A Dutch Star, Zimbabwean Merits and a Non-Dilemma

3 06 2010

Ryan ten Doeschate Impresses

Clearly a month and a half of first class cricket plus one test match is all that the England cricketing public can handle. Yesterday, the domestic English 20/20 cricket tournament got under way with games between Essex and Kent and Leicestershire and Derbyshire. Here at the Compulsive Hooker, we weren’t planning on writing about any of this tournament, but this changed having watched Essex bat in their game.

We haven’t previously paid much attention to Ryan Ten Doeschate, having been aware of him in the way that most county cricket followers would be, but after his performance yesterday (in a losing cause it must be said) we feel he deserves some column inches! Ryan TD scored a magnificent 98 from 47 balls in as controlled an exhibition of hitting as we have seen for some time. This was also against a more than reasonable attack with 4 capped test bowlers in it (albeit a couple of what are likely to be one test wonders) and so cannot be taken lightly.

Looking up Ryan TD’s record we discovered that he has a more than impressive record, averaging a shade under 50 in first class cricket, and an incredible 67 in One Day Internationals for Holland. Admittedly a great deal of these games have been against associate level international teams but even so it is worth noting. Add in his more than useful bowling and you have quite a cricketer.

With foreign born players being so prevalent these days, we find it surprising that no one from the ECB or the South African cricket board (he was born in SA) has quietly inquired as to his availability!

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Zimbabwe Look Good

If you take out Zimbabwe’s performance against Sri Lanka two days ago, and factor in their very strong performance (and likely win) today against what is effectively a mixed full Indian and Indian A team, you would have to say that Zimbabwe look at least as strong as the current Bangladesh team.

We would like to see these two sides play each other in the near future and would have a small wager on the fact that Zimbabwe would come off on top. Certainly, at least, in ODI cricket. With the improvement of sides such as Zimbabwe and Ireland, and the continuing slide of the West Indies, perhaps after all there is an argument for two tier test cricket?

You suspect that the West Indies would be horrified by the prospect, and equally would be likely to win any competition of this sort comfortably, yet, if they don’t pick up their game soon, the two tier format could gain more support. In all honesty we wouldn’t like to see this happen as it may ring the death knell for cricket in the Caribbean and it would be a terrible fate for players as talented as Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle and Shiv Chanderpaul, yet somehow the ICC needs to promote the second tier teams and this is one feasible way.

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Sidebottom?

With the second and final test match of the series starting tomorrow, there is some debate as to whether Ryan Sidebottom or Ajmal Shahzad will be picked in Tim Bresnan’s spot. It is annoying to us that this is even a debate quite honestly and as we see it should be resolved as below:

  • Shahzad: Already in the 12 having missed out to Finn in the last game, is right handed like Bresnan (and possibly more dynamic having seen both play in the flesh), and offers run making ability late in the order as well.
  • Sidebottom: Leftie so added variety.

This is all that we could come up with in favour of Sidebottom, never mind the fact that surely if he was next in line, he would have been in the squad for the last game! There is an avowed rotation policy at work in this series so why not use this opportunity to see what an untried and fresh bowler offers rather than go back to the old and known.

With Sidebottom we have a similar fear to that of Bresnan, namely Ponting’s eyes lighting up when he sees who is lining up at the top of the bowlers run up. Harsh perhaps; but we can’t get away from it!

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