Tuesday, November 14, 2006

How big a loss?

Back to more serious matters, and the news that Marcus Trescothick is having to leave the Ashes series and fly home, after suffering a recurrence of the peculiar mental affliction that forced him home from the India series, is a bit of a blow for England without question. But how big a blow?

As a team man/bloke Tresco is one of the legends, perpetually helpful, unselfish and all-round nice chap; as a slip fielder he's up there with the best in the world; but it is as a batsman that he's supposed to earn his crust, and here the loss is perhaps less crushing.

Before this happened, the choice was widely felt to be, given that Fletcher had ruled that five bowlers were needed, between Bell and Collingwood at five, with Flintoff at six. Both have done enough to deserve their place, so the simple removal of poor old Tresco at the top, with Alistair Cook moving up to open and Bell going at 3 seems to solve this problem. Except. That Bell averaged less than twenty at 3 against the Aussies, and scored 3 hundreds on the bounce at six against Pakistan. Ideally of course, Flintoff would go 7 and be able to bowl his full quota, but then of course, if my uncle had tits he'd be my aunt.

One last story about Trescothick. As the cognoscenti (and indeed anyone who isn't actually blind) know, Tresco has an issue with foot movement, as in he doesn't. Batting in a biscuit tin as some say, and as the Aussies say, 'when you're rooted; you're rooted'. During the Ashes last summer, Marcus was a t a friend's wedding, who was marrying a Kiwi. At the reception he was dancing with his wife, when he found himself surrounded by drunken Kiwis all telling him to 'Move yer feet!' It is a testament to the basic good blokeness of him that he laughed and got a round in. I hope he's still able to.


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