Thursday, 8 October 2009

South Africa Squads

England announced their squads to tour South Africa in November. The ‘headlines’ have been generated by the omission of Steve Harmison. His lack of form and maybe commitment on tour means that this is not really a surprise. Geoff Miller this lunch time made it fairly clear (to me anyway) that Harmison would never be picked again. His words said the opposite of course but he also mentioned that Harmison’s comments that he would not tour Australia in 2010 had a bearing on it. Translation: not going to pick you. Fair enough I think.

A few choices have raised a my eyebrows. In the Test squad they have picked Luke Wright. There is no way Wright is a test player, he is just good enough to play ODI cricket. In South Africa against Steyn etc he has no chance. They have picked the hopeless Ian Bell and dropped Bopara and Shah. Why do they persist with some mediocre players and insist that others are dropped at the first chance? Same story time after time. They have also picked a reserve wicketkeeper (Steven Davies) but no reserve opener. So we are stuck with the steadily declining Cook whatever happens...

In the one day squad they have picked, I kid you not, Alastair Cook and (wait for it) dropped Owais (destroyer of South Africa a week ago) Shah. What on earth is going on there? No Bopara either so the thinking must be that Cook is better than both of them. Bizarre.


Cricket Betting Blog said...

I have a few views on these issues. On one hand I can understand the dropping of Bopara, Harmison and Shah from the respective squads.

The issue seems to be one of consistency though, if the reason they are been dropped is for underperforming (maybe in Harmisons case, it could be down to him being non-committal for the Ashes tour) then the same should apply to Cook, Collingwood, Bell etc in the test team. And also Shah and Bopara were not the only ones to badly underperform in the ODI squad.

In fact if you look back over the Oz series and Champions Trophy and ask yourself who did really well, I think you would struggle to come up with one batsman(and not many bowlers either).

The issue seems to be more of personality but the selectors won't publicly admit it.

If you take Cook for example he scored a test hundred in Sri Lanka at the end of 2007, a notable hundred. Since then he has scored two centuries - both against West Indies, one home and one away - and I don't believe he has missed a match through injury duing that time, he certainly hasn't been dropped.

If you can be out of form for the best part of two years and not even be considered for getting dropped then someone, somewhere must like something about you. And then get recalled to the ODI squad on top of that.

I just think when Geoff Miller rolls out the lack of form over the past 12 months excuse it is a fairly weak one and is a bit insulting to people. If it applys to both Shah and Bopara, it should apply to all.

In the case of Luke Wright, I must admit I was very surprised to see him called into the test squad, I thought they would have seen Bresnan as more of a test allrounder, although I don't think either are up to the job. There is no replacement out there for Flintoff, so they shouldn't waste their time trying to create one.

I also would have taken Joe Denly in the test squad to put Cook under pressure and it also gives the selectors another option for the problem position of No.3, with either Cook or Denly potentially batting there.

Francois said...

Cook definitiely has to step up. He had a pretty poor Ashes series.