4 October 2013

Sibley benefits from early drop...or does he?

It was interesting reading yesterday's The Spin from The Guardian - in the main focused on Dominic Sibley and looking at how successful, or otherwise, the 13 people who scored first class double hundreds at a younger age than Sibley have been.

What I found interesting was the lack of discussion about the fact that Sibley was dropped twice during his big innings of 242.   Surprised?   Yes, it doesn't get mentioned much, but there was a line about it in the report at the time.   He was dropped for the first time on 8.   I've referenced before how lucky Alastair Cook was at the start of his England career and how that helped him establish himself, so it's probably not a surprise to hear me talk about luck again!

The question that we're unlikely to be able to answer any time soon, and possibly ever, is whether Sibley will truly benefit from it long-term.   Had he been caught, he wouldn't have been on the general public's radar and could have gone back to finish his time at Whitgift School without the pressure of being an England cricketer in waiting.   Will it benefit long-term to be in the papers so early?   As The Guardian mentions, being a young double-hundred maker didn't make David Sales into an international cricketer.

If it was just a bit of luck but he's ready for first class cricket you might expect several other big scores across the summer.   But looking at Cricinfo it looks like he scored 95 in one 2nd XI game this season and not a lot else across 13 innings.   So had he been caught on 8 his average for this summer across 2nd XI and 1st XI Surrey games would have been 21.   Perhaps a little early to be getting over-excited?   But of course we don't know whether he had any shockers of umpiring decisions or outrageous good fortune in any of those knocks either.

I wish Sibley massive success and it would be great if he can make international cricket and become an England great.   But putting that pressure on his shoulders is unlikely to make things any easier for him to succeed.   Let's hope he hasn't got his luck at the wrong time for his career as a whole.

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