodgy track record against short pitched bowling then well done if they’ve done their homework and identified a batsman susceptible to being ‘Mankaded’.

Telegraph Fantasy Cricket: CC/ODC 2019

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Hi followers

Above is my Telegraph Fantasy Cricket team for the 2019 campaign. This covers both the County Championship and One-Day Cup. My wife has also selected a team and I’ve selected a team for each of my daughters and a family composite. I’m optimistic that all my teams will be competitive but the above is my first XI.

In my batting unit, I expect Mullaney, Westley and Mitchell to all contribute with the ball as well as with the bat.  Jonny Tattersall is surely a shoe-in as wicketkeeper for Yorkshire so there’s additional points to be had there too. I refer to these players as dual-function cricketers and see these sort of selections are essential for my team. They’re dual-function cricketers who are likely to play in both formats of the game… points, points, points!

Ben Foakes, unfortunately unlikely to be involved with England assumes the gloves and the captaincy. Remember that your captain cores double points!

Ryan Higgins and Ed Barnard have been stand out performers on the domestic circuit in recent seasons and select themselves as my all-rounders. Higgins had previously been listed as a batsman but the correct call has been made to label him as an all-rounder. It’s odd that Tattersall isn’t listed as a wicketkeeper though when there’s really no other option at Yorkshire.

Mohammad Abbas has been phenomenal in the past at Leicestershire and I expect him to prosper again. Steven Finn is one who won’t be fancied by many but at domestic level he should be reliable in both formats. Rated only 1, Stuart Whittingham is a player that I see getting plenty of game time at Gloucestershire following the departure of a couple of senior bowlers. I wouldn’t normally advocate selecting England players but with a lot of one-day matches early in the campaign, Liam Plunkett will be bursting a gut to get on the field at new side Surrey and make sure that he doesn’t slip out of England’s World Cup reckoning. I can then make transfers if necessary.

Telegraph Fantasy Cricket isn’t exactly cheap to play and the cash prizes on offer aren’t  life changing. I’ve paid £20.00 for ten credits. I can use these in the T20 competition and the World Cup edition however the World Cup edition is £4 not £2 per credit!

I’ll let you know how it goes and good luck if you’re participating.

Test Match not so Special!

Warning! Extremely long sentence and moan coming!

I’ve touched upon my frustrations with BBC Test Match Special before but before we consider the arrogance, distance and general stuck-upness of many of the commentators on there, the lack of insight, intelligence or articulateness, particularly amongst the ex-players, this is despite having played the game for many years, there’s one thing that I particularly can’t stand… it’s the fact that they rarely correct each other when they make a mistake! (And breathe!)

Isn’t to be corrected something that we all welcome? Particularly in a public working environment. Don’t we all want to enhance our knowledge and have it pointed out if we’re wrong or lost our concentration? Of course somewhere along the line with so much going on your mind and mouth are going to go out of sync but isn’t that why there’s somebody sat next you mr/miss commentator? The co-commentator should politely and jovially point out the error. This can usually be done in a nice way and actually enhance the listening experience for the… err, listener.

I find the habit of ignoring these errors, particularly getting somebody’s name wrong, distracting and unprofessional. It’s going to happen somewhere, mistake a player for another or muddle a name, I get that but it should be limited.

If BBC maintain the rights, particularly during a World Cup and Ashes summer, where such potentially inspiring competitions are absent from free to air TV (But don’t worry, your kid is supposedly being taught cricket at school!) then let’s hope that they can up their game!