Save English Cricket
From: Ian Canaway
Is it too late for English Cricket?
England are set for 5-0 white washing by Australia in the 2006/7 Ashes series, to be honest I don’t have much faith in the current squad and selection process.
Let’s be fair if you compare on paper each of England’s players, man-for-man with the Aussies, the English would be beaten hands down every time.
The only exception is Pietersen, who has competed at the same level, it’s just a shame the rest of the team hasn’t been able to step up to the plate. Kevin Pietersen has had some bad press in the UK from certain areas of the media, who have criticised him for being ‘selfish, self centred and not a team player’. Maybe, BUT, the only reason he has stood out like this is because he has been far and away England’s best player! FACT! This season in Test matches he’s averaged 53.72 and scored over 1300 runs! (Remember Geoff Boycott? He made over 100 centuries and was seen as one of the most selfish cricketers around, yet he helped win and save many Test matches) So let’s stop the Pietersen bashing.
Did England Prepare Properly?
Well this is a relevant question. Why?
As much as we keep hearing the same old rhetoric from the English coaching staff and players, this question need answering, did England prepare properly and focus 100% on getting ready for the Ashes?
Well I was thinking this same question a few days ago and was on Amazon at the time looking for books (as you do around Christmas), and lo and behold I came across some cricket books and items by current England players. Believe it or not, I found circa 6 books by current English players (and one by the Coach, Duncan Fletcher), all published in 2006, while England were supposed to be preparing for the Ashes!
Whether these guys wrote their own books or not I don’t know, but the fact of the matter is if you are writing/publishing a book, your attention is drawn away from other things (e.g. preparing for the Ashes) and focus is lost. You can see some of the cricket books here:
etc – just click ‘related items’ to see other books. Admittedly Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting have also written books. Ponting’s was published in 2005 and Warne is a genius so I can’t argue there.
England Haven’t Competed At The Same Level
Australia’s batsman outclassed England’s batsman in every aspect, there have been only a few English innings worthy of mention, Collingwoods double century, Cooks century and some excellent innings from Pietersen. Despite these efforts, England failed to put together consistent partnerships in both innings of each test match.
England’s bowlers lacked consistency, accuracy and never seemed to really trouble Australia’s batsman. I don’t know about you but when I watch Shane Warne bowl I’m always on the edge of my seat, just waiting for the batsman to get out, he’s that good! I can’t say I have felt the same about any of the English bowlers. The preparation of the England’s bowlers must have been poor, Harmison, only started to bowl well in the 4th Test, in comparison to Clark and McGrath who were excellent from day 1! Mahmood was only bowled for 17 overs in the 3rd Test; so what does that say about the Flintoff’s confidence in him? If he wasn’t up to the task why was he picked?
Another thing to ponder is Fletchers team selections. It seemed at the start of the series he was picking players to avoid defeat and perhaps being over conservative, instead of taking a chance. For example the selection of Giles for the first Test. Giles hadn’t been playing much and had been out injured most of the year (net practice only gets you so far) and was selected ahead of Panesar, who has since proved he is good enough for the Test arena taking 8 wickets in his first match.
The bottom line is that in each match, Australia have had players who have stepped up to the mark whether they were batsmen or bowlers and that made the difference. They have players who believe in themselves and believe they can take control of a game and they DO and they WIN.
What do you think?
Surely itâ€™s time to start thinking about the future of English cricket, where will England go following the Ashes? What can be changed and improved on to get the English players up to the same level as the Aussies?
Post your comments below…All the best,
P.S. Now go play some cricket!
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