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So, what if the England XI for this upcoming test series vs Sri Lanka was chosen purely on county form? Sure there’d be some changes, right? But how many? Let’s have a look at the top of the batting & bowling tables. Of course, I will remain unable to pick incredible imports like Saeed Ajmal. Below are my picks, along with a pure guess at their chance of playing for England in the next 12 months.

County cricket stats from early 2014

County cricket stats from early 2014

THE OPENERS – an easy choice here. They own the top two spots, and open for their counties.

Adam Lyth – Peanut.
Yorkshire – left hand bat..

Age 26 – with 5561 runs at 40.29, with 10 hundreds, 37 fifties.

A solid player who has really excelled in a few seasons, struggled last year (if memory serves) but I’m glad to see him back in form.

England chances – 10%

 

Daryl Mitchell – Mitch.
Worcestershire – right hand bat.

Age 30 – with 7748 runs at 40.14, with 17 hundreds, 34 fifties.

He always appears to score runs without screaming his name. The kinda guy that Worcestershire fans will love, but others might not know so well.

England chances – 0%

 

THE ENGINE ROOM – the middle order. Simply the next most highly scoring batsmen, which happily includes an all-rounder for that perfect balance that we all crave.

Ed Joyce – Spud.
Sussex – left hand bat.

Age 35 – with 14,688 runs at 47.38, with 36 hundreds, 79 fifties.

A quality player who has played at the top level, for England and Ireland, but never quite hit the same heights as he did domestically. A mini Hick/Ramprakash?

England chances – 5%

 

James Vince.
Hampshire – right hand bat.

Age 23 – with 4411 runs at 40.10, with 12 hundreds, 18 fifties.

A young lad who already has a solid record and a very impressive 50s to 100s ratio. He has already played for the Lions so an eye must be upon him already. Not yet having a nickname may go against him.

England chances – 15%
(His chances depend on the success of the current new boys.)

 

Samit Patel.
Nottinghamshire – right hand bat (slow left arm).

Age 29 – with 12,849 runs at 40.36, with 20 hundreds, 40 fifties.

Like Ed Joyce Samit has already played for England and many people wanted him in the squad. When he was younger, I hope he could be England very own Potato – you know – like the mighty Inzamam-Ul-Haq. I didn’t make that comparison lightly, Samit averaged over 50 earlier in his 20s. His offspin is also handy and adds great balance to any team as a 5th bowler.

England chances – 10%
(Only so low because Moeen Ali has been picking ahead of him in the current squad.)

William Bragg.
Glamorgan – left hand bat.

Age 27 – with 3513 runs at 31.08, with 2 hundreds, 23 fifties.

Listed as a wicket keeper but currently batting at number 3. Clearly a great year for the lad, but one season doesn’t get you picked for your national team. Hopefully good form will continue and we’ll know his name better in the future.

England chances – 0%

THE WICKET KEEPER – the highest scoring ‘keeper is Riki Wessels but he currently does have the gloves for Notts, so his colleague makes my list.

Chris Read – Reados.
Nottinghamshire – right hand bat.

Age 35 – with 13,716 runs at 36.67, with 21 hundreds and 76 fifties.

He has been my favourite ‘keeper in the country for over a dozen years. Genuinely pugnacious, and appears to live nothing more than getting his team out of a tight spot. Arguably the best “gloveman” in the country. I still think England should pick him.

England changes – 0%

THE BOWLERS – without these guys you cannot win a test match. Fact.

Will Gidman – Gidders.
Gloucestershire – right arm medium (left hand bat).

Age 29 – with 186 wickets at 20.30 (also 2140 runs at 36.27).

More of an all-rounder than I’d previously realised and not to be confused on scorecards with his older brother who is also an all-rounder, but more of a batsman. Suffers from a terrible nickname, but it is a mystery to me, with bowling figures like this, why he hasn’t even featured for the Lions.

England chances – 15%
(I hope I’m wrong!)

Jack Brooks.
Yorkshire(!) – right arm medium fast (right hand bat).

Age 30 – with 190 wickets at 27.15 (also 509 runs at 13.05).

A sweat-band touting and excitable bowler who powers the ball down as much by force of will as anything else. Draws the faces of the oppositions 3 most dangerous batsmen on eggs and eats them before matches. OK, not true, but it would be fun. He has played for the Lions … there are those that wanted him in this squad too. You get the feeling he’d never willingly let his captain down.

England chances – 25%

Mark Footitt.
Derbyshire – left arm fast medium (right hand bat).

Age 28 – with 137 wickets at 30.03 (also 354 runs at 7.69).

Possibly not reached the heights he hoped for having played for England’s U19 team. Derbyshire have produced a good few quicks over the years. Being a left armer suits this team down to the ground. not sure he’s on the selection radar right now, but there’s no reason he couldn’t get there. Obviously having a great season thus far.

England chances – 0%

Adam Riley.
Kent – right arm offbreak (right hand bat).

Age 22 – with 70 wickets at 31.30 (also 186 runs at 7.75).

The second of two batting rabbits, but they’re here for wickets! Not well known before this season where he has excelled. With English spinners thin on the ground, he could well get a chance . but probably not in the next 12 months.

England chances – 0%

 

SUMMARY

Even though this unorthodox selection method features no current England players, I hope it has introduced you to a few new players on the county season. This selection method would never work though, as current England players play fewer games for their counties. Still, when picking a replacement player, I deeply wish they’d pay more attention to current county form.

SCOTTY BORTHWICK for 12th man. Because I like him.

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