Sunday, 15 February 2015

Nat Bat Chat (Or Why Sciver Needs To Deliver!)

When she made her England debut against Pakistan in 2013, Nat Sciver was definitely considered a Bowler Who Can Bat. But increasingly she's playing as a batsman, and on that score she's not performing at the level she should be.

How different it was a year ago! Coming off the last Women's Ashes in Australia, Sciver had the world at her feet, having averaged 34 in that series, and been a critical part of England's success.

But since then, things have gone downhill fast, and in 12 international innings since, she has averaged just 11, with a highest score of 23; the situation reaching its apotheosis today in the 3rd ODI against New Zealand, when she was run out for a duck. 

For an all-rounder, this might (just about) be acceptable; but Nat has hardly bowled outside of T20s in 2014/15; and a Batsman Who Can't Bat But Can Bowl Very Occasionally really isn't what England need in their flaky middle-order right now.

I don't think England will, or should, drop Nat for the remaining ODIs or T20s; but if she's to be a part of England's next Ashes triumph in 2015... Sciver needs to Deliver.

5 comments:

  1. Bit tough to single out Sciver. Surely one could say pretty much the same about Greenway and Gunn. Greenway has been dropped, which I guess is confirmation she hasnt been delivering. Gunn is rapidly looking like a non all rounder, now down to no 10 in the batting order (and either hasn't bowled or not bowled well). So, why pick on just Sciver?

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  2. I know I'm notorious for being a fan of Jenny Gunn (ahem), and I know she's had 3 bad goes with the bat in a row now. But we shouldn't forget her performances against India last summer: 7* and 62* in the Test; 5-19 in the first innings of the Test and 4-23 in the second ODI.

    Nat Sciver's highest score last summer was 17 and she took no wickets against India at all. The two just aren't comparable in terms of recent performances.

    There's obviously a problem with our middle order. But Jenny Gunn isn't it!

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  3. One ODI 50 in the last 2 years, one from Greenway, one from Gunn, one from Sciver (and Sciver hasnt played all of the 2 years). Numerous chances to get one. That's why its fair to ask why just Sciver. If Gunn is the all rounder you suggest then I draw your attention to her batting record, which does not support this proposition.
    I agree her bowling (not good on this tour though) gives her a strong claim as a bowler and perhaps the selectors have taken this view in dropping her down to 10.
    Just as you think Gunn should not be singled out, I think Nat Sciver should not be singled out. I also note no previous blog of this ilk for Tammy Beaumont, who's batting has been - well just look at the scorecards.
    I know blogs are in their nature meant to be thought provoking, even provocative but it doesnt feel right to go at Nat when others are equally deserving of criticism.

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  4. Sciver has been poor, but long term she has great potential and as The Clanger says she's hardly alone in performing badly for England at the moment. Seems a bit harsh to single her out.

    Obviously you can't continue to just be selected on potential alone though, so I have a question for Syd, Raf and those who actually get to see domestic games.
    How many players at that level are realistically of a standard to challenge the incumbents for places in the England team?

    From the outside it doesn't look like there's an easy answer to England's issues at the moment.

    Should the coaching be questioned when the same problems seem to be highlighted after nearly every game?

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  5. A few thoughts:

    1) I didn't call for Nat to be dropped - I want to see some progress, but it does say in the final paragraph that she shouldn't be dropped.
    2) If Lyd had played yesterday (and not made a score) then this would have been a different blog; and I *would* have called for her to be dropped.
    3) Gunn performed well enough in the summer to not be asking questions of her yet.
    4) As for who else... I agree - it's tough - that's the downside of having an elite performance squad which is a bit bowler-heavy because the bowlers are much more injury-prone. The only candidate in the elitesquad (apart from TB) is Fran Wilson, who played a handful of matches a few years ago. They obviously consider her the "best of the rest" but they equally obviously don't consider her very far. Others would suggest Georgia Elwiss as a batsman, but I'm not convinced. At the next level down... Georgia Adams? She "looks" very classy with the bat, but others would argue there isn't much substance beneath, and her county record would support that to be honest. So... yer... difficult - and the subject of a future blog, I think!

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