The England camp has been struck by a few cases of the wild shits this week. This might not seem that interesting in itself, but it has allowed us to answer one important question.
Is Luke Wright a batsman, a bowler or simply a blank canvas who doesn’t get injured? Apparently, he’s none of those. He’s actually a blank canvas who doesn’t get the wild shits.
James Tredwell is playing too and the West Indies have dropped Shiv.
An England win is all but guaranteed.
We named our England heroes for the World Cup before it had started. We remember now that cricketing heroism is more about what you do on the pitch than the shape of your head.
That said, the man named on the basis of head shape, Tim Bresnan, has been something of a success. He’s taken wickets and often looked England’s best bowler, particularly against India. Maybe phrenology is the way forward.
Mike Yardy is the other hero who’s actually played. While he could maybe have bolstered his figures had he played against the Netherlands, it now seems like his one-day career may have run its course. There always seemed to be an England policy of playing Yardy as a bowler for as long as they could get away with it, in which case, shame on them for overplaying him before the tournament. He could have been their secret tool.
Luke Wright’s not been seen. The High-Visibility Tabard of England Squad Membership must be so firmly affixed to his torso that he cannot be picked lest he be mistaken for a steward while fielding on the boundary.
As for James Tredwell, in naming these England heroes, we wrote:
“Yes, he is in the squad. You’d probably forgotten.”
We stand by that.
If you’re English, your heroes shouldn’t be talented or eye-catching. Being English is about celebrating the people who really don’t seem like they should be doing something, but are doing it anyway and are doing it well.
Here are the official King Cricket heroes for the 2011 World Cup. These are the guys we’ll be rooting for.
Bit trendy after doing a hell of a lot to help England win the Ashes, but only trendy in the way that the theme tune to the Bill was trendy after they jazzed it up a bit.
Tim Bresnan is from Yorkshire and he has quite a round head. Those are qualities we can all appreciate.
Yes, he is in the squad. You’d probably forgotten. You know of James Tredwell, but you don’t really know much about him.
James Tredwell looks older than he is and bats ‘a bit’. His spin bowling is not in any way eye-catching and he is so low profile that we have just had to create a category for him having never properly written about him before. An ideal World Cup hero.
As we’ve said before, we don’t actually know whether Luke Wright is a batsman, a bowler or simply a blank canvas who doesn’t get injured. When he does play, he tries very, very hard.
Quite possibly the best of the bunch. As a batsman, he will never be a joy to watch. As for bowling, he has an approach that betrays a deep-seated loathing of any form of entertainment.
Mike Yardy is basically there to ruin cricket matches. If England win the final because he’s bowled 60 deliveries straight into the batsman’s legs without really spinning it at all, he will be the English hero to end all English heroes.
Probably not. We don’t see Luke Wright getting a great many more runs than Ryan Sidebottom and we don’t see him taking many more wickets than Ian Bell.
We quite like him, but bouncing around like a giddy dog does not a Test cricketer make. It would be good if it did, because there aren’t enough animals in Test cricket and the odd dog would address that, but it doesn’t.
Luke Wright is not a bad batsman and not a bad bowler. For us, that doesn’t get him in the eleven – no matter how desperate England are to balance their side.
Plus his mouth’s weird and it freaks us out a bit.
Are they going to win a game with the bat? Are they going to win a game with the ball?
- Luke Wright
- Dimitri Mascarenhas
- Tim Bresnan
- Adil Rashid
There’s room for players who chip in, rather than deciding matches on their own, but there seem to be altogether too many of them in England’s side. Dimitri Mascarenhas, for example, is a great batsman when you’ve got five overs to go, but he’s unlikely to pass 50 too often and he’s not going to run through a side with his bowling.
The other three are slightly different, in that they’re younger and are investments for the future to some degree. But there’s only so much international experience to invest. You can’t field all three of them, because none seem likely to win you a game.
At the minute, they’re 32 runs and 1-52 players.
We all knew it was going to happen. The machines have become self aware and they’re revolting against humanity.
The odds were on some sort of Skynet style military computer being the first to turn against us, but fortunately it was actually something far less threatening. So instead of facing nuclear missiles, we’ve simply got 90mph yorkers to contend with.
England’s bowling machine has come to think for itself and its first thought was that it didn’t much like Luke Wright. It fired a yorker into his foot and he needed stitches.
We should counter this threat to mankind by donning additional padding.
We’ve written before about how important wicketkeepers are in Twenty20, but arguably the most important positions are your opening batsmen.
A single batsman can win you a game of Twenty20. A single bowler probably can as well – just about – but they only do their thing for four of the 20 overs. An opening batsman can be there throughout. They have a bigger role to play.
In Twenty20, why wait? Someone’s got to attack and it might as well be your openers – both of them. If they get in and last a while, you’re in a good position to build on that. If you postpone the slog, you’re just wasting overs. There’s a small element of ‘what is a good score?’ when building a total. But mostly you’re not going to be aiming for 160 or 170, you’re going to be aiming for ‘more’ or ‘as much as we can get’.
Luke Wright didn’t actually get going until halfway through England’s innings in the warm-up match against West Indies, but then he showed why he’s worth a risk at the top of the order by hitting three successive sixes. If he gets out, so what? It’s only Luke Wright. Apologies to Luke Wright for that, but you get what we mean.
This is massively bad news for Rob Key’s chances of playing on Friday. But sod it, he’s in the tournament – that’ll have to do. We’re publishing The Post.
We were moaning about Matt Prior as opener the other day. When Luke Wright was called up to the England squad, it opened up the possibility of his opening up some possibilities through opening… up.
He didn’t and Matt Prior scored six, so Wright didn’t do his opening ambitions any harm at all by hitting 50 off 39 balls on his debut.
The thinking behind Luke Wright opening is that as a quick run-scorer he’ll provide a burst of runs at the start of the innings to bookend Dimitri Mascarenhas’s barely-sane six-hitting at the close.
Luke Wright’s fifty was in sharp contrast to Mascarenhas’s haphazard power however. If you were to watch his innings highlights, you wouldn’t think it had been a particularly pacey innings. It looks like a batsman going about his business: good shots; good timing. There was nothing too outrageous that would make you think this was a frenetic knock at quicker than a run a ball. It was just good batting.
England v India, sixth one-day international at The Oval
England 316-6 (Owais Shah 107 not out, Kevin Pietersen 53, Luke Wright 50)
India 317-8 (Sachin Tendulkar 94, Sourav Ganguly 53)