Monday, 6 July 2009

The Baker's dozen

The England ‘13’ for the first Ashes test contains a couple of curious picks:

Ian Bell: what does this guy have that keeps getting him in the squad? The answer is obvious I suppose: a central contract. It would be an admission of failure to keep not picking him especially after the Vaughan central contract fiasco. Bell’s first class record for Warwickshire this year looks quite good: 8 innings at 79.50. However, those numbers are a little deceiving. He has only made one century and that was way back on April 15th. He made an outing for England Lions last week (or England A as they used to be called) and got a first baller from Lee followed by 20 (from 63 balls). So why would they pick him? Oh yea, the central contract...

Monty Panaser: “go back to your county and take some wickets”. Well he only did the first part of that. Not only did he not take many wickets but a look down the bowling averages makes me wonder if he would be dropped from Northamptonshire’s side. His stats are 8 wickets at 86.7! Surely that would make him unpickable. He did take three wickets for England against Warwickshire last week (batsmen numbers 8, 10 and 11 mind you) and he does have a reasonable record against Australia.

The problem is that both these players were told to go away and get some form. Neither has done that and yet are in the squad – with the suggestion that Panesar will play (even if Bell does not). How can young England cricketers hope to get selected when serial poor performers are regularly rewarded with selection?


GoodCricketWicket said...

The answer is there is no-one else. England's only alternative to Bell with any test experience is Shah, who is perhaps the only player less inspiring.

Rashid was expensive against Australia for the Lions, so Panesar just about gets in ahead of him.

I suspect that neither will play at Cardiff.

Rob said...

Onions instead of Panaser. Interesting and Onions definately deserves it more.

Difficult to see Bell playing unless they drop Collingwood (which is not going to happen).

Krish said...

You are right. Neither of them deserve to be in the 13. I suspect they will be left out too. But then if someone doesn't perform, will they get a chance? It seems a bit crazy.