Liam Plunkett gets a fractionally undercooked deal

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2 minute read
Photo by Sarah Ansell
Photo by Sarah Ansell

Not a raw deal, like Chris Read got, but pretty rare – bloodier than he asked for in the middle.

Plunkett was picked to go on the tour to the UAE and then somehow found himself three places down the pecking order for the South Africa tour despite not having played. From the outside, this seems bizarre. From the inside, it presumably makes more sense.

The captain and coach see plenty of the players in the nets. We all know the meaninglessness of them ‘coming out well’ or ‘being hit well’ in a net scenario, but that isn’t to say that spraying it around like an unmanned fire hose should also be ignored. We’re not saying that’s what Plunkett’s been doing necessarily. Maybe he simply hasn’t impressed. Trevor Bayliss is still fairly new as England coach and perhaps he’s still making up his mind about a few players.

None of which is the point we were going to make. Our point is that in recent years, while he’s been on the fringes of the England team, Plunkett has generally been considered only in unfriendly environments.

Green seamer – stick to the usual guys.

Flat pitch, unhelpful conditions – we need something ‘extra’.

In a sense, Plunkett’s benefited from filling that niche, but it’s also indicative of how perceptions can be skewed when you live your international life on the periphery. We don’t have separate stats for the infamous chief exectutives’ pitches. No-one adds an asterisk and gives you extra points for effort.

Within weeks and months, all that remains are the numbers. Whether or not they’re coming out well in the nets is the only other thing people have to go off.


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  1. I wish to complain, KC, about the link you have included using the words “an unmanned fire hose”.

    The video is very funny. Indeed I laughed out loud at one bit and smiled a lot throughout. I am pleased that I spent the minute or two watching the video…


    …it is not an unmanned fire hose. Indeed, the predictably hilarious results arise from the very fact that the untamed hose is manned.

    It is quite possible that other readers are especially keen to see a film of an unmanned hose, which might result in severe disappointment from witnessing a manned hose. Worse, some readers might be of a nervous disposition; specifically the kind of neurosis that can result in their suffering distress when witnessing an “untamed, but manned, hose”, especially in circumstances where they were expecting the unmanned variety. In short, all manner of unpleasant, unintended consequences might ensue from your sloppy use of language.

    Please try to be more careful when providing and naming links in future.

    1. “who ever traned hi should me reped”

      That one comment has made this video even more glorious.

  2. So Steyn might not play. Why not try to neutralise Merkel with your only convincing fast bowler? Mystifying

  3. This from the BBC today:

    ‘Bell is understood to be privately disappointed at the England selectors’ decision’


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