In earnest praise of…

Yadda yadda yadda. I don’t really do content over here any more; other people just seem to put things better than I do, or more frustratingly simply get there first. I was going to do a squad review, but in my uniquely lazy way, would I really do any better or offer any other suggestions not already thought up in the article and comments pages of place like here?

I have already offered up a half-baked, hypothetical opinion on the make up of my ideal England XI for the World Cup on that TFT thread. Putting right the obvious wrongs in the way things look to be shaping up – i.e. Cook shouldn’t be near the side, if Bell plays he has to open, we need players who can whack the ball throughout the innings, Tredwell’s record is as good as anything else we can offer, etc – in fact the only place I really differed from consensus was in the portly form of one man:

I like a backfoot shot with the front knee raised. Alec Stewart (preferably wearing a white helmet) and Brian Lara (preferably in Barbados 1999) pulled in a similar fashion.

Yep – I would love it if England picked Samit Patel.

Even though his stats are underwhelming, it is more for what Samit embodies than anything else: he is anti-establishment, he is the anti-Joe Root. The ECB would love to have molded him into a honed athlete capable of making 13% more quick singles. They’d love to have had a 32 man coaching team train him to limit himself to singles between overs 15 and 38. However, instead of looking like the product of a nutritionist’s guide to achieving minor percentage gains, Samit looks like an actual, “real-life” cricketer – he is the solid farmhouse loaf to Joe Root’s buttered croissant.

Actually, halfway through that thought, it is probably pretty harsh on Root, who has something akin to chippiness himself on top of that overbearing youthfulness “thing” he has going on. Perhaps instead, Samit is the BBQ bacon cheeseburger to Alastair Cook’s grilled fillet of salmon? Awkward food-based metaphors aside – you get what I mean, he’s got something mildly interesting about him – he’s a character.

I like Ravi Bop for a similar reason. Both have a bit of oomph to their mindsets, both are adaptable enough ‘proper’ top order batsmen, but can also accelerate an innings by hitting sixes (which to me is a minimum requirement in ODI for positions 1-9). Each man often plays in his own zone, often seemingly nonplussed about whatever carnage is going on at the other end. Between the two, they also offer enough nous and variety with the ball to take the pace off the ball for 10 overs. Obviously, England will never, ever replace Dmitri Mascarenhas. Patel would be an admirable attempt, at least.

Bad stat:

“Samit Patel only has one half century from 22 ODI innings.”

Good stat:

“Samit Patel’s average since 2009 is 36, at a strike rate of 93.12.”

Bad stat:

“Samit Patel has only taken 1 wicket in his last 13 ODI matches.”

Good stat:

“Samit Patel has as many ODI 5-fers as Stuart Broad.”


About wrongunatlongon

I'll muse on various subjects, mainly involving willow, leather and grass. My natural instincts is to heap as many compound adjectives as I can to sporting natterings. If you like, then feel free to link :)
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