Mason Crane: first look in Test cricket

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Mason Crane (BT Sport)

We don’t believe you can draw meaningful conclusions from players’ debuts – but we report on them anyway.

Bowling on the second day with the pitch most likely at its flattest, Mason Crane spun the ball hard enough that it drifted, landed most of his deliveries in pretty much the right place and created the odd half-chance. Pretty good.

The great thing about playing a leg-spinner is that as a fan, they are ever-graspable straws. There’s no guarantee that a leg-spinner will take a wicket, but unlike fast-medium bowlers, there’s never a guarantee that they won’t either. There are times when you’re glad of that.

At the age of 20, Crane has several England leg-spinner career phases to look forward to. The next one will probably be ‘omission because conditions don’t suit’ followed by ‘omission on grounds of economy rate’ or possibly ‘omission due to inability to offer something with the bat’.

There will also be brief moments when he’s considered a saviour before he’s finally discarded for good at 26 – the age at which his mentor, Stuart MacGill, took the first of his 208 Test wickets.

Adil Rashid had to wait until he was 29 to be dumped from the Test team because he made a later start.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Mason Crane looks like the real deal to me…

    …mind you, so did (does) Adil Rashid.

    I note that the Aussies didn’t use a nightwatchman today either.

  2. This morning someone in my office used the phrase: ‘I’m just the wicketkeeper’. As a metaphor. Not related to cricket.

    1. Suspect they mean “back stop”, as in the person who makes sure that, if no-one else has dealt with issues/problems, the work doesn’t, metaphorically, hurtle to the boundary for four byes.

      In other news, the cricketer spotted in Cricket Badger this week contains an old, silly punchline that nevertheless made me laugh out loud given the context in which it was used this time. Chapeau to that contributor and to KC/CB for publishing it.

      1. First “with all due respect”, then understanding this. I’m worried about you, Ged.

        Maybe I need to reach out and arrange a ‘no regrets’ deep dive so that we can get the view from 10,000 feet on this, and head off any risk events when we get further along the journey. Then we can share our learnings by sending out a comms to the rest of the guys on the RACI matrix… yeah?

      2. Thanks for your concern, AP. I’m worried about myself too.

        Perhaps I need to shoot the puppy and then eat my own dog food.

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