England right to stick rather than twist

first_img | Pick 0 1 Please select Personal abuse Off topic Legal issue Trolling Hate speech Offensive/Threatening language Copyright Spam Other Duncan Fletcher Report Share on LinkedIn | Pick “we” dropped Geraint Jones?You mean you were outvoted by the other two selectors, then reinstated him the moment the plane to Australia left the ground. MouthoftheMersey 5 Jun 2008 8:24 Comments 44 Ian Bell has suffered inconsistancy since being moved around in the batting order. Photograph: Neal Simpson/Empics-PA Strange, I would have thought that a higher priority than continuity would be having a middle order that actually scores some runs.Why shouldn’t players be made to keep looking over their shoulders? That’s the sharpness and hunger that makes Australians so much better. They know they have to perform. In contrast, Vaughan has been appointed to sit on a throne at least until the end of Ashes 2009, regardless of his form. The others are undroppable. No-one has the guts to give Pietersen the kick he needs and deserves.Spineless. The Ashes 2009 3-1 to Australia. Since you’re here… … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian Grabyrdy England cricket team | Pick England v New Zealand 2008 Facebook Reply 5 Jun 2008 16:21 Share Report England cricket team Now I’m scared… Share on Facebook 0 1 Reuse this content,View all comments > comments (44)Sign in or create your Guardian account to join the discussion. Order by oldest Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Report I advocate playing people in form, we’ve been lucky to say the least against New Zealand, so I would advocate three changes.These would be Hoggard (in form again after one bad game) for Anderson (inconsistent and just doesn’t threaten batsman enough) and Shah and Bopara (the latter being in amazing form) for Bell and Collingwood (both out of whom are of form, which means they should return to the county circuit until they redicover their form and confidence to challenge for the test team again.Why wait for South Africa to beat us before making changes for the winter. Duncan Fletcher suggests it is too late to make changes: “England need a settled feel ahead of the South Africa series next month and the Tests this winter.”I would say that players need experience before the Ashes and this is the perfect time to chuck them in. | Pick 0 1 0 1 Reply Threads collapsed Reply Share on Twitter 0 1 Now I’m really scared… Close report comment form Loading comments… Trouble loading? Facebook Twitter Reply Share on Facebook Sportblog Twitter 5 Jun 2008 16:40 Facebook | Pick Share on Facebook Reply Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Report All TheSozz Twitter Share Share on Facebook Facebook 5 Jun 2008 7:49 5 Jun 2008 15:28 5 Jun 2008 16:04 “it is too late to start making serious changes to the line-up. “there ya go, Dunc. That’s a fact, for sure. pepp Facebook England right to stick rather than twist 5 Jun 2008 17:36 expanded Share on Twitter NimrodTroyte Facebook Share on Twitter 5 Jun 2008 19:41 50 Report oldest | Pick 0 1 Share on Twitter Report Share on Facebook Facebook Facebook Agree with many comments above.Bloggers: exactly. We need a pool of ~8 experienced batsmen to draw on, 2 keepers, 2 spinners and ~6 pacemen (all-rounders included under above categories), making 18 in total. These should all have played and succeeded in the preceding couple of years. Sensible selection criteria, treating players as adults not insecure adolescents and including a long period rotation (e.g. ~ 5 Tests) would benefit them all.Take Shah for example: scored 80 in his first Test, came in for one other Test with the implicit message that unless he did something amazing the old guard would be back for the next and failed of course. He should have been given a run of ~5 Tests after his first and only dropped after a string of bad scores, not just because one of the boys was waiting to come back in. Take Strauss: as pointed out already, dropping him was the best move – only question is whether it should have been done earlier. Take Bell: when is he going to play a match-turning innings? Has he got the cojones? Ask the Australians. Never been dropped, in a ridiculous comfort zone.The other way of trying out new players is the ODIs. So what do we have, the same squad as played the last, selected how many weeks in advance? What nonsense is that then? And how are players like Patel (110 and 3 wickets yesterday) going to break into such a cosy clique. The man is 23 I believe, averaging over 40 with the bat and 33 with the ball and should be tried out, as shoudl various others.Selectors, it might be a difficult job balancing continuity/loyalty with hard decisions, but I and I think just about every other blogger know which side you are too firmly sitting on. 0 1 Facebook Cricket professorprofessor 5 Jun 2008 19:06 Report Facebook Share on Twitter 0 1 “Do we really want a guy like Andrew Strauss to begin looking over his shoulder again?”Er… Yes. He had technical flaws that were obvious for twenty odd Tests during which he played like a number 8 (some 40s, but never really set). To his credit, he appears to have worked through them, but it was the mental space (and, perhaps, jolt) of being dropped that did the trick. And it didn’t hurt that long list of Aussie batsmen who were dropped only to return as infinitely superior players.”As for Bell, England simply must stick with him because he is a class batsman. Technically, he was one of the most efficient guys I worked with…” So technically efficient and a class player, but he has had nearly 40 Tests and we’re still talking about his place in the order and whether he can deliver match-turning innings. So there must be another problem. I’d like someone to say to him, “This is it – we want a big contribution in this match or we’re sending you back to the county game”. After three Tests that’s stupid, after ten harsh, but after forty it’s perfectly reasonable. davidhopps Twitter Email (optional) jhad Share on Twitter 0 1 First published on Wed 4 Jun 2008 19.01 EDT 0 1 antipepp Twitter 0 1 Share on Messenger In my view the only players in the team who are undroppable (apart from the captain) are KP, who is in a different class, and Cook, who currently appears on course to become one of the greats (mind you, so did Graeme Smith four years ago.) The others are all subject to the fluctuations of form and as other posters have pointed out, Bell and Collingwood are currently going through a bit of a dip. The object of the exercise is to get a settle line-up for the Ashes. If we can’t experiment against New Zealand, then when exactly can we experiment? Share on Twitter 2 Share on Facebook Sorry there was an error. Please try again later. If the problem persists, please contact Userhelp TheSozz Share on Twitter 0 1 Twitter 5 Jun 2008 12:32 Share Share on Twitter Facebook Reply 5 Jun 2008 16:32 Twitter 0 1 Share on Facebook 1 0 1 Reply Reply Of course if players aren’t performing then the selectors need to be looking for replacements likely to do better. But the assumption, which some people seem to be making, that without the constant threat of being dropped a player has no incentive to perform or improve is just daft. Twitter Facebook | Pick Twitter Share on Twitter recommendations Share collapsed 0 1 Share on Twitter Share unthreaded mclennen, i see an obo slot opening for you. Share on Twitter Report 5 Jun 2008 17:06 Facebook Reply Reply 5 Jun 2008 16:32 | Pick Share on Pinterest Report Sign in or create your Guardian account to recommend a comment Reply Facebook | Pick Share on Facebook Twitter Share on Twitter Twitter So here’s Duncan’s considered view on the two players under the lense at the moment.”In Collingwood’s case, there is an obvious technical issue to address: he has to let the ball come to him. He’s always had a tendency to go at it with hard hands”but, he’s tough, loves playing for England and is well worth sticking with.With Bell, though, it’s different:”…like all class batsmen, he has soft hands”Is it just me, or does this read as a far from ringing endorsement of Paul Collingwood? His words say we shouldn’t rock the boat with the batting order, but reading between the lines, I’m picking up a rather different message: drop Collingwood and keep Bell. There’s also an intriguing mention of Ramps….. Share on WhatsApp Report Reply Share Report Wed 4 Jun 2008 19.01 EDT Share on Twitter Share Report Share on Twitter Reply bertjansch 25 | Pick A really good insight into batting coaching colly really does not wait for the ball, but I also had the same problem at club level it’s a fairly elementary problem that you should not have playing for England. I also had the get out over cow corner! Some how Ravi should be given a shot he does not as DF says have the same defficiencies and has potential like Bell…. Ah Belly there must be a defficiency somewhere, mental or simply he’s a bit of a show pony without the final dash of brilliance needed as this level? Share Share on Facebook Report Share 5 Jun 2008 17:53 5 Jun 2008 12:32 Share on Facebook hardatwork 5 Jun 2008 16:59 Share on Twitter Reply Good column. I’m enjoying these far more than any persiflage and verbiage filtered through Lawrence Booth from any given player. I’d be intrigued which of Owais Shah’s technical deficiences Fletcher thinks preclude him from being successful in Test cricket, because there’s a few, not least that strangulating, tense bottom hand that chokes the life out of all his shots. No soft hands there either. Reply Twitter Share on Facebook Share 0 1 2 Share via Email Topics Share on Facebook 5 Jun 2008 17:42 Facebook | Pick Report Share on Facebook Shares00 0 1 Facebook Share on Twitter Share Share on Facebook Share Share via Email Anyone good enough to hit 206 in Australia, field like a panther and bowl cheap overs that can break partnerships has got to be in the team until it is proven beyond doubt that test form has deserted him permanently. I would also suspect that he is a very important figure in the dressing room.Bell does need to work on producing match-winning contributions instead of hundreds when a cause cannot be won, and he needs to begin to make big hundreds instead on 110s. Nevertheless, he’s young and the best may be to come from him.Pietersen too needs a rocket up his backside – he is giving the impression that he is more concerned with accumulating ££££s rather than with creating one of the best records in the history of test cricket. Up to him I guess.Problem is, apart from Bopara (probably a Collingwood like-for-like) and Shah (Bell’s rival) it is interesting that nobody else seems to be ready to challenge Cook, Vaughan or Pietersen – a tad worrying. 0 1 Share on Facebook Twitter Reply 5 Jun 2008 19:56 Share on Twitter | Pick Linford Facebook Twitter comeoutoftheshade | Pick View more comments Share Facebook Report MouthoftheMersey Share on Facebook Report Reason (optional) Twitter Wow, theres a surprise Duncan doesnt think you should change the side! This part in particular made me laugh: ‘It’s true that very occasionally a side does need a jolt, and we left Geraint Jones out against Pakistan in 2006 when he wasn’t scoring enough runs’ True enough, but he had been crap for 2 years before that and you wouldnt drop him! Granted, England were winning but would we have been even better with a bloke who could a)keep wicket, b) bat? | Pick Share Share on Twitter Show 25 Share on Facebook Mclennan 5 Jun 2008 18:05 Report Share Reply Reply Yeah Mouth, professional athletes love working in an environment of fear and paranoia. There would be nothing better right now than for England to change half the top 6, and tell Strauss he’s next on the chopping block. nevermind all those recent runs. He’d react well to that.And I think I’ve just misintepreted your post by about the same margin that you misintepreted Fletcher’s column, which once again is a bastion of logic and commonsense. The point about players getting better out of the side is particularly pertinent. Can anyone seriously suggest replacing Bell with Shah makes the team better on current form? | Pick Sportblog Reply | Pick Facebook 0 1 Reply Twitter Share on Twitter 5 Jun 2008 17:19 Report 5 Jun 2008 11:35 0 1 | Pick Report Twitter Report Share on Facebook Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter | Pick I disagree. The England middle-order now appears to be so set in stone that there is absolutely no real pressure on the batsmen to deliver, while people outside of the set-up – notably Shah, Key and Ramprakash – just cannot get in the side no matter how many runs they accumulate in county cricket. It must be absolutely soul-destroying.Vaughan rather than Fletcher is the culprit in my view. He has his favourites, and it is clear that the above named players are not among them. I suspect that part of the reason for their continued exclusion was that he wanted to drop back down the order to 3 and he knew that had one of them nailed down a middle-order place while Strauss was out of the side he’d have been stuck with opening for the remainder of his career. 5 Jun 2008 20:23 Facebook Share Reply Share 0 1 | Pick Share | Pick Share Facebook Share on Twitter Share BloggersUtd I know there’s been a lot of talk about the make-up of England’s middle order, but my view is that there is no need to panic. For one thing, it is too late to start making serious changes to the line-up. England need a settled feel ahead of the South Africa series next month and the Tests this winter. Secondly, I really feel the right men are in place. And, perhaps most crucially of all, people tend to forget when they question the likes of Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell that this can have a destabilising effect on the whole team.Chopping and changing does not just affect the individual in question. It can make others jittery too – they start to wonder whether they’ll be next. Do we really want a guy like Andrew Strauss to begin looking over his shoulder again? It’s true that very occasionally a side does need a jolt, and we left Geraint Jones out against Pakistan in 2006 when he wasn’t scoring enough runs. But England have already made a major change this summer by moving Michael Vaughan down to No3. You need to show confidence in players, not just ditch them because the middle order isn’t dovetailing for the time being. Remember that these are players who have bailed England out in the past.In Collingwood’s case, there is an obvious technical issue to address: he has to let the ball come to him. He’s always had a tendency to go at it with hard hands, so he just has to make sure he doesn’t chase it. That has to be drummed into him, and that will happen if he allows himself to relax a bit more. He’s a tough character but he needs to feel genuinely confident about his methods. He has his routines that we used to work on – he’ll never have the soft hands some of his team-mates have got – and he must remember how he has played when he’s in nick. Being too keen will not help him, however much he loves playing for his country.As for Bell, England simply must stick with him because he is a class batsman. Technically, he was one of the most efficient guys I worked with – right up there with an on-form Vaughan and Mark Ramprakash – and like all class batsmen, he has soft hands. But he’s a classic case of someone who’s been moved around too much in the order. The trouble with Belly when I was in charge was that he was always coming in to fill a gap. He never really settled and that can affect an individual. In the long term, maybe after the next Ashes series, I’d like to see him at No3, because there’s no question he’s good enough to do it. But it all comes down to the players themselves. They can blame other people as much as they like for their failures, but they are the only ones who can ensure they’re superstars by performing consistently.Some people might be reading this and thinking how easy batsmen have it compared with bowlers. It’s been a grumble throughout cricket history, and as a former bowling all-rounder myself, I come at the question from an unbiased point of view. But you must remember that basically batsmen have just one or two chances per game: one good ball and they’re gone. Bowlers sometimes get up to 30 overs to prove themselves.Why do people complain when England’s strike bowlers get dropped with records of seven or eight five-fors in 50 or 60 Tests, and then not bat an eyelid if a guy like Strauss, who scores a hundred every four Tests, often in very difficult circumstances, is left out? Yes, bowlers often take the blame, but sometimes we need to look at the statistics a little more closely.The other point about changing the batting line-up is one that Nasser Hussain made very well. He said that you always become a great player when you’re not in the England side. Some of the players mentioned as possible replacements, such as Rob Key and Owais Shah, had technical inadequacies when I was around, although in Key’s case there is certainly potential because he’s so mentally tough. He relished a battle, but I just wonder whether his fielding has improved sufficiently.I also hope the selectors haven’t forgotten about Ravi Bopara, who has got that exciting quality about him. For now, though, change could be dangerous. Let’s stick with what we’ve got. Pominsydney Linford Facebook Mclennan AndyinBrum Report Twitter lucas Facebook 5 Jun 2008 19:44 100 Share on Facebook Yes, Duncan, you should know that change for no reason is a bad thing. Like when Jones and Giles were re-instated for the Brisbane Test even though others had done well the previous England summer.If only you had listened to your own mantra then.Still, I have forgiven yer. We will choose to remember 05 – your annus miraculis…. Share on Twitter Reply | Pick Share on Twitter Twitter newest Share on Facebook Report Twitter Share on Facebook Share And it’s a bit of a myth to say the Aussies are always looking over their shoulders. The adage here is that it’s harder to get out of the side than into it, and it rings true for the most part.Of the XI for the last test, I’d say 7 of them could have shockers for the next year before being dropped is discussed. Of the other four – one is now retired, one is in for the injured Hayden and has inadvertently put some pressure on the other opener (who would otherwise be safe for a while), and the last probably has half a summer instead of a whole one to prove himself.So the current England selection policy is very much Australian, albeit with less talented cricketers. Twitter Reply | Pick 0 1 Twitter | Pick Facebook “The Ashes 2009 3-1 to Australia.”Which one are the Aussies going to forget to turn up for then ? 5 Jun 2008 20:25 Report Reply Share on Facebook Share Share on Facebook Share Share on Twitter Twitter | Pick Its obvious to everyone that this will be the middle order that will play in the 2009 Ashes. They will either need to be run over by a bus or suffer a collapse of form ie six ducks in a row to be dropped. Even then I still don’t think they will be dropped. The problem is that if one of these batsmen breaks a finger (or cops a bouncer in the face!), what happens then? Do they throw a Bopara or a Shah into the fray, not having tasted test cricket for an eternity? rolleyes Twitter Twitter 1 Report 0 1 Share on Facebook 0 1 Report antipepp NimrodTroyte – not to decry Colly’s achievements, but let’s not forget that Rob Key has a test match 221 to his name (vs West Indies) and also showed an awful lot of phlegm in his first series in Australia when other more experienced players went missing. His face doesn’t fit…. it looks like it barely fits in his batting helmet, but it certainly doesn’t fit into Michael Vaughan’s dressing room.As for Shah – he played magnificently when asked with an innings of 88 under severe pressure in India on debut, and has been given one chance since. Fair crack of the whip? Beefy and his colleagues, when discussing Ambrose the other day, decided that anything less than 10 tests is not a fair crack of the whip….. By my reckoning, based on their last 10 innings, some of the established batting lineup should be under more pressure for their place than they are. It’s true that they have performed in the past, but a test team is all about evolution, and no one should feel they are in the side indefinitely.And whatever Dunc says, batters get more of a crack than bowlers. It’s a batsman’s game. Facebook | Pick Reply hardatwork – It’s that the central contracts mean that a Test batsman out of form has no opportunity to perform. They should play more county cricket. Hey, Mclennan! I’ll have you know that some of that persiflage and verbiage from players has been filtered through me, but only after I have looked up “persiflage”. Incidentally, we are intrigued by something… can you drop your email to Lawrence? 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