T20 world cup squad – selectors take a gamble, literally

What exactly is our plan for the upcoming T20 tournament in the Windies? I could phone up Geoff Miller and ask him, but I doubt even the chairman of selectors knows. The rumour is that James Whitaker has a one-armed bandit in his living room. When he gets together with his fellow selectors, they allegedly replace the symbols with the names of county cricketers, pull the handle fifteen times and hey presto, they’ve got a squad. Ok, that’s a little cynical, but how else can we explain the massive changes that have afflicted our team since the inaugural event in 2007. After all, this current squad shows a massive six changes from the list of players that represented England in last years’ event. That’s over half a team.

From the 2009 squad, Robert Key, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Graham Napier, Owais Shah, and Adil Rashid have all been dropped. That’s quite an achievement considering that most of them have hardly played a game. Meanwhile, England’s opening partnership from the recent matches against Pakistan, Joe Denly and Jonathan Trott, have also been dispensed with; as has Matt Prior (at least the cunning plan of playing two wicketkeepers has finally been abandoned). However, perhaps more amazing is the decision to retain Ryan Sidebottom. Perhaps they want to keep a spot open in case they change strategy again – after all, Sidebottom will inevitably need an injury replacement at some point.

So who are the beneficiaries of the selection merry-go-round this time? Fortunately, the one-armed bandit has actually come up with a couple of decent names this time. Perhaps inexorably, Craig Kieswetter has been promoted. So too has Michael Lumb, the exciting and somewhat stylish top order batsman from Hampshire. England fans might be interested to know that Lumb was born in South Africa; now there’s a surprise. The other selection which might raise a few eyebrows is the recall of Michael Yardy, whose left arm darts and general lack of athleticism in the field are now apparently ideally suited to the cut and thrust of international T20 cricket. This might come as something as a surprise, as Yardy was dropped in 2007 because neither his batting nor bowling came up to scratch. When questioned on the subject, an England insider was quoted as saying ‘the one-armed bandit system will inevitably throw up players whose surnames start with letters near the end of the alphabet’. Luke Wright was unavailable for comment.

 England Squad: Collingwood (capt), Anderson, Bopara, Bresnan, Broad, Kieswetter, Lumb, Morgan, Pietersen, Shahzad, Sidebottom, Swann, Tredwell, Wright, Yardy.

 James Morgan


  • I hope Samit Patel looks at this squad with regret. He should be the lower order batsmen / left arm spinner if he had listened to the advice from club and country. Feel sorry for Prior – not sure what he has done wrong.

  • Patel is a natural boundary hitter – such a shame that he can’t keep off the pies. I agree that Prior will be very disappointed. He has been moved around the order far too much in limited overs cricket. I read somewhere that he has batted in every position from 1 to 8 (except number 5)

  • The evidence from the IPL is that class always tells, and you shouldn’t get too obsessed with big hitters. Tendulka and Kallis (world’s slowest and most careful batsman) are dominating the batting. playing proper shots along the floor. A lot of the T20 specialists have hardly scored a run. Strauss would do better than Lumb, if he were going.

    The other notable element from the IPl is that smart bowling is better than ‘good’ bowling. So, with the exception of Swann, we’;re buggered anyway. If Sidebottom plays, new records may be set.

  • Hardly matters if we don’t win the T20 World Cup…there’ll probably be another one about ten minutes later.

  • Does anyone even care? I genuinely can’t even remember who won the last one, and it was only about a week ago.

  • Sachin is slow? He has 17 1/2 thousand ODI runs at a strike rate of 86. Hardly slow.

    For me, can not understand the logic of taking Yardy. He’s not there for his batting, nor his bowling, so is he going as a reserve captain to Colly?

    I guess everyone has forgotten about Dimi M nowadays too? Him, Shah, Prior and Napier should all count themselves as unlucky to miss this squad

  • I said ‘batsmAn’ – Kallis. Kallis is a phenomenally slow Test batsman, but he’s adapted brilliantly to T20 and is showing – with Tendulka – the benefits of a solid start and not abandoning technique for a wild swing at the ball.

    Dimi and Shah have both been dropped by their IPl teams. Hardly a vote of confidence, but neither of them did much to justify their place anyway.

  • Both Dimi and Shah are slow in the field. Not saying that’s why they were dropped, but it can’t help. I tend to agree with you Tristan. Class is permanent. We should pick our best cricketing side, but possibly allowances for one or two specialists. Apparently the Sussex coach reckons Yardy is the best T20 spinner in the country. I would suggest that he’s a medium pacer who bowls off a short run (I’ve never seen him spin a ball!). However, at least we’ll get to laugh at his ridiculous Kim Barnett throwback batting technique.

    In all seriousness, I hope Yardy does well, but there were surely more exciting options around. The squad includes too many workmanlike players, when you need a bit of X factor in T20 … or pure class. Lumb is a good player though, so at least a Lumb / Kieswetter opening partnership shows a bit more attacking intent than Trott/Denley. The sudden changes are worrying though. The selectors seem to make it up as they go along.

    • I agree Dimi is too slow in the field and does not contribute enough consistent runs for his role. Did you see the 110 from mahela jayawardene in the IPL off 60 odd balls? The perfect example of timing and placement and shows that power and huge forearms are not always needed.

  • Lumb scored an impressive two-run-a-ball 80 odd in his IPL game yesterday. Looked good.


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