Graham Onions and Tim Bresnan come in. One’s already done well, but wouldn’t it be nice if they were clearly – CLEARLY – the best men for the job? The truth is everyone’s mostly just hoping for the best.
This has long been the problem with English cricket. There are too many counties and too many matches. It’s impossible to see it all and gauge who the very best players are. The upshot is there’s a general consensus that a bowler maybe, possibly, probably deserves a go and then we all cross our fingers and see how things pan out.
In an ideal world, a member of the Test team gets injured and everyone knows who should replace them. In the real world, everyone can name six players who could potentially do the job. Whoever does play gets a few matches to prove or disprove their worth and they either earn a longer trial period or we’re back where we started.
James Anderson is England’s first-choice pace bowler and he was dropped four Tests ago. Just who are England’s best bowlers at the moment? Here are some names. Can we quickly and easily agree on which ones are the best? Can we hell.
- James Anderson
- Stuart Broad
- Graham Onions
- Tim Bresnan
- Andrew Flintoff
- Steve Harmison
- Ryan Sidebottom
- Amjad Khan
- Matthew Hoggard
- Simon Jones
- Sajid Mahmood
- Mark Davies
All those players have their respective supporters and detractors and all stand a half decent chance of playing Test cricket in the not so distant future, injuries permitting. Then there are a whole host of other names who are but a few good matches away from joining them.
There are too many names. We don’t believe it’s a case of them all being roughly as good as each other. We reckon it’s a case of no-one being able to clearly identify those best-suited to Test cricket without actually putting the players into that environment. Really, you should have a good idea long before then.