Saturday, January 05, 2008

Come on, Tim!

In a rather surprising development, Matt Prior has been dropped. Generally, I don’t like Matt Prior; he’s a bit of a twat, really. But paradoxically, I’m not too keen on this decision.

I’m in agreement with Angus Fraser when he says:

“It is easy to call for Prior’s head and those who do would have little idea of how physically demanding it is to keep wicket in such heat in back-to-back tests… Prior is a very capable cricketer and he deserves one more opportunity to show that he can do it.”

Indeed, he certainly proved himself with the bat: scoring the fourth highest in the recent Sri Lanka tour. Overall he averages over 40 and scored a century in his debut.

OK – he dropped about a million catches in Sri Lanka, but he’s not exactly the only player to under-perform in difficult conditions.

Compare Prior’s treatment to Geraint Jones’. Jones scored a century early in his career, and that, despite uncertain keeping, got him about three years of ECB support. Prior, who looks dominant with the bat, gets the boot after about half a year after one dubious tour.

Harsh, unfair and, frankly, arbitrary. Choosing Ravi Bopara over Owais Shah was another mistake. But why, when with even my dodgy foresight, did they not see the overwhelming argument in favour of Shah’s inclusion. Why so? I wonder if these “brave decisions” might have anything to do with the Selectors having to apply for their own jobs again? Justifying your existence with feck-brained decisions may not be the best approach to secure your position.

Anyway, who’s this young Tim Ambrose fellow? He averages in the mid-thirties with the bat, and not as many drops as Prior with the gloves. He first rose to prominence with a double century against Cobden second XI last season. He seems competent enough but, to be honest, I don’t think he’s going to much different.

The England keeping debate will not find resolution for some years. There are a lot of “quite good” keepers at county-level, but all of whom are only “mediocre” at best when playing test matches. May as well stick with one and hope he improves, you would think. Oh no. Let’s drop the bugger and try another one for three months.


Uncle J rod said...

I've done a lot of research on this Ambrose chap.

He is Australian, but not a good upstanding chap like Craig White, he is from New South Wales, which means he cannot be trusted.

Caveat Emptor.

King Cricket said...

You get the impression that a wicketkeeper's fate is pretty much decided by who he gets to play against.

Jones and Read played Australia, they're out. Prior played an away series against Sri Lanka - he's out.

Ambrose should therefore be all right for the next two series, as they're both against New Zealand. He'll score runs and everyone will say he's The Answer.

Then Dale Steyn will bowl him for four ducks in a row and James Foster will return.

The Atheist said...

I don't mind if his personality is Australian, just so long as he gets an Australian level of runs.

KC, it's a good point. The selectors are daft in the head. There seems to be a recognition that England's total stock of keepers is limited, but there appears to be no plan to address that. Daft.