Hampshire’s televised one run victory over Lancashire in the FLT20 quarter final hammered home one significant point about England’s cricket team - why on Earth does it not include Michael Carberry?
The opener's demolition of Lancashire’s bowling on his way to achieving the rare feat of a T20 century was a joy to behold. Carberry blends power with panache, intelligence and timing, all of which make him a nightmare to bowl at.
It doesn’t matter whether he is facing seam or spin, Carberry is ultra aggressive, using his feet and fast hands to devastating effect. If he does not feature in the next England T20 squad, there is something seriously wrong with the selectors.
Only Craig Kieswetter (due an England recall himself) has scored more runs in the competition this year. Both men average over 60 in the shortest form of the game this year which is an astonishingly impressive figure. It is not just T20 where I feel England should be including Carberry however. I feel he should be involved in all forms.
In First Class cricket, Carberry has a highly respectable average of 43.29, including a high score of 300 not out. He bats as a opener for Hamphire, however I see no reason, given his ability against spin, why Carberry could not fill the number 6 spot for England in test match cricket.
The current incumbent of that role is Jonny Bairstow. Bairstow has talent but has significant technical flaws which are being exposed at the highest form of the game. He needs to be sent back to county cricket to work on those flaws and then return to the England set-up as a more experienced, more rounded batsman.
Carberry has spent his time in county cricket. He knows his game inside out and would provide something different to the England line-up. As a naturally aggressive batsman, he could provide quick late order runs, but as he has shown in county cricket, with a strike rate of 51.82, he is more than capable of playing a patient, determined innings as well.
Michael Carberry has been around the England set-up for many years, touring with the England Lions and playing in one test match in Bangladesh.
In the last couple of years, for some reason he has been jumped in the pecking order by the likes of Nick Compton, James Taylor and Joe Root.
The time has come for England to get back to looking at Carberry and realise what a talented batsman they have on their hands.
The Hampshire man is explosive, dynamic but also measured and controlled, providing all the aspects you need to represent England in every form of the game.
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