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Last of the 2011 Whine – Joe Sayers

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(c) Dave Morton

Championship

10 games, 581 runs @ 30.57

CB40

6 games, 71 runs @ 11.83 (s/r 62.83)

FL 20/20

7 games, 154 runs @ 25.66 (s/r 127.27)

What should we have realistically expected from Joe Sayers this season? He was, after all, a player returning from a debilitating illness – one from which it can be difficult to recover, one that can finish a sportsman’s career.

In the end he didn’t score anything like the weight of runs required to compensate for the loss of Jacques Rudolph; but apart from a bruised foot that ruled him out of the Taunton match, remained fit and available for selection all season. I’d guess you’d say his summer was disappointing in the short term but heartening for his future in the game.

The season had started on a low, with two scratchy innings in the opening fixture against Worcestershire leading to a rather ruthless demotion into the seconds. But after making runs away from the first team, Joe was recalled for the championship game at Trent Bridge, and from there put together a string of useful scores before a blow to the foot knocked him out of the side and seemingly knocked him out of his rhythm too. As with Steve Patterson and Richard Pyrah, it was an example of a Yorkshire player picking up an injury just when they’d started to find form.

What followed later in the summer was an unexpected run in the 2020 side, one where blocker turned into slogger, as Sayers ended the competition with the second highest strike rate amongst Yorkshire’s recognised batsmen. That new found freedom didn’t seep into his four-day game however, and concerns about his first-class run rate persist. You’re left wondering if there’s anyone at the club who can help work the quick singles into his game that it so badly needs.

The feeling that Sayers had a less than firm grasp on a first team place lasted for most of the season, until in fact he was given a chance to captain the side in the absence of Andy Gale and Jacques Rudolph. Those two games he had in charge revealed a confident leader, one who garnered positive reviews from those in the Yorkshire camp – a reminder that now Joe has recovered from illness, Gale is no longer the only captaincy option in town.

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Written by ThatCricketBlogger

September 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

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