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Thread: Taking a step back: should more players get a second (or more) chance?

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    I can't believe I ate the whole thing NZTailender's Avatar
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    Taking a step back: should more players get a second (or more) chance?

    Thinking recently with the superb performances of Ryan Sidebottom, who made his debut and then was discarded for a few years only to come back and gun it, should some of the previously discarded players who are perhaps ignored because of their previous failings get another chance?

    Certainly, the ideal focus for a team is getting a good young player with promise (say 22-27), giving him a cap and hoping he lives up to expectations and become a regular fixture in the side, peaking around the age of 30-32 and then becoming a experienced, reliable fixture in the line up until retirement.

    However, in recent times we've seen the recall of former players like Ryan Sidebottom, Bismah-ul-Haq, Neil Mckenzie, Matthew Bell and (if I can go this far) Sourav Ganguly. Going back a few years as well, you can think of the likes of Justin Langer and Damien Martyn.

    Obviously, Matthew Bell may not be a good example given his poor form between his century against Bangladesh and 60-odd last time out vs England, but I think Sidebottom certainly is a perfect example of someone initially not being up to test standard, to go back and improve his game, and come back a better product.

    So should more discarded players be given a shot ahead of younger players? Names like Robert Key, Simon Katich, Matthew Nicholson and Aakash Chopra spring to mind.

    Also would like to make a distinction here between people who are on the fringes of selection due to injury or the conditions of a surface (i.e. playing two spinners) and people who were given a run (or at least a chance) and then seemingly 'forgotten'.
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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    My sisters get a couple of chances in the backyard, but just placed a fielder at mid wicket and you'd still get her out too easy.

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    U19 Vice-Captain Halfpast_Yellow's Avatar
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    My wish would be that the best players play. Obviously it's a tough question on who the best players are sometimes, but I'm a firm believer if you're good enough you're old/young enough.

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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    I think the Sidebottom case shows the dangers of only giving a bloke one test to prove his worth. I personally think he probably was selected a couple of years too early, but I don't think the a single appearance is a big enough sample to form an opinion on. One would hope players who're selected for tests have done something to catch the selectors' eye & that something still applies after one dodgy performance. At least Bopara was given a full tour to prove his worth & when he failed to do so was sent back to the ranks.

    I don't think international teams should be closed shops, but equally I think it can be counter-productive if players know they're only ever one game from being dropped.
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    State Vice-Captain gettingbetter's Avatar
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    Interesting what you say about Sidebottom. What about the likes of Mahmood, Plunkett and Tremlett coming good at a later stage of their careers?

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    I can't believe I ate the whole thing NZTailender's Avatar
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    Tremlett was unlucky to be put down the pecking order after fine performances. Plunketts still young and there is a possibility that he could become, you know, good. Same goes for Mahmood. Don't really write off players 100% unless they go back to FC and do the same thing at test level that got them dropped.

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    State Vice-Captain gettingbetter's Avatar
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    I guess those guys will be revolving aroung the fringers for a long time; Sidebottom and Broad seem cemented in the team and I think Hoggard could easily come back into the team, if not he, Anderson and the previous three could be trading spots.

    Its also interesting to note the other players you mentioned.

    Katich: surely he will be in the upcoming squads, but as to whether he will play is another question. Australia, ever since the 05 Ashes series have been on the hunt for an all-rounder and Symonds has performed well enough to retain his place. The other batsmen...incumbents. Clarke, the most vulnerable has solidified himself and he being groomed to be the next captain means he is safer than the others.

    Key: the pundits do talk about Katich, but other than Richard, is there anyone actually talking about Key? I think England are quite aware of where they would make changes if they did occur and that is evident with the selections of Shah and Bopara.

    Nicholson: nah, Bollinger, Bracken, Noffke have all surpased him and there are numerous others who are his equal

    Chopra: Jaffer seems to have bought himself a number of games now and Gambhir is probably ahead of him too.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    I think the Sidebottom case shows the dangers of only giving a bloke one test to prove his worth. I personally think he probably was selected a couple of years too early, but I don't think the a single appearance is a big enough sample to form an opinion on.
    TBH, I never thought he should've been anywhere near Test selection ITFP - he was probably behind 6 seamers at Yorkshire alone at the time: Gough, Silverwood, Hamilton, White, Hoggard and Hutchison. His First-Class record was good, sure, but he rarely played more than a backup role.

    Whether Sidebottom would have played at all pre-2007 but for the injuries to White and Hoggard is a moot point. I tend to hope he wouldn't have, and that his non-selection had little to nothing to do with that Test in 2001.

    On the question of the general rule: put simply, you can't give players second chances if there's no place available to fit them in. But I'd want someone to have played a good 30 Test innings (as a batsman) at least before I completely wrote them off as "next to no chance of ever making it". If your team's poor enough to allow them to play that many, then that's what you must do. If your team's strong enough that they only get 4 chances, that's unfortunate for the player in question, but that's life sometimes, sadly.
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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gettingbetter View Post
    Interesting what you say about Sidebottom. What about the likes of Mahmood, Plunkett and Tremlett coming good at a later stage of their careers?
    If they do what Sid did (take shed loads of first class wickets for not many) there's every chance they'll get another go at some point.

    I think part of the problem with their selection (at least with Saj & Plunkett) is that they hadn't really done this before their initial call-ups. They were "gut feeling" picks because they were tall, swung the ball & (relatively) quick. Fletcher's gut instincts were good with batsmen (Vaughan & Tres were selected with FC averages in the low thirties/high twenties), but a bit less reliable with his seamers.

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    International Captain masterblaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gettingbetter View Post
    I guess those guys will be revolving aroung the fringers for a long time; Sidebottom and Broad seem cemented in the team and I think Hoggard could easily come back into the team, if not he, Anderson and the previous three could be trading spots.

    Its also interesting to note the other players you mentioned.

    Katich: surely he will be in the upcoming squads, but as to whether he will play is another question. Australia, ever since the 05 Ashes series have been on the hunt for an all-rounder and Symonds has performed well enough to retain his place. The other batsmen...incumbents. Clarke, the most vulnerable has solidified himself and he being groomed to be the next captain means he is safer than the others.

    Key: the pundits do talk about Katich, but other than Richard, is there anyone actually talking about Key? I think England are quite aware of where they would make changes if they did occur and that is evident with the selections of Shah and Bopara.

    Nicholson: nah, Bollinger, Bracken, Noffke have all surpased him and there are numerous others who are his equal

    Chopra: Jaffer seems to have bought himself a number of games now and Gambhir is probably ahead of him too.
    Good assessment there, agree on all counts. Would love to see Katich and Key in the Australian and England sides respectively. Chopra one feels won't get a go and as you mentioned, Gambhir is the next man for the openers slot after Wasim Jaffer.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    If they do what Sid did (take shed loads of first class wickets for not many) there's every chance they'll get another go at some point.

    I think part of the problem with their selection (at least with Saj & Plunkett) is that they hadn't really done this before their initial call-ups. They were "gut feeling" picks because they were tall, swung the ball & (relatively) quick. Fletcher's gut instincts were good with batsmen (Vaughan & Tres were selected with FC averages in the low thirties/high twenties), but a bit less reliable with his seamers.
    Nah, Vaughan's was mid-30s when he was picked. It's only Trescothick who was selected despite a genuinely mediocre domestic record that appeared to be a good selection.

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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Nah, Vaughan's was mid-30s when he was picked. It's only Trescothick who was selected despite a genuinely mediocre domestic record that appeared to be a good selection.
    33.83 strikes me as fairly mediocre at best. Hardly demanding test recognition at any rate.

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    Interesting. Given how swing friendly the wickets are sometimes in England County scene (As opposed to Australian domestics) what sort of batsmen prosper and at what average? Do they get ridiculously high averages before they are selected, or like Vaughan, selected in the mid 30s range?

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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie1 View Post
    Interesting. Given how swing friendly the wickets are sometimes in England County scene (As opposed to Australian domestics) what sort of batsmen prosper and at what average? Do they get ridiculously high averages before they are selected, or like Vaughan, selected in the mid 30s range?
    It varies greatly, really. Some blokes average 50+ & have failed at test level (Ramps, Hick) & some under 40 and succeed (Vaughan, Tres).

    40+ is usually considered a benchmark, but the way they're scored matters a lot & runs in high profile games never hurts either. Someone once remarked (might have been Mike Selvey) that "televised runs count double & runs in finals treble".

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    State Vice-Captain gettingbetter's Avatar
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    What BB said is right.

    If you look at the current England team, I think KP is the only one who averages above 50 at the FC level while everyone else is in the mid 40s.

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