Following our discouraging drubbing at the hands of Hong Kong we now take a fun journey to Denmark for round three of the inaugural Eastern Hempsihere Test League. We have played two matches so far both at Lords’ and we are 1 from 2 hoping to make it two from three at the newly made test venue of the Hammerby Arena. With this in mind, myself, Ed Smith and James Taylor have devised a 13 man squad to throw down the gauntlet on Danish land.
Our squad for the EHTL contest in Denmark is:
Joe Root (C)
Jonny Bairstow (+)
We have reintegrated experienced batsman Dawid Malan back into the England setup. He will provide good batting cover and will be pushing to break into the lineup through our net sessions and warm-up match against a Danish academy side. He also offers the option of an extra bowler with his more than handy leggies.
Depending on the type of conditions that greet us in Northwest Europe, Hampshire spinner Liam Dawson could come into contention to make his fourth test cap and his first in over three years. Dawson’s left arm angle could trump quick bowler Mark Wood who struggled to find any rhtyhm or rhyme in twelve wicketless overs against Hong Kong.
We are though expecting the game to be a competitive challenge against a strong Danish side full of county pros and happy individuals.
In Round Two fixtures, Fiji recorded their premier win as a test nation with a crushing 449 run demolition away in Papua New Guinea. Opening batsman Metuisela Beitaki hit 136* and 62 along with runs from keeper Karan Kumar (88* and 82*) to rack up two scores above 300 before Villame Yabaki and Villiame Manakiwai both took five wickets in seperate innings to dispatch PNG.
Meanwhile at the Bochum Ground in Germany, the home side thrased opponents Denmark by an innings and 157 runs. All rounder Craig Meschede (134*) and Izatullah Dawlatzai (105) both scored centuries to amount 464. Meschede then took 5-56 in Denmark’s second reply as they could only muster 107 and 200 in their two digs, Gino Schneider the shining light with a dogged 62.
Following our opening round victory at the hands of Papua New Guinea, we return to a familiar venue, the Home of Cricket, to entertain Hong Kong with the aim to win consecutive games on the bounce.
After consulting with Ed Smith and James Taylor, we have decided to alter our squad slightly with the aim of using home advantage and knowledge of conditions to bring a winning formula. Test great and our stalwart James Anderson has retired following the PNG match and we would like to take the chance to congratulate Jimmy on his fantastic record breaking career and note he will be sorely missed in our future plans.
The playing squad for our EHTL math against Hong Kong is:
Joe Root (Captain)
Jonny Bairstow (Wicketkeeper)
Additional Squad Members:David Malan, Ben Foakes, Jake Ball
Fast bowler Mark Wood makes his eagerly anticipated return to Test Cricket in place of Anderson. Wood’s hostility and extra pace/bounce will make him a valuable asset to our bowling group as Lords is quite two paced. The Durham man is a dynamic player who provides a different point of attack which could be crucial against a strong Hong Kong outfit should he make the XI.
Hampshire’s Liam Dawson retains his place and provides healthy competition for incumbent spinner Moeen Ali and should Lords take a twist towards spin favouring conditions, Dawson is more than capable of stepping up.
The team look forward to gracing the field again in the inaugural Eastern Hemisphere Test League and are excited by the competition created for spots which should push our players to their best. We are extremely grateful and thankful for the support shown in the opening match and hope the fan base can deliver once again whilst we hope to have two wins on the bounce.
Jamie Hamilton, Selection Drafter and Designer, England
Ahead of our inaugural Eastern Hemisphere Test League debut against Papua New Guinea at Lords (match report to be released soon), prolific fast bowler James Anderson has announced his retirement from international cricket following the PNG encounter. Anderson is the leading wicket taker in English history and will finish his star studded career with a final match fitting at the Home of Cricket, Lords. Lords was incidentally the exact venue where Anderson clinched his 500th Test wicket against the West Indies – Kraigg Braithwaite the unfortunate victim!
He will leave the game after securing 575 wickets and possibly more if he secures a PNG batsman’s wicket with fond memories of a blazing 55NO against the West Indies from 59 balls in the Global Test Championship played on Ashes Cricket 17.
The legendary Anderson and Broad new ball partnership will be separated after the Papua New Guinea encounter so who waits in the wings. Do we go to familiar faces to take up the opportunity – Toby Roland Jones, Tom Curran, Jake Ball? Do we go the opposite way and hand a county player their debut with Jamie Porter, Ben Coadand Craig Overton amongst others regularly churning out the wickets or does pace and bounce fit the bill alongside the fiery Broad with Jofra Archerand Mark Woodfitting this criteria. These are just some of the questions and possibilities that will no doubt swirling around in the England selection committee for the future.
Regardless of his replacement, James Anderson will be remembered as an England legend for his constant and consistent wicket taking and his deadly partnership with Stuart Broad, who will now look to become the leading England bowler. At the end of the PNG Test match, Lords will broadcast each and every wicket that Anderson has taken on the big screen with the EHTL sponsoring the end of match presentation including Anderson’s selection of beer.
So come and join us on this blog, for the inaugural Eastern Hemisphere Test League match as well as the departure of one of the world’s best in James Anderson.
ETHL will strive throughout the tournament to conserve light and energy with earlier timed matches and secure use of floodlights in day/night encounters.
They will also add to the Ocean Rescue project by supplying plastic bottles alongside cricket themed plastic stumps, balls and bat and England/Papua New Guinea wristbands and flags!
Mark Wood. A promising player that so far his international career hasn’t taken off due to predominately longer term injury and less match time in 4/5 day formats. He has pace – 90mph+ to be precise and has bounce that can frighten any top order batsman around the world. He has 156 first class wickets at an average of 27.83 and 8 five wicket hauls. His impact for England has come mainly in shorter formats with ODI being his stronger suit. Yet, going into 2019 his place at the Cricket World Cup looks in doubt due to his lack of match time and the better form from the likes of Tom Curran, Olly Stone and David Willey. Speculation before and during the 2017 Ashes series didn’t prove to be the case as he didn’t feature. At the age of 29, Wood’s playing days are shortening due to his various injuries and something needs to click for such a promising player.
His call up to the West Indian Test Series comes as Warwickshire’s Olly Stone flies back home with a stress fracture in his back. Stone has had limited opportunity on the International stage with his debut series coming in Sri Lanka (October 2018) and impressed with his pace and heavy bounce in the ODI series. Wood comes in as a like for like replacement but his lack of match practice in the Test arena might mean he plays as a back up seamer.
However, Wood brings a new dimension to West Indies which England should take advantage of with his old and new ball skills alongside his quick pace which will test the inexperienced West Indies batsmen. Whilst, England might not use Wood to change a winning formula, this will be Wood’s chance to show he can be an England Test fast bowler in a permanent position. He has the attributes but not the performances in the arena to show his worth to the side.
Away from Wood, England will be faced a tricky challenge with West Indies making wholesale changes to fix a losing team. But, England’s impressive form in Sri Lanka most notably with their spinners leaves them favourites in similar away conditions to make it 2 on the bounce.
Wood’s chance has come and he will be sure to make the most of it as his International selection hangs in the jungle. To read more articles cricket related, revisit the site and comment below whether Wood will start in West Indies?