English cricket news = curate’s egg (yet again)

Some good news from the England camp…

Jones dropped for Read

I should explain that I’m not against Jones per se, but the way that Read was axed so cruelly for his “inability to get runs” should have left Jones much more open to scrutiny than he has been. If we’re going to play a wicket keeper who isn’t scoring runs we should really be playing our best wicket keeper, rather than a second rate keeper who only wins his place on his batting ability. On top of that Read’s form in the county game has been exemplary so far this season.

In the same way that Stewart and Russell used to fight for a place so should it be between Jones and Read. If Jones has form with the bat I won’t argue against his place, but if he’s failing to score as consistently as he has for the last 10 matches he shouldn’t play.

Things aren’t so hot on the Monty Panesar front though. While we (the fans) get all excited about what honestly looks like the first genuine English spinner for years it falls to Duncan “miserable arse” Fletcher to spoil the fun… “he’s an outstanding bowler and doing a job for us because there’s no-one else at the moment who can fulfill that role.

I mean really. After the pre-match comments from Strauss I commented on last Thursday it’s hard to see how the ‘unfavoured’ players can remotely begin to feel part of the team. It’s seriously likely that we’ll be without Vaughan, Flintoff, Giles and Jones for the foreseeable future (in fact it looks likely that we may be without Vaughan, Giles and Jones permanently). What are we supposed to do? We need to get a new team together, under a new captain with some real cohesion. Fletcher doing down one of the only two newcomers who look like they will be able to cement their place seems divisive and pointless.

He should be making Monty welcome, simple as that. Tresco, Strauss, Cook, KP, Colly, Bell, Read, Lewis, Hoggy, Harmison and Monty is a side that can win matches if they get themselves together. What they need is support from those around them.

How’s this for confidence building from your captain?

But we can’t rely solely on one bowler. The likes of Matthew Hoggard, the other seamer and spinner have to do a job.

Has he forgotten their names? Apparently this is Strauss’ chance to prove he’s the man to captain England in the Ashes. You have to say that he’s shown himself to have no personality of his own and appears to be unable to stand up to Fletcher (hence the ludicrous quote above, one imagines). Unless he can really assert himself he really isn’t going to be the captain we need. Unfortunately.

Damn damn damn damn damn damn damn

Anyone who takes any interest in cricket will no doubt already have heard the news that Freddie is out for another 12 weeks following an aggravation of the ankle injury. It now looks like there’s a risk he may not make the Ashes. I hate to be proven right, but if I can refer you to this very web site 8 months ago:

there’s a horrible possibility that we’ll look more like the 2002/3 tourists than the 2005 victors

Taking an injured Freddie really summed up that tour. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to sum up this next one too…


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