England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 2nd day August 22, 2013

Moores hopes for Kerrigan support


Peter Moores, the Lancashire coach, has backed Simon Kerrigan to bounce back from the chastening start to his Test career and has pleaded for the bowler to be given support to do so.

Kerrigan endured a horrid first day in England colours. Confronted with a wicket offering him little and Shane Watson in top form, he looked paralysed by nerves and struggled with his control. His first two overs cost 28 and subsequent spells contained several long-hops and a head-high full toss. He did not bowl on the second day.

But Moores, who has coached Kerrigan in county cricket for the bowler's entire first-class career, is insistent that the left-arm spinner is a much better bowler than he showed at The Oval on Wednesday and suggested he will demonstrate that if given the opportunity.

"The shame is that a lot of people will not have seen Simon bowl before and they may judge him on that performance," Moores told ESPNcricinfo. "He has bowled really well, on all surfaces, for us over the last few years. He has dismissed some top batsmen. He must have bowled very well in the lead-up to the game, too, to convince Andy Flower and co. to select him.

"I absolutely believe he has the strength of character to bounce back from this. He has proven that time and again at every level. He had to fight to win a first team place ahead of Gary Keedy at Lancashire and he had to fight to win a Lions place.

"He just needs to relax and have some support. Confidence is everything for a sportsman. It is the petrol in their engine. And, on the first day of the Test, Simon was just a little bit careful with the way he bowled.

"At his best, he is looking to bowl with pace and he has been brilliant at times. But it is all about feel and confidence and, against a good side and on a very good batting pitch, he was just a bit careful.

"He has always tended to walk up to the crease and then explode into his action, a bit like Shane Warne. But the way he bowled reflected that he felt under a bit of pressure and that, on a fresh pitch, the circumstances couldn't get much tougher.

"But he has a chance to learn from that. The great thing about being a bowler is that he will probably have another chance over the next few days to show what he can do and I know he can steel himself to come back strong."

Moores, who was England coach in 2007 and 2008, also suggested that Kerrigan's elevation to the England side had come a little earlier than anticipated and that he would continue to improve.

"Most people do have to play a few games to feel comfortable in that environment," Moores said. "Spin bowling is a complex skill and Simon is only 24. Spinners often mature a bit later as they learn not just the skills required, but when to apply them.

"There is no doubt that the Monty Panesar situation affected selection and we did not expect the opportunity for Simon to come so soon. But he is a fine young bowler and I know he will learn from this experience and it will make him stronger."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Balaji on August 24, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    He got savaged on his debut. So did a certain SK Warne. Let us wait and watch. Not everyone has a great debut. Marvan Attapattu went through a horror period in the early part of his career. So did Ken Rutherford. I am sure there must have been others.

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Cook has the bowlers he has, and the remit to win the match. If he can't trust Kerrigan to do anything other than bowl half-trackers and full-tosses, then best to leave him in the outfield. The finger should point at the selectors, who seem to have foisted on the captain and coach a player they don't rate. Also, they seem to have been listening to the Lancashire Old Boys, (Vaughan, Atherton etc) who have been bigging Kerrigan up in the media. I thought England were beyond that.

  • Charles on August 23, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    Our selectors thought Simon Kerrigan was good enough so based on their decisions of the last 4 or 5 years which have been excellent you can be sure that Kerragan is good enough but nerves got to him . Unfortunately for him unless we bat really well today he will not be risked unless the match is safe and his chance to go to Aus will have gone - Monty will eat some humble pie , Essex will support him and he will be on the plane. I am certain SK will come back and be stronger for the experience.

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    You do have to wonder what, if anything, was going on in the selectors collective minds in the first place. Last week, for England Lions against Australia, Gary Ballance scored a rapid century and was overlooked for this Test. Kerrigan took 1 for 66 which was apparently enough to justify selection.

    Kerrigan may, in time, prove to be a good Test spinner but he certainly was not ready to be thrown into the Test arena, and particularly not on a pitch that, as Surrey members will tell you, does not spin.

  • steven on August 23, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Does anyone actually expect Cook to give him another bowl, even if Australia bat again. As for as England management are concerned, Kerrigan is too much of a liability. They have tried nothing to help him (allowing him to bowl again once Watson was out would have helped) and have decided to discard him all together. I am a huge Kerrigan fan and was so disappointed to see his nerves get to him. I bet he never expected to play himself and had no time to prepare himself mentally for the prospect. Watson was brilliant and took full advantage of the situation to make Kerigan's nerves worse. Overall zero marks all round for England. The selection was wrong, the preparations were wrong, Kerrigan's mind set and bowling was very wrong, and the resulting management to help him was non existent. Bad couple of days all round and I doubt he will play for England again.

  • John on August 23, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    Unless he does well in the second innings he is unlikely to be selected ahead of Panesar for the Australian tour. I feel for the bloke but if England end up 100 behind on first innings (likely) and the Aussie team is after quick runs is Cook brave enough to risk him?

  • Des on August 23, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    Loads of pathetic comments over the last two days by people who've never failed at anything. There are no half measures now days ; in an era of awful journalism and people used to watching 2020, you are either hero or zero whereas the truth usually lies in the middle.

    I admit to being a big fan of Simon Kerrigan and was delighted he was selected for the squad. I thought he was there just for the experience as everything about the England set up suggested that is how they do it.

    I saw SK bowl his first spell in first class cricket and get his first wicket ( Ian Bell).

  • John on August 22, 2013, 22:31 GMT

    Rather know now than later when he's called up in Sydney with the score 2-2 and everything to play for down under next year.

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    Stop with this considered and we'll thought through analysis! I demand you get someone in who will write a hatchet job despite never having seen Simon bowl before yesterday