We know that’s kind of the point, but it’s worth cementing this notion while everyone’s moving in similar circles. It’ll prevent confusion later in the season.
There will come a point – probably at some point in July – when Ian Bell will have made a couple of ducks against India and generally looked a bit uncertain. People will start to suggest he should be dropped, saying that he could be replaced by [insert name of form batsman] because he’s averaging 48.12 in the County Championship this season and therefore deserves to play.
No, he doesn’t. Whoever he is, he doesn’t. Ian Bell deserves to play.
Because while Bell will have spent the summer playing Test cricket, unnamed batsman will have been playing county cricket AND THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING.
Everyone will have forgotten that when they were playing the same game, Ian Bell was showing that he was a class apart, hitting his second hundred of the season in a match where his side were bowled out for 263 before reducing the opposition to 43-6.
And it’s the same for everyone else. No-one trusts Steven Finn any more, but we’d better start coming back round to him soon because he’s taking wickets for fun in county cricket – 4-50 in this latest round of matches. (Maybe he should play for England on an unpaid basis so that he’s only taking wickets for fun then too, rather than as a job.)
Jimmy Anderson started badly, but has now picked up his customary annual Lancashire cameo five-for. Alastair Cook has two hundreds in two matches. Matt Prior has one in one innings. These players now move onto tougher things.
A surprisingly large number of people assume that when England lose, it’s because they picked the wrong players. Like many things in life, sometimes the only thing you have control over is the scale of the defeat.