Which fast-medium all-rounders should England pick?

Should they pick the batsman who bowls slippery fast-medium (Ben Stokes), the fast-medium bowler who can bat (Chris Jordan), the faster fast-medium bowler who can bat (Liam Plunkett) or the fast-medium bowler who really can bat (Chris Woakes)?

All are good players, but even an eskimo may from time to time find it unnecessary to distinguish between different types of snow. Sometimes it’s just snow and it ain’t doing a lot.

A mischievous thought – and not an entirely heartfelt one – but might a selector feel a little safer selecting an all-rounder over a specialist, feeling this brought two chances for vindication, not just one. You could consider this the “clearly we picked the right spin bowler – he made a hundred” mentality.

Unarguably, runs and wickets are both important, but taken to the nth degree, would you really expect to win many Test matches with a bowling attack comprised entirely of Andrew Halls?

Perhaps these are the best bowlers available to England, or perhaps we are about to see what you end up with when you place great emphasis on three-dimensional cricketers and ‘the all-round package’.

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15 Appeals

  1. I can’t be the only person who wants to see KC’s ideal England Test team, can I?

  2. OK. It’s not really their fault that fast-medium bowling (what is that) might not be all of their strong-suits, admittedly not everybody has the fortitude to declare themselves – a bowling all-rounder. Joe Root’s going to have to fill in for Graeme Swann?, though.

  3. Complicated and difficult questions, no doubt, like that question about whether a dog can have a Buddha-nature or not. So complicated and difficult that I’ve had to use a computer to work it out. I used a ZX81, with a 1KB RAM expansion pack because of the complexity of the question. After several days the program has just finished running, and I can give you the output as a World Exclusive.

    ************************
    IT DOESN’T MATTER
    ************************

    So there it is. It makes no difference whatsoever whether a dog can have a Buddha-nature or not. Does that help?

  4. India appear to have a similar problem with their fast-medium bowlers, except theirs cannot bat much.

    Looking at the Division One bowling averages provides little solace – perhaps England are simply utilising the best available at present, who happen all to be fast-medium or medium-fast bowlers who can bat a bit:

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/county-championship-div1-2014/engine/records/averages/bowling.html?id=8771;type=tournament

    Oh for a Chris Martin or a latter-day Bob Willis.

    • King Cricket

      July 3, 2014 at 10:46 am

      Tom Smith as well. What’s going on in this country?

    • Has anyone seen much of Jack Brooks? I’ve not, but he always seems to be in the wickets, as evidenced by Ged’s link, above. Furthermore, he’s bowled more overs than everyone bar Kerrigan.

      I know he’s 30. But I would point out that Ryan Harris made his test debut 4 years ago, and also that Ryan Harris is 34.

    • Those Borthwick and Rayner averages. Ouch.

  5. Right, we clearly cant get anyone quicker than fast medium. We have tried, and anyone with any genuine pace has usually regressed to 83mph by their third test.

    So its time to think outisde the box – lets go slower. A lineup of Masters, Shantry, Jimmy off 4 paces, Collingwood and Bopara has to be the way forward. With Colly and RavBo, you can afford to pick Moeen at 6 too.

  6. According to Whitaker, the answer seems to be “all of them”.

  7. Martin Bicknell is surely due a recall.

  8. Steve Finn FFS.

    Of course the selectors are pondering whether to Bresnan or not to Bresnan.

  9. If we can just recreate the late 80s headingley track then he could be a Derek Pringle for the new era.

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