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MCC v Champion county

February 22 2017 at 7:58 PM
Sid  (Login sid-don)
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Some changes announced to the MCC side.

Hameed out due to sinus op but also out is Matt Fisher due to groin injury. Replacements are both from this parish - Alex Lees and Liam Plunkett.

Maybe a sign both are in the selectors thoughts or possibly, given our pre-season trip to the UAE, both are already in situ.

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Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)

Re: MCC v Champion county

February 26 2017, 10:20 AM 

Liam Plunkett's certainly getting the air miles in.

He's a bit like one of those actors who can never say no to a role. Indeed why should he, it's a short career and he's making the most of it.

Surprised that Lees has been picked. Perhaps the selectors are still looking for whatever Geoff Boycott saw when he was breaking through.

He has the talent, he's played some good innings, sadly not enough, hope he takes his chance and 2017 sees the turning of the tide for him.

(Login Seadog73)

Re: MCC v Champion county

February 26 2017, 10:37 AM 

Lyth and Lees both had excellent individual records in the championship last season. The problem was that they rarely scored their runs at the same time.

(Login kennyormsby)

The view of Lees is interesting

February 26 2017, 11:03 AM 

In he case of Lees's short career, I so far see it as good season year one, below par season year two, decent 4 day season year 3. Last year he suffered in the short formats, which I would be tempted to attribute to his captaincy role.

Four day wise he notched up approaching 1,200 runs, averaging over 40. The 'new find' Hameed was only a few runs ahead of him. But why look at the facts! I hope he continues to build on this rather than 'taking his chance'.

To be fair, it looks a very week MCC team, our boys are hadly reaching up to be part of it.

Where did Duckett go?


Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: The view of Lees is interesting

February 26 2017, 1:03 PM 

The MCC team lacks the experience of the one that beat Yorkshire in Abu Dhabi last season - Bell, Onions, Tredwell, Rikki Clarke, Samit Patel - but there is some fantastically exciting young talent there, guys who did well in 2016 given their chance against a very strong Middlesex team.

Don't write off the likes of Alsop, and Joe Clarke. They are seriously good players, as is Ben Duckett, for all his problems in Bangladesh. Lewis Gregory too, not to mention the two Yorkies. I think it's a strong team, with a proper wicket-keeper! (Assuming Cox gets the gloves and not Duckett.)

Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)

Too much white ball

February 26 2017, 7:25 PM 

To be fair my views on Lees might well have been influenced by the despair I felt watching him scratching around playing the one day stuff last season.

I do remember seeing him play a couple of decent innings in the CC, against Durham I think and possibly Notts. I wish my memory was good enough to remember all his dismissals, but my overall impression is he gets himself out too often.

Anyway, decent average and a fair enough County Opener, perhaps after his build up I expected more.

Currently still playing in NZ I think, for the Bay of Plenty, which I should imagine must be very pleasant.

But for a man with England aspirations, perhaps he should be in a position to find, or be offered, something more challenging.

(Login Martinh00)

Re: Too much white ball

February 27 2017, 11:50 AM 

There was some talk of Lees playing for a state side after his spell in club cricket but this doesn't seem to have happened. Isn't part of the problem that these days there seems to be virtually no scope to play overseas first class cricket. Gone are the days when fringe test players would get to play in the Sheffield Shield. It just doesn't seem to happen any more. Not sure why this is


Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

comparisons, comparisons

February 27 2017, 12:06 PM 

Alex Lees, 24 in April, 69 FC matches, 4104 runs, average 38.35, 10 centuries.

Keaton Jennings, age 24, 75 FC matches, 4499 runs, average 35.99, 13 centuries.

The obvious difference is that Jennings scored a lot of runs last summer, at a time when there was a Test opener's position up for grabs. His career has been one which started modestly, but has improved steadily. Jennings also has the better List A and T20 figures.

But they are so similar in so many ways. Both very good players.

Idle Man
(Login Idle_man)

Re: comparisons, comparisons

February 27 2017, 12:19 PM 

Similar in so many ways. Only one of them is English though.

Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)

It's down to personalities.

February 27 2017, 1:50 PM 

Not being English is no longer a bar to getting in the England team. I know people have different views but it is what it is.

Jennings has certainly been better at getting noticed in the last couple of years. He does offer more of a bowling option too and also seems at ease when standing in as Captain.

He has a significantly better white ball record than Lees, but he's had to work at it. I seem to remember him having to bat at 10 or 11 in T20's in the days when Durham had big hitters like Colonel Mustard to fit in.

Being a good, regular member of a very good first class cricket team is no mean feat, and perhaps Alex is perfectly happy with that, why wouldn't he be.

Work/life balance means different things to different people.

Watching some of Lees stroke making though can be a delight, he makes it look so effortless and hints that he could make the step up. If he pushed himself a bit more, and stopped helping the opposition to get him out.

I write this looking down from on high, after the lifetime of mediocrity I deserve for so often taking the nicest, easiest, option.

(Login Martinh00)

Re: It's down to personalities.

February 27 2017, 2:08 PM 

Jennings is a better list A player statistically but he is nowhere near the England team on that score, so the comparison is really Lees v Jennings as a Test player. The difficulty we all have is that we have seen Lees on a regular basis but Jennings rather more infrequently, so it is easier to be critical of Lees - where we have significant evidence, than it is of Jennings - where we only have the evidence of the games he has played against us, to go on. I don't see any evidence that Lees is happy staying as a good county pro

Idle man
(Login Idle_man)

Re: It's down to personalities.

February 27 2017, 2:16 PM 

I don't think Lees is near at present. Jennings has a recent test century to his name, which counts for something unless your name is Hampshire.

(Login Martinh00)

Re: It's down to personalities.

February 27 2017, 2:26 PM 

Jennings will be opening or batting number three this season for England unless he has a catastrophic loss of form. Lees isn't going to get into the side in those circumstances (with three openers all likely to make the first test line up) but as we all know, England openers come and go like buses, so every chance of an opportunity before long. All he needs is a decent season to put himself back into contention.


Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: It's down to personalities.

February 27 2017, 6:48 PM 

Another tall left hander, of similar age, but slightly less FC experience:

Nick Gubbins, age 23, FC matches 35, with 2237 runs at an average of 39.24, including 4 centuries.

Another bloody good player, as we know to our cost, and yes, it's all down to personality, or the selectors' perceptions of that personality, initially. Then it's down to the player himself to perform. Jennings and Hameed both looked as though they were enjoying themselves which, for example, Adam Lyth didn't, in the England shirt. Not against Australia, anyway.

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