Wednesday, 17 June 2009

England - player-by-player, mano-et-mano

England's world T20 side, player by player. The mark out of 10 indicates potential, now or at some stage in the future, to be in a position to refer to themselves in the third person during interviews.

Ravi Bopara
5 matches; 145 runs at 29.00, s/r 112.40, hs 55 
Ooh, that straight drive. Ooh, that cut shot. Ravinder is quickly becoming as good as he thinks he is. Befriended by KP. KP's other friends: Warnie, Chris Gayle. Dead giveaway. Ravi, the world is yours.

Luke Wright
5 matches; 113 runs at 22.60, s/r 134.52, hs 71; 1 wkt at 58.00, econ 8.28
UB40 had a song called 1 in 10. It was not a reference to the ratio of innings in which Luke Wright is likely come good, but it's not far off. More like one in six or seven, which is around the number he should come in at. If, though, you require someone to hit the ball vertically up in the air to an implausible height, he's your man.

Kevin Pietersen
4 matches; 154 runs at 38.50, s/r 152.47, h/s 58; 1 wkt at 17.00, econ 8.50
You might not be aware of this because he barely mentioned it - he hates drama and attention - but he has an achilles injury, which has been injected. Still has those big match balls to go with his big match shots though, and is becoming a far more convincing T20 man.
11/10 - actually the first to use a third-person nickname whilst discussing himself. 

Owais Shah
5 matches, 106 runs at 21.20, s/r 108.16, h/s 38
Weird, twitchy, strangely melancholic, Owais needs more love than he's getting. Has the range of shots and the power. A minor manifestation of the Hick/Ramprakash enigma.  

Paul Collingwood
5 matches, 63 runs at 12.60, s/r 114.54, h/s 19; 1 wkt at 17.00, econ 8.50
The Peter Principal, which suggests that a man has been promoted out of a job, might now be renamed the Paul Principal. As a captain, he shares one quality with Mike Brearley - he bats like him. Anyone witnessing the group that surrounded Colly when any kind of decision needed making might deduce that he wasn't really captaining. Affected his fielding and he bowled only two overs. Farewell Colly, but thanks. 

Dimitri Mascarenhas
3 matches, 42 runs at 42.00, s/r 100.00, h/s 25*; 2 wickets at 22.50, econ 6.42
Quiz question: who came top of England's batting and bowling averages at the 2009 World T20? Correct, it was Dimi, one of Warnie's go-to men at Rajasthan. The clue's in SHANE WARNE, selectors. Goes without saying that you know better than him, though.

James Foster
5 matches, 37 runs at 12.33, s/r 115.62, h/s 14*; ct 3 st 3
Nervy at first but that electric, quicksilver stumping of Yuvraj turned the India game. Because this is England, there is now a body of opinion that says he should be replaced by Matt Prior. Wrong. Prior is good enough to play as a batsman. With more power in the middle order Foster's nurdling will be given a proper context, and T20, with its contractions and distillations, is the one format where a single piece of wicketkeeping brilliance can effectively win a match. 
1/10 - far too self effacing for all that. Which is nice.

Graeme Swann
4 matches, 5 wickets at 19.40, econ 6.92; 15 runs at 7.50, h/s 10*, s/r 93.75
About as good a conventional, non-mystery, straight-up, loopy, hit-that-if-you-can off-spin bowler as there is. Nous and swagger are his defences. Dreams of owning a Ferrari - that speaks of uncomplicated ambition. Potential to be a Harbhajan-type slogger if he practices.

Adil Rashid
4 matches, 3 wickets at 31.66, econ 7.30; 9 runs at --, h/s 9*, s/r 52.94
England were far more scared of him than he was of playing for England. The absolute best thing was his response to being hit. 

Stuart Broad
5 matches, 6 wickets at 17.33, econ 6.50; 22 runs at 22.00. h/s 10*, s/r 200.00
At the last one, he went for six sixes. At this one, he produced the overthrow that let the Netherlands beat England. That neither of these things will be held against him reflect his character. Came up with the round the wicket thing - good, and the arm-pointing thing - bad. 

James Anderson
5 matches, 5 wickets at 26.20, econ 7.55; 1 inns, 0 runs
Compared to Umar Gul, a disappointment. Compared to Mitchell Johnson, a success. That's Jimmy, occasionally devastating, more often middle of the pack. Didn't appear once as nightwatchman though, which must have felt weird.

Ryan Sidebottom
3 matches, 3 wickets at 22.00, econ 7.39; DNB
Probably undercooked, which made the last over against India impressive. Like most England bowlers, has a tendency to over-think things. Six yorkers are the default position - go on  from there.

Eion Morgan
1 match, six runs at 6.00, s/r 75.00, h/s 6
Bought the hype. Thought that England had selected him for the offbeat shots [let's be honest, they had], and felt obliged to play them. Needed proper direction. England - as usual - ran away in fear after one game. Must now be haunted by the name Ed Joyce.

Rob Key
1 match, 10 runs at --, h/s 10*, s/r 125.00
The most cursory study of Rob Key's career will reveal that a] England have toyed with his emotions like Madonna with a third-world orphan, and b] underneath the robust, ruddy exterior, Key does not feel like he belongs. The selectors' ambiguity extended to one game and being batted out of position like a red-faced sucker. A good player has been internationally neutered.

Graham Napier
o matches
What could England possibly want with a world-record-holding  six hitter who bowls at 85mph? I mean, really, what did he expect - a game? In this team? Sheesh.


Patricia said...

I thought that Chris Broad's 'arm pointing thing' was an excellent idea. Why is it considered bad form in cricket when it is commonplace in for example Tennis or Badminton to try to decieve the opponent as the where and how the ball is going to be hit.
In a sport in which sledging is allowed, how can a simple piece of sleight of hand be considered cheating.

Dave said...

I thought the arm-pointing was a bit naff, really. If he was going to make a such an obvious attempt to distract the batsman, he could have at least put some effort into it.

Russ said...

Eion Morgan (and Ed Joyce)
Should be playing for an Irish team that desperately needed some consistent fast-scoring middle order batsmen to complement their mostly tidy bowling and solid opening pair. The absence of which has now reinforced the view that they "aren't good enough to play at this level", when no other side has to overcome the dual handicap of limited access to top quality cricket and the shearing of their best two batsmen.

Leg Break said...

The arm pointing think might have been OK if it just didn’t look so ... gay.

Brit said...

Excellent analysis, though I'd have rated Graeme Swann's protential to refer to himself as "Swanny" higher than 7/10.

It's a pity England are so England. It's obvious that KP should be captain and Napier should replace Colly and Dimi should be first name on the teamsheet.

I rather like Broady's gay disco point. Like the round the wicket move, it was a fine English innovation.

Brit said...

...which didn't quite work.

kamrul hasan said...

All the players in England squad were good. Despite a bunch of good payers, England could not proceed far. They failed to use the home advantage. I think England will not get such kind of opportunity next time. However, I will request them to be more serious about Ashes. It is another prestigious series.

The Old Batsman said...

Patricia - The Broad move was against the spirit and probably the letter of the law, because the field must not be adjusted after the batsman has taken his stance and the bowler begun his run. Essentially, by gesturing towards a fielder it could be construed as an instruction to move.

And yeah, it was a bit lame, too...

Patricia said...

But Broad wasn't trying to adjust the field and no one would have thought he was in mid-run.It was just an example of the tactics that are employed in many other games and admired because they are clever, difficult to achieve and effective.

The Old Batsman said...

Yes, it's a matter of interpretation. It might also be considered a distraction under the laws of the game. But in reality, you'd probably just reach an impasse if it caught on. If i'd been facing him, my instinct would be to pull away and make him run in again to return the wind-up. It's also one of those things that would probably only work once, if it worked at all. Still, it livened things up a bit...