Decisions, Decisions

Andy Flower is an outstanding cricket coach. Well-organized, tough, uncompromising, but flexible and sensitive when he feels he needs to be. The latter quality is underplayed but it was evident in the way he spoke about Samit Patel.

It was obvious that England wanted to pick Patel for the World Cup. As Flower said, 'all we were saying was 'get into reasonable shape'. It didn't have to be perfect. In fact, all we wanted to see was an improvement...'.

The fact that Patel will be at home in Nottingham when the World Cup starts, is, therefore, nobody's fault but his own.

I've written about Patel and his fitness issues before here, but I'm less sympathetic now. It's clear that the management were prepared to cut him a small amount of slack but he simply didn't want to do the work.

But, as The Old Batsman says, the inability, or unwillingness, of certain players to conform can be symptomatic of a less tangible fear of exposure at the highest level of the game. In the days when the England team was rubbish and county cricket was a cuddly oasis of mediocrity, the county game was full of players like that. Times have changed now, and Patel, for sure, knows it.

Flower also knows stuff. Like the fact that when you're doing his job you have tricky, sometimes ruthless, calls to make. The decision to replace Davies with Prior was one such, and, while it didn't look too bad when it was made, it's not looking quite so sound now.


Dean @ Cricket BettingBlog said...

I myself, eluded to the fact that there was always going to be 3 spinners in the world cup squad, so to (apparently) not even make an effort for that is a joke really.

It sounds like Flower was prepared to cut him some slack as well.

With regard to the Prior choice, I don't think too many would have disagreed with it at the time. I just think he would be better down the order. If Bell is opening in T20, then surely he is capable of opening here as well.

I think we are still in the last knockings of the Gilchrist factor. Which is surprising considering we didn't fall into the same trap with trying to replace Flintoff.

Brian Carpenter said...

Thanks, Dean. As I'm sure you know, the problem with writing anything is that events always prove you wrong.

Prior 67 today and Bell 0!

Only one game though...

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

Too true Brian.

Like Andy Flower, I'm sticking to my guns. Bell to open and Prior down the order.

I'll happily hold my hands up and never question Flower's judgement again if Prior makes a success of opening.

I wonder will Sunday's game make my views look even more stupid!

Subscribe in a reader