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David Lloyd: England must trust Shane Warne’s judgement and pick Matt Parkinson

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

David Lloyd has urged England to hand a Test cap to Matt Parkinson, who was highly rated by Australian spin legend Shane Warne.

Parkinson is yet to make his debut for England, despite the national side’s long-standing search for an attacking spinner. He was first called up into the Test squad in 2019 but is yet to play international cricket even after picking up 102 first-class wickets in 32 games, since making his debut in 2016. The 25-year-old took 36 wickets at an average of 20.55 in the County Championship last year, including Adam Rossington’s wicket off a delivery that can be a strong candidate for ‘Ball of the Century’.

Since the start of 2020, England’s spinners have picked up 120 Test wickets at 35.02, the average ranking sixth amongst all Test-playing nations. Their lead spinner, Jack Leach, has picked up 45 wickets in 12 Tests but his lack of effectiveness across conditions has been a rising concern.

Lloyd, writing in The Daily Mail, believes that England should let go of their concern for leg-spinners and Parkinson’s relatively slow bowling speed, and trust the judgment of the late Warne. “England, meanwhile, have traditionally had a suspicion of leg-spinners but I would trust the judgment of the late, great Warne and he really rated Parkinson. The debate has always been over the relatively slow speed Parkinson bowls but Shane said that didn’t matter as long as he spins it.

“I’ve watched Parkinson closely at Lancashire. His development has entailed gaining control while retaining spin and working on the straight-on ball from out of the front of his hand. In other words, the flipper.”

He went on to compare the bowling styles of Warne and Parkison, adding that the youngster could get clobbered occasionally, but his ability to bamboozle batters should not be ignored.

“The leg-spinner and flipper were the only weapons Warne really had for all his talk about zooters, tooters and scooters. There was no googly as such. But when the ball was in flight from Warne it would swing in towards the right-handed batsman before spinning away sharply. And that’s exactly what Parkinson does.

“So let’s not worry about his batting. It’s up to the dopey blokes above him to get 400 or 500 on the board and give the bowlers something to work with. Yes he will get clattered occasionally. Kevin Pietersen would clatter Shane Warne. That’s leg-spin. But Parkinson can bamboozle people. For goodness’ sake get him in the side this summer.”

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