Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Do England's Selectors do anything?

Wikipedia has this entry:

"In many sports, a selection panel consist of selectors who choose teams or individuals to represent a country or club in sporting competitions."

I had a sneeking suspicion that England's Test selectors don't actually do much selecting so I went through the Test records for the past couple of years to find out. In the table below you can see the selection changes made to the England batting line-up since the last Ashes Test 2005. The astonishing fact is that there have been virtually no other players selected than those that played in that famous Oval Test. Virtually all the personnel changes have been because of injury. The line-up that has just played at Old Trafford is the same as the one that played in the 1st Test in New Zealand and the 2nd against West Indies (2007) and with the addition of Andrew Flintoff (who could very well have been playing) is the same line-up that played the first Ashes test in 2006.

The truth is that despite England's general poor form with the bat no-one gets dropped for it and the cosy club of Strauss, Bell, Cook, Pietersen, Collingwood and Vaughan seem to somehow to deflect the blame for England's poor results onto the bowlers. Surely these six players cannot have been the best in England for the best part of three years?

England v Australia 5th Test
Trescothick, Strauss, Vaughan, Bell, Pietersen, Collingwood, Flintoff

England in Pakistan, 2005-06 (0-2)
1st Test (Lost): Vaughan injured, no batting replacement
2nd Test (Drawn): Vaughan replaces Collingwood
3rd Test (Lost): no change

England in India, 2005-06 (1-1)
1st Test (Drawn): Collingwood replaces injured Vaughan, Cook replaces Trescothick (left tour)
2nd Test (Lost): no change
3rd Test (Won): Shah replaces Cook (Illness)

England v Sri Lanka 2006 (1-1)
1st Test (Drawn): Trescothick, Strauss, Cook, Pietersen, Collingwood, Flintoff. Trescothick and Cook replace Shah and Bell
2nd and 3rd Test, no change

England v Pakistan 2006 (3-0)
1st Test (Drawn): Bell replaces Flintoff (Injured)
2nd, 3rd, 4th Test, no change

England in Australia 2006-07 (0-5)
1st Test (Lost): Strauss, Cook, Bell, Collingwood, Pietersen, Flintoff. Flintoff comes in an Trescothick left the tour so not a like-for-like.
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Tests (Lost), no change

England v West Indies 2007 (3-0)
1st Test (Drawn): Strauss, Cook, Shah, Pietersen, Collingwood, Bell. Shah in, Flintoff injured.
2nd Test (Won): Vaughan for Shah
3rd and 4th Test: no change

England v India 2007 (0-1)
No changes from 3rd and 4th Tests against West Indies

England in Sri Lanka 2007-08 (0-1)
1st Test (Drawn): Cook, Vaughan, Bell, Pietersen, Collingwood, Bopara. Bopara in. Strauss was dropped for "Strauss needs to recover his best form and he has not been included in the squad on this occasion."
2nd and 3rd Test, no change

England in New Zealand 2007-08 (2-1)
1st Test (Lost): Cook, Vaughan, Strauss, Pietersen, Bell, Collingwood. Strauss was selected despite playing no cricket since being dropped
2nd and 3rd Test: no change

England v New Zealand 2008 (1-0)
1st and 2nd Test: no change, same line-up that played in 1st Test of New Zealand tour

1 comment:

scorpicity said...

A perfect analysis of the real problem in English cricket... now that Duncan is out, I would have hoped for them to unearth some more local talent... but no!

good work.