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South Africa v England 2022/23

‘He hasn’t even had a look’ – Ben Duckett criticised for ‘reckless’ dismissal in South Africa ODI

Ben Duckett walks off following his dismissal in the first South Africa ODI
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Ben Duckett came in for criticism for the “reckless” nature of his dismissal in the second South Africa-England ODI, holing out off the bowling of Keshav Maharaj for 20.

Duckett’s dismissal left England 82-3 in the 17th over, a position from which they recovered to post 342-7.

The diminutive right-hander came in with England 27-1, which soon became 33-2 as Dawid Malan joined Jason Roy back in the pavilion. The early wickets continued England’s slide from the first ODI, in which they collapsed from 146-0 to 271 all out to lose a thriller.


Duckett grafted hard to reach 20, but decided to up the ante when Maharaj was introduced, coming down the track and attempting to hit him for six. Instead, he lost control of the stroke and picked out substitute fielder Janneman Malan in the deep.

The nature of Duckett’s dismissal was picked apart by Kevin Pietersen and Shaun Pollock, speaking on commentary at the time.

“I just think that’s reckless from Duckett,” said Pietersen.

“I’ve got to agree with you,” added Pollock. “I do not see the point in what has just unfolded here. He’s taken his time, he’s faced 32 deliveries, he’s got himself to 20. He hasn’t even had a look, that is the first [second] delivery that he’s faced from Keshav Maharaj. Use of the feet, just trying to take him on, he’s nowhere near the length, just goes through with the shot, closes the face, and as he makes contact he knows it hasn’t gone long enough.

Pietersen pointed out that it was the choice of attacking stroke that let Duckett down. “I also don’t think that that’s his game,” he said. “I think he’s a sweeper, a reverse sweeper. I don’t think he’s the bomber that comes down the ground to bomb it to the biggest boundary.”

Duckett has enjoyed successful returns to England’s Test and T20I set-ups in recent months, and is looking to nail down a spot in the ODI side with spots vacant after the retirements of Ben Stokes and Eoin Morgan. He now averages 29.20 from five ODIs, with his only appearances before this series all coming in a 2016 series against Bangladesh.

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