Monday 12 January 2009

Warner's plum

Eleven days into the year, and David Warner has played one of 2009's landmark innings. Not for what it was - good though it was - but for what it means, for what it predicts. Warner, 22 years old and with a few list-A games on his slim CV, proved that youth is fearless and has nothing to unlearn; essential qualities for a new game.  The fish does not ask about the water. 

It was a bravura selection by Australia, but one that taps into an existing trend. The IPL's recruiters had already found Warner, and more of his ilk. The belief that Twenty20 is a game for young batsman and old bowlers continues to hold up.

The world understands this and will embrace it. The world outside of England, that is. It is simply impossible to imagine a kid from a county second XI opening in the next T20 international. 

Instead, here's the last England T20 side: Bell, Prior, Shah, Pietersen, Flintoff, Collingwood, Patel, Wright, Swann, Broad, Harmison. No place for Graham Napier or Dimi Mascarenhas, let alone Dawid Malan. England are already behind the curve, and they do not sense the future. 

In Twenty20, England don't do 'nothing to lose'. They just do lose. With a little clarity of thought, Pietersen's departure offered them a chink of light for the World Championships. They could give the captaincy to a Mascarenhas or a Key, and do what the world is doing: choose life.

They won't of course. England has a decent Twenty20 side. They're just not going to pick it. 


Tony.T said...

Your headline - I like it very much.

Anonymous said...

I don't intend to praise the Indian ODI outfit. But as i pointed out in my post earlier, India have managed to win 19 of 29 ODI matches in 2008 (with 2 washed-out matches). This is a much better record when compared to their performance in 2007. This success can only be attributed to the presence of young players in the Indian team, who have played fearless cricket. India have done the tough thing of dumping Dravid, Ganguly and Sachin (he doesn't play too much ODI's these days). I don't see a reason why England can't!

Anonymous said...

I suspect the ECB have so appalled themselves by making the decision to appoint a captain outside their comfort zone (and then giving him the old heave-ho) that they will avoid doing anything at all that smacks of modernity

The Old Batsman said...

Yup, I'm getting depressed thinking about the T20 Champs. Almost everyone stands more chance than us.

Cheers Tony - one for the old days