We’ve spent the day badmouthing Jade Dernbach and we’ve previously written that his ‘variations’ often blind people to his deficiencies, but despite both of those things, we still don’t think England should drop him.
Why? He’s shit
No, he isn’t. Calm down.
Jade may have looked pretty shit while bowling slower ball wides and beamers in his final, crucial over against India, but his face told of a man struggling to keep it together.
So he’s shit then
No. Jesus. What’s with you?
Jade Dernbach isn’t the earl of modern one-day bowling, as he was portrayed during the summer, but nor is he shit. He’s a skilful bowler who hasn’t played in front of tens of thousands of roaring fans in India many times before. That’s a tough experience and he went a bit flaky.
Like any normal person feeling that way, he retreated to what he knows best. For us, this would be some sort of social isolation. For Jade Dernbach, it’s his ‘variations’. They’re his strength. They’re what got him into the England side. No matter that they’re going all over the park – if he hasn’t got them, what has he got?
Did I miss the part about why he shouldn’t be dropped?
Dropping him means starting again. Dernbach should be stronger for the experience, whereas Stuart Meaker still has to walk that particular potholed road. Dropping him means wasting today’s experience.
If England truly think Dernbach has qualities they’re looking for – and they do – then they need to condition his brain so that those qualities are more reliably accessible. He has to have these shit games to learn from them – the learning part is non-negotiable, however.
But what if he costs England the next game?
England are 3-0 down in a five-match one-day series that’s taking place a few months after the World Cup. Be honest, how much do you honestly care about this series?
This is the perfect time to test English one-day players. To them, it’ll feel like they’re playing under immense pressure, but none of their supporters will actually be heartbroken should England go down in a blaze of apparent ineptitude.
England have seven one-dayers in India next winter. It is worth persevering with someone. We’re trusting England’s selectors that Dernbach is that someone.
On the same subject, Craig Kieswetter is a little further into his international career, so we’re not sure to what extent the above also applies to him. All we will say is that his keeping today did smack more of meltdown than inability. Make of that what you will.