By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 06/04/2022

Cheteshwar Pujara. Mohammad Rizwan. Sussex. One of the highlights of the County Cricket summer so far.

Pujara’s run was nothing short of astonishing—5 matches, 8 innings, 4 centuries, including two doubles, 720 runs, 120 average. Rizwan, although not as prolific, hit a couple of half centuries as well. Pujara has now made a comeback to the Indian Test team for the fifth Test and has acclimatized to the English conditions a month ahead of time.

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England Vs New Zealand

Now let’s us jump to the ongoing England vs New Zealand Test match.

NZ looked in all sorts and decimated to 132/10 via ageless Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, and debutant Matty Potts. In response, England punched above their weight and scored 59/0 with Zak Crawley finally finding some form.

Then Crawley threw it away. 59/1 No worries.

Then departed ever-promising never-performing Ollie Pope. England 75/2. Root stepped into the ground after 20 overs. Can you believe that, 20 overs? Two backfoot punches, business as usual. England 92/2.

However, Colin de Grandhomme reignited 2019 WC Final memories to get rid of Joe Root. Then came silky Southee around the wicket and IPL finalist Trent Boult to wreak havoc. Another England collapse. 5 runs & 8 wickets in 25 balls. From 59/0 to 92/2 to 100/7 and eventually 141 all out.

Brendon McCullum or no Brendon McCullum, Stokes or no Stokes, Same old, Good Ole England.

Kevin Pietersen has been ridiculed for his adamant proposal on “Franchising County Cricket.” Reduce the number of counties and things will be all good, right? Well, Matty Potts (Durham) has just come up from second division and seemed to fit right in, while Root/Bairstow (Yorkshire)-Foakes (Surrey) are first division players. Poor batting displays boil down to two reasons–a bowling era (pitches/quality of bowlers) and technical deficiencies of the batters.

Thought of the Day

Now let’s shift our focus back on Pujara-Rizwan. Why are they in England? To improve their batting skills, face different conditions, and prepare themselves when their countries play England, right?

Just like T20 specialists these days go around the world and play in the IPL, PSL, BBL, CPL, etc., why can’t England players hone their techniques in Sheffield Shield or Ranji Trophy in the off season? Ex-England chief executive, Tom Harrison, wrote to Australian board to allow English players after the Ashes loses.

So why don’t England players these days play in overseas domestic first-class tournaments?

Think about it.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 06/04/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

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