Keaton Jennings has a secret and he doesn’t want anyone reliant on free-to-air cricket coverage to uncover it

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Keaton Jennings (via Channel 5)

Keaton Jennings is messing with you. And by ‘you’ we mean the Channel 5 highlights crowd.

There seem to be two Keaton Jennings. It’s quite possible that each of them is a Keaton Jenning and that he’s been hiding his plurality in plain sight this whole time.

Keaton Jenning 1.0

This is the better known of the two Keaton Jennings. It is the one that plays Test cricket in England. Keaton Jenning 1.0 is an ungainly thing; an awkwardly-constructed Meccano robot with stiff joints and a wooden brain.

Bowl Keaton Jenning 1.0 an in-swinger and it will inexplicably decline to use its bat and react to the LBW appeal by falling over.

Edge to Keaton Jenning 1.0 in the field and the ball will miraculously pass straight through it.

Keaton Jenning 1.0 is a liability and should in no way be anywhere near the England Test cricket team. In 10 Tests it has never made a fifty and averages 17.72.

Keaton Jenning 2.0

This Keaton Jenning only gets wheeled out when it’s hot and humid. Despite a handful of visual similarities, it has little in common with Keaton Jenning 1.0 once it is actually put to use.

Keaton Jenning 2.0 is a sweeping and reverse-sweeping machine. It simply does not miss. In three Tests in India and Sri Lanka, it has made two hundreds and a fifty and averages 71.80.

What’s interesting is that no-one reliant on free-to-air coverage of Test cricket has ever actually seen Keaton Jenning 2.0. They are entirely oblivious to its existence and, come next summer, no matter what it achieves in the coming months, they will remain oblivious to its existence.

When the first Ashes Test gets underway and Keaton Jenning 1.0 inexplicably leaves a straight one, English cricket fandom will instantly say: “Why do they keep picking this clown?”


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  1. It’s weird how Jennings will play next summer on the strength of this innings, but Jack Leach will not regardless of how many wickets he takes.

    Why aren’t ‘horses for courses’ batsmen a thing?

    1. I’d say Leach has a chance of keeping his place for the home tests if he bowls well all winter. If Moeen bats poorly his bowling usually deteriorates as well so he’ll be out of the side; if he bats well he’ll stay at 3 and there’ll be room for four bowlers + Moeen + Stokes. In that scenario unless it’s a seamers paradise I’d expect one of Leach or Rashid to play.

  2. Yes, horses for courses for the whole team. Solves the resting/rotating/ too much cricket/ no long break for England problem at the same time.

    1. i do not think it is fair to keep comparing england batsmen to horses

      england batsmen are not horses

      hooves are not for bat-holding, hooves are for horse-conveyancing and glue-making

      keaton jennings is more like an iguana

      bring the right iguana for the brouhaha

      there are iguanas that like facing spin bowling in stereotypically subcontinental cauldrons, there are iguanas that love a green top, there are iguanas that just want to sit on a rock in the sun all day

      never pick the iguana that wants to sit on a hot rock all day

      1. In a previous period of opening batting turbulence, Nick Knight’s selection was oft-likened to that particular species of lizard…

        …surely you recall hearing about Knight of the iguana?

  3. I could do without being told every few deliveries that I am indeed listening to the station I deliberately tuned into to hear the cricket, but on the whole I think the talksport coverage is just fine (pleasant, even). The mics around the ground don’t seem to be turned up as high as with TMS, whose soundstage sometimes seems to me like a blend of aggers, the barmy army, and a next-door vacuum cleaner.

    Don’t need a vpn to listen, either, which is a mercy for those trapped in the colonies.

    1. Indeed – Daisy and I picked up a few minutes of the match when stopping over in Tokyo on Tuesday afternoon while on our way home. We both liked it.

      Mercifully short of adverts – unlike the Talksport coverage at the turn of the century. I still have pun-laden adverts for “The Chair Centre” – voiced by Richard Briers – stuck in my head from those broadcasts back then.

  4. Just pick him in Asia then. Like we in India should only be picking Shikhar Dhawan in Asia. Maybe Keaton is just Shikhar Dhawan in disguise.

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