Sunday, May 28, 2006

Congratulations to the England selectors

Not a headline you read every day, but I think the England cricket selectors deserve some praise for their approach this summer.

Ashley Giles is injured. Instead of going for a bits-and-pieces player (Alex Loudon? Ian Blackwell) to bat at number eight and bowl a few token overs of spin, they have chosen Monty Panesar, who is the best young spinner in the country.

Simon Jones and Steve Harmison are injured. Instead of playing safe and picking a good county seamer like Jon Lewis to do a job on the green, early-season pitches, they have chosen two promising young fast bowlers in Liam Plunkett and Sajid Mahmood.

Alistair Cook came into the side over the winter and it immediately became clear that he was going to score thousands of runs for England. Instead of making him wait, they have kept him in the side at the expense of more experienced batsmen like Ian Bell or Robert Key.

Until a few years ago, the selectors would undoubtedly have made the more conservative selection in each of these cases. As it is they have done the brave thing and we have gone one up in the series against Sri Lanka.

The only complaint that we can have is the continued selection of Geraint Jones. The irony is that, while his keeping does seem to be improving, he is no longer scoring enough runs. Chris Read or Matt Prior must get a turn soon.

1 comment:

Peter Pigeon said...

Not sure I agree on this.

Jon Lewis probably should have played at Lords. Mahmood may be great in the future - but isn't yet. Remember Dawson?

Trescothick Straus and Collingwood were pretty ordinary county players before playing for England (okay they were all batsmen).

Of course I'm from Glos :lol: