By Nick Hoult, at Lord’s
Ben Duckett will never have an easier chance of winning a double hundred in the Cricket Trials but does it tell us anything? This was such a one-sided match that it became quite unsuitable for the First Ash Test. At least that’s the time in between.
To be fair, Duckett is taking advantage of his chance, unlike Crawley, who raked in 56 points and missed his chance on Thursday night. The McCullum era revived Duckett’s career. He was abandoned by the previous regime for too long because he was deemed unprofessional and unyielding.
This leadership couldn’t help but care about what had happened in the past and Duckett, for his part, had grown up, too. He is not easily led, has settled down off the pitch and is an apathetic character who seems to accept success and failure with the same attitude.
He thought his Experimental career was over and was determined to make the most of this opportunity. He admits that he ran out of the field while playing in Pakistan even though there are hundreds of such people being greedy here. He has a much better first place record than Crawley (42 on average) and a tighter defense.
Ireland has given him too much width and Australia, at a faster pace, will threaten the outside line and provide sloppy, slip-on play. That will be his challenge. At least now he will have some confidence, but without much idea of what awaits him.