Wednesday, July 14, 2010

North and his problems

I see that North has failed in the first innings of the first test against Pakistan at Lords. Since his debut against South Africa in 08/09,  North has been a boom and bust player as he has got a few hundreds, but also has made more than just a few low scores. So, a few questions like should Australia drop North and why has North been so inconsistent may arise?

If I look at North's career, I do remember that when he played in the under 19 world cup in 98, a few former Aussie cricketers tipped him to be a future Australian player, but as North wasn't consistent for his state side, Western Australia and with Australia having a strong middle order, North had to wait for a long time before he could break into the Australian squad. It was only in South Africa in 08/09 that he got a chance to play for Australia. 

He had a great start to his career as he made a century on his debut and even in the Ashes, he did well by scoring three hundreds and at that time, it looked like he may play for Australia for a few years to come as he can also bowl useful off spin. However, it started to go all wrong for him  at home as he averaged 33 against the Windies, but worse was stiil in store for North,  as he averaged just over 8 against Pakistan! Yes, he did redeem himself with a career saving hundred albiet against an inexpereinced Kiwi attack, but question marks still remain about his technique.

Swing bowlers as well as spinners have troubled North in recent times. His tendency to move his front foot  too much across the stumps means that when it is swinging around, swing bowlers can shape it back into him and he would likely get out lbw. It can also mean that he would struggle to drive in the V and whenever he tries it, there is a decent chance of him getting bowled and his dismissal can look awful. I didn't see yesterday's dismissal, but it seems like he played another loose drive and got out. As he goes hard at the ball, he can also look vulnerable against spin.

Yes, he did score a hundred and made another useful score of ninety in New Zealand,  but as I said, it was against an inexperienced attack as Bond and O'Brien both had just retired, but even in the match at Hamilton, I do remember the young Southee getting him out lbw in the first innings by bowling a fuller length and shaping it back into him.

North may get a few more chances to prove himself as he does average over 40 in test cricket, but in my humble opinion, Australia should look at future and blood the youngster Khawaja.


Anonymous said...

It wasn't just because of the settled Aus team, gb. He has always been inconsistent. Look at his state and county record. He has never put together the kind of year in, year out stats that Katich and Mike Hussey did to make it into the Aus team. It was basically on the back of one decent Sheffield Shield year that he got into the Aus team.

His inconsistency shouldn't be a surprise to the selectors. The surprise is that they are prepared to stick with him knowing his past.

And his bowling has not turned out to be that useful. Kat stomps all over him in that department.


Anonymous said...

But you know I suspect the Khawaja, like most young Aus players, isn't too hot against spin. It's not their fault, they so rarely get to play any spin bowlers of any quality at all in the State comps.

So India might not be the best place to blood him. Or if they do, they'd have to let him open as otherwise he'd be up against spin bowlers first up.


greyblazer said...

North seems to be a boom and bust player and if he is given more chances it can get tough to drop him as he seems to have the ability to occasionally get a hundred like he did in NZ which would help him to prolong his career.

Khawaja may not be good against spin but he can't be much worse than North and as you said he can open the innings. Facing the new ball won't be a problem in India for sure. I just hope that if they pick a young player he is given a decent run in the side.