England Squad Watch – part three

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The fight for England spots continues to a soundtrack of very gentle applause from a smattering of supporters who didn’t happen to have much on that day (activity-wise).

Top order

Jonathan Trott made 37 against Sussex – although to be fair, that has been the second-highest score in two completed innings. Ed Joyce has been the only man to better him with 117, but Joyce is Irish again now and therefore irrelevant as far as this particular article is concerned.

Middle order

James Taylor made 62 against Middlesex, which is neither here nor there really. Ravi Bopara made three against Derbyshire, which is at least a clear position. Gary Ballance made 77 against Somerset, which somehow seems a lot more than 62 and is certainly a great deal more than three.


Apparently, the reason why Matt Prior didn’t keep wicket in Sussex’s last match was because his Achilles was giving him gyp. Clearly, he didn’t think he could make 125 with it bothering him this week and so he’s not even playing.

Spin bowler

Remember Adil Rashid? He’s 85 not out at the time of writing. Tarred by his youthful shortcomings, it really is worth reminding yourself that he’s only 26.

Seam bowlers

Hurray! Steven Finn has taken 4-87 against Nottinghamshire. And now he’s taken 4-91. Maybe next time we check, he’ll have taken 5-91…

Jesus, he actually has. That was weird.

Elsewhere, Chris Jordan took 3-15 against Warwickshire.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul Watch

Absolutely nothing to do with England whatsoever and absolutely everything to do with the fact that we just bloody love Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Essex were bowled out for 94 and Derbyshire have laboured to 143-8, but Shiv’s still unbeaten with 67. Batting’s hard, but he doesn’t care. He’s just going to bat forever anyway.


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  1. “Gary Ballance made 77 against Somerset, which somehow seems a lot more than 62”

    Are you an England selector?

  2. The Notts commentator on air before lunch asked by England took Harry Gurney on tour to the West Indies and never played him in a match.

    It seems blindingly obvious – the England management team have no clue whatsoever about man management as we have seen on many occasions over the winter.

    Of course they asked Ian Bell to fly out as batting cover and then to go to Bangladesh for the T20 Cup thingy – how many times did he play?

    I’d like to think there is a sensible plan behind all of this (you know like picking Carberry for the Test matches and not for the one-day matches when he is a better one-day player, that sort of thing) but on the available evidence it is all completely random.

  3. The Spin bowler section had a curious lack of spin bowling. The Shivnarine Chanderpaul section somehow seems to have a lot more Shivnarine Chanderpaul than this.

  4. If the Somersets could catch their catchings, Rashid wouldn’t have done half as well with his battings.

    That is my match report. You are welcome.

  5. I like that Shiv spends his entire Test career holding West Indies’ innings together by making decent not-out scores, and then, when it comes to choosing a county, thinks ‘I’ll have more of that’ and rocks up in Derbyshire.

    Also, have we got a ‘County Cricketers to watch’ section this year? Surely I’m not the first to ask.

    1. You are the first to ask, actually. We’re not sure. We could do one, but then we never really do much with it once it’s there.

      Although it is always interesting to look back on old ones, we suppose. Here’s last year’s.

    2. Can we watch the twins? I’m watching the twins. I want twins. In the England team ideally. I suppose in life in general would also be quite fun.

    3. Ah, there it is. Glad to see Adil Rashid’s still there. One year he’ll have a stormer and you’ll look incredibly perceptive.

  6. Robson for England!
    Rashid for England!
    Vince for England!

    (in all seriousness, I do think Vince is worth keeping an eye on this season)

  7. well, according to some predictably-excitable bylines on cricinfo, cook and bell have forged a bright new dawn for england (or something similarly hyperbolic). this is only as it should be, since as we know, a bit of decent form in a first-class match automatically means that a player is up to international standard.

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