Saturday, 21 November 2009

Alastair Cook and criminality

Much has been made of South African coach Mickey Arthur's comments after the second Twenty20 at Centurion earlier in the week. "They've put a lot of effort into Adil Rashid," Arthur is reported to have said, "but for him to bowl one over I thought was criminal and it showed he doesn't have too much backing".

And yet can you really blame stand-in captain Alastair Cook? He wanted to win the game, not show faith in a bowler. Rashid (above) was smashed for 25 off that one over, including four sixes.

Of far more importance is another question - why was Rashid playing in the first place? The young Yorkshire all-rounder has made his name in Championship cricket, so why pick him in Twenty20s?

After all those years of failures, it seems that the England selectors are still not taking limited overs cricket seriously. Rather than learning about the pressures of international cricket (which was presumably the intention), Rashid's confidence could now be permanently scarred.

Surely we should be picking the best eleven Twenty20 players in the Twenty20 side, not using it as a breeding ground for 'bigger' things?

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