Simple question, but we ended up writing quite a lot of words on the subject for Cricket 365.
As we say in the opening paragraph of that piece, there hasn’t really been any one occasion when we’ve felt like England have gone out of their way to spurn Ben Foakes. It’s more of a cumulative thing.
Again and again, Ben Foakes is not picked for England. The effect is kind of like doing a jigsaw. As more and more pieces go in, eventually you see the picture and think: ‘Hey wait. Do they just hate this guy for some reason?’
Here’s another point that is not directly related and which we didn’t touch on in the C365 piece. It relates to how England’s catching has been fairly shit in recent times.
The team management will always say that fielding is hugely important to them, yet when it comes to picking the most important fielder in the team, they repeatedly fail to pick the guy who pretty much everyone agrees is the best in that position.
It feels like that action contradicts the words. Could the implicit message that fielding is most definitely a secondary concern somehow seep through to the other players?