21 July 2014

Prior gone

Prior has apparently quit cricket for the rest of the summer to try to get fit....it's on Sky TV but not even on Cricinfo yet.

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Unknown said...

It seems inevitable, if the media is to be believed,that Joss Buttler will be handed his chance to take over from Matt Prior for the next Test match.
Presumably his keeping has improved immeasurably since the 1st of June when the current England skipper declared him not yet ready for Test cricket. The clamour for his inclusion appears based around his undoubted and exciting batting ability in the 1 day game.Its all perfectly understandable that the public, deprived of a KP type batsman, is keen to see this very talented player in the Test side.
But, we have already seen this summer that Test matches are being played on pitches which offer few clear chances (ignoring pulling half trackers down the throats of three men posted there). We have seen keepers struggle and some key dismissals have gone begging as a result. In my opinion, playing an average (some might say less than average) keeper would be a massive gamble. And why? Because he is capable of a match changing innings? Is he really - in Test cricket? Buttler has scored 568 runs in 15 Championship innings this season and been not out once, when he also scored his only first class century of the summer. He averages 40.57, which is respectable but not exceptional. Eoin Morgan has played two fewer innings in the County Championship this summer, but averages 53.66 and scored 644 runs. Like Buttler, he is an exciting cricketer , capable of playing match-changing innings in the one day arena. But many are resisting Morgan's potential as a possible captain because he isn't "a good enough batsman". Well, what's the difference, I would ask, between Buttler and Morgan? Both would have to perform two roles and yet one seems to be a shoe-in, the other a risk.
So back to Buttler, or, rather who the alternative is. A year ago Australia threw away the rule book and selected a 36 year old opening batsman to give them stability. 13 Tests later and Chris Rogers is still there, part of an Australian team which has won 7 out of 13 Test matches. Chris Read, acknowledged for many years as one of the two best keepers on the circuit, is the same age now as Rogers was a year ago. His County Championship average this summer is 45.14 from 18 innings and an aggregate of 663. His career first-class average is 36.70 (Buttler's is 33.32). Picked for England too early, it was subsequently deemed that he had not recovered from his experience and so he has not played since. He has crafted and developed his game on the county circuit as a keeper, batsman and a successful County captain. Would it be that wrong to use this experience and ability for the rest of this summer and potentially into the next? I don't think so. As Alastair Cook said, Buttler's time will come but it isn't now.

Ed said...
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Ed said...

Agree with the rationale Chris. I'm advocating Foster on a similar basis as he could easily keep in the next Ashes and beyond. If Read could at least play past the next Ashes then he also comes into the equation. For me they should both be ahead of Buttler - it's not just the England captain that said he wasn't ready....it was the man himself!!

Another advantage of Read and Foster is that they offer a captaincy option for when (rather than if!) Cook goes in the near future.

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