he's not part time but he's not test standard either. Right now he would be a bits and pieces player.
And you can't write a 26 year old off for good, especially a spinner. He's not test standard right now but give him another 4-5 seasons and he may well be a quality bowler. It's like writing Southee off for good when he was bowling 130kph half volleys with slow loopy swing.
Nothing will stop McCullum being McCullum except McCullum. He always scores a big ton every season with good patience to remind us how good he could be, but then he comes out and bats like the second coming of Craig McMillan again. I really thought he turned a corner with that match saving double hundred against India in India, but evidently not.
I still think Astle looks like he's got a lot more to work with as a batsman than a bowler, even if the bowling is clearly his stronger suit domestically at the moment. 26 is still young for a spinner but I still really doubt he'll ever be Test class on that discipline alone.
As I tried to say to Phlegm when he asked questions about his bowling speed, I think Astle does a great job of looking like a better bowler than he is, and I love him for it, but it's going to take some serious improvement to get him anywhere near the standard required IMO.
~ Cribbertarian ~
Rejecting 'analysis by checklist' and 'skill absolutism' since December 2009
Wasn't Astle a top order batsman until recently anyway? Agree with Howsie - there's every chance Astle won't be a better bowler come 2022 cause he bowls the leggies basically.
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How do you get Astle batting well though? His technique is textbook and he was the star of his age group world cup. Was 3rd highest run scorer or something. There isn't anything that can be improved except the runs tally. He's got a gun eye, a gun technqiue, a lot of guts and can concentrate. WTF do you do with him?
He is neither a spin bowler, nor even a bowler. He is a batting all rounder who bowls slow left arm. He is competing for the spot Franklin occupied in the first test (batting all rounder).
The batting all rounder's responsibilities (in this order):
1 Score runs with the bat.
2 Keep things tight at one end with the ball. Any wickets are a bonus.
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