England Lions soundly beat a Pakistan A side featuring a couple of familiar names, but it nonetheless would've been a shock to see the Lions come out second best. What was particularly pleasing though was the performance on Craig Kieswetter.
Although playing as a specialist batsman - Steven Davies took the gloves - Kieswetter proved his worth as a hitter with 77 not out from 52 balls featuring three sixes, one of which was apparently quite huge. There is talk of him being considered for the World Twenty20 in May, but I'd go one further and suggest he should be considered for the 50 overs squad as soon as possible.
Kieswetter qualifies for England proper next week so would presumably be eligible for a late inclusion in the squad going to Bangladesh. I don't expect it to happen and perhaps it would be a little harsh to vault him ahead of Davies who has done nothing wrong with the bat or gloves, but I think it'd be a good move.
The debate about whether we should have another Saffer in the side can be had elsewhere, it doesn't concern me a huge amount, I just want the best 11 players out there in England shirts. Matt Prior hasn't covered himself in glory in limited overs cricket for England, he averages a distinctly uninspiring 24 from 52 matches, at an equally uninspiring strike rate of 74. The selectors seems unsure as to whether he's a hitter or not, so maybe its time to try another.
This is not, by the way, a case of me lacking faith in Steven Davies. I think Davies is a cracking player and I am delighted he's with Surrey, but I do think Kieswetter has that x-factor which could lead to him being a real success for England. Moreover, if Kieswetter is playing for England then Davies will be available for Surrey more often (I'm not sure we can rely on our backup wicketkeeper for too long!).
In the coming years, an England batting lineup featuring Kieswetter, Michael Lumb, Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff, maybe even Peter Trego, would be packed full of six-hitting firepower - something we've been lacking in recent times. Maybe a tilt at the 2011 World Cup isn't out of the question after all....
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