The Somerset batsman had a good run for the Brisbane Heat (©GettyImages)
The Somerset batsman had a good run for the Brisbane Heat (©GettyImages).

Craig Kieswetter: England cricket's forgotten man

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Ian Bell, the 31-year-old England batsman, has been called up as cover to the touring party of the West Indies, and, with the recent injury of Joe Root, looks certain to be part of the squad for the World t20 in Bangladesh.

Having not played a game of t20 at any level since February 2011, it seems somewhat of a shock that he is still part of the national selectors' plans, especially given the recent record of some of the players who did not make the cut. 

Craig Kieswetter, unceremoniously dropped after the tour of India in January last year for his former Somerset team-mate Jos Buttler, played for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash competition in Australia over the winter with some success, average 24 with the bat as well as taking six catches and completing two stumpings.

His limited-overs form in the county season was exemplary, as he scored an unbelievable 517 runs in 11 innings - the most in the competition - at an average of 64.62 in the Friends Life t20.

Most pundits assumed that this would propel him back into the reckoning for the national side, but it was not to be.

In a press conference following his decision to restore Bell to the t20 setup, interim coach Ashley Giles described Bell as "a world-class player, a world-class fielder and a world-class bloke".

This seems a strange thing to say; having been at Warwickshire with Bell, Giles would know him well, and speculation may arise that he is favouring players from his former county.

Also, Bell's short-form record is substantially worse than Kieswetter's at a domestic level, leading to questions as to why he has been selected.

Kieswetter, who is in South Africa with Somerset on a pre-season tour, must be wondering what he has to do to get a game for England.

With no second-choice wicket-keeper in the squad and Joe Root injured, it must have seemed a logical solution to bring Kieswetter as batting and wicket-keeping cover.

He may well have a lot of pressure on him in the County Championship this year, as he will be one of Somerset's senior batsmen, alongside James Hildreth and the ageing Marcus Trescothick.

Maybe if he passes that test, Giles, or whoever the new coach is, will consider him again for selection. Until then, he will probably be left dumbfounded at his exclusion.

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England cricket
T20 World Cup
Joe Root
South Africa cricket
Ian Bell

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