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Finally, a prominent cricketer conjured up the courage to come out and say what has been on the lips of ordinary cricket fans the world over. I have been claiming for quite some time that Ashley Giles is a right royal hack who does not deserve the commendation he receives from his Ashes-winning team mates. England won the Ashes a year and a half ago due to the performances of Flintoff, Pietersen and Jones.
Ashley Giles has been retained in the squad over the past few years for two reasons:
- England did not have a spinner, at the time, who was significantly better than Giles, ie. someone who could genuinely manufacture wickets.
- They were afraid of breaking up a winning squad by dropping Giles, much in the same way Dinesh Mongia was part of India's 2003 World Cup team although he had been woefully out of form for a good few months.
He was also full of praise, and rightly so in my view, for Monty Panesar. He describes Panesar of being "of greater concern" to the mighty Australian batting line-up. I cannot quite understand if this is a genuine appreciation of Monty's efforts since his international debut earlier this year, or whether it is a cunning attempt to catch him off-guard. Knowing the slyness Australian players can incorporate into their pre-series mental disintegration tactics, I would bet that there is a bit of both in that comment.
There are very few spinners in world cricket who can make such a comment with authority. MacGill belongs to this select list. The man should have been given many more international opportunities earlier in his career. He has out-bowled Shane Warne on most occasions they have played in the same team. A bit feisty, maybe, but MacGill is a champion in his own right.
For this assessment of Giles, alone, Stuart MacGill you are officially a legend.
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