Friday, 21 September 2018

England's batsmen...

My guess at the squad for the tour of Sri Lanka wasn't bad as I picked fourteen out of the sixteen places.  Ed Smith and co. have opted for another seamer in Olly Stone of Warickshire whereas I'd have gone for Bess as another spinner.  My pick of Gary Ballance wasn't really likely and Joe Denly who can bat in the top three and bowl a bit of spin is possibly a very good 'horses for courses' selection and I'd be tempted to pick him ahead of Jennings but I expect Keaton will get at least one last chance.  
If Rory Burns can take his county consistency into test cricket he looks a good selection. With less than twelve months to the next Ashes series it is impossible to predict which players will make up England's top three in the batting order.  This is interesting if worrying...    
On the other hand we have a load of all rounders; Stokes will play if fit so the selectors have to pick from Ali, Woakes and Curran.  They can't all play so the brains trust have to look at the conditions which could mean Sam Curran misses out in Sri Lanka.

Some statistics that surprised me...

This was the England batting line up and final test averages from the 2011-12 team that were the number one side in the world.

Strauss            40.91
Cook               45.35
Trott                44.08
Peitersen         47.08
Collingwood   40.56
Bell                 42.69
Prior                40.18 
The "average, average" for this team is 42.98  If each player matches their average then these seven wickets are worth 301 runs.

This was the line up for the last test vs India

Cook               45.35
Jennings          22.09
Ali                   32.27
Root                51.04
Bairstow          37.19
Stokes              33.89
Buttler              35.94

The seven players here average 36.82 per man which comes to 258-7 .  There's the problem, even our 'better' players like Bairstow, Buttler and Stokes aren't as good as Trott, Collingwood and Prior.  When England take to the field in Sri Lanka this average will be significantly lower, we could have two players making debuts.

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