Although we made Steven Davies one to watch at the start of last summer, we had it in mind that we’d be watching him for a bit longer before he appeared in international matches.
Andy Flower said this week that if Davies plays in the one-day matches, he’ll open the batting, while Matt Prior will bat in the lower middle order if he plays. You feel like England will go for Davies, because wicketkeepers who open the batting in one-day internationals send England into unseemly paroxysms of orgasmic delight which are as embarrassing as hearing Henry Blofeld calling someone a ‘dude’.
Wicketkeepers open the batting in one-dayers. That’s the way it is as far as England are concerned. All of which makes it rather bizarre that Phil Mustard was so summarily abandoned.
Here was a wicketkeeper-batsman who kept wicket well and had the right approach to opening the batting in Twenty20 matches and one-dayers.
He mightn’t have made any big scores, but he’s fundamentally right for the job. He has a lash at the ball without giving the matter a great deal of thought. That is generally what you want from a one-day opener these days.
You don’t want a batsman thinking: ‘My job is to have a lash at every ball.’ You want a batsman who just does it. That’s Phil Mustard and just about nobody else who’s English.