The world’s number one Test team according to the rankings published by the ICC, the England Cricket Team will embark on a tour of India later in the year to take on the World Champions in four Test matches, five One Day Internationals as well as two Twenty 20 Internationals. This would be the first time that England team would embark on a full tour of India since their last full tour was cut short after just five One Day International matches due to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The Three Lions did come to India last year for a One Day International series which they lost to the newly crowned world champions in a closely fought series.
The last time the England Cricket Team made the journey to India, they were supposed to play in seven One Day Internationals and three Test matches but after just five One Day Internationals, which England were already trailing by 5-0, the city of Mumbai was attacked by Pakistani terrorists, who specifically targeted the foreign nationals and the cricketers wanted to do nothing with the series and immediately returned home.
According to the reports that have been received, it took plenty of efforts on part of both the Board of Control for Cricket in India as well as the England and Wales Cricket Board to persuade the English players that it was safe to tour India again as they were looking for some sort of assurance before embarking on such a long tour.
The England Cricket Team had thrashed the newly crowned world champions India 4-0 in Tests when The Men in Blue went to England and Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men will be looking for revenge against Andrew Strauss and his boys as they look to reclaim the top spot from The Three Lions.
There have been many theories drawn up as to why the England National Cricket Team fared so badly in the Test arena in their last series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, losing the series 3-0 and although they won the One Day International and Twenty 20 International series comfortably, it was not a performance that would give the critics much hope. And one of the theories drawn up regarding their failure is the fact that the team does not have a stable wicket keeper, choosing between Matt Prior and Craig Kieswetter.
Kieswetter is one of the best young wicket keepers around in the game at the moment and having grown up worshipping Australian legend Adam Gilchrist, he must be hating the very guts of the Aussie with the England team’s search for their very own Gilchrist drawing up the need for a wicket keeping merry-go-round that doesn’t allow players like Craig Kieswetter to settle in international cricket.
These changes have been drafted in at such a drastic level that it almost makes one think that he is witnessing a circus parade and although this tendency has somewhat quieted over the last few years with Matt Prior and Kieswetter the preferred choices for the longer and shorter versions of the game respectively, it would still hold the team in good stead if they managed to keep only one keeper for all the versions of the game.
Moreover, the youngster Craig Kieswetter has not been retained in the side that will embark on a tour of Sri Lanka in March and this is definitely not good news for up and coming wicket keepers who aspire to play for The Three Lions at one point in time. And as long as there is no stable keeper, the merry-go-round sis likely to go on.
England wicket keeper – batsman Craig Kieswetter is enjoying his role in the middle order of the England One Day International side. The Somerset Sabers opening batsman has been a huge success for The Three Lions in the shortest format of the game, having been one of the stars of Somerset’s Twenty 20 side in domestic cricket and he had carried much of that form to the international level when he made his debut for the England Cricket Team in the Twenty 20 Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean in 2010, which England won, beating Australia in the final.
The hard hitting batsman has had an audition for the middle order role in Sri Lanka where he went on tour with The England Lions, playing some brilliant knocks to convince the selectors of his skills in the 50 over format of the game. Being an opening batsman throughout his life, Craig Kieswetter did struggle in the middle order initially where he was asked to bat in order to make room for Kevin Pietersen at the top of the innings but he gradually settled into the position, playing some brilliant knocks against the Sri Lankan A – Team.
Kieswetter, himself said that he began his career with the Somerset Sabers but was quickly moved to the top of the order to face the new ball and since then, he has excelled there. As a result, he felt that the middle order role would be extremely difficult, having not batted there for quite some time but he will not allow it to be a detriment and is eager to make his mark in the middle order and make a permanent claim to the position.
Whether Craig Kieswetter gets his opportunity to make his position permanent in the side is worth to be seen.
The England cricket team’s most capped player and former captain Alec Stewart believes that the side might go on to dominate the entire cricketing world for years to come with young players like Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter, Johnny Bairstow and the likes. Stewart, however, went on to comment how he had been pleased with the role that the current Test keeper Matt Prior has taken up. Almost throughout his career, Stewart was one of the greatest wicketkeeper – batsmen in the world and England struggled a lot to find a suitable replacement for him after he retired from the game but according to the 48 year old, in Prior, England have found the answer.
Stewart went on to add that according to him, Matt Prior is currently the best wicketkeeper in the world, even better than Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. When asked about his absence from the England lineup in the One Day International and Twenty 20 formats, Stewart added that Craig Kieswetter is deservedly being named in the sides due to his better strike rate but it wouldn’t be long before the glove man from Sussex comes up and reclaims his place in the side.
According to Alec Stewart, Matt Prior is working very hard to regain his position in England’s One Day International and Twenty 20 sides and firmly believes that the effort he is currently putting in will bear fruit in the end because Kieswetter is yet to nail down the place for himself and he also lacks in experience.
Stewart believes that Craig Kieswetter is also a wicketkeeper with immense potential and he is perhaps the ideal replacement for Matt Prior but he is not yet ready to take his place in the England Test side, especially with Matt showing such consistency with the bat in his hands.