Off the Rocks

Of course, the other thing that unequivocally went right for England was the return to form of Paul Collingwood, who seems to be making a habit of rescuing his career just at the point when it seems to have hit the rocks. We should, of course, no longer be surprised. The tougher the situation, the better he tends to play.

Which is far more than can be said for Ian Bell, a batsman whom I've had a lot of faith in (perhaps too much ), but who's stretched it to breaking point. Owais Shah deserves an opportunity in Mohali, but, somehow, I'll be surprised if he gets it.


Anonymous said...

as ever a pithy and accurate analysis. I do feel Ian Bell has been given a very generous run in the side which his obvious talent and 'correct' approach to batting have deserved. It has however become evident that he has fraities that are exploited by the very best attacks almost at will. I doubt whether this will ever be rectified and would say that it is time he was passed over,possibly in favour of Shah (or bring back Thorpe eh?!)
Collingwood, yes, well he's gritty etc. but I don't want an English batsman to consistently faiul up until the point he's about to be dropped only for him to save his career with a 'characterful' century. Yes, he's popular in the dressing room but then so is Ralgex.
So to Monty, well you've just got to be patient with him. Having been brought up on a diet of English test match spinners that I'd personally back myself to play it's been a total joy to see a spinner play for England who can win matches. He has over 100 test wickets and has bowled out sides several times. Spin bowling is an art, a craft and Monty probably needs another four years before he gets to his best. He also needs to bowl,bowl,bowl and this includes playing pyjama cricket as well as real cricket. Opposition teams reckon him and, yes, he's been disappointing of late but we must persevere with him and give him all the support he needs -hire Warne or Jenner to get him nearer the finished article but don't drop him!

Brian Carpenter said...

Good to hear from you, Simon (from the opinions expressed I think I can guess which Simon it is).

I must stress that I'm not advocating dropping Monty, it's just that like a lot of people I've started to get frustrated by his habitual lack of variety and inability to think on his feet (I think I sat through too much of that damn Smith-McKenzie stand at Lord's last summer for my own good). I agree that it's a little harsh to have a go at him just now as he has had four months off, and yes, he does have time on his side.

I agree that in some ways he'd benefit from playing pyjama cricket, but with his lack of batting and fielding ability he's going to have to bowl consistently very well to hold down a place in any one-day side.

As for the batting, well I'd go Shah for Bell, but I bet they won't. Maybe in the Windies (where Monty'll spin them out for fun as usual).

Have a good Christmas.

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