Thursday, April 22, 2010
I would also like to have a look at the Hampshire squad. The side is captained by Mascarenhas, who at present is injured and as a result Pothas is captaining the side. Hampshire play their cricket at Rose Bowl and I always thought that it is a decent track for batting though, my friend Dimi/ half tracker may have something to say lol. Anyway, let us have a look at their squad.
The veteran Jimmy Adams was very good for Hampshire last year. Yes, he seems to be a late developer, but even this season he has been in great form as he has already got a huge century against Essex. His opening partner Carberry played recently for England against Bangladesh. Just like Adams, Carberry too scored over 1000 runs last season and in 2010 as well he has already scored a hundred. I'm not yet convinced that Carberry is good enough to play for the England team as he rarely scores runs in the V and can be a lbw candidate. The former Yorkshire player Lumb too was in fine form last season. He may not be a purists delight and can occasionally premeditate his shots, but is very strong square of the wicket on either side. It is good to see that he has been selected to play for the England's side in the T/20 world cup. He was also playing in the IPL and that meant he would miss the first few matches of the season and going by the struggles of Hampshire in the first couple of matches one can see that they are missing Lumb.
Among others, I have never been convinced about Benham, but he still is in the squad, so I guess he must be doing something right. Hampshire have signed McKenzie as a kolpak player. He isn't a bad player of pace bowling, but looks frightened against spin. Of course Hampshire' players have to get used to all his superstitious beliefs lol. James Vince is rated highly, but just like any other young player would take some time before he gets a permanent place in the side. Of course they do have Pothas as their wicketkeeper batsman and with Masca out of the side, he at present is also captaining the team. The veteran South African has been good for the Hampshire side over the years as he has usually chipped in with crucial runs as a batsman and he is also a fine keeper. Bates is also in the side as a wicketkeeper and is rated highly. I know that I haven't talked about England's best batsman KP, but he has only played one CC match for Hampshire in the last let me guess 3 years? I think Hampshire' fans and players have forgotten that they do have a player called Pietersen.
Hampshire have some fine all-rounders, who can come good at crucial times. Of course their captain himself Masca is a fine all-rounder at county level. He may not be the most talented cricketer going around, but can be very useful with both the bat and ball. Many think that Masca is a big hitter as a batsman, but I always believed that he takes his time before he can really go after the bowling. He bowls medium pace, but with clever changes of pace and a bit of swing either way he can come in handy in English conditions. Liam Dawson is a youngster who can develop into a fine all-rounder. Shane Warne rates the left arm spinner highly and having seen a bit of him, I can say that he can have a bright future ahead of him. He can also be a useful batsman lower down the order.
Among others, Ervine has been a decent player for Hampshire in the past and had a good 2009 season as a batsman. He is a clean striker of the ball and can bowl few overs of medium pace and he does have a decent slower delivery. I'm still not convinced that he should be a permanent fixture in the side. Having said that he has come up with decent performances over the years for the Hampshire side. Cork is still in the squad, but I don't know how many matches he would play for the Hampshire side this season as he is almost 40 now. He is a real fighter and even in the 2009 season he did reasonably well as a bowler and even as a batsman. He may no more get the prodigious swing that he used to get in the 90's which troubled batsmen like Dravid on A tours and the Caribbean team in 1995, but make no mistake about him being a fighter.
Griffiths has been in the squad for sometime now and is rated highly by everyone. Just like most other other young quick bowlers, he has already suffered a stress fracture on his back. Having seen a bit of him, I can say that he is quick and unlike Meaker of Surrey, Griffiths is a good prospect. Of course he is still raw, but if he stays fit he would one-day play for England. Meanwhile, he has to do a important job of bowling well for Hampshire especially, as Hampshire have finally given up hopes of Tremlett being fit for a entire season lol. The management is also looking at developing former under 19 quick bowlers Riazuddin and Wood. Hampshire have signed Kabir Ali, who has left the struggling Worcestershire side to join the Hampshire team. Ali can bowl at nippy pace and can get prodigious away swing. At his best, he can settle into a immaculate line and length and trouble the best of batsmen especially, on pitches that assist the quicker bowlers. He may consider himself unlucky not to have played more matches for the England team.
The Hampshire side also have the left armer Tomlinson and he is another quick who has had problems with his back. He has made a come back into the team though, hasn't been able to get wickets consistently. I remember him being rated highly as far back as 2002, but hasn't been able to do justice to his potential. Hampshire have also signed Jones, but I guess him being fit for a entire season is always in doubt. The left arm spinner Briggs whose favourite player is Vettori, seems to have a mature head on his young shoulders. In the ongoing match against Durham he has shown that he is no mug with the bat either.
Hampshire have signed Mendis as their overseas player, but Mendis known for his carrom ball seems to have been found out. Herath is in the squad as a cover for Mendis. I think Herath isn't a bad spinner and to be fair to him, he has outperformed his Lankan teammate Mendis in recent times.
Finally, it has been a bit of struggle for Hampshire this season, but make no mistake, they do have a good side. The problem is I always felt that they lack the ruthlessness to win crucial games.