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England’s Forgotten Test Bowlers

England's Jofra Archer in action
India v England - Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, India - March 18, 2021 England's Jofra Archer in action
©Reuters
 

There is something of a crisis in the English test teams, with both the men and the women having suffered heavy Ashes humiliations Down Under. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, because online bookmakers and tipsters had envisioned both series being a lot more competitive, but ultimately the Aussie men and women proved that their all-round games were far superior. Betting punters perusing cricket odds as well as no deposit free bets and promo deals are now left wondering how England can claw themselves back to relevance in the Test arena. Most of the blame appears to be being laid at the doors of selectors and coaching staff, as the English game fails to deal with systemic issues such as privately educated players getting preferential treatment at all levels of the game. A more immediate concern is also the fact that England batsmen appear incapable of reaching three figures or occupying the crease for hours at a time – something that means the betting odds will always be against the team succeeding.

However, another issue that gets talked about a lot less is that the England test team has become incredibly good at ruining fine bowling talent, whether that be a spin bowler or a bowler with raw pace.

Here we take a look at the great bowlers that the England test team cast aside, never to be seen again, as well as why the recent omissions of Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson might actually be a good thing.

Jofra Archer

When Jofra Archer first burst on the scene the whole cricketing world, and specifically batsmen, took a long hard gulp, because he possessed the sort of pace that not only got wickets but could soften an entire batting line-up.

His 90mph raw pace was made even scarier by the fact he generated it with an unusual action, which masked just how quick the ball was baring down on a batsmen’s helmet or stumps.

Many media pundits and fans were weary of the England selectors and coaching staff not nurturing Archer’s talent correctly and sure enough no sooner than he had joined the international side than he was picking up serious injuries. An elbow injury kept him out of the team for virtually the whole of 2021.

Injuries have also not been helped by the heavy-handed approach that the team took with Archer while he was touring the West Indies with them, when he was forced to isolate for 5-days after a minor breach of team rules, something that never would have been levied on the likes of Stuart Broad or Jimmy Anderson.

Archer has been snapped up by the Mumbai Indians for the 2022 IPL and he could be yet another top line bowler who becomes disillusioned by the England test side, and plumps for limited overs cricketing options instead.

Adil Rashid

Rashid falls very much into the same category as Archer, having been treated as a second-rate player by selectors and coaching staff, despite being the most talented spinner in English cricket.

His ability to turn the balls both ways, as well as his batting prowess, were sorely missed during the tour of Australia, and the test team appear to have done little to try and tempt this prodigious talent back into the 5-day fray.

Matt Parkinson

With England not having managed to establish a regular spinner in their team since the days of Panesar and Swann, it seemed like Lancashire’s Matt Parkinson would fit the bill, as a rare wrist spinner who had proven match winning abilities in all forms of the game.

However, Parkinson tends to be used more as a water carrier on England tours; forced to watch on as mediocre fast men toil away on pitches that would suit the spinner down to the ground. Now aged 25, perhaps the departure of team stalwarts like Anderson and Broad, who appeared more interested in personal milestones than the team, will leave room for talents like Parkinson to flourish.