Ajmal who?

18 01 2010

An interesting England team has been announced today for the tour to Bangladesh.

The mystery man

Cook is going to captain the side which isn’t unexpected as rumours of Strauss’ decision to rest has been around for a while. Jimmy A has also been left behind to enable him to have his troublesome right knee assessed. In their places Michael Carberry of Hampshire has been called up, along with (and here’s the strange one) Ajmal Shahzad.

Now we pride ourselves on our cricket knowledge here at the Compulsive Hooker, but this has come so far out of left field its extraordinary. A quick google search later and we have discovered that Ajmal Shahzad is 24 year old fast bowler and middle order batsmen. He has taken 53 wickets in at an average of 35 runs each in his career and averages 30 with the bat with 2 fifties. Not the figures of a world beater. Clearly though Flower has seen something and if you are going to try a rookie overseas, Bangladesh must be the place.  The Compulsive Hooker cannot help feeling though that it a rum one….

The second spinner spot has been taken by James Tredwell of Kent. A man who has belied predictions of mediocrity to rise to the top of the pile. (Well almost to the top – just underneath Graeme Swann anyway!) This selection is bad news for Monty and Adil Rashid who both must have been hoping for a run against the slog happy Bangladeshi’s.

Eoin Morgan is back into the one day side and surely only needs another good series, plus a good start to the Summer for him to be pushing for a test place. Good news for Morgan comes though, in the form of a hefty pay day playing in the IPL. According to people in the know (clearly not us here), he is likely to receive a bid from all the franchises. Certainly he is the only Englishman, possibly excepting KP and Colly who would excite me as a franchise owner. Morgan’s ability to hit the ball more or less anywhere, whilst facing the opposite direction, is made for 20/20. The Compulsive Hooker hates the IPL but grudgingly acknowledges why the whole of India is in its thrall. Guaranteed if you saw Eoin Morgan play a test match he wouldn’t play a reverse sweep until he was 100*.

***** UPDATE *****

The Compulsive Hooker has since been reliably informed (by a professional cricketer no less) that Shahzad is actually a very good bowler and had a good season. A slap on the wrist for us for not knowing him and we promise to follow the county game more closely to ensure these errors are not made again….

Cheers Rob.

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