Okay, so maybe he is really irritating if you have to share a dressing room with him. We don’t know. We don’t care. He’s a fantastically accomplished batsman.
In the Sussex v MCC – and you have to call it this – ‘county cricket curtain raiser’, 17 batsmen have now come to the crease. Of these, only three have passed 20. Only two have passed 30. Only one has passed 40 – Owais Shah, who’s currently 72 not out.
Owais Shah averaged 70 last season. He averaged 66.46 in 2005. If you gave him a run of matches in the Test side, he’d surely succeed. He’s 29, has played in all sorts of conditions and situations and is now reliably scoring large numbers of runs.
This is the point where Australian selectors look at a batsman and say: ‘He’s learnt his craft, he’s earnt his place – let’s pick him’.
Whereas England’s selectors say: ‘He’s learnt his craft, he’s earnt his place – maybe it would be good for him to spend some time carrying drinks to and from the pavilion. Tell Andrew Strauss he looked good and solid during that 12-ball duck last week. Tell him he’s back in.’