Vivisection on England’s World T20 squad

It’s not dead yet, but let’s take our cleaver and dice it anyway. It’s only a matter of time.

Batting

No Kevin Pietersen, the man of the tournament the only time England won a big competition, so who’s going to pick up the slack?

Well not Joe Root. He’s got a broken thumb. Since breaking it, he’s scored a hundred and taken a wicket in his first over while opening the bowling, but you really don’t want to risk valuable young cricketers when they’re injured. That leaves us with something like:

  • Michael Lumb
  • Alex Hales
  • Luke Wright
  • Eoin Morgan
  • Jos Buttler
  • Ravi Bopara
  • Ben Stokes

Of those, we are very, very happy with Morgan, Buttler and Bopara, but anticipate flakiness from the other four. Hales is in credit, but seems happier against fast bowlers, who might not be so plentiful on Bangladesh’s pitches. It’s a similar story with Wright. After 44 T20 international innings, he averages 18 and his four fifties were scored against New Zealand (two), Afghanistan and the Netherlands. He doesn’t inspire confidence.

Bowling

This is where things look really wonky. In fact, most of the bowlers aren’t actually bowlers – they’re all-rounders. We know that it’s all about having ‘options’ but you also want things to go well once you’ve taken one of those options. Where are the specialists?

Well there’s James Tredwell, whose one-day economy doesn’t seem to translate so well to the shortest format and there’s Chris Jordan whose economy rate in domestic T20 is a worrying 8.59. There’s Tim Bresnan, who’s nice and sensible and there’s Jade Dernbach, who we’re not even going to bother passing comment on. Finally, there’s Stephen Parry who’s the non-spinning spinner no-one’s heard of who will probably outbowl everyone. England like to find a new one of those for each World T20 tournament.

There may or may not be Stuart Broad. England’s captain is out of the current series, but they’re giving him a knee injection. He doesn’t seem certain whether it’s his fourth or fifth.

It makes sense considering:

“It’s just gradually got worse throughout the winter with the amount of bowling I’ve been doing – no real break – so it’s something I need to act on now to make sure I’m fit and firing for that World Cup.”

As we said earlier, sometimes you have to risk valuable young cricketers even when they’re injured. Wait. What did we say earlier?

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15 Appeals

  1. England have zero chance of winning. Why even turn up?

    I shall only be paying attention to see if Wright manages to survive a ball at some stage. Does he have compromising photos of EVERYONE?

  2. Will parry do well and then everyone will call for him in the test team. People did the same with tredders and he barely bowls in longer games. Anyway you’ve missed off belly? He will make the difference as we romp to the title, they may make him bowl again like he used to.

  3. perhaps england selectors like dernbach’s tattoos – he has even more than mitch johnson after all. that must make him a scary prospect, right?

    does anyone actually believe england could win this tournament..?

    • Easy, picture this scenario: Lose to SA, but sneak a win against NZ. Thrash whichever associate gets through, and then the game against SL is a washout, leaving you level points with them but sneaking through because they thrashed the minnow slightly less and you have a better NRR. You encounter Pakistan in the semi, but they are Pakistan, and have a shocker, leaving you to encounter the thus far unbeaten Saffers in the final, but a large number of them appear to have something lodged in their windpipe, letting you canter to your second T20 world cup!

    • That’s genius. I’ve done some maths and worked out that there are 77.777 million billion million possible ways that the tournament can play out, and the one you described is literally the only one in which England win. That makes the odds of an England win about 1000 to 1 against. As everyone knows, thousand-to-one chances happen nine times out of ten, so it is virtually certain that England will win, just as long as they can beat Holland.

      Oh.

  4. i’m impressed you seem to care, Micko

  5. I wouldn’t risk Broad on this.

  6. If you think England going there and being pummelled would be damaging, imagine if the stars aligned and they made the final or even won the thing? Then we would be able to brush all the issues under the carpet for at least another 6 months, just as we have been with the odd Lazarus win for the past 2 years.

    Get smashed by Pakistan, look better in the ODIs – all is OK

    Get smashed by Sri Lanka in the first Test, win the second – all is OK

    Meltdown against South Africa, somehow pull it back against India – all is OK

    Play awfully against New Zealand, claw it back against Australia – still fine

    If a decent performance at this World Cup and dispatching Sri Lanka happens to gloss over the Ashes pumping, I think we could get stuck in this cycle for all eternity. And James Taylor will be able to score 10,000 Lions runs without ever adding to his Test cap tally.

    • Interesting. I wonder who has scored the most runs for England A/England Lions/the equivalent without ever playing a Test?

    • I’m going to guess at David Sales, based on literally nothing. I dont even know how much he played for them.

    • Cricinfo on Sales:

      “A first-class average just the wrong side of 40 spoke of a somewhat unfulfilled talent – and explains why, despite years of speculation, he never quite earned an England cap.”

      Hmmm. On that basis, almost everyone who played for England in the 90s and beyond did not deserve to do so.

    • Darren Bicknell?

    • >On that basis, almost everyone who played for England in the 90s and beyond did not deserve to do so.

      And on every other basis too. Which you’d know if you were old enough to remember cricket in the 90s.

      How did Ben Smith and Ali Brown never get Test caps? Hell, I’m surprised Mark Nicholas didn’t get a game.

  7. We really are rubbish aren’t we? 26/3 and why is Bopara not sent out. And Ashley Giles is likely to be named overall coach!!

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