New Zealand cricket May 5, 2012

Andre Adams' international career

From Thomas Alcock, UK

From Thomas Alcock, UK

Andre (not Andrew as my spell checker prefers to call him) Ryan Adams. Now aged 36, Adams joined Nottinghamshire in 2007, you would imagine after a highly successful international career with New Zealand. Since joining he has been the mainstay of the Notts attack.

Twenty-five wickets in three-and-a-bit games this season, 67 from 16 last season (average of 22.61) and 68 the year before – including the wicket of Chanderpaul to seal the title County Championship . He was successful in 2008 and 2007, did well at Essex for three seasons before that, and has been winning trophies for Auckland during the English winter since 1997.

Combine that with some mighty biffing down the order (good enough to score three first-class tons and eighteen fifties) and sprightly fielding and you have a very fine player. So a highly successful international career? No – I don’t understand why though.

He made his one and only Test match appearance against England at Eden Park in 2002, a match that New Zealand won and in doing so squared a three-match series 1-1. So you would assume Adams didn’t have the best of games? Wrong again. He took 6 for 105, the six being Vaughan, Flintoff, Giles, Hussain, Foster and Hoggard, but was never picked again.

In era where New Zealand have remained just about competitive, and only just, it really does seem like they missed a trick with Adams. A highly effective bowler in all conditions, but especially those that offer a little for the seamer, like Trent Bridge and the majority of New Zealand’s home Test match grounds.

My assumption is that Adams for too long was labelled a one-day player. Not because of amazing success in one-day cricket, his bowling and batting averages are far stronger in first-class cricket (the opposite is the case for many bowlers), simply because he could whack a ball at No. 8 or 9. That is why his international career reads 1 Test match and 42 ODIs.

His ODI performances were solid but he did not set the world alight – one-day cricket is not his strongest suit. Perhaps if he was a rabbit with the bat like Chris Martin, his record might have read 42 Tests and a solitary ODI.

I hope England learn a lesson from Adams’ career, and apply that knowledge to the career of Chris Woakes, the Warwickshire bowling-allrounder. Woakes currently averages 33 with the bat and 25 with the ball in first-class cricket, and 18 and 35 in List A. He has played 4 ODIs and 0 Tests. Like Adams, he will always be a stronger four/five day performer because of the type of seamer he is. Unless the selectors realise this, Woakes might have to bat like Hoggard and Fraser to get a chance of playing a Test.