I'm not a huge fan of Jonathan Agnew; he's obviously a nice bloke, loves his cricket, but he's often a bit bland for my liking and sounds as though he's auditioning for a part as the new 'Johnners'. However, it was good to hear him coming down strongly against the selection of Darren Pattinson when I walked in this evening, as I agreed with every word. Where his critique really hit the nail on the head was in his focus on what the selection would say to the range of English bowlers who could, indeed should, have been picked ahead of him.
It was a bizarre decision on a number of levels. Consider this:
a. To all intents and purposes he's Australian.
b. Before today he'd played in eleven first class matches and is almost thirty years old.
c. He'd only ever bowled at Headingley once. In a Twenty20 game.
d. His captain had only seen him bowl once. In a Twenty20 game.
e. Regardless of his ability - and the stats speak of a decent bowler with some promise although probably a bit old to ever fulfil it - it was asking a huge amount for him to take his place in a side in which he'd never met or even played against most of his team-mates, on a ground he didn't know, and produce his best form.
A penny for the thoughts tonight of Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard, Simon Jones and Chris Tremlett.
The case for Matt Renshaw
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