Tuesday, January 22, 2013

England should leave out Patel for New Zealand

England selectors should seriously consider omitting Samit Patel from the England squad that tours New Zealand next month after the all-rounder again proved unreliable both at the crease and with ball in hand.

Patel fell for one during England’s humble one-day defeat to India in Mohali, a loss that sent them 3-1 down in the five-match series and deflates the confidence built from a superb Test effort before Christmas. Although the India v England betting briefly swung in the tourists’ favour after the first match, their hopes have mirrored Patel’s decline. With his duck in Ranchi and this single on Wednesday effectively seals his fate for selection next month.

For Patel has been too inconsistent over this tour of India and has not always proved the reliable middle-order batsman captain Alastair Cook requires, while his bowling figures are way askew.
Having recorded 0-85 in his last four ODI outings, it is clear this reserve spinner is not capable of moving the ball enough to warrant a first-team place and his batting has again exposed an unreliable middle-order contributor.

He was rightly subject to squad rotation in the final Test in Nagpur last December having made meagre totals of 10, 0, 26 and 33 in his four innings at the crease.

One of his uses on Indian soil was that he offered good spin cover on a turning pitch, but now England are heading to New Zealand, where they T20 odds have them as favourites.

They are expecting to use just one spinner – Graeme Swann - and after Monty Panesar’s impressive form this winter, the reserve spin spot in the 15-man touring squad is filled. With Jonny Bairstow, Nick Compton and Joe Root also in the squad there is no place for Patel in the order.

Patel shouldn’t be too surprised, for his form hasn’t warranted a place in the team, but with a long 2013 ahead for England there is still a chance he can make it back into the squad before the Australians fly north for the Ashes this summer.

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