In a space of one year, Jonny Bairstow has gone from being pilloried as a reserve batsman, with an average of 26 in Tests and not even the best keeper in Yorkshire, to becoming a pillar, a principal one at that for this England side.
When he scores 63 runs in Chennai this week against India in the fifth Test of the five match Indian Test series, he will be breaking a new record.
So far, 2016 has seen Bairstow score no less than 1,420 runs in Tests, with only Michael Vaughan topping the record in scoring more runs for England in a calendar year, a feat which he achieved in 2002, where he batted sublimely at home against India and in Australia.
He has so far enjoyed one more innings only holding a 27 in contrast to the 26 held by Vaughan, and he has been quite handicapped by having to keep wicket as well. Read more »
Nasser Hussain reckons in case the likes of Vince and Hales miss out on making the national squad for the coming subcontinent trips, they can’t say that they have been hard done by.
However, according to Hussain, if he was the chief of the selection panel, he would consider keeping Hales in the line-up as he was consistent in the first half of the season and had built match changing opening partnership versus Pakistan in Birmingham as well.
For England, a new opening batsman has come into the mix every season as far as the last 5 or 6 seasons are concerned and the selection panel can’t settle onto one as whomever they are roping in loses form after a good knock or two. But, Hussain says there’s got to be a bloke they have to look at and decide that this is the bloke who is going to be there for slightly more time than the others even if he doesn’t churn out centuries and Hales is the bloke who can give you that feeling as a selector as you have seen him show grit at times. Read more »
Reece Topley is someone whom England can hope to take quite a few wickets in the World Twenty 20 competition.
India is not an ideal place for the seamers, but, Topley is not a conventional seamer.
Not a conventional seamer in the sense that he doesn’t depend on the seam movement that much to dismiss the batsmen and instead use the variations in pace and bounce for that purpose.
And, the Indian tracks, at times, support that sort of bowler as they happen to have some uneven bounce and a bit of sluggishness especially at the time of March-April, when the domestic season over there comes to an end.
Topley has control over his variations and he also has the height which would help him a great deal if all the balls are not rising to the same level from the track which happens so often in India.
Topley has, however, not played any game in India as yet. So, one can only predict about him and what he actually does is stored in the future.
When the pressure would be on in high profile games in the World Championship, it remains to be seen how much of control he shows in terms of his skills, Read more »
If MS Dhoni fails to pass the fitness test tomorrow and Parthiv Patel plays on his place in the Asia Cup opener versus Bangladesh, the Indian team management will probably need to make some adjustments in the batting order.
Patel is by no way the ideal replacement for Dhoni.
The tiny wicketkeeper batsman from Gujarat is a top order player in white ball Cricket and has given his best performances only when he has opened the innings either for his state or his country.
He is not known to have the hitting ability that is required to finish the innings off in the death.
So, he is surely not a tailor-made for the no. 6 or 7 slots where Dhoni generally bats.
But, the problem is that Patel can’t be made to open the innings either as India’s regular opening pair is doing pretty well and the last thing that India would want is to separate that pair and unsettle the openers.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, India’s regular openers, they have been in sublime form this season and have been stitching match winning partnerships quite regularly.
Virat Kohli at no. 3 is somebody who is quite possessive about his batting position as well and doesn’t like leaving it. Read more »
England might be seen as one of the weakest teams in World Cricket these days, but, the Black Caps are in no mood to take them lightly.
One of the most premier batsmen of the New Zealand side, Ross Taylor, shied away from admitting yesterday that there could not have been a better time to play a test series against England.
According to Taylor, no matter how poor England’s recent performances might have been, whenever they play in their backyard, it’s very tough to deal with them.
New Zealand has emerged as a force in international Cricket in all formats in the last couple of years.
They have not lost a test series for a long time and in the One Day Internationals too, they have performed well in all conditions.
In the World Cup this year, the Kiwis were probably the most dominating team until the final match where Australia beat them.
But, despite the fact that they could not win the World Cup, New Zealand’s confidence would be reaching sky high with the way they have moved up in the World rankings.
So, there is no doubt that they would run England close in the test series.
But, Taylor is quite correct in pointing out the fact that the conditions in UK make the home team overwhelmingly favourites.
And, apart from that, the ball that is used by the ECB for the home test matches, the duke ball. Read more »
Jonathan Trott says he realized while being in West Indies that his time as an international cricketer was up and he needed to make space for somebody else to come in.
After withdrawing himself from the Ashes tour of 2013, Trott came back to the England test side for the West Indies tour and he got to play all the games of the 3-match series there, but, he registered single-digit scores to his name regularly and was almost in a position to be dropped before he himself announced his retirement.
According to Trott, his game in the Caribbean was not at the level where a player’s game needs to be if he is playing at the international level.
In a talk show last week, Trott was quoted as saying, “I opened in West Indies and I felt I was not doing justice to my place in the team.”
“Everybody dreams of a great comeback while being out of action and I was no exception, but, Cricket can be quite cruel at times. However, I didn’t walk away with any regrets. I played for a few years, did some good things for England and those memories would remain with me till I am alive.”
When asked what he thinks of the fact that England has changed the batting order in the middle of the Ashes series and has moved Ian Bell to no. 3, the 34-year old said, “I am in favour of that move. At this point of time, Ian is the best man to be batting at that position for England as he is one of the most experienced players in the squad. Also, the next game is on his home ground where people would be cheering for him from everywhere. So, that’s only going to help. I back him to find form at three.”