Sunday, 23 February 2014

Women's World T20 Squad - Wyatt On The Brutal Brink

England's squad for the #WT20 has been announced, and one thing is clear - it is not the squad the selectors would have wanted to send in an ideal world. Retirements, injuries and loss of form, have taken a big toll on the management's long-term plans; and eyebrows were certainly raised in my vicinity when Clare Connor said "We have opted for a mix of proven international performers... alongside exciting fresh talents."

Opted? Hardly!

If you'd asked the coaches six months ago to name an XI for this tournament, it would likely have included not only the injured trio of Marsh, Brunt and Farrant; but also the now-retired duo of Colvin and Brindle.

Having been aware for some weeks that Marsh had been ruled out, the major loss for me is actually Natasha Farrant, who isn't fast or fearsome, but is very accurate and tough to take runs from. (Though I did also half-anticipate her absence in view of her impending A-levels which (pro contracts or not) are arguably more important that a T20 World Cup.)

The other big talking-points are Winfield and Wyatt, who have both been dropped.

I think Loz Winfield can count herself rather unlucky. She seems to have been dropped on the grounds that she got a duck in the final T20 in Australia - her one real opportunity on that tour; and Tammy Beaumont had a good 'A' tour of Sri Lanka. But ducks happen - ask Sarah Taylor about the last World Cup in India! (Actually... don't!) And ducks happen more often when you pile on the pressure by giving a player just one game to prove herself. Plus you'd have to imagine that Winfield would have got runs in Sri Lanka too had she gone on that trip.

As for Danni Wyatt, it seems the selectors have finally accepted reality - she is having significant issues with her bowling action, and just isn't scoring enough runs to be selected at this level as a specialist batsman. Her problem batting-wise is one as old as the game itself - a natural ability to smash county-level bowlers all over the park tends towards a 'slog everything' mentality which gets found-out at the highest level.

Where I do feel sorry for Wyatt is what happens now? Going back to county isn't going to help much in either department - if (as I suspect) she needs to remodel her bowling action, that isn't going to happen outside the England setup; but you'd have to question whether those resources aren't better-directed at someone younger - leaving Wyatt's career on the brink. For someone who has made cricket her life, and put everything into the game, with (as I understand) no real backup plan, that's harsh. But it is a pro sport now... and pro sport is brutal, I'm afraid.

4 comments:

  1. If what I saw in the last 2 T20s in Australia is any guide then the main issue seems to be scoring enough runs. It was painful watching players hardly getting the ball off the square in the latter overs of the innings. The selectors clearly do not see this as an issue because they’ve effectively replaced Wyatt (England T20 scoring rate 102.33) and Winfield (scoring rate 87.87) with Beaumont (scoring rate 71.09) and Wilson (scoring rate 86.84). In the list of scoring rates for England T20 batsmen, Beaumont is 25th out of 32 whilst Wyatt is 7th (with only Lottie and Squirt above her of the currently available players) – and Wyatt has the better average of the two. Still, the selectors must have a plan and they ‘live and die’ by their selections whilst I simply watch from afar (including the boundary I should add).

    It means we are going to the T20 World Cup with only 3 players who have an England T20 scoring rate of greater than 100 (Taylor at 111.23, Edwards at 108.10 and Gunn at 101.80) – in other words greater than 6 an over. Of the 32 players that have batted in T20 for England, the World Cup squad consists of the 4th, 5th, 9th, 16th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 25th 29th and 30th ranked players in terms of scoring rate (Elwiss, Grundy and Dibble have not batted in T20).

    Either we will have to bowl out of our skin or some of the above are going to have to perform well above their previous performances with the bat.

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  2. Yes - I think one of the reasons they persisted with Waggy for so long is that she either hit out or got out; though actually even her SR has dropped off over the past year - prior to Feb 2013, her T20 SR was 114; since, it is 87 - and she's played 13 matches in that time, against a variety of opposition - Pakistan, Australia, West Indies and New Zealand.

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  3. PS - "Still, the selectors must have a plan..."

    Well... I do wonder sometimes!

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  4. Wyatt's career T20 scoring rate profile:-
    0 - 25 - 25 - 110 - 91.67 - 93.1 - 87.88 - 100 - 98.63 - 103.45 - 105.49 - 100.95 - 100 - 105.74 - 103.85 - 105.11 - 111.45 - 110.73 - 109.24 - 111.06 - 109.31 - 115.84 - 114.72 - 113.87 - 112.25 - 107.96 - 107.22 - 108.16 - 107.72 - 106.87 - 106.3 - 105.22 - 103.73 - 103.18 - 102.33
    Topped out at 115.84 when scoring 33* against Australia on 01/10/12 in the 2012 T20 World Cup.

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