Did Duncan Fletcher cost England the Ashes?

Any English cricket fan must be wondering right now how different the series might have been if Duncan Fletcher had shown a bit of aggression and picked Monty Panesar over Giles from the first test. It seems obvious to win a cricket match you pick bowlers to take wickets. Bowlers save more runs by taking a couple of wickets than they gain by sticking around to make a hard fought 20 runs.

Giles was a defensive move, and never looked dangerous in two tests. The Australians already had good measure of his limited capabilities. Panesar had the advantage of being good, unknown and attacking. It was a mistake to pick Giles in Brisbane, and a disaster to pick him in Adelaide.

After Panesar’s performance in the first innings in Perth it seems likely that he could have delivered England a large first innings lead in the second test and set them up for a potential victory. We’ll never know of course and judging by the short last session by Australia his contribution might not be enough to turn the Perth test either. However it requires a particularly fertile imagination to think of Giles taking 5 wickets on day one of a test match.

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2 Responses to Did Duncan Fletcher cost England the Ashes?

  1. Yobbo says:

    And apparently he can’t bat, which must be news to Stuart Clark after Monty played the shot of the day, a glorious on-drive for four on his way to an unbeaten 16.

    Duncan Fletcher deserves the sack.

  2. james says:

    Apparently DF is known for playing favourites and as he has said a number of times, “Gilo” is one of the most professional cricketers he has had contact with. Which sounds like the sort of thing you’d say about a player you liked but who actually had no talent. I also can’t bear the claim that he ‘builds pressure’. He looks better than normal (eg 2005 ashes) when the opposition are already under pressure … you know, like flintoff, jones, harmison at home and all bowling well. I think its pretty clear that when top batsmen choose to bat ‘normally’ against him and not try too hard to smash him they score easily and don’t get out.

    Duncan’s other (connected) gaffe was not picking Chris Read earlier – you might remember that Rod Marsh left his england coaching job on bad terms because of their refusal to select Read – who in Marsh’s opinion was the best gloveman going around. Fletcher’s claim was that jones strengthened the batting but my memory is that the difference in their averages is only 5 or 6. Is this difference worth jones’ dropped catches and missed stumpings ?

    so yeah, Sack fletcher.
    it would also be nice to see the pont show him a big nice smile when england have lost 5-0.

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