At last… another audiocast. Enjoy!
Thanks for listening.
At last… another audiocast. Enjoy!
Thanks for listening.
Having reached the halfway point of the round robin stage of the inaugural Global ODI Invitational, here are some statistical highlights from our performances.
Highest Team Total: 510-7 vs. Namibia at Namibia Stadium
Highest Individual Innings: Dawid Malan – 163 vs. Hong Kong at Edgbaston
Highest Batting Average: Sam Curran – 84.00
Leading Run-scorer: Dawid Malan – 387
Most Catches: Jonny Bairstow – 31
Best Bowling (Innings/Match): Tom Curran, 5-19 vs. Hong Kong at Edgbaston
Best Bowling Average: Matthew Carter – 6.00
Leading Wicket Taker: Tom Curran – 13
Batsman Ben Duckett has been recalled to the England fold meanwhile there is also a fully merited call-up for Lancashire seamer Tom Bailey and an exciting selection in spinner Matthew Carter for England Lions’ tour of India this winter.
With an ODI World Cup and Ashes series on the horizon next year, this is as good a time as any to stand up and be counted for ‘The Pride’!
At the start of the year I stumbled upon CricketXI, an alternative fantasy cricket competition. This game focused purely on the County Championship (First Class) campaign.
I selected a team of young guns and as you can see things went really well! It was great to see the likes of Jonny Tattersall, Zak Crawley and Will Jacks develop. Harry Brook, Ben Twohig (Love his name!) and Matthew Carter also made great strides.
Unfortunately Surrey pacer Matt Dunn got injured early in the campaign and disappeared from the professional radar once again. Wicketkeeper Lewis McManus lost his place in the Hampshire First XI. Teammate Asher Hart and Essex spinner Aron Nijjar (Who fooled me by playing in a pre-season university match!) couldn’t get near their respective first XIs. Neither could spinner Sukhjit Singh who was sadly released by Warwickshire at the end of the campaign. Warwickshire clearly have little interest in developing their own young players and much prefer to sign absolutely anybody. While that’s great for players like Will Rhodes and Olly Stone, it’s not for players like Singh and Andy Umeed.
As well as my outfit of kids, I also selected a more ‘serious’ side but following early season injury, Sam Northeast failed to really get going having relocated from Kent to Hampshire and has fallen way down the England pecking order. Disappointingly, Sussex batsman Luke Wells and Nottinghamshire’s Riki Wessels failed to back-up productive 2017 campaigns.
On the plus side, James Hildreth was amongst the runs as ever, meanwhile Tom Bailey, Ben Sanderson and everybody’s favourite ex-England cricketer Jade Dernbach, contributed with the ball.
Well, there’s always next year!
England have named their Test and ODI squads for the winter tour of Sri Lanka as well as announcing the Lions squads for matches against Pakistan A in UAE:
Here’s a party of players who must feel unfortunate not to have at least made the Lions cut…
Ben Slater (Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire) 349 CC runs @ 43.62 (Div 1) / 676 CC runs @ 42.75 (Div 2) / 386 ODC runs @ 55.14
Left-handed opening bat Slater’s consistent run plundering earned him a move from Derbyshire to Nottinghamshire. He made runs in both the First Class (Divisions 1 & 2) and List A format. Next year he’ll hope to continue to go well amongst many new faces at Trent Bridge.
Will Rhodes (Warwickshire) 972 CC runs @ 44.18
Having departed Yorkshire, Rhodes grew and grew at his new home finishing the campaign with four tons in the County Championship. He and Dominic Sibley look a strong foundation for a Warwickshire side that like a signing!
Daryl Mitchell (Worcestershire) Captain 957 CC runs @ 38.81
With a lot on his plate off the field, Mitchell made four tons in Division One having previously been criticised for scoring the majority of his centuries in Division Two. He’s a more than handy asset with the ball too and could captain the side.
James Hildreth (Somerset) 1089 CC runs @ 45.38 / 438 ODC runs @ 62.57
Runs, more runs for the Somerset veteran, not just in the First Class arena but with the white-ball too. Somehow he remains ignored by yet another selection panel.
Tom Abell (Somerset) Vice-Captain 883 CC runs @ 40.41 / 19 wickets @ 25.89
Similar to Mitchell in that he’s a batsman come all-rounder, Abell’s batting has started to fall into place again and he and Mitchell would make a good leadership brains trust.
Ed Barnard (Worcestershire) 516 CC runs @ 23.45 / 49 CC wickets @ 23.22 / 153 ODC runs @ 76.50 / 16 ODC wickets @ 28.88
It’s utterly absurd that Barnard’s efforts haven’t been recognised by the selectors this season. With both bat and ball and in red and white-ball cricket, Barnard has consistently starred.
Ryan Higgins (Gloucestershire) 48 CC wickets @ 18.38 / 195 ODC runs 65.00
Like Rhodes, a move has been a good move for Higgins and like Barnard, he’s performed in all facets in all formats having joined Gloucestershire from Middlesex.
Ben Brown (Sussex) Wicketkeeper 912 CC runs @ 43.43 (52ct/1st)
Another strong campaign from the Sussex gloveman. A genuine top six willow wielder and has handy captaincy experience to support Mitch and Abell behind the stumps.
Matthew Carter (Nottinghamshire) 16 CC wickets @ 32.81 / 13 ODC wickets @ 15.23
Carter didn’t rack up phenomenal stats but the potential is there and it was good to see him get more experience under his belt. England should ‘Get Carter’! Sorry, I’ve used that one before but couldn’t resist!
Tom Bailey (Lancashire) 64 CC wickets @ 19.66
Bailey’s consistent wicket-taking means that he’s another odd one to be so obviously neglected. He poses a constant threat for batsman and averaged sub 20 with the ball in County Championship Division One.
Ben Coad (Yorkshire) 48 CC wickets @ 16.33
Like his Lancashire rival and in this squad, opening bowling partner, Coad is another strange one to miss out. Despite his excellent Division One performances he’s rarely mentioned in England dispatches. There’s possibly a reluctance on the part of the selectors to pick another Yorkshireman.
The following players could also make the squad with some selections geared towards limited overs cricket in particular.
Ian Cockbain (Gloucestershire) 208 ODC runs @ 69.33
Laurie Evans (Sussex) 243 CC runs @ 60.75 / 614 T20B runs @ 68.22
Ben Cox (Worcestershire) Wicketkeeper 396 ODC runs @ 79.20 (18ct)
Sam Cook (Essex) 27 CC wickets @ 25.33
Ben Sanderson (Northamptonshire) 60 CC wickets @ 16.70
Amir Virdi (Surrey) 39 CC wickets @ 30.36
Even beyond this squad there are yet more England qualified players to have been neglected. Maybe Ed Smith and crew will pull another surprise on us soon!
Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Jack Leach, Dom Bess, Liam Dawson, Mason Crane, Matthew Parkinson, Sukhjit Singh, Hamidullah Qadri, Matthew Carter, Amir Virdi, Ben Twohig, Matthew Critchley, Josh Poysden, Adam Riley…
There is an oft-repeated myth that English cricket lacks a healthy stock of spin bowlers. That assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no doubting the abundance of talent on the county cricket scene. Admittedly many of the aforementioned players are far from the finished article. They are young guns and it remains to be seen whether or not they’ll be presented with the opportunity to develop as one would hope. If they are, then the competition for places in the England team will be intense!
Through misfortune (AKA injury), England have accidentally bred competition. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid have returned to the Test side. Jack Leach has quite rightly been left to rediscover his groove at Somerset and Mason Crane was making promising strides in white-ball (List A/T20) cricket before injury recurred its ugly head. It’s been great to witness Adam Riley return to the Kent fold and Matthew Parkinson is surely a candidate for at least England’s T20I side in the short term. Josh Poysden has relocated to Yorkshire where he can hopefully blossom (Like a white rose!). If Nottinghamshire provide him with opportunity then England may want to get Carter (See what I did there?!). Fingers crossed that Sukhjit Singh and the rest can break into their respective county first XIs sooner rather than later. Meanwhile the much maligned Liam Dawson is one of the most ever-improving cricketers in the English game. He did little wrong during his Test outings (With the ball at least. His batting went awol post debut), suffered from being a fill-in player under attack from the opposition but performed admirably well in the Pakistan Super League.
England don’t want to make any RASH decisions, go down a dark ALI, succumb to blood sucking LEACHes. They want to get the BESS out of their spin bowlers by POYSDENing the opposition batsmen. They want to PARKinson up and SINGH from the hills. They don’t want to be CARTERed around, they want to go at no more than TWOhig an over. They want to CRANE over the opposition and live a life of RILEY!
Please have a listen to my latest audio cast here…
The England squad in full can be found by clicking below…
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