Latest Cricket News: Where are the batters capable of putting up big numbers? Where are the fast bowlers who know how to handle the surface with little help? What happened to the spinners?
These are the questions being raised with England down 2-0 in the Ashes and striving to avoid another tense series in Australia following a 5-0 whitewash in 2013/14 and a 4-0 defeat in 2017/18.
England has now lost 11 of their last 12 Ashes Tests on the road.
County grounds, according to Sky Sports Cricket analyst and former England and Kent batsman Rob Key, are not creating ready-made Test cricketers…
Key told the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast, “I sound like a broken record on pitches because that’s exactly where I see it.”
“Less so with game times, however, it is an influence, as I believe pitches are awful in the middle of the season, as well as at the beginning and finish. Last year, there were more runs scored in April than at other times of the year.
“So it’s pitch time, and you need to know what the true issue is. It isn’t simply that counties are looking for outcomes pitches.
“There’s a greater issue here, which is why we’re not creating cricketers. Batters, particularly spinners.
“My experience with county pitches included both the good and the terrible. I began when the pitches improved, and you ended up with some of the cricketers that emerged from that system in 2005.
“I was standing there batting and getting nicked off for pleasure from 2010 onwards.” Mostly due to my ineptness, but also because things became much more difficult. It wasn’t as difficult to play cricket, and the bowling wasn’t as good.
“In the early 2000s, every county had two Kolpak players and two abroad players on good surfaces.”
“You learned your profession by batting at different speeds. You have to cope with a lot of different things during a day of batting. That doesn’t happen any longer.
“What I would recommend to the ECB is that they really try to figure out why certain pitches are so bad.”
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