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