9 Days – Mixed Blessings

The tourists have had a very busy few days. The draw against New South Wales counts for almost nothing as at team exercise, Fletcher saw to that by playing 14 men and removing the 1st class status.

But as a collection of individual performances it made for fascinating viewing.

Jimmy Anderson, quite rightly stole most of the print for his bowling and it is indeed encouraging to see his new action allows him to swing more or less around corners.

Pieterson and Flintoff both managed good knocks with the bat, thankfully answering many of the observations made in these pages.

However, the preformance which stood out in my mind was that of G Jones. Not content with grassing a catch and missing two stumping he turned in a typically underwhelming showing at the crease.

Fletcher will no doubt turn a deaf ear to the frustrated weeping of Chris Read in the next few weeks, as he insists on fielding as many MBE’s as he can.

 No doubt the most starteling event is the demise of Marcus Trescothick.

I cannot critcise this man, he is a loyal son of Albion who has given his all for years without pause and now is reaping the whirlwind of his quiet dedication.

Many in the media are speculating that he could return in time, pointing to the example of Thorpe.

The crucial difference is Thorpe missed one tour as his personal life spun out of control and his marriage ended.

Marcus is suffering from an obviously clinical problem.

Anyone who spends two hours crying on the physio’s shoulder in the dressing room having already missed two tours is not looking likely to come back.

His demise is a very sad testament to the ICC’s ruthless fixture list, allowing the best no time at home.

While he is a great personal loss to the team, the odds are that Cook will be a better opening partner for Strauss anyway, and Collingwood (quite rightly) will keep his spot.

The new news is the selection of Ed Joyce. I will not dwell on the idiocy of overlooking Ramprakash, Butcher and Benning, all of whom have much stronger claims. Rather we will pause and give thanks that it was not Owais Shah, the hapless Rob Key or God forbid, Rikki “The Muppet” Clarke.

 

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5 thoughts on “9 Days – Mixed Blessings

  1. There is an obvious anti-Kent bias in your commentary, Mr Captain.

    The point which I should imagine swayed Fletcher and Flintoff is that Read’s uncharacteristic run of good batting came to a juddering halt in India, whereas Jones’s uncharacteristic run of poor batting came a long way towards being put to bed with some fine performances at County Level last summer.

    What’s more, aside from Jones being a much more experienced test cricketer he also grew up in Australia – he knows a thing or two about hard wickets.

    And if you really think it’s better, speaking either tactically or patriotically, for England to field an Irishman who has never even appeared in a test rather than a red-blooded Man Of Kent who is captain of England A and a double centurion in test cricket, well… each to his own.

  2. Gents,

    I’ll be attending the next three-day game which is in Adelaide starting tomorrow. And I’ve finished my exams so will be able to give a more thorough and coherent report. Might even take a few photos of the wonderful ground that is the Adelaide Oval… that is if I recover qucik enough after post exam parties!

  3. Mr Hon T. I wish to point out that neither Jones nor Read has had a respectable bat for their country in years, I can provide figures if you like. The universally admitted truth is that Read has kept faultlessly, whereas Mr Jones has demonstrated time and again that he could not catch the proverbial cold.
    Even if Jones could bat, which he cannot (incidenteldy he played diabolically for Kent as well after he was dropped) missing three wickets is inexcusable in Test cricket and fatal against the Australian. Three wickets would be more valuable than if he turned in a century an innings.
    As for the red-blooded man of Kent R Key, the one time we saw the likely lad play he was caught for 1 off three balls. But that might have merely been the superior Surrey keeping by Jon Batty, whom by the way, the Wisden were calling for England to call up, given his batting average is better than Read or Jones.

  4. Geraint Jones scored half centuries in his last two county championship innings last season. That’s thoroughly respectable. He has also improved a great deal in his keeping.

    I wouldn’d dispute that Read is still the best keeper in the country, and he did get some good innings against Pakistan, but he would be torn to pieces by the Aussies if he ever tried to bat against them. He bats in an undisciplined fashion like a desperate tail-ender and they would very quickly get the measure of him.

    We all know that England need to shorten their tail, and that’s especially true if we’re going to play everybody’s favourite slapstick Sikh (which we need to) and Sajid Mahmood (which we probably should). For that purpose, on the basis of both long term and recent performances, it’s clear that Jones has got the edge.

    If he doesn’t perform well, Read can replace him, and the healthy competition between the two will only spur them both on to greater things.

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