England lacking genuine twenty 20 big hitters

March 17, 2009 at 9:51 am 1 comment

England’s defeat in the twenty20 match to the West Indies raised more doubts about the capability of England’s batsmen in the shortest format. Shock Debutant Steve Davies top scored with 27 while the rest fell in tame fashion, including 3 run outs. This defeat is a worrying sign for England ahead of the summer’s twenty20 World cup and changes need to be implemented to this side if it is to taste glory. Five of England’s top six managed to reach double figures but none managed to make any substantial contribution. England started well bringing up 25 in 3 overs, but poor shot selection and decision making along with good west Indian fielding led to a mediocre total. After Davies dismissal, there was no one in there to force the pace and up the scoring rate. Pietersen was unlucky to be given out to a ball that was clearly going down leg, but he never looked like he was going to bat with the required aggression. He batted like a man not knowing how to approach this game, which isn’t surprising considering he has played only 15 twenty20 games in 4 years, reaching 50 only on one occasion, against Zimbabwe. He is a fine ODI and test cricketer but struggles to transfer this form to the shortest format. He has a wide array of boundary shots, but isn’t as aggressive as the likes of McCullum or Yuvraj, considering his wide range of stroke play. For England to succeed they need Pietersen to play as many twenty20 games as possible before the world twenty20, security problems in the IPL may affect his participation but England need to release him to compete in as many games as possible.

The opening pair looked encouraging, and have a wealth of twenty20 games behind them, it is a partnership that lacks experience but one England should seriously look at for the twenty20 world cup. Looking down the order, you don’t get to a genuine big hitter until you reach Masceranhas. Even then, Masceranhas doesn’t look too much like an international cricketer and is someone who can be easily tied down. Owais Shah has been a key limited overs player for England, with a vast scoring range. His unorthodox style of play makes him suited to the game, especially when scoring chances are limited, mixed in with the ability to clear the ropes. His experience of twenty20 cricket is clear to see but his biggest problems lie when he comes to the crease. It takes him a lot of balls to get in and become comfortable before he can play his shots, before this point he is vulnerable to any good deliveries. England should persist with Prior, who lost out to Davies, in the 50 over game, but he is another that needs to play more twenty20 games in order for him to succeed in that form of the game.

For the twenty20 world cup, England should seriously look at the players plying their trade domestically. They are the ones regularly playing the format; they know how to approach the game. This domestic twenty20 season will start with players with the knowledge that places are up for grabs. While Napier will have his chance to convince the selectors in the IPL with the Mumbai Indians. The big hitters of the domestic game deserve a chance, if Andy Flowers is still in charge then, surely with his knowledge of the domestic game, he should be able to conjure up a team up for the challenge.


Entry filed under: Cricket.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Sammy  |  March 17, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Napier’s batting is looking impressive for the Lions, he could force his way in as a specialist for the world cup 2020. He’s got work to do in the bowling department but I think that he better in both departments than Mascarenhas.


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