Craig Kieswetter dominating second-class cricket

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Craig Kieswetter, a bat, a helmet and some grass

You have to understand that we’re not criticising Craig Kieswetter. Our issues are with how easily people are impressed and with county cricket in general.

Craig Kieswetter scored a hundred again yesterday. Well played Craig. That’s two in a week so SURELY he’s ready to play for England now.

Well, no. We don’t see how you can conclude that. The first hundred was against Worcestershire, who already seem almost certain to finish bottom of the first division. This second one was against Gloucestershire, who are a second division side because the CB40 is a competition where the groups were randomly selected.

It’s not Kieswetter’s fault that he faced a bowling attack of Gidman, Taylor, Fuller, Payne, Young and Dawson, but all the same, it’s hardly Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh.

You can’t knock him for scoring the runs, but you have to acknowledge that some performances in county cricket tell us very little about a player.

On Saturday afternoon, we felt young and cool. We were at Macclesfield Beer Festival. Sometimes it’s impossible to make accurate evaluations in a particular environment.


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  1. We should add that we think that Kieswetter probably is a good option for England’s one-day team. We just wish we could say that with more certainty.

  2. Surely it’s just a case of saying that, when all you have to separate two players (in this case, CK and Davies) is speculation on how they might go in the England team, the best indicator you have is county form?

    I don’t think this is people talking up county performances so much as trying to find some evidence to back up a point they were trying to make anyway.

    1. For years people have made exactly the same argument, and for years it hasn’t really worked. The trouble is that while good test players tend to have good county records, the reverse is demonstrably not true (see Graham Hick). A => B does not mean B => A.

      In the past few years England has had two (just two) coaches who were prepared to ignore county form as the deciding factor, and go with their personal feeling about a player instead. Not coincidentally, these two have been the most successful coaches we’ve had.

      There is no link whatsoever between Jonathan Trott’s first-class average of 45 and his test average of 61, nor his ODI average of 55. Neither is there any conceivable link between Mark Ramprakash’s first-class average of 54 and his test average of 27, nor his ODI average of 26. What differentiates these two players is something else entirely I don’t know what it is, but it’s what we pay the England coach to find.

    2. True. I don’t necessarily agree with those who chamion county results, just saying that it’s mostly about trying to find some evidence to back your favourite player.

      I would say that it’s not entirely erroneous either. Players like Hick and Ramps are definately in the minority.

    1. Half pints in a lined pint glass. Two tiers of barrels.

      If you got a short person to serve you a half from the top rack, you tended to get a more generous measure, we discovered.

    2. Very few of the women had moustaches.

      Also, how long does facial hair need to be to constitute a beard?

    3. Eight feet long is definitely a beard, so the threshold is somewhere between zero and eight feet.

    4. Hmm, we’re in that no-man’s land and hence still cannot answer the question as to whether we were the only non-beardy one present.

  3. I would’ve done very well in county cricket. I would’ve done even better in the national squad. Any national squad.

    This conclusively negates Bert and Howe zat’s ignorant views.

  4. I find the trick at beer festivals is to order a half then engage the pourer in conversation as a means of distracting them from their bar stewardly duties, invariably they slip over the line and give you an extra few ML’s. I suppose it’s a kind of sledging really, but then again if Glenn Mcgrath had said to Atherton after each deliveery “How’s the morris dancing goin?g” then I suspect the 2005 Ashes triumph wouldn’t have been a heralded achievement.

  5. They should have a week of trial games … 6 teams … all the england squad, the U21’s & Bs … all the hopefuls …. and see how they do… play 2 day / 1 innings cricket (100 overs per side) .. then you’d sort the wheat from the chuff

    1. Six teams featuring only the best players in the country? Tough, competitive cricket that would give some indication which players could survive in international cricket?

      Divide the players according to different areas of the country as well and you might even get a few fans in to watch.

    2. Trial games are crap. I played in some at one time, at rugby. Everybody plays for themselves, not for the team. No-one passed the ball ever, unless it was a SUPERPASS. I know that cricket is more of a collective-individual effort than rugby, but even so it would be crap. It would be like having a match comprising only Geoff Boycotts.

    3. If those trials lasted the whole season and the teams remained much the same from one season to the next, that would minimise that effect.

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