Who is England’s best one-day opener?

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That’s a rhetorical question. We were experimenting with lots of ‘suck it and see’ type headings, but couldn’t find one that wouldn’t give rise to unsavoury comments.

Due another quick go next yearWe touched on the ‘suck it and see’ selection policy the other day. Essentially, we think England’s selectors take a look at players in international cricket, when really they should be damn certain about them before then.

Take any England wicketkeeper for example – Phil Mustard, say. Phil Mustard opens in one-day cricket and he’s a tidy keeper. He got picked for England.

If England’s selectors pick Phil Mustard as a keeper/one-day opener, then surely they do so because they think he’s the best man for the job. If they think he’s the best man for the job, they shouldn’t be dissuaded from this by a relatively mediocre performance in his first ten matches. They’d cut him some slack, knowing he was the best and knowing they were investing in the right player.

But no, they watch him play, they’re not impressed, they drop him. What did they learn in those ten matches that they didn’t learn through watching him in domestic cricket?

This happens with England wicketkeepers in both forms of the game. It also happens with one-day openers. Ian Bell, Luke Wright, Phil Mustard, Alastair Cook and now Matt Prior (again). Who are England’s best one-day openers?

We’d like to see two players given the job and left to it. It’s the dithering around and chopping and changing that maddens us. It’s almost like the selectors don’t know the players – or their own minds.


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  1. Flintoff to open. Botham suggested it. I reckon it’d be worth a try. They could try it out for a few games and if it didn’t work, stick Matt Prior in there again.

    BTW my mum commented on my match report. Has anyone else’s mum commented before?

  2. I’d rather see Elderbrook openning the batting than Flintoff.

    The only problem I foresee is his immaculate cream flannels wouldn’t match the costumes worn by his team mates.

  3. Now that the 20/20 match has been cancelled, and the Scotland match rained off, is Collingwood going to miss the first three matches against South Africa?

    Also, he should open.

  4. Peterson… I’ve always thought (especially in one days) that your best batsmen should open.

    So Flintoff and Peterson should make opponents shudder… But they are afraid of losing their wickets…

  5. The argument against is: ‘But what if he gets out? The opposition will be lifted by dismissing England’s best batsman.’

    A peculiarly English way of thinking – making your plans on the assumption that things will go wrong.

  6. Well, carrying your bat is pretty unusual in any form, let alone one day cricket; in fact really, you don’t want it to happen. Reaching the 50 with all your wickets intact implies you didn’t take all the risks you might have, and could’ve scored faster.

    As a result, I thought the argument was that Pietersen is more valuable at the death than at the start, and thus shouldn’t open so as to be around at the end. The premise is certainly debatable (particularly so given England’s inability to get good starts), but I don’t think it’s particularly craven logic.

  7. We meant ‘get out early’ really.

    We’re never sure about this death-hitting either. A run’s a run and the first few overs are where there are fielding restrictions.

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