How do you respond to 51 all out?

February 10, 2009 at 11:29 am 4 comments


Bell fails again

If you were the management or captain watching over as England collapsed to 51 all out in Jamaica, how would you respond? Would you go for the wholesale changes option or do you stick with the same players to put it right. The messages from the England camp suggest that the most likely option to be undertaken is the second one, with a possible change in the bowling line-up depending on conditions. Is this the best way to address the situation, by leaving those players who failed to put it right themselves. There is some logic in that as proved by Atherton’s side when they were bowled out for 46 in Barbados. However, you have to remember that this is not the first time that the same group of players have collapsed to a lowly total. The same top six appeared against Australia in Adelaide in 2006. They batted well in the first innings but toiled to the suffocation of the spin bowling of Shane Warne, as they crumbled to 129 all out.In Galle in 2007 a similar looking top six failed as England scored a derisory 81 all out. From that test match only Ravi Bopara was dropped despite appearing in only his 3rd test match. Last year the team collapsed in Hamilton to 110 all out, the only changes made were to drop bowlers Hoggard and Harmison. Yet the top six who have been under performing for a long time also survived that failure to keep their place for the 2008 summer. Despite under performing for a long time, the selectors have failed to address the situation and until they do, England won’t move forward.

The obvious under performers of the Jamaica test match are Bell, Cook, Collingwood, Panesar, Sidebottom and Harmison. Of them, the selectors surely must have lost patience in Bell and Panesar. The selectors have always been reluctant to drop Bell, with whom they have invested a lot of time in. He has been a frustrating player, he seems to always be in good nick before giving his wicket away or crumbling under the first signs of pressure. His has slight problems in this technique but his main problem may lie mentally, when under pressure his technique seems to change and his natural game suffers. It is difficult to assess how much good a stint in county cricket would do for him. The pressures are lower at this level and he seems to be able to kick on to the hundreds. However, his form at the moment is not deserving of a place in the team, and a spell out of the side could do him good, and like Strauss he could come back stronger.

The criticisms of Panesar are all too familiar, he bowls the same six deliveries every over or he plays the same match every match. The lack of variation is holding him back, he has the talent and ability to be one of the best spinners in the world, but needs the variation possessed by the likes of Vettorri. For him, he will definitely benefit out of the side, with time to develop his bowling further away from the rigours of international cricket. The problems exploited by the Australian’s outside the off-stump have appeared again, for him, it is a matter of practise with Flowers inside the nets.

Sidebottom seemed to lack venom in his deliveries, playing a more containing role rather than causing the batsmen any problems. His criticisms remain his inability to get wickets when the ball is not swinging. In England he is first choice, but in the slow and flat wickets in the West Indies he should not be in the team ahead of James Anderson. Harmison, is in a different situation, where you don’t know how he is going to perform. He certainly is not the same player terrorising international batsmen, and needs to work more on wickets with a lack of bounce.

The benefits of sticking with the team can be seen. The players are determined to hit back strongly and can’t perform as badly as they have done in Jamaica. However, this should not be an option that the current England team should look at for a second. The players in the team have had more than their share of chances, it is time for the next players to get into the team and be given a fair run.

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Entry filed under: Cricket.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tohmas  |  February 10, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    I say drop Bell, collinwood and Sidebottom.

    My team:
    Strauss
    Cook
    Shah
    Pietersen
    Bopara or Rashid
    Flintoff
    Prior
    Broad
    Harmison
    Anderson
    Swann

    Reply
  • 2. Tohmas  |  February 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Maybe the team that I put on is a really weak batting line up.

    Maybe Rob Key or Vaughan at 3, Shah at 5.
    What do you think?

    Reply
  • 3. Dayne James  |  February 12, 2009 at 3:22 am

    I think that the west indies will take England apart becouse the English captain said that they are here to warm up.that was not a nice thing to say and the west indies are playing fairly good test cricket.

    Reply
  • 4. andy  |  February 12, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    cooly and bell for defo

    Reply

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