England’s age of all-rounders

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England fielded eight batsmen to Pakistan’s seven in this match and five bowlers to their four. That is quite an advantage to carry.

It was most notable when England batted in the second innings, when the duration of a Test match was really starting to bite. Pakistan’s quartet held it together for the first two session of day four, but they then reached some sort of tipping point when they started to tire and England still had batsmen to come. England’s six and seven made merry and there wasn’t even the motivation that a wicket would be enough with Chris Woakes padded up.

England appear to have entered the age of the all-rounder. Ben Stokes would ordinarily be in the team as well and the winter offers the prospect of Adil Rashid, Zafar Ansari – or even both – being added to the side on top of that.

If there’s a tragedy here, it’s that a surfeit of bowling options makes it so much less likely that Alastair Cook will give Gary Ballance an over.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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    1. Has he been dropped? At slip? Maybe he’ll finally go on and get past 42 eh!

      His finger’s fine so he’s still in the squad. Surely they’ll play Rashid, though? Talk of bringing in an extra batsman for Vince (had he been more seriously injured) is utter madness!

      On a side note, all these all-rounders and not one is fat. I feel cheated.

      1. Samit must be pretty low down the pecking order now, which is no doubt even more upsetting for him than it is for you, Mike.

        Indeed, the era of the rotund bits-and-pieces player, referred to as an all-rounder on double entendre grounds, might now be completely behind us.

        What a pity.

      2. You say that, yet Mohammed Hafeez is still in there. The Fred Astaire of cricket. “Can’t bowl, can’t bat, can catch a lit- oh, never mind.”

      3. As if by magic, Big Fat Samit has taken a career-best 4-20 and hit 23 off 17 balls for the Nottingham Nigels or whatever they’re called. He’s also sponsored by John Pye, which if it’s someone’s idea of a joke is brilliant…

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