Jones versus Read (vote)

It was inevitable. Certainly in my eyes, anyway. Duncan Fletcher has a memory like an elephant, and an intense loyalty to those who have \”been there and done that\” (come to the party, put their hand up, etc.). Chris Read has done neither. The cynic in me ponders whether this was a master plan by Fletcher. Sack Read; send a rocket up Jones\’ backside to get him fired up; wait for Read to fail before reinstating Jones on the grounds of Read\’s inadequacies. The wicketkeeping debate is then quietened for another few months and Fletcher looks like a savior.

Should Jones have a poor Ashes series – and you can almost guarantee Read won\’t play a single Test in Australia – then we\’ll be back to square one. But for now, Fletcher\’s got his own way – and I\’m glad with the decision too. Read is the best keeper in the country by a distance but, with willow in hand, is little more than a rabbit in the headlights in Test matches. Since reinstating him in the summer, Read has done his cause no good; he has dropped some uncharacteristic clangers, too.

The duel between the two has been rolling on furiously on the blog, so it\’s high time we opened it up to you lot. Good decision? Vote, then leave a comment. (if you can\’t see the voting thing below, click here).

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England drop Geraint Jones

Chris Read replaces him. Very interesting. Thoughts later. Read Cricinfo. It’s good. Leave your comments below, immediately.

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Review: Eng v Pak, Lord’s

The end of a Test match involving England usually sounds the death knell for Geraint Jones; if not his execution then he, or his supporters, are certainly called to account. Sure enough, readers of The Corridor have been sounding off much to my interest. Head over to this post which I wrote last year; around 85 comments have been left since then, and 10 or so left today alone after the end of the first Test against Pakistan.

He didn’t score runs of great significance in this Test but, it must be said, his wicketkeeping was (very nearly) faultless.

Jones, Read or Davies?

Low but audible mumblings of praise have been heard across the cricket world, or at least in England, for Stephen Davies. 19 and from Worcester, his coach – former England wicketkeeper Steve ‘Bumpy’ Rhodes – has said that he’s really rather excellent. No pressure, then. More on this at The Times, but it’s high time we had another poll I reckon. Geraint Jones will, I feel, play in the Ashes and possibly in the World Cup. But Chris Read, the best gloveman in the country, is many people’s first choice – and could yet be a real force in one-day cricket.

So who do you think should play in the Ashes, or even against Pakistan? Stick with Jones, go with Read – or take a punt on the teenager? Place your votes, leave your comments and generally make a nuisance of yourselves. (If you’re reading this via RSS, click here to vote)

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Jones under fire again

Poor old Geraint Jones. Throughout England’s resurgance in the past three years, he more than any other player has attracted criticism over his place. And unfortunately, there is no sign of the media or public stopping – until he starts scoring. In his last ten matches, he’s scored just 353 runs at 23.53, well below his poor career average of 27.42. What to do? Today, two former wicketkeepers have offered their opinions:

Jack Richards, an Ashes winner in Australia in 1986-7, strongly believes Jones should be dropped.

“Is he there as a batsman or keeper? He doesn’t appear to be there as a keeper because he’s spilling too many chances,” Richards told BBC Sport.

But Paul Downton said: “His keeping has improved noticeably. He needs to score more runs but is clearly talented.”

Over to you. What should England do? Is it time for Chris Read again? Leave your comments and place your votes; it’d be interesting to see what the public feel.

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Gilchrist’s catch-to-stump ratio

Watching the thrilling highlights of the first ODI between Australia and New Zealand (well played the kiwis!), a stat popped up showing that Gilchrist has taken far more stumpings than catches in his ODI record. This suprised me, and led me to wonder if it’s a common thing for keepers. Shall investigate (unless anyone reading wants to do it for me…add your comments)