Canterbury Conundrums

With TKC in the IPL there has never been a better time to give Tom Banton an extended run in the Championship side. Discuss.

Trying to guess the team Jason Kerr will choose for any game is always fraught with difficulty. Partly because we are never given anywhere near the full picture on individual players fitness and partly because, many would argue, it requires a degree of understanding of the workings of the Somerset brains trust that remains unfathomable.

Listening to the mental somersaults on last evening’s Always Look On The Bright Cider Life podcast as Messrs Shepherd, Gibson, Everett and Wanless named their XI only emphasised the difficulties such a question poses.

So rather than try to second guess the in-second-guessable I’m going to pick my team for the St Lawrence. There have to be caveats, primarily about the fitness or otherwise of Tom Abell and Craig Overton and whether Lewis Gregory can make a genuine contribution with the ball in a four day game. So I’ve bracketed the names who would come into my side if neither is fit.

Lammonby – yes it was only a pre-season game against Exeter MCCU but 97* is 97* and there may be signs that he will bowl as well. I still believe that 2020 was not an isolated season but a genuine indication of long-term capabilities

Dickson – still not convinced but in the absence of Umeed there aren’t many alternatives unless Abell is persuaded to open or Banton is given the “Zak Crawley” role

Abell (Renshaw) – if TA’s bulky hamstring is an issue I’d move Renshaw up one place in the order

Renshaw (Goldswiorthy) – now is the time for Matt Renshaw to reproduce his domestic form which gets him in or close to the Aussie test side

Banton – I have no doubt that he has the talent to deliver runs in red ball cricket. He needs to be given an extended run in the side and a licence to play his natural game. I fear this will never happen while Kerr has influence and Banton will leave the club at the end of the year. If he does another club will benefit Tom this huge talent. 

Rew – no further comment needed. Unless you consider the option of him playing as a batsman and Banton having the gloves in which case I’d swap them in the order


Overton (Green) – was what we saw against Exeter just easing in or an indication of his current capabilities? What I struggle to understand is, if CraigO is not fit to bowl in red ball cricket why was he picked on Sunday? Would it have been better for him to continue his rehab post-surgery and perhaps bowl in the nets during the intervals?

Aldridge – He has to be given a run in the side again this year. His 2023 season was one of real progress, his bowling may be a little erratic still but he has the ability to hurry batsmen and take crucial wickets. I am all on board the Kacey Train

Davey (Leonard) – fitness is always a concern for JD if he doesn’t make the mark I’d go all in with Old Ned over Jake Ball

Bashir – please prick him even though it is early April and avoid the all seam pitfall.

Finally, back to last night’s podcast. Anthony Gibson, when talking about Jamie Overton, commented that he has become so much better as a player under the influence of Alec Stewart team al. You have to ask the question that the Somerset hierarchy don’t seem prepared to do, ‘what can we change to address this glaring issue?’…. Just saying.