The stars of 2021
We’re one month into 2021 and it’s fair to say things aren’t exactly looking up. Covid still remains an enigma of sadness whilst the inept government is still in power. However, over here I hope to let you forget about those things and focus on the beauty of cricket so in this post I'm going to be giving my 3 players who I believe will have a stellar 2021 BUT only on the English domestic scene! The reason I'm doing this is it would be easy to say well Jofra, Root and Stokes but I'm challenging myself to think a bit harder and think of 3 players who most likely won’t win a 3 Lions cap this year but will be pushing for one come the end of it. I will be listing a batsmen, a pacer and a spinner that I believe will light it up this year, whether that be in the BWT/County Cricket or the 100!
So to start with I've gone for my batsman. Whilst I was close to picking one of Phil Salt and Will Jacks who, despite mediocre BBL, I fully expect to torment bowlers in the blast and the 100. Instead, however, as a fan of the longer forms of the game I couldn't look past Somerset's Tom Lammonby. Lammonby is a majestic opening batsmen who looks seriously good. Fantastic driving down the ground and working the ball off his hip he was the find of the last edition of the BWT and his 100 at Lords was a superb innings. Lammonby may not be a truly attacking batsman but he has nearly every shot in the book something which is crucial in red ball cricket in helping you go onto those truly big scores. What impressed me most about Lammonby was how well he was playing Simon Harmer (who i must add won’t be on this list!) and spin in general throughout the tournament something which is very valuable at international level. Lammonby scored 3 very impressive hundreds last summer and if he can continue growing and making those hundreds into big ones (which I won't be surprised if he does) one would expect he would make it on the plane to Australia.
There are actually quite a few good pacers around in the English domestic scene. Reece Topley was a close one but England clearly wanted him for their set up so i decided against it, Saqib Mahmood hasn’t hit his straps with England but i expect him to light it up in the white and red ball arenas this year. Jamie Porter is a terrific bowler but suffers from a common English disease of just not being quick enough to worry the selectors minds. After much deliberation I settled for another Somerset player, Craig Overton. Whilst Overton has been in England squads he is usually a reserve and lets be honest is probably England's 5th choice seamer at best. But in county cricket at the moment there is surely no one better. Overton is tall, gets good movement and has developed that extra bit of gold dust in a yard or two of pace. Overton terrorised batsmen with the red Duke's last time out and may it come as no shock to us when he does it again this year. Clearly valued by the England set up as one for the future (hence the pace bowling contract) Overton may feel that with one good season and a poor summer from one of th English seamers he could be sending another Jaffa down the way of Marnus Labuschagne.
For the spinners it was a very simple one but I will throw in the honorable mention of Dan Moriaty who was magnificent last time out, but on a strong personal bias it simply had to be Matt Parkinson. Ever since I saw Parkinson's bowl about 2 years ago I have fallen head over heels for the Lancashire Leggie. His action is easy on the eye whilst he gets beautiful drift and an exceptional amount of turn. His T20 strike rate is one of the best going and he is a truly magnificent bowler. Whilst England do like him alot it appears to be more in the test side of things so for this slot i decided to include Parkinson the white ball bowler. One thing I fully expect Parkison to do is be one of the dominant forces not only in the blast (yet again) but be one of the standout stars of the 100 for the Manchester Originals. Parkinson is a young spinner and should be judged as such, hopefully he isn’t ruined by being rushed into the set up and we let him blossom.
So there we have it! My 3 stars of 2021, I fully expect Lammonby, Overton and Parkinson to be truly dominant in the domestic scene this year. Do you agree? Let me know over on Twitter @therunoutblog1