Age 34, 510 First Class wickets at 22.81
Age 27, 356 First Class wickets at 24.02
Age 26, 157 First Class wickets at 19.93
Chris Rushworth will never play for England. Jamie Porter could do if James Anderson ever retires. Ben Coad might do in the years to come.
The above players are often dismissed as horses for courses. It’s said that they bowl well in England but won’t elsewhere. Well, England play half their games in England and James Anderson himself has shown that players can develop and perform overseas. Remember as well, that while James Anderson is considered great, he was selected at a young age and persevered with despite averaging over forty five years into his international career. He was allowed to become great. Toby Roland-Jones briefly displayed that a player who had honed their skills at domestic level could make a worthy contribution when selected at a slightly more ripe age.
Rushworth, Porter and Coad are not three-dimensional cricketers. They may not even be two-dimensional and tend to be pigeon holed as long format specialists… well, at domestic level anyway. They may actually be more than reasonable white-ball bowlers but are often preserved by Durham, Essex and Yorkshire respectively for four-day affairs.
Said players have not necessarily taken the usual route to first team regularity or potential England recognition. They have consistently performed however and in Porter’s case, similar to Anderson, have overcome serious injury hurdles. It’s unlikely that any of these players would let England down or be woefully out of their depth if at least provided a few games. Of course anybody can have a quiet debut.
As mentioned, for Rushworth, it won’t happen but for Porter and Coad, though they may seem way down the pecking order at present, the chance could yet come. Of course the opportunity to play any cricket would help their cause!
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