The Fat End of the Wedge

One of the players whom Flower may have to deal with - or not - is Samit Patel, who, after being dropped from the England ODI squad because he failed to maintain what were deemed to be the required fitness levels, is now trying to make up lost ground, something which was covered in the Daily Mail during the week.

Personally I rate Patel and wonder, from the vantage point of someone who could do to shed a few pounds but whose skills are strictly village, whether the insistence on optimum levels of fitness isn't just a little overdone.

In the last year I and other Somerset followers have seen one of our best and most popular players, Ian Blackwell, forced out of our one-day side and then the club itself as a result of his captain's slavish insistence on particular levels of fitness, and a certain Jesse Ryder hasn't been doing too badly recently, despite the type of figure barely seen in the international game since Colin Milburn's Test career was prematurely ended in the late sixties.

Okay, I'll accept that in the interests of team harmony (and to keep the fitness trainers in a job) players like Patel need to put the same type of work in as anyone else, but my feeling would be that if they're still clocking in a few pounds over they might need to be cut a bit of slack.

Because, in the end, in cricket, it's the numbers that matter, and, at the moment, those of Ryder don't look too shabby.


Thiru Cumaran said...

I too was very surprised at Samit Patel omittance from the limited overs team to tour WI. We just have to look at the great Inzi to see that fitness doesn't really matter as long as they are doing the job required of them. Yes, Inzi did get out fairly often, yes, Inzi wasn't the most athletic fielder but, heck, he has over 20,000 runs in all forms of the game, and that, IMO, is enough to be great!

Frankly, it's just paranoia on the part of the team management to have dropped Samit!

Brian Carpenter said...

Dead right. I forgot about Inzi but if there was ever an example of the point I was trying to make, he is it.

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