The show that never ends (or doesn't seem to). I seem to have been coming back to this stadium for months but this will be my last visit and there are two to go after this before this stage of England's winter gives way to the moist heat of Sri Lanka. T20 time and although there are rumours of 80% attendance tonight it is pretty sparse half an hour before the games starts... Better than the Tests though.
England V Pakistan T20 @ Dubai International Cricket Stadium Thursday 23 February 2012
Both our guys are in and "Sarge" was out there earlier doing what he does best as well... It was almost like being at home. Nearly brought a tear to my eye.
The stadium is filling up but with 16 minutes to go I can't honestly say it is exactly heaving with spectators (it's posibly 15% full at the moment). Johnny Bairstow is in the order in front of Jos which I can't say I'm exactly at one with - I actually disagree more with Bopara being ahead of both of them to be honest.
Hafeez and Zias will open for Pakistan with Shafiq, Misbah, Malik and Afridi to follow them. Jade Dernbach and Samit Patel join the bowlers I have seen before and I am wearing my Black Somerset one day shirt in celebration of two Somerset keepers playing in the same England side for the first time in history I think (I know this isn't their first game together but it's the first one I've seen). It is however the first game in history when 2 Somerset keepers have played in a game where both Umpires have the same surname... are the Raza's related? Two Pakistani umpires? I thought non neutral umpires werefrowned on these days.
Finn opens from the TV end to raucous noise from the Pakistani fraternity who make up a good 85% of the 7 or 8 thousand people here. He goes for 8 off his first and Dernbach takes the ball to bowl the first from the Pavilion end. The two Asian batsmen are going for everything... irrespective of the ball being bowled. But it is working as they go to 17 off the 12 balls faced before Zia sticks Finn into the crowd without bouncing and nearly does it again with the next one but it drops short and doesn't run to the rope.
Zia takes 18 off 12 - which seems about usual for him (strike rate of about 145% and an average innings of about 16 balls) before Finn gets him to pop up the slow ball and Morgan gratefully takes the catch and sends him on his way. 32 for 1 after 17 balls. Shafiq comes in at number 3 and beautifully dispatches his first ball to the boundary through the covers 36 after 3... even I can work out the rate for that.
Captain Broad takes over from Jade but doeswn't exactly stem the tide as they pass 40 clming into the 4th over. It doesn't help then that Shafiq is decieved by a Dernbach (changing ends and taking over from Finn) slow one, top edges it only to be dropped by Swann running back to the boundary. Regulation catch I'm afraid. Pakistan are on 46 after 5 adn finn has gone for 23 off his 2. Broad continues from the Pavilion and succeeds in holding Hafeez in check at the start of over number 6, so much so that the opener tries a risky single off the third ball and has to dive to make his ground. An excellent over only goes for 3 and the skipper has bowled 2 for 5.
On comes Swann - hopefully to make up with his bowling for errors in his fielding, he passes Hafeez's bat with his first ball. He can't stop the batmen passing 50 and they tend to milk him for twos at the end of the over. It isn't helped by an error in the 'backup' method of fielding - one fielder follows the man chasing the ball so he can slide, pick up and shovel the ball to the other man to throw in - Dernbach does this for his captain who stops the ball but manages to 'shovel' it past Jade and the Pakistanis take three!
Bopara opens his account with over number 8 and number 63 (Buttler) at deep mid off gets his first chance to attack the ball in the field. It's 65 after 8. But with the first ball of the 9th a second run results in a jammy run out as the ball is fired back in and Swann collects but fails to take the ball through the stumps only managing to take the bail off with his armpit as he falls over. Luckily Shafiq's bat hasn't made it and "Boom Boom" walks out with his side at 65 for 2. He turns to watch his partner slog sweep the next ball straight into Bairstow's grateful hands and it's suddenly 65 for 3 and Swann has his second wicket in two balls. Misbah joins Afridi and calm returns (except for the pakistani cheering every possible run from their heroes).
The stadium has filled up a lttle since the start of the game and we are now looking at about 10 thousand people in the seats. It's not half full yet but it does look so much better than when 2,000 try and create an atmosphere.
73 for 3 off 10 becomes 73 for 4 off 10.1 as Swanny's luck night continues and Afridi leaves the stage after driving the ball straight to Morgan at midwicket. Akmal is no sooner in than he is out as well courtesy of an excellent diving catch from Dernbach off a leading edge. Swannhas 3 for 9 off 2.4 overs as well as a run out - so he is making up for his doilly drop earlier one would suggest.
In comes Malik as Swann ends a double wicket maiden for number 11. This is so much fun that Samit decides he wants a go and takes over at the 'Pavilion End' for number 12 he goes for 4. Swann's third over is wicketless but the press is well and truly on as they restrict the men in green to 80 off 13 (they did look like they were going to get 50 off 5 at one time).
Finn returns for the 15th after a 6 from Malik takes the opposition to 90 after 14. Lots of cheering from the partisan crowd sort of overshadows that it has taken the Pakistanis twice as long to get to 92 as it did to get to 46 but these guys will cheer anything at all. They are still one run shy of three figures at the start of the 16th over.
Up comes that 100 off the first Patel ball and a six comes off the 3rd. By the start oif the eighteenth the two men have moved the score on to 118 with Malik overtaking Misbah but I am certain they would like to move the run rate from just under 7 to considerably over it before the end of the 20th - time, however, is running out.
Finn returns for the 19th at the TV End with the two batsmen going at everything but not hitting boundaries often enough. Misbah keeps stepping away and then having to bend forward to get bat on ball because Fin is not following him. They do however 'thread the needle' towards the end of the over and get one between two fielders to the boundary and it is 135 with 6 balls to go.
Dernbach takes the last over as he is the 'death' specialist in this team. Misbah is first to face. On one knee he swings... and misses one that doesn't get up at all. The second is late cut, straight through Swann and off for four! It really has NOT been his fielding night. A full ball is through Malik before he has really reacted for ball 4 and Ball 5 springs off a length and flys past Kieswetter to the boundary. a six would take them to 150 and Malik goes for it but Bairstow flies in and takes a splendid catch to deny them so Pakistan finish on 144 for 6.
Excellent bowling from the skipper (19 off4) and much better bwoling than fielding from Swann (3 for 13 off his 4) kept us in this one because the pace men generally went for a few. After flying in the first 4 overs the men fromPakistan got stuck in the middle and then came back at the end . 144 is no mean score and at least suggests that our guys might have a chance to get a bite of this one. We can but hope.
Out stride Kiesey and Pietey to open the innings. Junaid is opening from the TV End and KP is taking ball one. He swats it for two with little worry. He then straight drives the second to the boundary past the bowler. Ball three is pulled to the cover boundary and KP leans dismissively on his bat. Openers? What's so special about Openers? Two off ball four under the body of a fielder is followed bvy a single off the next and Kev's work is done for the first over. Craig takes the last ball and simply returns it to the bowler. 13 for 1 off 6 balls is a decent start.
Umar Gul marks his run up at the Pavilion End to start his part of the Pakistan new ball attack, he thinks he has Kevo LBW with his first ball but one of the umpires Raza disagrees. Kevin does not look as comfortable against this particular paceman and I start to hope this is not one of Gul's good nights because they can be very very costly. Of course the Pakistan crowd is cheering with abandon anything any member of their team does, even if it is simply shining the ball!! A leg bye brings CK to the facing crease for the last ball of the second over and he is still there after it as he simply stops it at his feet. A good over from Umar with only 1 from it.
Craig finally gets off the mark through the grasping hands of a cover fielder. As somene said in the box, it was more a 'saved two runs' than a drop but off the mark is off the mark and the keeper punishes the next ball flipping it down the leg side for 4. After 3 overs England have 21 but the last over showed very little of the confidence of the first one.
Gul is firing in yorker after yorker in the fourth and Craig is on the receiving end of most of them and is squirting them out. However the full toss that comes with such effort is dispatched over the mid off fielder's head by the Somerset man for 4 as he takes his side to 32 after the same number of overs.
The inevitable Ajmal takes the 5th and has a couple of sighters before he puts him to the cover boundary giving the fielder no chance whatsoever. He looks to sweep him and is absolutely furious with himself when he fails to get the shot right (he was practicing this one a lot before the game). 40 after 5 at a rate of 8 per over is a fine start but there is a long way to go yet.
A six man huddle before the next over results in the insertion of 'Boom Boom' into the attack. Two singles are followed by a Pietersen six over his head but he tries the same with the next ball and falls to a 'top catch' by Shafiq with no room to move just inside the boundary. 48 for 1 and Ravi Bopara replaces Kevin P who has done his job in some style but was once again furious with himself for getting out.
A scrambled single puts him on strike for the last 'Boom Boom' ball of the 6th and he simply defends it. Harfeez is introduced at the TV End and keepos them in check before the 50 arrives off the third ball. That is not all as his last ball sees Craig stepping away from a straight ball and being unable to reach it as it takes the off bail away. Embarrasing and not that good I'm afraid... 52 for 2 and Morgan arrives at the crease to face Afridi. Ravi seems all at sea as he moves to reverse sweep a ball before finally sliding it down the offside for no run with a look of bemusement on his face. He easily beats the run out appeal that would have ended his misery and at 55 for 2 after 8 the English batting campaign is in some disarray.
Harfeez is causing problems you would think he could not cause but Bopara can't seem to get him away and Morgan is happy to milk the singles and leave it to the haples Ravi to try and make the big shots... he is simply suggesting that he should be after the next two young bloods rather than before them. Both Bairstow AND Buttler would make a better fist of this. The momentum is seeping away with every ball butg 65 after 10 still leaves us in the hunt for this one.
They still can't get Hafeez away though and take only 4 off the 11th. This brings about another conference in the field before the ball is given to Afridi to continue, the boundaries aren't coming but there is a little more urgency now about the English pair and they are looking to turn singles into twos before they get a rare boundary and take 11 off the over to reach 80 off 12 and make things look a little more respectable. Harfeez is still the grit in the English Vaseline though and decieves Morgan with one with more flight which cleans him up looking to drive it. 80 for 3, 2 balls into the 12th brings Johnny boy to the crease and the Bairstow Legacy continues. England need 65 off 46 balls to win. He nearly flips a catch to leg off his first but it drops just short of the fielder Ajmal. This seems to give Ravi something as he sweetly splits the cover fielders to bounce one over the rope before JB tries to cut a ball not there for cutting and is lucky not to snick it. 86 for 3 after 13and thank heavens we have seent he back of Mr Hafeez and his 18 for 2 off four overs!!
Junaid changes ends for the 14th and will come in from the Pavilion to Bopara. He is pushing Bairstow and nearly loses out to a good throw on a risky second but his dive gets him in. A straight six off ball 4 brings some calm and also the 100 hoves into view. Two excellent twos at the end of the over brings up the 3 figures and takes 14 off the Junaid return. Good over for the Boys from the Northern Hemisphere.
Ajmal returns to cause Bairstow problems but Ravi is now pushing the score along and moves to 110 off 15 needing 35 off 30 - target in sight. This prompts Gul to return for the 16th but the England pair keep on turning singles into twos whenever there is a gap in the Pakistan field. Bairstow is also looking to take the paceman on, though he has yet to connect with one for more than a single. Bopara tries to step inside one of Gul's rockets and loses his stump in the process and in comes Jos needing to help his country to 32 runs off 25 balls.... how nervous is he? Well he hasn't exactly had a lot of batting and his first shot is not all that good but it gets him off the mark and up the other end!! 113 for 4 becomes 114 for 4 after 16. 31 off 24 needed and Buttler will face Ajmal - he takes a single off his first.
120 for 4 after 17 means the young guys need 25 off the remaingin 18 balls. Boith of them woud eat this in normal situations but this is anything but normal for these two newbies. Gul steams in and Bairstow drives him for 1. He steams in again and Jos tries to 'Dilshan' him and is caught in midfiled - just didn't get enough on it and he is out for 3 121 for 5 and that has to be down as a failure because this is the job he is going to be picked for and he has to put these away when given the chance. Having said that, he did have the guts to take the chance... just didn't put it away unfortunately.
Samit is in, and then he is out LBW to Gul first ball.121 for 6 and it is looking dicey now as we still need 24 off 15 balls and in comes Mr Swann!! Umar Gul is presently 3.3 overs 1 maiden 3 for 16. He finishes with 3 for 18 and EWngland are left needing 22 off 12.
Ajmal will bowl out at the Pavilion. Bairstow misses ball 1 but takes two off ball 2. 20 off 10, a single off the next 19 off 9. Swann looks to sweep, misses and is nearly bowled 19 off 8. He is nearly stumped off the next and it is 19 off 7. Up the wicket he comes and takes a scratchy single (and the strike) 18 off 6 balls is simply not going to happen even though JUnaid Khan is going to have the honour. Swann is on strike and we need two boundaries fromt he first two balls to have a realistic chance at this.
Ball 1 - miss and they run a single. Good move - they had to get Bairstow on strike. Ball 2 - they run two. 15 off 4 - boundaries still needed. Ball 3 - single as Swann sends Bairstow back (quite rightly). Ball 4 - Swann gets a single and it's effectively over I'm afraid as they need 13 oiff 2. Two runs leaves 11 off the last ball!! Pakistan win. 2 runs and England lose by 8 runs.
Good game but we lost it in the middle order and our last real hope went with Jos. Johnny Bairstow did well but the clever shot didn't get the goodies again and the idea that you pay the ball straight still seems to be a decent rule to play by.
I'm off to me bed and will pnder more on this in the morning. Night one and all.
OK so I am in Dubai for the first one 4'oclock you time, 8 o'clock mine.
This is the only oned I can cover because of the daft timing of these games and the differences between the Omani weekend (Thursday Friday) and the Emirates weekend (Friday Saturday). Hopefully it will be a gud 'un with Craig opening and JOs coming in before the game is actually over and smacking a few.
I'll be at the ground between 5 and 6 (1 and 2 for you lot) Insh'Allah and will update the front page etc as the game goes on.
The expectation in the England camp today is that, if we bat first, Jos will feature at No.7, behind Hales, Craig K, Pietersen, Morgan, Patel and Bairstow. But if we are chasing, the order wil be more fluid.
Rest of the team expected to be Bresnan, Broad, Swann and Finn. Bopara is still experiencing back trouble, and Cook will only play if there are other late injury problems.
If you are going to put him in, it should be as a weapon NOT as a backup. That scenario suggests he will either get few balls if any assuming the front end holds or will be playing a rearguard action with little or no support should the front end fail.
It is a waste of time putting a power batsman in at number 7!
Ahh well we'll see I suppose. Of to see if a taxi driver can find the place in about 15 mins!!
And of course one of the ironies is that you were either told or heard on the grapevine (I forget which) from the England set-up that SCCC need to get him up the order! Maybe they should practise what they preach?
144 for 6 was better than expected at 15 overs and less than you would have predicted after 24 balls so I suppose the Pakistani team will be happy they got out of jail without anyone really figuring in the total.
7.2 an over should be within the ability of the World Champions but that has been said before I am sure and the Asian sides runs are actually on the board.
Who is encouraging the young players to do stupid reverse sweeps and 'french cricket' scoops as demonstrated by Jos , Bairstow and co?? Absolutely unnecessary in the context of the game - surely hitting straight and true would much more productive!! I must be getting too old to see the rationale!!
Well KP was unlucky one could say... literally an inch further and it would have been 6.
No idea what was in Craig's mind. He stepped so far to leg that he could not reach the straight ball that took his off bail... misread the ball or was seen shifting?
Jos, as OB says, is good enough to hit the ball straight rather than trying the'Dilshan' especially when there is a fielder set for it! Roy Kerslake would have been jumping up and down on Perth beach I bet!!
Bairstow played well, Ravi looked all at sea until Morgan went and then started to do his job but he is not a first change batsman. It then just got too hard and Gul had a good night. You aren't gonna get much from Umar when he's having a good night in front of 12 thousand Pakistani's.
I got out of the place at 12:45 - many thousands were still trying to. I walked in totally the other direction to find a taxi (damn lucky too - it is not a built up area the only reason for cars to go there is to go there) and still the 15 minute drive took 45 (good job taxi's are dirt cheap and don't charge you waiting rates here). The 10 to 15 k drive to my hotel cost a princely 15 quid. I think some might have been there still this morning.
It was the Pakistani contingent determined to create an atmosphere that made it an occasion. They started as a vocal 3 thousand and ended up as a rabid and jubulannt 13 to 15 thou. Not a harsh word, not a bad moment, just a whole bunch of massive cricket fans having a good time and getting a good result. There wass literally dancing in the streets (well on the motorway between the Arab drivers who were not amused).
Ronniesabre thats few times Craig has done that..stepping away and levaing the stumps exposed and being bowled.
I think he will be under pressure in the next two games to deliver.
I once saw Craig do that, two years ago, in a CC game at Castle Park. It was the most extraordinary piece of cricket. And one which, in the context of that game at that time, seemed entirely unnecessary.
I did not see yesterday's shot, but it sounds as though shot selection may be an area of his game which continues to be in need of some further refinement.
In defence of Jos I think its his ability to do the unexpected and score runs in 'non-traditional areas', shall we say, or if you prefer, from 'trick' shots, that has got him noticed byb the England selectors.
Yes we at Taunton know he can bat impressively using a range of traditional 'proper cricket shots' as well, but the England selectors, poor lambs, hyperventilate when they are out of earshot of a Test ground so are relying on what they've seen on TV, ie T20 and Pro-40 stuff and lets face it, Jos's best performances for Somerset have been generally sprinkled with just the type of shot he got out to in both of these matches, batting down the order in the 'finisher'role.
Its this 'finisher' role thats obviously up for grabs in the England line-up at the moment and Jos has to learn how to do the same job he does so well for Somerset at the higher level. The 'Dilscoop' (I will call it after the Sri Lankan exponent because to adapt the name for Jos makes it sound a bit, well, dirty at best and American at worst) is not such an easy shot to play off a bowler as canny (and no doubt well-informed) as Umar Gul.
I suspect Jos is at a disadvantage early in his international career in the same way as Dernbach, who has so many variations to bowl he tries something different with every ball. Sometimes you need to just keep it simple, but in the tail end of a T20 innings that can seem difficult. But talent will out.
The tragedy is I believe that Jos has the best full bloodied drive over the range from long on to long off, he doesn't need the fancy IMO stupid shots. I don't think I have seen him caught on the boundary hitting in the arc.
In other news, its taken 2 Test matches, 2 ODIs and 2 T20s but the Sports City administrators have finally worked out that if you have several thousand people at a cricket match its probably a good idea to arrange some sort of transport so they can get home after the match.
Yes, Bagpuss, it's not necessarily the shot, per se, that is the problem, it's a case of 'picking the bowler.'
Of course the problem is that he's coming in so late in the piece that most international teams will have two pretty good practitoners operating by the time Jos comes in. But, then again, not many will be as good as Gul!
England tour party for two Tests in Sri Lanka is being announced tomorrow morning, with the players being told after today`s T20 match.
There are suggestions that Eoin Morgan`s place is at risks, with Jonny Bairstow in line to replace him and also provide wicket-keeping cover. This might seem rather unfair on Steve Davies, who didn`t get a look in against Pakistan, but would make room for Samit Patel to be included as a third spinner.
That one T20 knock on Saturday looks to have promoted Bairstow above Jos Buttler in the pecking order, even though Jos had much the better Lions tour.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2012:02:27:15:49:21 by cricketjerry-mouse.
Bagpuss speculated that Jos has been brought in specifically to do the finishing role as that has been what the selectors have seen him do in games on TV. If so, it's possible that he's been expressly told by the powers-that-be that they are impressed with precisely that shot!!
Either way, I still think it's more a case of pick your bowler.. and Umar Gul is NOT the one for that shot...
If - as I suspect might be the case - we are more firmly in contention in one-day competitions than we are in the CC by the time that we come to trying to find an overseas player for the second half of the season;
What about Mohammad Hafeez? Would surely not be the worst choice?
Well he gave it a good go, trying to give KP the strike and realising that big shots are very difficult on here. Thought the lbw looked a bit leg side but pretty tough for the youngsters today - interesting that Patel, with that much more experience fared a bit better. 120 could be a good score here, tho I fear that we have more quicker bowlers. Ravi's cutters and slower balls could be very important.
Grockle I think it has something to do with also opting to play a 'Dilshan' twice CP when he is quite capable of hitting a ball straight.
Things are easy to see from the boundary but in the three innings Jos has had, it was crying out for him to step down the wicket for the right ball and hit straight. Stumping always a possibility but at least his shot selection could have some meaning. Today he could have hit straightish but chose a sort of sweep pull off a straight ball.
Craig K.had probably his best game behind the stumps for England tonight.
His running out of Shafiq, and the vital wicket of Afridi, were lightening fast, helped by exellent picking up and throwing by Jos and Jonny Bairstow. In addition, those slower balls from Dernbach demanded sharp keeping skills at key moments.
Brilliant win - pulled that one out of the fire! I was surprised Bopara din't have a trundle to take the pace off, esp when Finn was going for runs (often edges from perfectly good balls).
Some great throws from JB and JB, as cj-m says, and top work by Craig - some of the throws and slower balls were really coming in 2nd or 3rd bounce and he never fumbled any of them.
I wasn't Dernbach's greatest fan, but his slower ball is magnificent. He was unlucky for a slow bouncer to be wided - so many normal balls were not getting off the ground, then a slow bouncer suddenly balloons a yard over Misbah's head! To bowl that last ball under severe pressure, a slower ball out of the back of the hand and then hit middle stump - that really is a skill!
Agree, still not sure i like Dernbach but fair play, his death bowling really is impressive, those slower balls are so hard to get right.
Think England are keen to give Jos and Bairstow a run in the one day and T20 sides.
Notice there are no one dayers on the Sri Lanka tour so they get good April and May with us to concentrate on (bar the lions game mid may) so plenty of time to get runs for us before next England squad picked.
As I think we discussed before, SP, the other guy at your favourite County, Meaker, has some terrific slower ball skills as well. He was superb at the death against SCCC at the Oval last season, albeit in what (for him) was a losing cause.
I agree with cjm and SP about CK's 'keeping. As well as the run-outs, I thought that he did very well to gather cleanly the slower balls which passed the bat and bounced in front of him. One area which I think he might look to improve is his ability to manoeuvre the ball for singles, particularly at the beginning of his innings: I feel sometimes that he blocks a few balls, which then puts him under pressure to play a big shot to get the scoreboard moving.
I don't think that people should be critical of Jos Buttler. He has come in late in the innings to face excellent bowlers (as Big Jim has pointed out on another thread, he is very young and will rarely, if ever, have come up against bowlers of the calibre of Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal). If the ball he got out to in the first match had been slightly quicker, his scoop shot would have cleared Ajmal and his shot would have been applauded as audacious and skilful. Trescothick said that he had never seen him miss a scoop shot – so, history suggests that it is not necessarily a particularly risky shot for him. I hope that he gets the opportunity to bat for longer (against slightly less skilful bowlers) in forthcoming matches, so that he has a better chance to demonstrate his capabilities.
It's not the ability to do the scoop that is my issue with it Wickham, it's that I know he can produce a sublime straight shot as well and you play to the field. The fielder was there for one shot and wasn't for the other... play the one that gets you the best result if you can play both - that is what a talented batsman does in front of the audience trying to decide his level of talent.
Grockle It's not the ability to do the scoop that is my issue with it Wickham, it's that I know he can produce a sublime straight shot as well and you play to the field. The fielder was there for one shot and wasn't for the other... play the one that gets you the best result if you can play both - that is what a talented batsman does in front of the audience trying to decide his level of talent.
Poor choice of selection - nothing more.
With you 100% Grockle. I think Jos is a wonderful talent and I'm sure he will learn. Unless someone says to the contrary, in the three innings he played recently, although short innings, no attempt to play any orthodox drives was made, while three IMO silly shots were attempted. I can't believe there wasn't some discussion of their suitability afterwards in the dressing room.
As Wickham said, give Jos a chance against some bowlers less stellar than Pakistan's (which would be most bowlers for most other countries) and see how he goes there.
Being someone who does not watch any televised - cricket, your perception of the abilities of "most bowlers for most other countries" concerns me. Are Pakistan's bowlers head and shoulders above most everyone else? If so, what does that tell us about the state of world cricket?
You may well be right - I simply do not know.
I am sure that Jos has a great deal of talent and potential but, even at such a young age, when given the chance he needs to exercise it against the best, not the second or third best, if he is to have a successful International career in front of him.
One needs to take every opportunity that one receives with both hands, because another one may well be a long time in coming.
Although he has not yet represented England in any form of the game (except for England Under 19’s and the England Lions), James Hildreth's performances for Somerset last year meant IMHO that he slipped further and further down the pecking order as far as the England selectors were concerned. If I recall correctly, there was some criticism on here concerning his shot selection, and I doubt very much that he is on the selectors' radar at present.
Personally, I regard that as a great shame and I just hope that the same misfortune does not befall Jos.
At the end of the day, notwithstanding various coaches and managers, it is up to him and him alone.
I suspect AG was really talking about Gul and Ajmal as two of the better (best?) ODI bowlers in world cricket. Overall, I'm not sure that Pak's bowling attack is up there with the best, though on their own tracks in the middle east they are very good.
A good first few weeks in the CC will put James back on the selectors' shortlists again...
I personally think Jos has more at the age of 21 than Marcus had at the same age. Not necessarily in terms of talent but in terms of the self confidence to use it.
This idea that he suffered from being pitted against the best in his first games doesn't hold water. If you are good enough you are old enough and if you are good enough you are good enough against the people you are put against. All credit to him for having the guts to consider the non conventional shots to punish bowlers who don't give you much but you haven't won the contest if it results in you losing your wicket.
Good players don't wait for chances against inferior opponents, they just punish them more when they face them. They show their class against the best and confirm it if they get the chance against the not so good.
Jos has to take every chance in the early days so that his talent is appreciated enough to give him the chance to murder the less proficient bowling attacks.
In this case I wish he had been more conventional and had longer at the crease rather than being unconventional at the wrong times but its a another lesson to learn.
"Good players don't wait for chances against inferior opponents, they just punish them more when they face them. They show their class against the best and confirm it if they get the chance against the not so good."
Well he certainly couldn't wait, even if he had wanted to because there were very few deliveries left and no sub-superb bowlers were ever going to be bowling them.
All I meant is that he had the toughest possible baptism in that particular format (T20). This was by dint of his place in the batting order, the quality of the opposing bowlers and the "position," of the England innings when he came in.*
* Yep, we won the series 2-1, but I would say there was certainly pressure on Jos on each occasion because England were not exactly crusising to an obviously impregnable total at any of the points at which he came in.
In spite of everything said in this thread, including my comments, it is great to be able to anticipate Jos and the other young Somerset batters, keepers, seamers AND spinners doing their stuff next month!!
Nope you are right AG he couldn't wait, hence the need for the straight shot into the gap rather than the scoop into the hands of the fielder there for the shot.
The man is good enough and needs to show it early or like some others who were good enough he'll find himself fighting against poorer batsmen for international recognition because of poor perceptions of his ability
I really do not want Jos spending years with a Chris Read type label
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