England are set to play 3 ODIs against South Africa next month; today I; All Things Cricket (ATC) and Duke and Kookabura (DAK).
The bowlers selected for this series are: So for T20 bowlers we have TC, Gregory, Stone, Topley, Woakes, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali
Lets jump into it and see what we had to say:
DAK: I'm not sold on Topley. Just for kick off, I know he's had a torrid time with injuries but surely Willey has done enough to be the first leftie of choice? And perhaps MTH (Sam Curran) is forcing his way in. But Topley? I like Stone getting a go
ATC: On the grape vine, Willey is injured. Not heard anything official though. I know MTH has been rested for the series due to his IPL efforts. Maybe that's why Topley has been selected; for that (Left arm) option. However, as good as he may be, he's ridiculously injury prone. I'm surprised he came back into the squad in the summer. He was ok versus Ireland, but as is the rest of his career, he was injured again. Given Stone is also extremely injury prone, missing a large part of the season just gone through injury and Wood also having a terrible injury record. A lot seems to be riding on 3 very injury prone bowlers.
DAK: Lewis Gregory I'm not sold on. I agree, as always you've got your finger on the pulse! We all know TC's figures aren't great at the moment and perhaps Jordan's ship has sailed in fifty over cricket? Woakes will be shouldering a large part of the workload and you feel the spinners (and even Moeen) may be the cornerstone of our efforts.
ATC: Chris Jordan has played 34 ODIs and averages north of 35. It doesnt suit his bowling style and I think that door should remain closed given his age
DAK: The 50 over team is definitely taking a backseat to the T20 sideat the moment
ATC: Agreed. Lewis Gregory is a peculiar pick. He struggled in the England warm ups. He struggled in the summer for England. Averging 7 with the bat and taking no wickets against Pakistan from his 7 overs. Small sample sizes, but there are alternatives out there. And Gregory is a massive downgrade as a like for like for Stokes at the moment
DAK: Gregory is a nothing pick - sorry Somerset fans - but doesn't offer enough at international level with ball or bat. James Vince took more wickets against Ireland!
ATC: Haha Vince did take more wickets this summer! Gregory actually wasn't selected against Ireland. Such was his performances in the warm ups. He may yet prove me wrong, but he seems like such a drop off from Woakes and Stokes at the minute. A nothing pick indeed
DAK: My bad....I know Gregory's bowling was picked apart. A definite downgrade, we have seen enough.
ATC: And Tom Curran averages 263 with the ball this year. That is all.
DAK: I rate TC, I know he's had a rough time this summer but he has the right temperament to be a serious bowler especially in the crunch games. Work to be done however! I would imagine we may yet see Livingstone turning his arm over...
ATC: Livingstone is a bizzare pick. Given his non-selection in the T20s. It might be for his T20 performances he's been selected, but his (bowling) List A average is 49.3. His batting average is 36. It's not his strongest format and hence his selection is debatable as a backup spinner/ all-rounder batsmen
Given all we've discussed; what do you make of Jake Balls selection as a back up?
DAK: I've seen Ball bowl live three times including at the Oval in the Champions Trophy in 2017 and at the Ashes Test in Brisbane and he was unremitting garbage on both occasions. I don't like to trounce players for no good reason - this is not Arsenal Fan TV - but Ball was awful in Brisbane, he took one wicket and was lucky to get that. I had hoped his international career was done, being so tall and at a decent pace you would have imagined he was a prospect; he is not.
ATC: And that ladies in gentlemen is why you're reading this. Strong opinions! Whilst he's performed in the blast and you should never say never. But; Jake Ball has played a fair amount for England and has shown very little promise.
DAK: Better to give every player one too many games than one too few I agree.
ATC: I'm guessing you make an exception to Ball?
DAK: I can't speak for everyone obviously, but I've seen enough
ATC: Briefly Duke, with regards to spin. Rashid is excellent and we both hold a very pessimistic view on Moeen Ali and his truly shocking level of performance for what is years now. Is not picking a spinner a problem?
DAK: It is and it isn't. The spin cupboard isn't overflowing, but surely it would have been more worthwhile to take a look at the next generation? Jacks has had a good Blast season so could have been a bolter. But they've stuck with what they know....more's the pity
ATC: I think it's a shame for Parkinson isn't selected. Jack's and whole number of other young spinners. Denly can probably feel aggrieved too, he would probably be more threatening with the ball and definitely a superior batsmen these days. Finally who do you think we'll see as a 5 man bowling attack (assuming Moeen is the 6th bowler.)
DAK: Oh Parkinson yes I forgot him, likewise Crane as well. Wood/Stone/Woakes/Rashid/TC would be my first guess at a line up. Plus of course Mo as another "option."Can see one of the outright quicks i.e. Wood or Stone getting rotated with Topley.
ATC: I would pick the same, I think. Ideally neither Stone or TC would be in my squad. There's a lot of pace talent about. I'd definitely have brought others. I think that sums it up nicely though! All done? Any other thoughts?
DAK: I think we have it all covered re the bowlers. SA aren't a great side right now, we have to be looking for a win even if we are missing certain bankers.
ATC: Yes agreed, anything other than a win isn't really acceptable for the reigning world championships
DAK: I would agree. And finally I will be glad to see international cricket back. I have had enough of staring at that dreary hatchback and strategic time outs....
There you have it; the wise words of Duke and Kookabura. Given the lack of attention the bowling unit seems to have garnered elsewhere, we hop you found it interesting!
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