The Daily Blast
The Enigma of the CW XI - Episode I
by Kwase Knight
It has been interesting to document the gradual rise of the Cricket Web XI from their inception to Test cricket a year ago. In their first game, they were thrashed by South Africa, then bounced back to thrash South Africa and finished off losing the series in the third and final Test. Such is the inconsistency of the CW XI.
Sure, there's the talent there, but there must be that extra something for them to truly become champions. That was the difference between World Cup runner's up and World Cup champions. In fact, there is only one superstar in the team at the moment. As much as some would have people believe, Cloete is the only top class player in the team at the moment. He has prospered in both forms of the game and against all opposition. Don't believe the hype, Neil Pickup is not the legend he seems to be perceived as.
That's right. I, Kwase Knight, consider Neil Pickup to be massively over-rated, and the sooner the CWBCC realizes it, the better. Look at the facts. Pickup has only really had success on the subcontinent. He took 14 wickets at just under 30 in Sri Lanka and then followed it up with 18 wickets at 26.56 during the Asian Test Championships. On tours to England and Australia, he has averaged 36.94 and 55.57 respectively. Most recently, in New Zealand, he managed 6 wickets at 38.50 in 2 Tests. Overall he averages 34.51 in 19 Tests. Is this what is expected from the lone spin bowler in the side, who bats specialist at number eleven?
Neil Pickup is no Ashley Giles. He may be at the same class of bowler, but he can't bat. For that reason, he has no basis of ever playing Test cricket outside of the subcontinent.
Stay tuned to my column as I post sporadically and follow the fortunes of the enigma we call the CW XI.