Wednesday, 17 February 2010

England's Best Twenty20 XI?

Supposedly England's best 22 Twenty20 players squared up against one another in Dubai today, and the 'second string' came out on top, largely thanks to 3 frugal wickets from Adil Rashid and 81 more bludgeoned runs from Craig Kieswetter.

Neither side was perfect, so which were the 11 best players on show that England should take to the World Twenty20?

Openers: Trott & Denly or Lumb & Kieswetter? On the strength of today's game, there's no contest, the latter two scored 138 runs compared with 28 for Denly and Trott, but its not quite as simple as that. Certainly in 2009 Denly and Trott performed very well in the Twenty20 domestically, so they shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. However Lumb and Kieswetter made plenty of runs domestically too, hence why they're out there in Dubai. As much as I rate Trott and Denly, for the World Twenty20 I'll be taking Lumb and the Saffer.

Middle order: Pietersen-Collingwood-Morgan-Wright-Prior or Gale-Bell-Carberry-Trego-Tredwell? This one's easier in my view, the Lions middle order isn't quite of sufficient quality for the World Twenty20. As good a players as Bell and Carberry undoubtedly are, I don't think they're the sort of player who will prosper in this format at the top level. I don't know enough about Gale and he hasn't covered himself in glory on this tour. Pietersen-Collingwood-Morgan is a classy middle order and should be the spine of our OD and T20 sides. Has Wright found his niche in the lower-middle order for England? Possibly, so I'll take a punt on him. Prior misses out here because Kieswetter is taking the keepers' gloves, and it might just be worth giving the hard-hitting Trego a go, although I'd be more inclined to go with a proven allrounder like Mascarenhas personally, or perhaps Denly could fit into the middle order here.

Bowlers: Bresnan-Broad-Sidebottom-Swann or Rashid-Woakes-Finn-Kirby? I think Bresnan, Broad and Swann have done enough in the last 12 months in all forms to take them to the World Twenty20, any of them will be very unlucky to miss out. So who gets the final bowling slot? In reality Anderson will almost certainly go but I continue to have doubts about his ability to adapt quick enough to not be destroyed too many times in Twenty20. I like the look of Woakes, and Finn has that height to create problems for many batsmen, and there's also Ajmal Shahzad to think about. I have yet to see enough consistent evidence that Rashid has curbed his tendency to bowl a couple of four-balls an over - but I hope he does soon! I think I'll take another gamble and stick Steve Finn in the side.

So my combined England/England Lions team looks like this:

Kieswetter (WK)
Collingwood (C)
Trego (or maybe Denly!)


greyblazer said...

So did Anderson go for runs in the T/20 matches in South Africa?

Bresnan and co. just got smashed in a game at Centurion but Anderson went for just over 6 runs an over.

So I don't know why are you saying that Anderson can get smashed. Just check the scores of that series and even the T/20 world cup matches and Anderson has rarely gone for runs.

GreenJJ said...

Ok, fair comment that he bowled well in South Africa, but there's no doubt he can go for runs, the man holds the joint record for the most runs conceded in a completed four-over spell in a Twenty20 international - 64 runs! His economy rate is also a shade under 8 an over, which compares terribly with the likes of Vettori (5.3), Mendis (5.3), Gul (5.4) and Afridi (5.7). Not necessarily that bad compared with other England players, but his average-runs-per-wicket does compare badly, over 30 compared with 17 for Collie, 19 for Swann and 23 for Broad. I like Jimmy, he's a class act, but there's no doubt he's been carried for too many runs in T20s, but maybe you're right and he's cut that out - I hope so!

greyblazer said...

If I'm right Anderson got smashed for 64 runs during the tour of Australia in 06/07 and one has to agree that Jimmy Anderson has got better.

I'm not trying to say that he should be an automatic selection for the T/20 team but I'm not sure that Bresnan is better than Anderson as Bresnan got hammered in South Africa!!

GreenJJ said...

Bresnan didn't cover himself in glory in the T20s that's true, and Anderson did outbowl him there, but by the same measure that its not fair to write Anderson off because of his 1-64 analysis in Australia, its not fair to write off Bresnan for his performance in SA. And Bresnan does offer much more with the bat! I don't actually necessarily think either is the best option for England, I think there's a couple of bowling slots very much up for grabs in the run up to the World Twenty20!

greyblazer said...

Add to it Bresnan's one-day record isn't that good either. Actually I find it a bit surprising that Bresnan who is yet to take a wicket in the three games he has played for England in T/20 and has been hit all over the park is considered as better than Anderson.

GreenJJ said...

Bresnan is only 24, so he still has stime to grow, and while his average (39) in 2009 with the ball was poor, he did show signs of quality, and he also averaged 40 with the bat, he's an allround contributor. I don't doubt that Anderson is a better bowler, and I would be happy to see him in out T20 side, but Bresnan is a good player too.