20 May 2007

Olduns come good

The press seem to always find an ex-cricketer somewhere willing to slag off any player in their 30s who has a bad series or two, irrespective of their previous record. Unfortunately, that is the way it is always going to be but I just hope that selectors don't always listen. I was gutted when Graham Thorpe wasn't selected for the Ashes in 2005 - he'd been England's best batsman in the preceding 18 months and then was suddenly dropped when someone needed to make way for Kevin Petersen despite the fact that he was only 35. The subsequent series showed that he clearly should have been selected ahead of Bell (as I told anyone that would listen at the time such was my disgust!).

When I was in India I was worried that India would make the same mistake as they inexplicably dropped (or rested so they said) Ganguly and Tendulkar from the ODI squad to play Bangladesh. But thankfully both those players were retained for the Tests despite pressure created by the media. And given my views on axing older players too early, it was great to see that they both made centuries. Those that always want to find fault will say that the opposition was Bangladesh - hardly a great bowling attack - but none of the others managed to make a century despite the apparent advantage of greater youth.

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