I just thought I'd put up a thread commenting on Richard Johnson's exellent start to the English county season. On a couple of occasions previously, he has come close to gaining selection for England, and I wondered if he might finally get the nod this summer when Zimbabwe tour.
What does everyone else think? I have included some stats to enhance the claim, as it were!
FC Career 3291.5 10467 399 26.23 10-45 15 3 49.5 3.17
2002 307.1 66 914 43 21.25 7-43 2 1 42.8 2.97
2001 463.2 89 1474 62 23.77 5-40 5 0 44.8 3.18
2000 473 129 1429 50 28.58 6-71 2 0 56.7 3.02
1999 133.3 30 453 16 28.31 4-50 - - 50.0 3.39
1998 377.2 77 1369 50 27.38 7-86 1 - 45.2 3.62
As you can see, he really is one of the most consistent performers around, and particularly in the last two years seems to have just gone up another notch. Couple that with his start to the 2003 season (15 wickets at 19 in the first three games, and as I write this he currently has 4-47 against Derbyshire - the first of which, Michael Di Venuto, is his 400th FC wicket - not to mention a maiden FC century!), and he has as good a claim as anyone to get a chance against Zimbabwe, which for me is a great chance to give some new players a go.
I feel with Gough not ready yet, Hoggard out of favour, Jones injured, and I'm not a fan of Harmison there could never be a better situation than to give someone like Richard Johnson (not old at 28) and James Anderson a crack at the big time. Caddick and Flintoff and Giles rounds off a more than capable attack, and if some of the players mentioned above don't get it back then he could be a good player, and for a fair few years. Look what WI lost by not giving Vasbert Drakes a run earlier.