Sometimes we’ve watched a batsman for the first time and thought he looked okay without reaching any conclusion beyond that. When other people have then waxed lyrical about the same player, this has left us feeling like a fraud for writing about cricket. How have we not seen the talent so obvious to others?
Then we realised that we were right and everyone else was wrong. It takes time to build an accurate picture of a batsman and there are no shortcuts. Anyone falling over themselves to brand some young batsman a future great is simply hedging their bets in a bid to be the first person to be “right”.
If there’s one thing people love, it’s being right and if there’s another thing people love, it’s being right before anyone else. This is one of the reasons why we aren’t on Facebook. We’re not going to give everyone else on earth the satisfaction of being ‘right’ before us.
You can see a lot of a batsman’s obvious qualities early on, but few people dwell on the boring attributes which are equally (and often more) important, while there will be other things you simply haven’t seen yet. There are a billion challenges in cricket. That’s half the frigging point.
Anyway, we’ll not go into this here, because we’ve written a brew-length article on the subject for Cricinfo. A brew-length article is one where you can justify boiling the kettle because you’ll have time to take more than one sip while reading it.
Disclaimer: It’s kind of like a proper article, so it’s not funny. We don’t shoe-horn in even a single mention of Ian Austin.