And you’d be right. We can’t really remember why we’ve included him now. We remember that there were a number of tricky decisions made when selecting this year’s ones to watch. Several cricketers we’re rather fond of missed the cut. How did Compton survive?
Never let it be said that no thought goes into this website. Equally, never let it be said that repeated instances of poor memory don’t play a large part as well.
We’ll be watching Nick Compton this season. Hopefully at some point it will become apparent why.16 Appeals
“I give you: my sister’s new cat, Nimbus.
“We showed her your feature in The Wisden Cricketer, but, as you can see, she simply could not be bothered and she made her feelings perfectly clear.
“She was also not at all tempted by The Wisden Cricketer cover stories. Pace may be back, but she’s not watching.
“In tribute to Ryan Sidebottom’s 7-fer against New Zealand, we then tried to get her into the spirit by giving her a Ryan Sidebottom wig (that’s MY ACTUAL HAIR people!).
“As they say, sometimes the face of a cat can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.”21 Appeals
We saw Tim Bresnan looking out of his depth for England at Old Trafford for one of his four one-day international matches. The crowd didn’t think much of him. He took 0-58 off eight overs. Fortunately for him, Kabir Ali went for 77 off ten, so he didn’t stand out.
It was in the field that he looked worst though. He seemed insanely serious, which isn’t the worst crime, but he clearly wasn’t at all releaxed. To us, he looked like a man who was decidedly rattled by the large crowd and the occasion. Bresnan was only 21 and he hadn’t played a huge amount of cricket. He wasn’t ready.
Some people thrive on being in the spotlight from the word go. Some people need time to acclimatise. We think Bresnan’s got a lot of talent and doesn’t deserved to be judged on some stage-fright cricket during a wholly torrid one-day tournament for England.
Last year Tim Bresnan took 34 wickets at a respectable but not jaw-dropping 32.05. He also hit two hundreds and averaged 39.50. He’s 23. That’s encouraging.2 Appeals
We only ask because if they get good at it and develop a taste for it, they’re touring England in the summer. England’s batting line-up is currently supporting the entire sports psychology higher education programme in this country.
South African coach, Mickey Arthur, says that Steyn, Ntini and Morkel are going to persist in trying to keep India’s batsmen out of their comfort zones.
India have traditionally used a comfort zone to relax their players prior to every Test match. It’s a certain section of their hotel where the carpets have all been replaced by duvets and the players are offered a selection of velour tracksuits or pyjamas.
Steyn, Ntini and Morkel have hit upon a number of tactics to keep the Indian batsmen out of this haven. Morne Morkel has managed to get hold of a few rolls of police tape, which he’s going to put across the door as if there’s been some sort of crime within.
Makhaya Ntini is going to try and lure the Indians elsewhere by phoning them pretending to be their agents. He’s going to tell them that there’s a special IPL ‘double your money’ competition for all the players involved and all they have to do is be the first to complete a treasure hunt that he himself has put in place.
Finally and most deviously, Dale Steyn has managed to get a job on the front desk of India’s team hotel. Whenever anyone asks him the whereabouts of the comfort zone, he’s instead going to direct them towards the ‘misery zone’ where everyone has to queue up to watch various mobile phone adverts, before a dedicated professional has some one-to-one time explaining what each product says about its owner.4 Appeals
Was it really as far back as August 2006 that we tipped Adil Rashid? Tipped him to be a great player, that is – we didn’t incline him away from the perpendicular or anything. He was one to watch last year as well and justified his inclusion.
There are so many reasons why Adil Rashid should play for England and we don’t really see the point in waiting much longer. Just think, England could realistically field five bowlers and still have a lower order that went Flintoff, Rashid, Broad, Sidebottom, Panesar. That’d make the five-down to all out procession a tad more laboured.
Two all-rounders. Two spinners. A leg-spinner!
We’re coming out in a sweat. And a rash, but that’s unrelated.
Some county players who aren’t quite so worth watching – but you still have to.6 Appeals
Vehement letter C denier, A B de Villiers, is currently 217 not out, which knocks India’s 76 all out into a cocked hat.
A B de Villiers is young and richly talented. Let’s invite him round for tea but then pretend that we all thought he was a vegan. Then, when he asks why he’s eating different food from everyone else, we’ll say, “oh, sorry. We thought you were a vegan,” and instead of sharing the rest of the food, we’ll just let him carry on eating the vegan stuff.
Then afterwards, we’ll all play hide and seek in the garden, only everyone will hide inside when A B de Villiers is seeking and we’ll lock the door and he won’t be able to get in. Then we’ll pretend that we’ve lost the key and can’t open the door and then maybe it’ll start raining.
That’ll teach him.6 Appeals
Burns in, takes 3-18, tricks you into thinking he’s finally arrived as a fast bowler, then takes 0-32 in his next spell and finally ends up with those same three wickets for about 120.
Stupid, round-armed short-arse.
Tillakaratne Dilshan’s saving Sri Lanka with 58 not out off 57 balls. We can’t quite believe that he’s 31 and we can’t quite believe that he’s averaging 37 in Tests. We thought both figures were lower. Another mindless, autopilot article about young players finally coming good goes begging.
Once upon a time, we weren’t bound by ‘facts’ and wrote what we felt like.4 Appeals
James Harris is the cool England Under-19 opening bowler at the minute, on account of making a great start to his first-class career at the age of just 17. But here at King Cricket, we’re anything but cool, so we’re going for the other England Under-19 opening bowler, Steven Finn.
Steven Finn’s only played four first-class matches so far, but he’s taken 13 wickets at a currently meaningless 22.46. He’s also 6ft 8in, so he can play that unbeatable game where you hold something just out of a short person’s reach, watching them hop up and down until they get so exasperated they kick you in the nuts.1 Appeal
All out for 76 in the morning session of day one. Eye-catchingly disgraceful.
At just 120 deliveries, this was also the 12th shortest innings in terms of balls faced for any side in Test history. In recent times, only England’s 46 all out against the Windies at Port of Spain in 1994 (115 balls) and the West Indies’ own 51 all out against Australia at the same venue in 1999 (118 balls) have been shorter.
This is more like it though. We support India over South Africa, but we support bowlers over batsmen and this was payback for the poor bastards who’d had to put up with the well-ironed bowling green of the first Test.
Somehow controlling their excitement, they succeeded in putting the ball in ‘the right areas’. More specifically, they put it in the area called ‘the stumps’ as Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble were all clean bowled.
Take that, batsmen. That’s for having it your own way pretty much all the bloody time.
Of course there’ll probably be some sort of investigation as to the standard of the pitch if it continues like this. It’s not these pitches you need to worry about. It’s the ones that produce scores of 540, 627 and 331-5. They’re the ones that are ruining cricket.
Update: Suave has captured Ganguly’s stout resistance nicely.12 Appeals
Please let Steven Davies be the end to the to-ing and fro-ing of England wicketkeepers.
At 21, he’s got years on most of his rivals and he’s virtually matching all of them for runs and wickets. If he can improve and stand head and shoulders above everyone as the standout candidate, cricket writers the nation over would rejoice and put their poison pens back in their desk tidies.
Davies bats at five and has a top score of 192. Nobody’s said anything particularly bad about his wicketkeeping yet. We don’t own a poison pen, but our Quill Of Wicketkeeping Appreciation is drying up and needs dipping in The Ink Of Optimism.
Don’t make us use The Tipp-Ex Of Hindsight-led Revisionism, Steven. Don’t let it come to that.2 Appeals