Thursday, 14 March 2013

Michael Klinger- a (superficial) analysis

The Jessop Tavern View rarely needs an excuse to put some meaningless cricket on the TV and while away a few hours, but up until now we haven't had the opportunity to watch the 'Big Bash' t20 competition from Australia.

However, with Sky conveniently airing endless live matches from Down Under over the Christmas period and the Shire having recently signed South Australia's Michael Klinger as captain for the 2013 season, we had the perfect opportunity to settle down in front of the box and enjoy some mindless slogging, all in the name of 'research'. And then spend three months thinking about writing this piece.

Conveniently, the official site has recently published a two part interview with Klinger where he talks a bit about his career so far, his IPL experiences and his motivations for joining Gloucestershire. One thing which we find slightly concerning in the interview and from looking at his career record is a clear preference for the shorter forms of the game. Klinger is coming to Bristol off the back of a mediocre Australian domestic season, where he's averaging just 19 from 9 first class matches with a highest score of just 56. (He'll fit right in with those figures). He's fared better in the one day arena, with 341 runs at 42, but reserves his best performances for the Big Bash, where he has a highest score of 71 and has a solid strike rate of 114.

So, what does all of this tell us about Klinger and his likely impact? Not much, really. The title of this article was a bit of a clue. What the Jessop Tavern View is worried about is that we've signed a captain whose best performances in recent years have been confined to the shorter form of the game. That's not a bad thing in itself, but Glos did finish bottom of Division Two of the County Championship last year and you would think that our 4 day performances are the most pressing issues facing the new skipper. We're probably over-analysing his 4 day performances, but in 11 first class appearances for Worcestershire in 2012, he scored 606 runs at 35 with just one hundred. The Jessop Tavern View is mildly concerned that we may not be getting our money's worth from a man, who at 32, may be better suited to T20 thrashes as opposed to constructing a long innings on English early season pitches.

Time will of course tell, and Klinger said all the right things in his interview with the official site- apart from the bit about being pleased to receive an email from Alex Gidman offering his help ahead of the new season. Those are the kinds of emails which need to go in his junk mail folder, or better yet, be deleted without reading.

Anyway, onwards and upwards with the first pre-season friendlies only 8 days away. It snowed here in London yesterday, so we're not imagining the players are exactly desperate to pull on the triple-layered sweaters. Even they are full of a bit more enthusiasm than us, wait until their cold hands feel the sting of the first booming cover drive from  Marcus Trescothick down at Taunton in 10 days time...

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