January 23, 2010 in Uncategorized
I do not propose to say many words today.
It is not the blog to do so. I just wanted to express a few words about how unwise I feel it is for England to rest Andrew Strauss for our upcoming tour of Bangladesh, and to gauge opinion on resting players in any Test Match, regardless of the opposition..
As it is nigh on ten years since Bangladesh gained Test status, and just 40 years since the nation gained independence, it is fair to say that they have not yet made any significant mark on the game. There have been instances of shock ODI scalps (notably Australia) but these have been few and far between, and this has not been reflected in the Tests.
I will however, state that I fear for England’s dignity in Bangladesh. We saw what happened the last time Captain Strauss (Radley) wasn’t at the bow of Mothership England. Shambles, anarchy, and collapse. Cook (Bedford) has always been touted as a leader but lacks experience in this regard and has not consistently performed in his own game.
The only good player of spin in the England side is Ian Bell. Gone are the days when Marcus Trescothick and the magnificent Graham Thorpe oversaw away victories over Pakistan. In fact, Cook is notoriously poor against anyone with a remote grasp of guile. Trott has never played upon the subcontinent. Pietersen is in horrendous form, while Prior is another who prefers a bit of pace and bounce (he is a much better player than he showed on the southern tip). Michael Carberry is an unknown to me other than (outstanding recent) figures, so again England look set to rely on Paul Collingwood (who was excellent in Pakistan on his first Test tour). Quite why Owais Shah does not get a call up on these tours is beyond me. Even if he is deemed too fragile against swing and pace, playing spin is natural to him.
I’m not overly sure how England plan to bowl the Bangladeshi’s out, either. Without Anderson, England lack a spearhead. If Swann doesn’t fire, then England lack guile. Perhaps we’re assuming that they’re just not good enough to bat for long periods. It is probably true, to be fair. England are a professional outfit these days. For example, one would assume England’s fielding will be more polished than the home side’s even without the likes of Collingwood, Bell and Carberry (who is renowned for it on the county scene, even if I’ve not seen it first hand). I also hope Cook does not use the captaincy to promote himself away from short leg. He is good there, poor elsewhere.
I would not hope to overate the Bangladeshi’s, I would just rather England took a proven leader over there. I still expect a win over there. Strauss’ Test record as captain deserves the statistics gained from such tours. Perhaps I give too much status to a Test series in Bangladesh, but I’d much rather he’d have been rested for the one-day series in South Africa, or the pointless ODI series against Australia next summer.