Random Thoughts: England’s Test Squad

A few brief thoughts on England’s Test squad:

Fran Wilson

Wilson has been rewarded for a solid season with the bat, both for the Academy and for Middlesex. It is a big step up from Division 2 to Division 1 – as Lancashire are proving, having cruised Division 2 last season and completely tanked in Division 1 with basically exactly the same team. In making that step, Wilson has shown the one thing England really need right now: temperament! If she plays (and that is still a big “if”) it will be for that.

Amy Jones

Jones has been very unlucky. Again. (And how many times have we said that?) Her unbeaten century for the Academy, against exactly the same bowlers England will face in the Test, bowling their hearts out because their team isn’t inked-in yet, shows that she has the technique; but yet it all seems to fall apart when she steps into the arena of full international cricket. Why? It can only be a mind thing; and being in and out of the team like a yo-yo, never quite sure of her place, really really can’t be helping!

Alex Hartley

England have missed a trick in not considering Hartley – the best (available) attacking spinner we have at the moment – in a series-situation where (I think… others disagree) that they need to attack. I have an inkling that this is partly because she is perceived as a bit of a “Genuine No. 11” but honestly… if England are selecting their No. 11 partly for her batting, then God help them!

It does also seem that England’s management find it very hard to accept that players can change. Two years ago, Hartley was apparently going nowhere… so as far as England are concerned, she’s still going nowhere! But people do change – they grow up between 19 and 21 – and Hartley is a different player now to the one they (rightly) didn’t rate when they were first discussing who would (and would not) get a contract. England seem to be doing themselves a disservice by not recognising that.

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2 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: England’s Test Squad

  1. Using the term ‘unlucky’ to describe the dropping of Amy Jones is being very polite to the selectors.
    Having scored a 100 at what was a 2 day England trial earlier this season it almost beggars belief that selectors thought it a good idea to drop Jones from the Test squad.
    If we are to take scores of zero and 15 as being bad enough to be dropped then the selectors might like to explain how Knight managed to keep her place when scoring only 0, 0, 13 and 12* in the quadrangular series in 2011 or only 12, 10, 6, 24 and 1* in the home ODI Series against India in 2012. In both cases she not only kept her place in the series but also was picked for the next match in the following series. There are similar examples but I won’t bore you with the facts.
    The Australians must have been laughing their heads off at Beckenham and they filled their boots with runs and watched a player they won’t have to face next week score 155*.
    I guess we can imagine the call from the selectors ….
    Selector to Amy on 5th Aug: “I know you’ve only just made the team, and despite players not getting dropped for far worse performances in the past, you’re dropped from the Test squad”
    Amy to Selectors on 6th Aug: “Revenge is a dish best served cold”

    Still, perhaps Amy has played herself into a big-bash contract down-under this winter !

    [PS: Nothing against Wilson or Hartley, both of whose selection I would not quibble with – just depends who they displace !]

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  2. I think we can add Amy Jones to the (rapidly lengthening) list of players let down by the selection system. It is pretty ridiculous that such an obvious talent is out of the equation for the Test match. One solution is more cricket, where they get the chance to showcase themselves, and more England games so any failures do not mean as much in the context of longer & more frequent international series.

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