England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval August 18, 2013

Kerrigan soaks up 'surreal' feeling

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Simon Kerrigan spent much of Sunday still trying to soak up the "surreal" experience of being named in an Ashes squad after being handed his first senior call-up for the final Investec Ashes Test at The Oval. However, Peter Moores, his county coach, believes he is there by right rather and not because of the difficulties being faced by Monty Panesar.

Little more than two weeks ago, Panesar was part of England's squad for the Old Trafford Test, but shortly after that his season came off the rails during a night out in Brighton, which led to him being fined for drunk and disorderly conduct. The matter is still being investigated by Sussex, but Panesar is on the brink of needing a new county and is seemingly facing a lengthy period away from the international scene.

That has led to England needing to reconsider who is their No. 2 spinner to Graeme Swann and there was not really a second option behind Kerrigan despite James Tredwell's stellar one-day performances this year. Kerrigan, with 47 wickets in the Championship, is far and away the most prolific spinner this season and has been a regular with England Lions. It was a logical progression.

It would still be a surprise if he played at The Oval - two spinners, especially in a four-man attack, is rarely seen outside of the subcontinent by England - but even if he does not earn a first cap on Wednesday, he has two days to train in front of Andy Flower and Alastair Cook ahead of their deliberations over the Test squad to Australia later this year.

"I found out yesterday when I got a call from Geoff Miller. I'm delighted to be selected, but it was a bit hard to take in when he rang," Kerrigan told the Lancashire website. "It all felt a bit surreal to be honest. Hopefully I can impress over the next couple of days and be ready if they choose two spinners.

"I've been inundated with messages of good luck and congratulations. My phone went into a bit of a meltdown this morning, and I'm grateful for all the messages and good wishes."

Moores has overseen the rise of Kerrigan since taking over as Lancashire coach in 2009, during which time Kerrigan had assumed the No. 1 mantle even before Gary Keedy's departure to Surrey, and he now sees a potential changing of hierarchy in England's spin options behind Graeme Swann.

"Monty's obviously had an interesting season and also an interesting few weeks and I think the one thing you would say is that Simon has statistically performed much better than Monty has this season, so that's probably why he's got his recognition as much as anything else,'' Moores told Sky Sports News.

"The key here is Simon's earned that right through his own performance and what he does do is get a lot of five-wicket hauls. So when he gets on a roll he seems to really be able to drive that home and make a big difference in a game, and that's something I think would excite England.''

"What he does is he spins it hard, not dissimilar to Graeme Swann in that respect. Graeme does give the ball a heck of a rip and gets turn on almost any surface and Simon's similar, he spins the ball very hard, he's an aggressive attacking spinner."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jmcilhinney on August 19, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    Kerrigan's about a year and a half younger than Nathan Lyon with about the same amount of FC experience, although half of Lyon's FC games have been Tests, so it would be interesting to compare the two. It's probably a good thing that Kerrigan is a left-armer too because, as with Monty, it gives England some variety if they ever do play two spinners and, once Swann retires, you'd generally prefer a left-armer over an off-spinner due to more batsmen being right-handers. Even if he doesn't play, there's no doubt that he will benefit from Swann's experience just by being around him in the squad.

    Living in Australia, I don't get to see any county cricket so I don't follow it too closely but I thought some time ago that Kerrigan was seen more as a limited-overs specialist and Danny Briggs as more of a long-form bowler but it seems I had that backwards, with Briggs already having played one ODI and four T20Is.

  • MartinC on August 18, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    Kerrigan is a good selection - he has been bowling really well for a couple of years yet and still has room to improve. What's good about him is he is an attacking spinner who gets good players out. I doubt he plays but it's good to get him used to the group and atmosphere around a Test side and I expect him to tour as well this winter as the second spinner.

    I'm less clear why hey have picked Woakes though ....

  • Nutcutlet on August 18, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    This call up is well deserved. SK has got better & better at his craft & although he probably won't play at the Oval, he'll get a feel for the senior England set up & they will get a feel for the type of person he is. His cricketing credentials are only one aspect of what the England management will be looking at. If things go well -- and why shouldn't they? -- he stands a very good chance of being included in the touring party. I wish him all the best.

  • subbass on August 20, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    I like the look of this Kerrigan, his stats are certainly impressive. Be nice if he could improve his batting a bit also. Much like Swann is a handy batter, not sure if he is capable of Swanns batting stats but a Test avg of 15 is useful still.

    Either way good to know we have a promising young spinner as Swann is the main reason we win games still. Or at least I think he is, of course Anderson is vital, but Swann is more vital to me. He offers useful batting and is a fine slip fielder.

    When Swann dioes retire whoever gets the role as Test spinner has big shoes to fill.

  • SteveBrook on August 19, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Could England be bold enough to bat Prior at 6 to squeeze Woakes and Kerrigan in? I know Prior's form is poor at present but the touring squad will be picked quite soon and we need to look at players other than Panasar and Tremlett. Kerrigan's got to play even if it means giving Anderson or Swann a rest. He's the most attacking slow left-armer in the country and now is the time for him. Not sure about Woakes but he has 22 wickets in his last 10 games whereas Tremlett has 8 wickets from his last 10. Woakes deserves at least one game at the highest level and would survive a gruelling tour of Australia whereas Tremlett wouldn't.

  • howdle on August 19, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    people might criticize bring potential' players during a test series but what has Tremlett done this season? surely he'd be getting picked on what he could do rather than whats hes been doing this season. I'd like to see Woakes play instead of Bresnan. hes been in the ODI and T20 teams without ever impressing at county level in those formats. He is clearly a 4/5 player and this is a good move by ECB

  • Iddo555 on August 19, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    I think England will very much want a left armer going forward as Joe Root will be able to provide some useful part time right arm off spin which will mean a more balanced spin attack

  • 200ondebut on August 19, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    Some people talk nonsense - this is an Ashes test and you play your best side. Now is not the time to tinker and use it as a trial for other players (that's the Lions games).

    The only change will be the one forced by injury - Tremlett in for Bresnan.

  • Chaffers on August 19, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    As a pure SLA bowler I'm surprised they aren't looking at George Dockrell rather than Kerrigan. Both good bowlers but one has 50 international matches under his belt and to my eyes is the better of the two.

    Saying that I wouldn't wtire Monty off. He's still young for a spinner and I'm sure we'll see him in an England shirt again.

  • Iddo555 on August 19, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Briggs and Borthwick are seen as one day spinners and Kerrigan is seen as a 4/5 day spinner. You don't get picked for tests on one day form and you don't get picked for one day stuff on 4/5 day form. Kerrigan is doing well in 4 day county cricket, the other two mentioned are not doing well at 4 day stuff but are doing well in the short form of the game

  • jmcilhinney on August 19, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    Kerrigan's about a year and a half younger than Nathan Lyon with about the same amount of FC experience, although half of Lyon's FC games have been Tests, so it would be interesting to compare the two. It's probably a good thing that Kerrigan is a left-armer too because, as with Monty, it gives England some variety if they ever do play two spinners and, once Swann retires, you'd generally prefer a left-armer over an off-spinner due to more batsmen being right-handers. Even if he doesn't play, there's no doubt that he will benefit from Swann's experience just by being around him in the squad.

    Living in Australia, I don't get to see any county cricket so I don't follow it too closely but I thought some time ago that Kerrigan was seen more as a limited-overs specialist and Danny Briggs as more of a long-form bowler but it seems I had that backwards, with Briggs already having played one ODI and four T20Is.

  • MartinC on August 18, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    Kerrigan is a good selection - he has been bowling really well for a couple of years yet and still has room to improve. What's good about him is he is an attacking spinner who gets good players out. I doubt he plays but it's good to get him used to the group and atmosphere around a Test side and I expect him to tour as well this winter as the second spinner.

    I'm less clear why hey have picked Woakes though ....

  • Nutcutlet on August 18, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    This call up is well deserved. SK has got better & better at his craft & although he probably won't play at the Oval, he'll get a feel for the senior England set up & they will get a feel for the type of person he is. His cricketing credentials are only one aspect of what the England management will be looking at. If things go well -- and why shouldn't they? -- he stands a very good chance of being included in the touring party. I wish him all the best.

  • subbass on August 20, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    I like the look of this Kerrigan, his stats are certainly impressive. Be nice if he could improve his batting a bit also. Much like Swann is a handy batter, not sure if he is capable of Swanns batting stats but a Test avg of 15 is useful still.

    Either way good to know we have a promising young spinner as Swann is the main reason we win games still. Or at least I think he is, of course Anderson is vital, but Swann is more vital to me. He offers useful batting and is a fine slip fielder.

    When Swann dioes retire whoever gets the role as Test spinner has big shoes to fill.

  • SteveBrook on August 19, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Could England be bold enough to bat Prior at 6 to squeeze Woakes and Kerrigan in? I know Prior's form is poor at present but the touring squad will be picked quite soon and we need to look at players other than Panasar and Tremlett. Kerrigan's got to play even if it means giving Anderson or Swann a rest. He's the most attacking slow left-armer in the country and now is the time for him. Not sure about Woakes but he has 22 wickets in his last 10 games whereas Tremlett has 8 wickets from his last 10. Woakes deserves at least one game at the highest level and would survive a gruelling tour of Australia whereas Tremlett wouldn't.

  • howdle on August 19, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    people might criticize bring potential' players during a test series but what has Tremlett done this season? surely he'd be getting picked on what he could do rather than whats hes been doing this season. I'd like to see Woakes play instead of Bresnan. hes been in the ODI and T20 teams without ever impressing at county level in those formats. He is clearly a 4/5 player and this is a good move by ECB

  • Iddo555 on August 19, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    I think England will very much want a left armer going forward as Joe Root will be able to provide some useful part time right arm off spin which will mean a more balanced spin attack

  • 200ondebut on August 19, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    Some people talk nonsense - this is an Ashes test and you play your best side. Now is not the time to tinker and use it as a trial for other players (that's the Lions games).

    The only change will be the one forced by injury - Tremlett in for Bresnan.

  • Chaffers on August 19, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    As a pure SLA bowler I'm surprised they aren't looking at George Dockrell rather than Kerrigan. Both good bowlers but one has 50 international matches under his belt and to my eyes is the better of the two.

    Saying that I wouldn't wtire Monty off. He's still young for a spinner and I'm sure we'll see him in an England shirt again.

  • Iddo555 on August 19, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Briggs and Borthwick are seen as one day spinners and Kerrigan is seen as a 4/5 day spinner. You don't get picked for tests on one day form and you don't get picked for one day stuff on 4/5 day form. Kerrigan is doing well in 4 day county cricket, the other two mentioned are not doing well at 4 day stuff but are doing well in the short form of the game

  • on August 19, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    As a Lancashire devotee for, ooh, ever since I was old enough to say "Brian Staham," I've been thrilled at Kerrigan's progress over the last couple of years or so. If it was up to me, I'd give Swann - who's bowled his heart out - the option of a rest in the next Test, but he'd probably want to play anyway - and give Kerrigan a chance to show what he can do. A lot of praise for his development has to go to Peter Moores - who didn't over-bowl him when he was learning his trade - and Gary Keedy, who Kerrigan learned so much off a couple of years back. Now the lad can bowl long spells without tiring and doen't just try to contain batsmen, he's always on the attack. The only downside to Kerrigan's call-up is that Lancashire will probably, from next season onwards, only have him available for 2-3 games a season. Good luck, Simon, lad! :-)

  • 2.14istherunrate on August 19, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    Looking at the away fixtures it will be a while before there is a subcontinent game which is a pity for Kerrigan.That said his figures have stacked up from the beginning so I hope he does not get bored in the meantime. anyway it's great news that he is the succession now. A spinner should give the ball a rip-that is what it is about.

  • Stevros3 on August 19, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    Kerrigan deserves the chance, not sure he'll play. I'd like to see Tremlett & Woakes in the 11 though. For all people have a go at Woakes, I've seen him bowling for Warwickshire a fair bit and I think the best comparason bowling-wise is to Matthew Hoggard, who also struggled in limited overs with people taking chances against him, Woakes I've always thought of as more suited to test than limited overs, will swing it enough to trouble top batsmen especially with a dukes ball (not sure he'll be suited/ready to bowl in Aus this winter, but here in England a yes from me) Plus he's a better bat by a margin than Broad and Bresnan and has potential to bat no.7 possibly (he say tentativly) No.6 in the future for England.

  • Iddo555 on August 19, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    It's a great moment for Kerrigan but I still think he needs a year or two in div 1 playing well and taking wickets before he'll be ready for test match cricket.

    @Paul Rone

    Moeen ali will need to move to a div 1 side and prove he can perform there the same as Kerrigan will have to because he wouldn't be in the side either if it wasn't for Panesar going into meltdown. There's far more competition in the batting dept than the spinning dept with people like Ballance, Taylor, Robson, Stokes and Chopra all doing well in div 1.

    @100 rabh I thinking Monty taking wickets at an average of 40 would be enough to concern Sussex and England and the reason he found himself down the pecking order, his recent behaviour put the final nail in the coffin.

  • on August 19, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    How come Kerrigan was picked when Briggs and Borthwick have both played ODIs and T20Is. Also, Woakes is slow and won't succeed at int level. Stokes is a better batsman and has more pace than Woakes. Pietersen has had some injuries recently, and even though they're small 1 could flare up. Taylor should come in. I think that would cause a bit of a batoff between him and Bairstow(who I don't think has done enough). It would be good to give Compton, Butler and Ballance a chance but that can happen another time as Cook, Root, Trott and Prior are out of form and it'll be good for them to find some. You also wouldn't want to weaken the side totally by removing Bell. Anderson should be rested. After the Bresnan injury, I would rest Swann and Broad as well. I would play Cook, Root, Trott, Bell, Taylor, Bairstow, Prior, Stokes, Briggs, Finn and Tremlett but from the squad Cook, Root, Trott, Bell, Bairstow, Prior, Woakes, Swann, Kerrigan, Finn, and Tremlett.

  • SDHM on August 19, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    @JMC - yeah, you had that the wrong way round! In fact, Kerrigan has barely played any limited overs for Lancs until this season, where an injury to Parry, their main LO spinner, has forced their hand a little bit. Briggs has been brought up more through 40/20 over cricket, and you can see the difference in the way both bowl; Kerrigan flights and dips it, Briggs is a much flatter, tighter bowler. One thing I'd be wary about with Kerrigan is taking him on tour to Aus only to carry the drinks. Young spinners especially need overs, and if he's just going to be warming the bench he's better off with the Lions, with Monty or Tredwell providing cover for Swann.

    So much negativity around Woakes; it's almost as if his stats, which are fantastic, are somehow used against him. A man with a better domestic bowling average, economy and strike rate than Anderson, Broad, Bresnan and Tremlett surely deserves a chance!

  • YorkshirePudding on August 19, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    @Dark_Harlequin, to a point he was however he was 'worked' out in 2007/8 and his returns started to drop add on his poor fielding abillity and there are more reasons he was dropped, in 2009 he had a return of 6 wickets @ 64, in 2013 he took 5 wickets at 70.

    Its also just been annonced that he will be leaving Sussex at the end of the season, it will be interesting to see where he goes.

  • Harlequin. on August 19, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    @yorkshirepudding - I agree with you, and wasn't really trying to shift the blame away from Monty, he was a victim of circumstance and the selectors did their jobs. But Monty has been hard done by; marginally the 2nd best spinner in the country and often had better returns than Swann when they bowled together. Much like McGill/Warne. It is Monty to blame, but one can see the reasons why he went off the rails - he put in some massive efforts for England early in his career and all of a sudden Swann comes along and he is chucked on the heap. All I was saying was that I think it calls for a bit more lenience than the likes of Thomas Cherian (comment below) are showing. I hear that his county are being very supportive, which is good.

  • on August 19, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Also -What else does Moeen Ali need to do to get a look in? A GENUINE batting allrounder whose spin is a lot better than just "useful" - he'll take 25+ FC wickets and score 1000+ FC runs every year and be a great short form player for years as well, so why isn't he in the side?

  • on August 19, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Kerrigan I get. But why Woakes? A bowler who is barely a trundler and bats like a dedicated ODI ot T20 player. Why?

  • 100_rabh on August 19, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    Not long back after England's India tour it was being suggested in English circles that England should prepare turning pitches for home Ashes with Monty and Swann both in the eleven. Dont know what wrong Monty did on-field to get himself out of the pecking order?

  • DesPlatt on August 19, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    @Jmchilhinney. You've got it right now . Simon Kerrigan has never been a one day specialist and indeed even now is not the top one day spinner at his county ; that has been Stephen Parry for a few years. Even after Gary Keedy's departure , Kerrigan hasn't always made the Lancashire one day team until Parry's recent injury.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 19, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    @Dark_Harlequin, the only person to blame is Monty, each indivdual is responsible for thier own actions.

    As for him being 'discarded' England can only select XI players for a team, and with a fit Swann he isnt going to make the team in England when there are 4 bowlers, even with 5 bowlers you would rarely see 2 spinners bowling in tandem unless the pitch was heavily broken and cracked or crusty.

    That also rules him out as a second spinner in all but the Sub-continent, and possibly some Carribean tracks.

  • Harlequin. on August 19, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    @Tendonebyashooter - I know what you are saying there with Monty, despite some excellent performances for England he did get discarded quite quickly and probably unfairly in some peoples eyes. I think we could all see how this could mess someone up, but harsh situations like this are why sportsmen get paid so much. And given the choice, most of us here would be more than happy to be discarded unfairly if it meant playing for England.

    @Paul Cranswick - I would love to see that squad! It's only a matter of time before Moeen gets his blue cap!

  • on August 19, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    As there's at least one very upset Panesar-admirer amongst the commentators: First, as adults, we are all responsible for our own drunk-and-disorderly actions and Mr Panesar, esq, is no exception. Second, as a spinner, Panesar was too limited. Relentlessly accurate, true, but at the price of flight and variation and at metronomically the same pace. Kerrigan is far more complete as a spin bowler, able to vary his flight with more balls, as in different types of deliveries and character. That said, there have been some wonderful moments from Monty in the past and in a sense, he can be said to have been the English Bishan Bedi, which is quite some accolade.

  • on August 19, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    I do feel we could have looked at rejigging the batting a little with winter tours in mind. My XII (because 12 ought to be enough) would have been:

    Root, Cook, Moen Ali, Ballance, Bell, Stokes, Eckersley, Woakes, Broad, Kerrigan, Rankin, Swann

    More than likely I would have gone with Ali as a back up spinner and played the four seamers. Anderson needs a rest. No point in risking Pietersen. Bairstow has not really done it and Eckersley deserves a go to get the back up spot to Prior. Trott rested to let Ballance and Moen Ali see which one has the temperament for the big stage.

  • on August 18, 2013, 23:06 GMT

    I am happy for him and Monty deserves all that he is getting

  • TenDonebyaShooter on August 18, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    Moores is wrong. Kerrigan won't play and there's no reason for him to be in the squad, other than as a snub for Panesar. In truth the England selectors for once in their lives should accept their own responsibilities; perhaps if they'd taken better care of Panesar, this situation would not have arisen.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 18, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    He's right in saying that Swann 'gives it a rip', Swann has been the biggest turner of the cricket ball in the world for several years now, and he is long-established in this role. Kerrigan is going to have his work cut out trying to match Swann, but what's important is if he is given a chance in a dead rubber game like the next test, he goes into it relaxed and bowls tightly. He could be a serious proposition for the future.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 18, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    He's right in saying that Swann 'gives it a rip', Swann has been the biggest turner of the cricket ball in the world for several years now, and he is long-established in this role. Kerrigan is going to have his work cut out trying to match Swann, but what's important is if he is given a chance in a dead rubber game like the next test, he goes into it relaxed and bowls tightly. He could be a serious proposition for the future.

  • TenDonebyaShooter on August 18, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    Moores is wrong. Kerrigan won't play and there's no reason for him to be in the squad, other than as a snub for Panesar. In truth the England selectors for once in their lives should accept their own responsibilities; perhaps if they'd taken better care of Panesar, this situation would not have arisen.

  • on August 18, 2013, 23:06 GMT

    I am happy for him and Monty deserves all that he is getting

  • on August 19, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    I do feel we could have looked at rejigging the batting a little with winter tours in mind. My XII (because 12 ought to be enough) would have been:

    Root, Cook, Moen Ali, Ballance, Bell, Stokes, Eckersley, Woakes, Broad, Kerrigan, Rankin, Swann

    More than likely I would have gone with Ali as a back up spinner and played the four seamers. Anderson needs a rest. No point in risking Pietersen. Bairstow has not really done it and Eckersley deserves a go to get the back up spot to Prior. Trott rested to let Ballance and Moen Ali see which one has the temperament for the big stage.

  • on August 19, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    As there's at least one very upset Panesar-admirer amongst the commentators: First, as adults, we are all responsible for our own drunk-and-disorderly actions and Mr Panesar, esq, is no exception. Second, as a spinner, Panesar was too limited. Relentlessly accurate, true, but at the price of flight and variation and at metronomically the same pace. Kerrigan is far more complete as a spin bowler, able to vary his flight with more balls, as in different types of deliveries and character. That said, there have been some wonderful moments from Monty in the past and in a sense, he can be said to have been the English Bishan Bedi, which is quite some accolade.

  • Harlequin. on August 19, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    @Tendonebyashooter - I know what you are saying there with Monty, despite some excellent performances for England he did get discarded quite quickly and probably unfairly in some peoples eyes. I think we could all see how this could mess someone up, but harsh situations like this are why sportsmen get paid so much. And given the choice, most of us here would be more than happy to be discarded unfairly if it meant playing for England.

    @Paul Cranswick - I would love to see that squad! It's only a matter of time before Moeen gets his blue cap!

  • YorkshirePudding on August 19, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    @Dark_Harlequin, the only person to blame is Monty, each indivdual is responsible for thier own actions.

    As for him being 'discarded' England can only select XI players for a team, and with a fit Swann he isnt going to make the team in England when there are 4 bowlers, even with 5 bowlers you would rarely see 2 spinners bowling in tandem unless the pitch was heavily broken and cracked or crusty.

    That also rules him out as a second spinner in all but the Sub-continent, and possibly some Carribean tracks.

  • DesPlatt on August 19, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    @Jmchilhinney. You've got it right now . Simon Kerrigan has never been a one day specialist and indeed even now is not the top one day spinner at his county ; that has been Stephen Parry for a few years. Even after Gary Keedy's departure , Kerrigan hasn't always made the Lancashire one day team until Parry's recent injury.

  • 100_rabh on August 19, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    Not long back after England's India tour it was being suggested in English circles that England should prepare turning pitches for home Ashes with Monty and Swann both in the eleven. Dont know what wrong Monty did on-field to get himself out of the pecking order?

  • on August 19, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Kerrigan I get. But why Woakes? A bowler who is barely a trundler and bats like a dedicated ODI ot T20 player. Why?