A bug bear of mine is the way the English selectors work. The problems of the late 80’s and early 90’s looked to be over with has returned. This being the constant chopping and changing of squads.
As a child I remember watching Greame Hick and Mark Ramprakash play every other test series. They are just of a few of the unfortunate players who the ECB ruined. These were two of the most talented batsmen that England have ever produced. This is evident in the stats not only in county cricket, but their international record is much better than what people think. They had good games but one or two bad games would see them dropped. Others on this list could be Rob Key, Jack Russell, Adam Hollioake and lately Ravi Bopara just to name a few. Rob Key’s last match for England included an Ashes double century. Ravi Bopara scored an impressive 3 centuries in his 13 test matches that he played, but one bad series saw him never return to test cricket.
The problem that troubled English cricket for so many years went away under the stewardship of Hussain and Fletcher. It was with great work behind the scenes and strong management that this was allowed to happen. This set up the basis of the great Ashes winning side under Michael Vaughn and later the dominant side that Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower built. Its no surprise that this was best period in England’s cricket history since World War 2.
There were times when a young Andrew Flintoff was not performing regularly, he seemed over weight and constantly injured. If he were 6/7 years older I am sure that the English selectors would have quickly disposed of him. Under the management at the time they stuck with him. Look at the Michael Vaughn that won the Ashes they used a minimal 12 players for the whole series.
My point is that if the selectors pick a player he should be given time to make the position his own or time to show that he is not capable of doing the job. Poor Nick Compton played in 9 tests scoring 2 hundreds and 1 fifty in that, he was dropped not on form just to make space for someone more exciting. There is nothing wrong in that but the next time that England needed an opener in the side he was overlooked for Carbury.
The Hampshire opener (Carbury) himself has been mistreated by England. He was portrayed as one of the two scape goats with KP for the failed Ashes series. Talking of openers how did the selectors see fit to promote Sam Robson ahead of Varun Chopra? The former Essex man has been overlooked too many times now. Saying all this Robson is a good player and I hope England do not drop him now until they know for sure that he is good or not.
The English selectors need to be more consistent in their selection process, this should also produce more consistent results on the pitch.