Posts Tagged ‘James Tredwell’
I went to sleep last night just after Eoin Morgan had been dismissed thinking that England would probably crumble to 259 and Sri Lanka would win comfortably by seven wickets. When I awoke to the result, I found I had underestimated both England and Sri Lanka’s batting. Although I hadn’t foreseen a large chunk of the game’s narrative, the impact of the result was no less deflating, perhaps even more so given that we’d actually managed to cobble together a seemingly defendable total.
England’s batting formulae sort of worked last night but there is little more dispiriting sight than an England batsman ‘working it’ straight to a fielder. You’re supposed to ‘work it’ into the gaps, boys. Otherwise there’s no point of ‘working it’. You may as well just ‘twat it’.
Nurdling has never been very fashionable and is becoming even less so but done properly it still retains a kind of kitsch cachet. In context the nurdle is a helpful shot. Three nurdles and a boundary every over works out at 350 for the entire innings; five nurdles and a boundary every other over is the same equation. One or two scoring nurdles per over against Tillakaratne Dilshan isn’t quite going to cut it. Gary Ballance nurdled one straight into Dilshan’s hands. Gaps, Gary, not hands.
It’s difficult to know what’s going on with Ballance. Presumably the selectors thought he was worth a punt at 3, having lobbed him in there a propos nothing for the test matches last summer to great effect. Ballance’s detractors say he scores at too pedestrian a rate for one-day cricket but I’m sure I’ve seen him go berserk for Yorkshire although that may have been a mirage or someone who looked very like Gary Ballance. In any case he’s probably hit his last nurdle in this World Cup.
It probably doesn’t matter who comes in for Ballance, just like it probably won’t matter if they swap the bowling around, although James Tredwell’s stock is rising the longer he doesn’t play. He does look great in a high-vis bib after all. He’s probably worth a shout given that our most economical bowler thus far is Moeen Ali. Moeen isn’t exactly a part-time spinner but he isn’t full-time either, he’s a four-days-and-leave-at-lunchtime-on-Friday bowler.
There’s a woman at my work who looks exactly like James Tredwell in a wig, There isn’t a single cricket fan at my work so there’s no-one who might be amused if I pointed out the resemblance to them. And none of the cricket fans I know have ever set eyes on this woman. A tragic waste really.
This is what I wrote on Wednesday night:
This sentence encapsulates everything you need to know about why I am sitting here on a sofa with a laptop gently microwaving my balls and not over in Chennai or Bangalore or wherever bringing insightful and enlightened commentary live from the action. I’d like to justify it as an exercise in fate-temptation but it’s not true.
I hope I wasn’t the only one floored by the England’s team selection against the West Indies. I’d assumed that the management had forgotten who Tredwell was. I thought that Tredwell himself had forgotten who he was. Together with the inclusion of Luke Wright and Chris Tremlett it felt like the management had already banked on England’s exit from the tournament and were just giving some of the other boys a go. It’s a concept I’m very familiar with from my school days. In fact it turned out to be a provident choice, as Tredwell and Wright performed like players unfettered by the previous one-day tribulations.
England are going to win the World Cup. Oh hang on, England are almost certainly not going to win the World Cup.
Whenever I see the England cricket team come together in a huddle I always picture Tredwell running around the perimeter seeking a way in, leaping up on someone’s shoulders to try and get himself involved in the discussion. He appears to have been the victim of a malicious practical joke, invited to a party only to be kept out on the pavement watching the festivities longingly through a window.
In his few international appearances so far Tredwell has maintained the craven demeanour of a man who knows he doesn’t belong, like a player who knows he’s only selected as the result of a series of administrative blunders. Perhaps he’s been found out after all.
It is actually quite comforting watching England flounder in the current series against Australia, like putting on a old pair of slippers or drinking a cup of hot Ribena. It seems that all our optimism for the World Cup may be based on their recent gains in the other two formats of the game. It may just be that our most successful operatives are better suited to cricket’s extremes rather than the middle ground.
Take Michael Yardy for instance, a keystone of the triumphant Twenty20 campaign in the Caribbean last year. In the abridged version, his skill is to zip off his four-over allocation before the batsmen have taken their guard. In the longer form of limited overs cricket, at around the fifth or sixth over the opposition notice that he is bowling at them and begin to make the necessary preparations.
Conversely Matt Prior is a cricketer with some superior statistics at test level, where he seems to play with that thumping one-day beat. But put him in a blue shirt and his batting becomes oddly and ineffectually frenetic, like a man trying to stave off a tiger attack with a stick of celery. His surprise promotion has also freshened up a rather musty debate about the transience of the opening combination. Steve Davies had previously performed steadily, stymied only by the obvious weakness of looking like a frightened owlet about to chunder up a worm.
Of course Andy Flower has made a few queriable decisions that have turned out to be providential. And I’m just sitting here in my pants with a laptop across my knee.