|The openers stride out to bat at Worcester|
By playing on spicy wickets in April, is this the way to encourage decent batting? Is this the way our batsmen at international level are going to cope with the two best sides in the world such as South Africa or Australia bombarding them with chin music on southern hemisphere tracks? Is by dramatically reducing the quantity and quality of decent spin that our boys face, the way we are going to beat India or Pakistan on sub-continental surfaces?
The answer to all the above has to be no.
|A regular sight in April cricket|
With the ball dancing about on green tops like an epileptic in a strobe, English batsmen are struggling. Regularly more than ten wickets are falling in a day, and this is not teaching our young talent how to grind out an innings and dig in. It is also not teaching our seam bowlers to bowl patiently on good wickets, seeing as they are running in and picking up wickets with their eyes shut at present. Ok, maybe not with their eyes shut but in the land of the blind, the one eyed seamer is king. At international level you need something a bit special, and as much as the 75mph guys have a place in our game, it will not worry the elite of world batting.
Where is our next spinner coming from? A look at the leading wicket takers in recent years at international level show Warne and Murali as the top dogs. England got to number one in the world rankings when we had a spinner at number two in the bowling charts. At present, some teams are not even fielding a spinner, and those that do are chucking him the odd scrap here and there after the seamers have toiled all day. Certain counties are only picking their twirlers so they don't get fined for slow over rates. Maybe these spinners need to get on to Mr Farage and ask him why all these seamers are coming in and taking their overs?
|Nigel Farage...showing us a bit of left arm orthodox spin|
I can see why the ECB have done it. They have to cram as much of the season into the beginning and latter end of the season so they can fit in the cash cow that is T20. Not only does the domestic competition take precedence, meaning that county fans rarely see four day cricket on a Saturday in 2014 but now the Champions T20 has to be crammed in too. T20 walks all over the longer format by the looks of it. It is time to question whether we take our longer format more seriously than the crash, bang wallop of the T20? Maybe the ECB like a premature finish?
We are committing an international hari kari for the longer format. No spinners, no confidence from the batsmen and our bowlers will be as lost as Mark Thatcher in a rally when they get on a good one.
Is this the best for our national team? I don't think so.