England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 1st day

Kerrigan suffers on nightmare debut

Thrown in at the deep end and despite a promising record, Simon Kerrigan produced as wretched a performance as a specialist bowler has in Test cricket for many years

George Dobell at The Oval

August 21, 2013

Comments: 58 | Text size: A | A

Simon Kerrigan's opening two overs in Test cricket proved expensive, England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 1st day, August 21, 2013
Simon Kerrigan endured a chastening international debut © PA Photos

Like any cricket-mad boy, Simon Kerrigan would have dreamed of this day, the day of his Test debut, for much of his life. But in all his dreams and fantasies - even in his nightmares - he cannot have thought it would be like this. On the biggest stage, he fluffed his lines quite horribly, reducing a packed Oval to something approaching an embarrassed silence. It was painful to watch.

Kerrigan is better than this. Even if you dismiss the 48 first-class wickets at 21.56 apiece he has taken this season on the grounds that all but one were were claimed in Division Two of the Championship - and you shouldn't, it is the same division where Joe Root scored the runs that earned him selection - his record in the first division in 2011 and 2012 was impressive, with 68 wickets at a cost of 28.95.

He was magnificent in 2011. He only played four games and they were invariably on helpful wickets, but he bowled with pace and bite and ripped the ball with such energy that his body contorted with effort. He looked full of confidence and full of promise.

He was almost unrecognisable here. His run-up - such as he has one at present - was different, his bowling action was different and, most of all, he looked as nervous as Count Dracula's paperboy. Approaching the crease off a couple of slow paces, he hardly used his front arm, failed to complete his action with his left arm and barely pivoted his body as he has in the past. As a result, he landed his first few deliveries apologetically and without pace or spin. Shane Watson, no stranger to run famines, was not going to let such a feast go to waste.

Like any bowler, Kerrigan has been on the wrong end of fine batting before. Last season he was unfortunate enough to come up against Kevin Pietersen at his absolute best on a flat track in Guildford. Kerrigan suffered but he did not wilt. Even when Pietersen was thrashing him over trees and marquees, Kerrigan looked confident and competent.

That was not the case here. Here he looked diffident from the start. He didn't look as if he felt he belonged and he didn't look as if he felt he deserved it.

There was always a concern that Kerrigan might bowl a release ball an over - he is 24 and still learning his trade, after all - but instead he bowled four or five. Desperate long hops gave way to hideous full tosses as Kerrigan produced as wretched a performance as a specialist bowler has in Test cricket for many, many years.

James Anderson, a colleague at Lancashire, afterwards spoke warmly of the "quality bowler" who had been "fantastic for Lancashire for the last four years" but it will take more than kind words and encouraging slaps on the back for Kerrigan to bounce back from this. Like Bryce McGain, who did not bowl nearly this badly on his own chastening Test debut, he has found the world of Test cricket can be harsh, cruel and unforgiving. There is no guarantee of a happy ending.

As with any setback, it will be the way Kerrigan responds that may define him. He is not the first to endure a tough start to his Test career - Shane Warne conceded 1 for 150; Graham Gooch was out for a pair - and he could bounce back even later in the game. The pitch will certainly offer him more as the match progresses.

Or it may prove in time that Kerrigan simply lacks the heart for Test cricket.

That seems unlikely, though. He claimed five wickets on his first-class debut in 2010 and, as Lancashire fought for their first Championship title since the dawn of time - well, 77 years - in 2011, he raised his game in a way that suggests he revelled in the big occasion.

So something has gone wrong. Something has gone horribly wrong if Kerrigan can produce a performance so far below his best in the biggest game of his career to date, failing to do justice to his substantial talent.

Perhaps this call just came too soon. A couple of weeks ago, Monty Panesar was considered England's second spinner - he came close to playing in Manchester - and Kerrigan was continuing his development smoothly with Lancashire. He had played a couple of first-class games for the England Lions, but he had spent little time with the squad and will have not known too many of the senior players or staff. He was seen as one for the future.

While the likes of Root and Chris Woakes were given lengthy stints on tour with the full Test party before they were thrown into the fray, Kerrigan's selection harks back to the bad old days of English cricket when players were used and dropped with callous disregard for their long-term development. Many is the cricketer - be it Graeme Hick, Mark Ramprakash - who was ruined by such treatment.

Kerrigan's experience provides a reminder why the England management rarely experiment. It provides a reminder of the value of the Lions system, of development tours and age-group teams. It is because they have learned how important it is that players move into the England team feeling comfortable and confident in their surroundings and in their colleagues. While Panesar's odd behaviour can hardly have been predicted - had he not disgraced himself, Kerrigan would barely have warranted a mention in selection meetings this summer - there has been a collective failure in the set-up on this occasion and Kerrigan is as much a victim as anyone.

It is an irony that, on the day when they finally plucked up the courage to select five bowlers, England were effectively reduced to a four-man attack due to Kerrigan's capitulation. Certainly this was a day that will do nothing to convince the management to experiment more often. The last time England selected two debutants was against Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2010 and it is notable that neither of them - Steven Finn and Michael Carberry - remains in the side. Carberry has still only played one Test.

Woakes' struggles were as nothing compared to Kerrigan's. He was largely unthreatening but, after an expensive first spell, he responded with some economical, mature bowling and was only denied a maiden wicket by a successful review of an lbw decision by Shane Watson. He may well be tarred with the same brush as Kerrigan but, on a desperately flat wicket, he produced a modestly respectable performance.

Whether he has the bite, as a bowler, to be an international allrounder remains to be seen, though. Pitches such as this are, pretty much, the norm in Test cricket these days and the prospect of Woakes featuring in a three-man pace attack in India or Australia remains unlikely.

But there will be beneficiaries of the debutants' struggles. For a start, it highlighted the valuable role performed by Tim Bresnan in recent Tests. His ability to retain control, to allow his colleagues to be rest and to supply tight spells and pick up the occasional wicket was sorely missed. It is not surprising that the England management remain hopeful that he will return in time to play a role in the Ashes series in Australia.

The day also provided a reminder of Panesar's skills. It is unthinkable that Panesar, whatever his faults, would have conceded 28 in his first two overs and he has never delivered such an array of long hops and full tosses. In contrast with the young pretender to his title as the best left-arm spinner in England, his skills were made to look far more refined and sophisticated. His transgressions may prove that much easier to forgive as a result.

Perhaps Chris Tremlett will have benefitted, too. It is just about possible that Tremlett would have found life in this pitch absent for his colleagues. But it is much more likely that he, too, would have found it slow and unhelpful. His reputation is unharmed by not playing. It remains the case that players' reputations often improve most when they are out of the side.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by EdGreen on (August 23, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

1) Carberry should have played far more than one test and may yet do so - smashing classy player. 2) Finn's absence is due to loss of form - he's a fine long term prospect 3) Tremlett's 5-50 on the flattest track Chester-le-Street has seen in a lifetime indicates that not only is he back, but would have provided a nasty prospect - Broad's real physical threat in the Aussie first innings shows that with strength and height (CT has more of both) a bowler can extract something. His batting this season has taken a leap forwards too. 4) Poor old Onions - had he been fit he'd have been a decent option and would have posed a threat on this track

Its noteworthy that the selection of two debutants against a weak opponent in 2010 was of a bowler and a batsman - this selection was not only foolhardy but cruel.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (August 23, 2013, 3:53 GMT)

I can understand nerves affecting Kerrigan.. but my God, the English media should stop over hyping their players. Some of them are simply not good enough for international cricket. Kerrigan might bowl well later on but he simply doesn't look like an international bowler. Even Woakes looked ordinary. Stop with the hype and be frank with your assessment of young English players dear media.

Posted by   on (August 22, 2013, 19:19 GMT)

Lets not draw any conclusions after only 6 overs he bowled. I am sure he will bounce back. May be in the second innings. Give him a break

Posted by   on (August 22, 2013, 15:53 GMT)

@Scottstevo. Most of Kerrigans wickets seem to have been bowled, LBW or caught at slip - i.e close wickets. They account for over 75%. England have a ton of talent to come. Moeen Ali for a start. How much more that guy needs to do to get picked I really don't know. A better spinner than Kerrigan - plus 1200 runs so far this season and a great fielder.. The one day players will end up playing more as well. Hales, Buttler etc. They need to mature but they will and are. No worries there mate. Hell Bairstow and Root have only joined in the past 12 months and both will play for years to come. Finn will be back and better. Meaker... As for 90mph plus bowlers. We have quite a few now, even Worcestershire have one (Russell). Tell you what. Why not talk about your own team being 3-0 down and lost heir 3rd ashes series in a row rather than about a topic you clearly know nothing about?

Posted by njr1330 on (August 22, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

To my mind, it can't be just coincidence, that Kerrigan had his best bowling in 2011; i.e. when Lancashire played largely at Liverpool and not O.T. Liverpool has recently been a 'result' pitch. I'm not saying Kerrigan isn't good enough; I think he is; but one must be careful in making decisions based on Lancs. 2011 performances.

Posted by   on (August 22, 2013, 13:10 GMT)

@SirViv1973 - in theory you are correct but, and a big but, beating a full-strength England would give Australia such a boost but beating an understrength England side containing five rookies would give them no psychological edge. Conversely, such an England side winning would very seriously dented Australian confidence. Nevertheless, even if England had not played Kerrigan and Woakes but gone for Bairstow and either of Tremlett or Finn, do you seriously see them beating Australia on the strength of the first day's play? Remember, between them Anderson, Broad and Swann bowled still bowled 67 of the 90 overs and Australia would have been somewhere around 290-4 anyway, a strong position.

Posted by Tom_Bowler on (August 22, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

Horrible, horrible start for Nancy. I feel desperately sorry for him and hope he can produce something in this game, doesn't need to be much but a couple of wickets or even a good, tight spell would be something to put in the credit column against yesterday's massive debit.

Funny how when a player comes through the age group teams and the Lions that certain people claim that proves the strength and value of Championship cricket but when a player is largely a product of the Championship and has a stinker it isn't mentioned.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (August 22, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

@Henrik Loven, I have to disagree. It's not just about the overall scoreline, if Aus win this test it can only serve as a boost to their confidence & self belief ahead of the return series, so why give them that opportunity? In terms of experimentation I think it's pretty clear to most that Woakes is simply not an option as a 3rd seamer. He does have good FC stats but his bowling lacks any real penetration & his white ball bowling for eng this year has been awful. If there was to have been any tinkering then I would not have objected to prior having been rested & Baistow having been given the gloves. That would have allowed Taylor to have had a chance at 6 & maybe gone some way to answering another delimea in terms of who the extra batsman should be this winter.

Posted by salazar555 on (August 22, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

The guy took 50 wickets at 20 this year and I'm sure it wasn't with bowling like that. Nerves can do funny things to people and it's clear that is what happened.

I've never heard of people playing a test for England before they have played a one day game so I would think the step for Woakes who has played a few one day games was less stressful than it was for Kerrigan.

Still, it's down to him, he needs to try and show the form that got him selected for the squad or he may never get another chance

Posted by sharidas on (August 22, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

In this age, when sensationalism is everything, I am not surprised by the negative comments on Kerrigan. It's something like judging Prime Minister Cameron after his first day in office.

Posted by notimeforcricket on (August 22, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

I think it is pretty obvious what happened. Up until his recent humiliation, Monty was inked in as 2nd spinner in Australia. As he now is near certain not to be selected, they had to try Kerrigan to see if he could cut it. they obviously did not want to drop Swann so needed to find a way to play 3 seamers plus Kerrigan/Swann. Hence, Woakes got picked. Kerrigan cannot be this bad. He obviously lost his nerve totally. who knows - he might surprise us. To be quite honest, I would send Monty to a therapist and try to patch him up for the Australian tour. Otherwise 2nd spinner could be one of the older guard. Tredwell perhaps could tour as they are unlikely to play 2 spinner in 1 game so a reserve offy is fine

Posted by itsthewayuplay on (August 22, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

The reaction to Kerrigan's performance yesterday which must have been disappointing for the bowler himself has reached almost levels of mass hysteria particularly from the so-called pundits. For a little perspective, it's worth remembering that Tendulkar took 78 ODI games to register his first century in that format, and that at a time when he was at his peak of his powers. Who knows whether Kerrigan will balze a trail of glory as a spinner, but he hasn't committed a serious crime, he's had a bad first day at the office. It's probably a combination of too many channels with lazy overpaid commentators with inadequate analytical skills, and the age of instant gratification that has led to this over-reaction.

Posted by AlanHull on (August 22, 2013, 11:19 GMT)

I have played cricket for many years at all sorts of levels and have never seen such a poor display of bowling shown by Kerrigan, not even on the beach. That is the first time I have seen a spin bowler no-balled on height (over shoulder height as opposed to waist height for quicker bowlers).

Posted by   on (August 22, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

Root has bowled 19 overs and taken 3 for 35 in this series. Seems like good numbers. I guess he didn't get a bowl yesterday because he may have made the selectors look stupid for playing another spinner.

Posted by   on (August 22, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

@SirViv1973 - Not at all! 4 - 0 or 3 - 1 in this series makes no difference at all except to power-hungry fans. What matters is that the return series Down Under currently stands at 0 - 0 and the selectors have an opportunity to get some answers ahead of that. In my opinion they didn't go far enough as the three most urgent questions in order of priority were/are:

1. Is Bairstow good enough, esp when it comes to the judgement of DRS, that he can fill the spot as reserve keeper?

2. With Bresnan out, is Woakes good enough to be his replacement both batting and bowling-wise?

3. Is Kerrigan ready to be brought as the second/reserve spinner?

Perhaps the selectors already had the answer to the first question and wisely decided that two new bowlers need the most experienced keeper available. Two further questions unanswered are who's the third opener (Compton? Carberry?) and what of Ballance and/or Taylor as extra batsmen?

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (August 22, 2013, 10:48 GMT)

At least if a debutant gets pair he is so fast out of view that he can nurse his wounds privately. But here Kerrigan had his whole nervous system on view with the slightest reaction of synapse or neuron ready to be analysed. Viscera such as they heaved,too.( Anyone questioning my biology knowledge should Know I do too considerably) Indeed it was Panesar's day, the return to the fold becoming a near certainty. After alol Panesar for all his faults acts as scoring tourniquet usually, and he is now on the path to rehab. Or else there is Tredwell for 2nd spinner. About Tremlett, I am not so clear. I think he will feel quite insulted,as are the Surrey faithfull. ( this one at least.)After all we want a win here.Hopefully though he will put Durham on a spit today. I think though Bresnan would have enjoyed this pitch.

Posted by ARJa on (August 22, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

Watching Kerrigan, all I can think is for him to make a Test debut playing for England, there must have been a mistake somewhere. I have seen part time bowlers with a better bowling action than him. His body does not move properly in terms of movement towards the bowling crease or the delivery. There is no work on the bowl. I bowl similar deliveries. But then, that why I am not a professoinal cricketer. If people are getting paid to do what he does, life must be a dream. Not a nightmare. Surely, there is a better spinner than this in England. Even Samit Patel or James Tredwell (even though off break bowler) would have been better. And let's not forget this guy can't bat at all. Maybe England are trying to lose on purpose out of respect for the great Australian teams which ruled the cricket fields at the turn of the century.

Posted by 69denise on (August 22, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

He looked like a right arm bowler having a go at bowling some 'lefties'.

Posted by greyhair on (August 22, 2013, 10:18 GMT)

Dear all: I've been full of hope for Kerrigan, but was struck by an interview he did a week or so ago - I think in the Observer - where he said he wasn't ready for Test cricket. Well, yesterday he proved it, but I wonder if the selection team checked in with him about the ins and outs of that remark. It seems he knew himself and they should have taken his word for it, so just brought him into the squad for the experience with no intention of picking him. Now it's pick up the pieces time, primarily for him, but also for Cook, other teammates, Flowers, Miller et al. Work with him, including while the rain's falling, to rediscover the composure that enables him to bowl with the technique, confidence and relaxation, ergo imagination and menace, so clearly described by G Dobell and contrasted with yesterday's psychologically, ergo physically, cramped and enfeebled display. All the best to him, now and for the future!

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (August 22, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

It was an odd decision to pick Kerrigan and seemed to be based on the hope that England would win the toss for the 4th time this series. As soon as Australia won the toss, the decision to play Kerrigan seemed foolish. He may be more useful in the 2nd innings on a pitch that has seen more wear and tear but he did look horrible. Then again, Shane Watson looked to intimidate him and on another day it might work the other way. Cook did well to only give Kerrigan 2 over spells, to limit the damage and minimise the damage to his self-confidence and his stats. In the 2nd innings he will be more dangerous, and perhaps the next time Watson takes him on he will play one risky shot too many.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (August 22, 2013, 10:12 GMT)

The decison to give both Woakes & Kerrigan their debuts in this game has be described by many as left field, I would go further & say it was damn right irresposible of the Eng management. We should have been picking our strongest XI and not letting the Aussies off the hook particularly given the return the series is only a few months away. IMO a 5 man attack is only an option if Bresnan, Broad & Swann are part of it, given that they are all proven test match bolwers & can all bat. Woakes reminds me of the convyer belt of bits n pieces players we saw playing test cricket for Eng in the 90s & is nowhere near good enough to bat at 6 or be an effective bowler at this level. As for Kerrigan he has had a fine FC season but his wickets have been taken in div 2. With the issues surrounding Monty I can understand Eng wanting to look at another option & it may have been viable if Bresnan were available, but to play him & Woakes together was just a very very poor decison.

Posted by   on (August 22, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

Two further facts that could be pointed out are the introduction by Cook was perhaps not the wisest as facing was a set Shane Watson who had just savaged Kerrigan in the Lions' game. After the first two miserable overs, Kerrigan bowled a further six that "only" went for 25, a marked improvement while not good.

The second fact is that Monty Panesar's 2-133 off 54 overs at second division Colchester on his Essex debut hardly suggest that Panesar would have set the Oval alight.

Posted by   on (August 22, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

Like you say Mr Dobell, it's how he responds that will define him. After two tests Shane Warne had 1-228 and at quite a late stage during his third 1-335...

Posted by IsaacTheCat on (August 22, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

Could any more pressure have been put on a very promising bowler? He must have realised that the entire team had been rejigged to include him. Then he was put on early against a batsman playing the innings of his career - and who had scored heavily from him just a few days before. If they'd waited a session or two and given him a couple of overs against the lower order just to settle his nerves, then he perhaps could have played a big part in the second innings. I hope he does better today. And that, if he doesn't, he'll get another chance next summer.

Posted by thewho on (August 22, 2013, 9:32 GMT)

Hope the poor lad can bat and do an Agar at this stage looking like a short test career despite the pitch Couple of stange selections by England perhaps they have been having drinkls with the Australian selector!

Posted by Big_Chikka on (August 22, 2013, 9:12 GMT)

just doesn't look like a international bowler. yet! now question is what happens to him and how is he to be managed? assuming the test isn't a wash out, i'd give him the ball, nothing to lose.

Posted by   on (August 22, 2013, 9:12 GMT)

Let Monty get over his problems and bring him back and take him to Oz. Kerrigan got slaughtered he is clearly not ready at this level!

Posted by cricketcricket1987 on (August 22, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

A few nerves from the lad on the first day of his test debut in front of a packed house but he'll be back in this test match I'm sure

Posted by gsingh7 on (August 22, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

feel for kerrigan here. but if this is best bowler in domestic competition then it says volumes about batting quality there(or bowling stocks). test cricket is not the place to learn ur trade. its the place to showcase them. for kerrigan it is a important lesson to learn skills before venturing into the ruthless rigors of test cricket. a struggling batting lineup like australia have literrally bowled him out of attack,guess what strong batting lineups of india and south africa wud have done to him?

Posted by   on (August 22, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

Please can someone explain. I have noticed a trend on here when an English or Indian bowler or batsmen does poorly its the old still young, stii learning line comes out.

But when its another nation's player its like automatically the whole country has no depth.

Posted by Kitschiguy on (August 22, 2013, 8:17 GMT)

I was surprised that people were commenting on Woakes' pace. H&e bowled as fast as Ryan Harris and faster than all of the other Australian bowlers. Especially Siddle and Starc who generally languish in the low 80s and Watson who barely hits 80mph.

Posted by ArthursAshes on (August 22, 2013, 8:16 GMT)

Let's be honest, Kerrigan was a left field selection, totally out of the blue and inconsistent with the way England do things. It's not as if he bowled Australia out in the Lions game, they got after him there as well. Perhaps they wanted to send a message to Monty, if so it's proving to be an expensive one.

Selecting Woakes also in a 5 man attack, in part because of his batting, with 2 spinners also added pressure on him as it meant he had to step up as first change. He did some good things, but no way is he the third best pace bowler available to England right now.

The policy also meant that England really needed to win the toss, bat first, bat big, bring the 2 spinners in later. That was nullified straight away, pressure on for both Woakes and Kerrigan in conditions hardly helpful. The latter couldn't handle it.

Seriously, does anyone now expect Cook to give Kerrigan much of a bowl from here, especially if things get tight? He doesn't look ready for this level.

Posted by TheProfPak on (August 22, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

He doesnot look like 'ready' for test cricket yet. Pakistani left arm spinner Raza Hassan, on his T20 debut, made lives of Warner and Wattoo miserable just recently. I don't think he will last long for this English side.

Posted by milepost on (August 22, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

He wouldn't get a bowl in club cricket based on that performance, it was shocking. As a person I feel for the guy, I didn't think it's nice for fans to 'enjoy' a failure like that, he's just a 24 year old guy and a packed Oval is not a nice place to unravel. I do hope the Aussies get their fight back and capitalise on the poor form of many of the England players and remind the debutants that test match cricket is a tough caper though. I'm sure they will, the England psychologist might have a busy week (for a change!). As a cricket fan I hope Kerrigan lands a few and gets some confidence it's not nice to see a young guy unravel like that but as an Aussie I hope he goes wicketless. Woakes looks alright actually, lets see how he gets on with the bat.

Posted by   on (August 22, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

Warnie actually started quite well. He did only get 1/150 and Ravi Shastri got a double, but Shastri says he bowled pretty decently "you will bowl worse than that and get five wickets".

Kerrigan's introduction is more reminiscent of McGain, Imran Tahir in Australia, or Ian Salisbury.

Is he mentally strong enough to bowl well under pressure ? I don't know. It does look like he had lost it from the first ball tbh. He was just 'putting' it there

It wasn't like Watson battered him into submission (though the previous Lions game might have been in his head). Watson just helped himself.

It could actually have been a lot worse, I saw a lot of poor deliveries just go for singles.

I do know that even if he was belted to kingdom come by KP and fought back, that's hugely different, because this is in the public eye.

No-one will have seen him getting belted by KP, county grounds have three men and a dog. A full house will have seen Shane Watson belting

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (August 22, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

@TheBigBoodha, While that's true, the English will be hoping otherwise but there arn't too many fairy tails in sport. life's not fair and not everyone will live happily ever after after starting badly, it's tough for him. he looks a good lad so i feel sorry for him even as an Aussie supporter but if this is the next best spinner in the UK, they are in trouble.

Nathan Lyon cops a lot of flack, but he was 23 on his debut after being a mere groundsman picked out of nowhere but he still got Sangakarra out first ball and went on to take a fifer. It's not just about the wickets, it's about his demeanor too, this guy looked like he had just seen a ghost. He is in the green zone a lot in terms of revs on the ball and at 24, it's highly unlikely he is going to be world beater.

Posted by SlipsGlance on (August 22, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

@TheBigBoodha: Warne actually got Shastri in the end so it was 1/150, but gee, he got quite a cricket lesson along the way. Thommo 0/110 was another unpromising debut.

Kerrigan bowled a handful of deliveries that showed signs what he could be like - a bit of loop and some drift in - but it looked like his fingertips were sweating glue. I hope he's able to bowl a tidy, nerve-settling spell in the second dig.

Siddle looked ominously comfortable last night. Fingers crossed we milk this pitch and don't see him with ball in hand till at least the last 40 minutes today.

Posted by PFEL on (August 22, 2013, 6:42 GMT)

@Carl Sinclair, Warne didn't start in a similar way at all. He bowled pretty well on debut (not great though), and was just at the end of some great batting. Kerrigan bowled absolute rubbish and comparing that to Warne's debut is ridiculous.

Posted by   on (August 22, 2013, 5:27 GMT)

why did Cricinfo not update Kerrigan's and Woakes's player profile pages with their Test Match debut statistics ? As I remember, Cricinfo would always update its statistics with the ongoing matches. Are you being tardy or have you changed the way you mantain statistics in your database ? I am intrigued to know

Posted by MAK123 on (August 22, 2013, 5:24 GMT)

Just an unlucky chap - one can imagine the trauma he must be going through at the moment

Posted by landl47 on (August 22, 2013, 4:51 GMT)

It's not how Kerrigan (and for that matter Woakes) started off, it's how they come back that will determine whether they have the fortitude for test cricket.

Posted by SlipsGlance on (August 22, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

"it will take more than kind words and encouraging slaps on the back for Kerrigan to bounce back".

Kind words and encouragement? Maybe TV gave a false impression, but with one exception (Bell) you would have thought no England player wanted to be seen in the same postcode as Kerrigan. No eye contact, little encouragement and plenty of frigid, disapproving body language from the senior players in the infield.

The coverage I was watching had ads between overs, so perhaps I missed all the hugs and smiles in the breaks.

Posted by android_user on (August 22, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

Feel bad for him. Warne started in a similar way. it isnt all over for him.

Posted by harry93 on (August 22, 2013, 3:05 GMT)

So Division 2 results shouldn't be dismissed because they are what Joe Root in the team? The same Joe Root, who apart from scoring 180 after being dropped on 6, has done nothing. Take that innings away and, out of the Aussies, only Siddle and Lyons average less.

Posted by BobFleming on (August 22, 2013, 2:54 GMT)

Young cricketers (spinners in particular) have enough to deal with without getting on the end of hatchet-jobs like this. He's 24, doing a job that most don't master until they approach 30. He bowled poorly, choked on the pressure, most likely, but he's still less than 10 overs into an international career. To laud Panesar after his insipid performance in NZ and mediocre championship performances this year demonstrates the media's typically short memory. Hackery like this is the reason why the press is despised by both players and fans.

Posted by Vishnu27 on (August 22, 2013, 2:23 GMT)

The less said about this debut the better, as it was atrocious & cringeworthy. As an opposition supporter, I felt for the guy. He has been thrown to wolves, & against a guy who had flayed him a few days earlier. Australia have been "pick & mix" this series, but what were England thinking? This guy is the ultimate pie chucker. It would've come out far better for most park cricketers.

Posted by humdrum on (August 22, 2013, 1:53 GMT)

Watson was certainly weeping with joy as he waded into kerrigan.However,he can take heart from a certain shane warne who had an identical test debut when shastri tore into him and scored a double.That said,their skills are as different as chalk and cheese.Now that wato has gone,let us see how he bowls to the rest.

Posted by   on (August 22, 2013, 0:55 GMT)

When Swann is nowhere near ready to sing his swan song, why get panicky and Kerri Gun?

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (August 22, 2013, 0:10 GMT)

Kerrigan isn't the only debutant to have a rough intro into test cricket. I seem to recall a certain S Warne getting 0-150, or something like that.

It was also a first day track, and not ideal for spinners - although it is certainly yet another dry turner coughed up by the Pommy Brains Trust. Sooner or later England had to get the rough end of the pineapple and lose the toss when it counted, so one cannot feel sorry for them.

Kerrigan will get his chance - and in very favourable conditions - in the second innings, as long as Australia don't get a huge first innings lead.

Posted by GrindAR on (August 21, 2013, 23:44 GMT)

What happened to James Foster???

Posted by disco_bob on (August 21, 2013, 23:42 GMT)

Australia would have been relieved Monty wasn't playing. (pun intended)

Posted by   on (August 21, 2013, 23:05 GMT)

Monty must have pissed himself laughing when he saw Kerrigan's bowling card!

Posted by   on (August 21, 2013, 22:48 GMT)

Samit Patel too. Next time they need 2 spinners in England they may play him alongside a specialist seamer. Wouldn't of been such a bad option today either.

Posted by Dangertroy on (August 21, 2013, 22:34 GMT)

Canny selection by both sides really, as whoever loses will say this match was an experiment in a dead rubber, and that they hadn't picked their best 11. Then again, as they have both done this, the winner will claim they won, even without there best 11.

Posted by OhhhhhMattyMatty on (August 21, 2013, 22:18 GMT)

Kerrigan's display was awful. When a spinner is bowling deliveries they are genuinely attempting to spin and the rev counter doesn't even register due to the lack of revolutions on it, it is an awful performance. Kerrigan's action has always been inferior to the far more rhythmical and graceful Danny Briggs, but Kerrigan's FC record is beyond compare to his other young rivals (Dockrell, Rashid, Briggs, Riley, Rafiq etc.). However, it will be 3 years before we see him again (and we will!). Tredwell has just jumped to number 2.

Chris Woakes on the other hand, just needs a decent display with the bat (hopefully at 7 and not 6!!!) in this game and he could well book his place in the team for the next 10 years. He outbowled Broad, could have had 2 wickets easily and with some development could easily become a 1st change bowler and number 6/7 batsman for England!

Lees, Wells, Taylor(c), Ballance, Thakor, Stokes, Bairstow(wk), Woakes, Harris, Finn, Kerrigan.

The future of England!

Posted by Chris_P on (August 21, 2013, 22:09 GMT)

I hadn't seen him before, he looked confident walking onto the field, even a little cocky (in a good way) so it was surprising he delivered such a poor opening spell. No doubt his confidence was hit hard & he needed to show some character in his return to the crease. Again he showed nerves, but his figures suggest he has plenty of talent & I will never judge a player based on a day of cricket or even a test. These are the sort of games you introduce players to tests. Good luck to him in the future.

Posted by thejesusofcool on (August 21, 2013, 21:56 GMT)

Hang on, please, there's an innings to complete here & an Aus 2nd innings to come!

Who's to say he won't come good and grab a fivefa? He only needs to look at Shane Watson today-nearly decapitated & gets up to score another 85 runs.

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Australia won by 49 runs
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