Investing in poor debuts

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How much does the ability to handle debut nerves have an impact on whether or not a player might one day thrive in Test cricket? Answer that question and you go a long way towards deciding how much attention to pay to the performances of Chris Woakes and Simon Kerrigan.

We’d say that in general a debut shouldn’t be considered representative of a player’s ability. That said, it is something that needs to be overcome. Concede ten an over and you won’t be getting a second Test without first making a very compelling case in some other form of cricket.

Every player is different. Some arrive in Test cricket fully formed, secure in their abilities; others build confidence over time. The former are preferable in many respects, but frequently the latter surpass them once they’ve found their feet. You invest in players and with the potential for poor returns in the short-term, it’s important to be certain you’re investing correctly for the long-term.

One thing we’d say is that Shane Watson was struggling up until he came up against the debutants and afterwards, he wasn’t struggling any longer. That’s quite important when you look at what’s going on in this Test. Woakes and Kerrigan have a debt. Will they get a chance to work it off.


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  1. Couldn’t agree more. A debut doesn’t mean much. We have seen spectacular debuts become successful careers (Rahul Dravid) and also quickly go waste (Hirwani, Sinclair). Shit debuts have become quite successful as well (Warne).

    On the other hand, it has to be said players today have considerably less time to prove their worth. What with T20s all over coughing up fly-by-nights who are deemed “worth a look” by the media, we might actually be missing out on genuinely good test players because no has patience any more. Sad times.

  2. I’ve been reading a lot of spy novels recently. Can we be certain that this was not a clever ploy by England to save Shane Watson’s test career

  3. Daneel, I’m fairly sure that if you bowl head high full tosses and slow half trackers against anyone they would have the same result. Except a team I bowled against earlier this season. Three wickets, thank you very much.

  4. I never thought I would say this but after lunch Broad bowled one of the best spells of hostile bowling I have seen. Certainly the best I have ever seen from him anyway.
    England should send Boof some sort of gift basket as a gesture of thanks.

    1. 4-0 would be the best gift I can think of for Boof, but I’m not convinced this team will do it. We’ll see..

  5. Gooch got a pair on debut.
    Gavin Hamilton got a pair on debut.

    Cook scored a century on debut.
    Sean Marsh scored a century on debut.

    Let’s not put too much emphasis on debuts.

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