Joe Denly is here to play a whole inconclusive career

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Joe Denly was a weird selection, but since he was first picked, he’s done enough to stay in the team.

Just about.

Denly’s given us spectacular catches and spectacular drops, but the defining feature of his Test career is an incredible ability to score barely enough runs to survive. We’re actually rather starting to enjoy it.

In the 2019 Boxing Day Test, Denly top scored in England’s first innings, making 50 after being dropped on nought.

For a while, we thought this was the Denliest innings imaginable – and taken in isolation it probably is. It wasn’t many runs. But it was more than anyone else managed. But he could have been out for a duck.

You can’t conclude anything from that. Magnificent stuff.

Immediately after the 50, he made 31, 38 and then 31 again. It’s only by considering these kinds of innings as well that you can fully appreciate his genius because these innings are every bit as inconclusive as the 50.

As circumstances change, Denly evolves. In the unlikely event he makes a Test hundred, you can bank on him following it up with a veritable barrage of 10s and 14s.

In his first 23 Test innings, Denly made just three single figure scores and zero hundreds. He doesn’t deal in extremes. He deals in 18s and 35s and 59s, doling out whichever seems most appropriate in the circumstances.

Joe Denly once made 74 in a match where someone else made a double hundred. Joe Denly has also top scored in an Ashes Test with 12.

Joe Denly isn’t here to play one-off inconclusive innings. Joe Denly is here to toy with us and play a whole inconclusive career.

Marvel at his adequacy.


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    1. Bell was a man who frustrated people by not averaging 50.

      Denly averages 31.31..

      An Ian Bell for modern times maybe.

      1. That average fits perfectly into “he doesn’t do extremes”. An average over 50 is good. An average of 18.75 is bad (for a batsman). An average of 31.31 is neither here nor there.

  1. Ollie Pope is the new Ian Bell. Everyone who is anyone is saying so, a topic which makes Daisy almost as irritable as the naff nicknames matter I alluded to on the previous thread. Popey is the new Belly, I should say.

    Joe Denley has previous in this matter of inconclusive stats. His first class average of 36.summat is borderline – just about good enough to get him his test chance.

    He had three seasons with Middlesex and it was a bit like the England experience for us: 2012 to 2014 – County Championship average 28.9 – just two tons of coal in 70 innings (63 complete ones). 11 half-tons.

    1. I am devastated to learn that I am not someone who is anyone. What a way to find out.

      1. No, no, no.

        “Everyone who is anyone” is, in this context, as sarcastic a phrase as they get.

        You don’t want to be anyone in this context, APW, really you don’t.

        I certainly don’t want to be anyone. Nor does Daisy.

        Ollie Pope, on the other hand…who knows? But I suspect he’d prefer to be Ollie Pope and not “that Ian Bell lookalike; what’s his name again?”

  2. Maybe he can become the new Mark Butcher?

    I see Sibley is garnering Rob Key comparisons in the Graun.

  3. Well at least he’s not James ‘waft outside off-stump’ Vince. A lad I worked with went to school with him, and said he’s a bit of a dick.

    I quite like Joe Denly, he’s older. Sorry.

  4. With the amount of talent failing to translate in the middle that the Test team has, Joe Denly doing his utmost to be his Joe Denliest self is a beacon of middling stability. Genuinely a huge fan. Long may we not expect anything approaching miracles from him.

  5. What happened to Dawid Malan? Wasn’t he told he would be an overseas, bouncy pitches specialist after the last Ashes tour?

      1. …in a losing cause….

        …playing for Comillla…

        …even more of a small city/region than Leeds/Yorkshire.

        Sensibly above sea level, granted, but that’s longer term planning than a cricket career.

        No-one’s doubting the fella’s raw talent.

  6. Question for advanced students:

    Which was more predictable – Joe Denley’s dismissal itself or KP’s asinine commentary about said dismissal?

    1. He was in line to go anyway, I think. And he’s an excellent player of spin, so take him.

  7. I kinda like KP’s commentary. At least he doesn’t take the ‘he’s shit’ approach.

    And the with that ladies and gentlemen, it’s back to work tomorrow.

    1. You’re just trying to troll Daisy, aren’t you, Sam.

      But your barbs aren’t exactly metaphorical bouncers or even doosras…

      …more like sibley-sobley bowling.

    1. Lovely image – especially Number One Son’s scorecard, stating that “Daddy Won by Four Wickets”.

      Plastic rollers these days, though. My childhood set are metallic. I wonder when that change to the basic materials was implemented. The little tin in which the rollers are sold/stored still looks the same as it did 45-50 years ago.

    1. Hmmm.

      Mrs Malloy (who might well be a leading authority on such matters) used to carry a torch for Graham Napier ahead of Ali Cook…

      …as next best to Charlie The Gent, obvs.

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