Owais of talent

October 9, 2009 at 11:14 am 2 comments


Owais ShahThe decision to drop Owais Shah was a difficult decision for the selectors but ultimately the correct decision. A talented individual indicated by his superb 98 off 89 balls against South Africa in the Champions Trophy. However, that is surrounded all too regularly by innings of frustration for the supporters, rash shots, poor running, poor fielding and despite his useful contributions in the Champions Trophy, his failure to transform such ability into big runs has led to his demise. However, some blame needs to be pointed at selectors, whom have treated him poorly since the start of his ODI career. At the age of 30, the international career of Owais Shah looks to have come to an end.

A talented individual burst into the international scene in 2001, making his ODI debut against Australia with a decent knock. A 94 ball 62, cemented Owais Shah in the thoughts of the selectors but he struggled to hold down a regular starting birth. He has become a regular in the ODI side in the last couple of years, with mixed fortunes. A good innings seems to be followed by a series of poor scores. The consistency is something lacking in Shah’s game. He has the full array of shots, both orthodox and un-orthodox, good batting stance and the ability to hit it miles. He is a player suited to the shorter formats of the game. The problem with Shah is not about a lack of ability, it is more a mental issue. On his day and on-song, Shah is as good as Pietersen in ODIs, difficult to bowl to, as the South Africans found out last week. He however, seems to have an issue with shot selection and temperament that have affected his career. He can look good one minute and the next he gets out playing a rash stroke. He has been out too many times playing an aggressive stroke against the wrong delivery.

The selectors have however, missed the trick with Owais Shah. Under Collingwood’s captaincy, Shah impressed at no.6. Before subsequently being moved by Pietersen to no.3, citing that Shah’s ability is being wasted down the order. His best form has come at number 6, with 3 50s and his only hundred. At number 6, the scene has been set by the top and middle order batsmen, allowing Shah to come in with total freedom to play his shots. In the top order Shah has a duty to ‘set the scene’ before playing the big shots later in the innings. However, it is something which has proved difficult for Shah on the international scene and unfortunately he has since not been moved back down to no.6.

His recent failures however should not take away from the fact that he has been treated unfairly over his international career. It is an international career littered with him being dropped one game and then back in another and never allowing him to settle in the team. A promising debut in the test team was followed by years of being overlooked. The decsion in 2006 to play Bopara ahead of Shah against Sri Lanka, is one that hampered two promising careers. Shah was a regular fixture in the ODI team, performed consistenly in county cricket and had years of experience but was overlooked. When he finally got another chance in the test team, the years of non-selection prevented Shah from ever having the same freedom he experienced on test debut. It is unkown whether Shah would have been a good test player, but his talent deserved him a chance.

If the same selection criteria used agianst Shah were applied for every England player in the ODI team, the Paul Collingwood would have experienced being dropped sometime throughout his many periods of lost form. That a prime example of mis-treatment against Shah. Consistency the reason for Shah’s axing. Well, since being recalled in 2007 to the ODI team, he scored the most runs, the most 50s and the most boundaries at an average of 35.00 compared to Pietersen’s 35.51. it seems the consistency measure used was that of 12 months, no Shah still tops that, 6 months, no. The stats show that he can only be dropped on the back of 7 matches, the ill-fated 7 match one day series agianst Australia.

His place in the squad has been taken by Alistair Cook, who finished the limited over season strongly for Essex. The upcoming ODI series is likely to be building towards the World Cup in the sub – continent in 2011. Shah’s wristy action and ability to play spin are in Shah’s favour but recent form sees him miss out. If the current ODI squad is building for the 2011 World Cup, then it seems that Owais Shah has missed his chance. It remains to be seen how much good domestic form will contribute on his chances, with Pietersen returning to the fold, it doesn’t leave too many vacant positions, with competition high.

One-day squad: Andrew Strauss (Captain), James Anderson, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Joe Denly, Sajid Mahmood, Eoin Morgan, Graham Onions, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Adil Rashid, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott, Luke Wright

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Marty Buppha  |  October 13, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Acording to http://www.cricinfo.ws the final Full Test and One day squads are:

    Test: Andrew Strauss (Middlesex and capt), James Anderson (Lancashire)Alastair Cook (Essex – vice captain), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), St Broad (Nottinghamshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Luke Wright (Sussex), Steven Davies (Surrey), Graham Onions (Durham), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Liam Plunkett (Durham), Matt Prior (Sussex), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), .

    One-day squad: Andrew Strauss (Middlesex – captain), James Anderson (Lancashire), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Alastair Cook (Essex), Joe Denly (Kent), Sajid Mahmood (Lancashire), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Graham Onions (Durham), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Matt Prior (Sussex), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Luke Wright (Sussex).

    Reply
  • 2. Cricket Betting Blog  |  October 18, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    It is my opinion that Shah was dropped for reasons of personality or attitude, to make way for a bloke with the type of character that Strauss and Flower want. If the “consistency over the last 12 months” line was applied to everyone in the England set up then how many others would be dropped.

    While I can understand and agree in part why Shah was dropped – his running between the wickets and fielding – I would have to say he has not been afforded the same luxaries that a lot of other England players have been.

    That is my gripe, when Geoff Miller speaks about consistency he is insulting peoples intelligence, anyone can see that England still pick players who haven’t performed consistently over the last 12 months.

    Both the ODI and test squads are getting very similar in terms of personel, if you look at them both they are turning into a bland group of workmanlike people, with the exception of Pietersen there is no other real flare or exciting players.

    This I believe is the profile of player that Strauss and Flower want, they have got rid of Shah, Bopara and Harmison to replace them with workers and grafters with the right personalities, ie Cook’s and Collingwood’s.

    Reply

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