Russell baffled by England's treatment of Foakes

By Sports Desk March 07, 2019

Jack Russell thinks Ben Foakes has been harshly treated by England and urged the selectors to stop "chopping and changing" the Test side with the Ashes on the horizon.

Foakes was named player of the series in Sri Lanka, averaging 69.25 after scoring a century on debut in Galle and impressing with the gloves.

The wicketkeeper-batsman was dropped for the third and final Test in the series defeat to West Indies as Keaton Jennings was surprisingly recalled and Jonny Bairstow went back behind the stumps.

Former England wicketkeeper Russell believes Foakes was hard done by but says Bairstow can go from strength to strength if he retains the role.

Russell told Omnisport: "I wish we'd stop chopping and changing because it's doing my head in and that's no good. I don't think it's good for anyone.

"I think Foakes is the most natural keeper and was unlucky to get dropped, that surprised me. He came in and did really well. I don't know if they are trying to cut corners, but I thought he was going to be there for a while because he looks a good all-round cricketer.

"I don't understand why that had to happen. I don't know the real ins and outs but there were some interesting selections [in the Caribbean], let's put it that way.

"Having said that, Jonny does a good job. He is getting better and better all the time. Jos [Buttler] will obviously not do the job in the longer format.

"The more Jonny keeps the better he will get and he has improved a lot since South Africa, where he had one or two issues. He's come on a lot and he's the real thing now."

Related items

  • Hall: CSA must avoid exodus of Kolpak youngsters Hall: CSA must avoid exodus of Kolpak youngsters

    Andrew Hall says Cricket South Africa (CSA) must let young players know how highly they are regarded to prevent the cream of the crop from signing Kolpak deals.

    The Proteas were rocked last month when seamer Duanne Olivier turned his back on his country to sign a three-year deal with Yorkshire.

    Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw are among the other South Africa internationals who have signed Kolpak deals, while Morne Morkel joined Surrey after ending his Proteas career.

    Former South Africa all-rounder Hall expects more to follow, but wants CSA to do everything in its powers to stop promising talent from slipping through the net.

    He told Omnisport: "It's a tough one. It's more prevelant to the younger players who are coming through the system. 

    "Cricket South Africa must earmark players and have open, honest conversations with them to let them know they have been identified and are being watched.

    "They must be encouraged to keep playing and earn a place. There are times when you can't get into the side because of the players who are already established.

    "I think back to having to compete with Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener - three world-class all-rounders - so it was difficult to get into that side and you have to keep working at it.

    "But I was spoken to by the people in charge and told I was next in line. It gives you reassurances and that must happen now as the young players coming through are the ones, on the whole, who are going to be targeted."

    Hall can understand why Olivier opted to ply his trade in county cricket.

    He said of the 26-year-old's move to Headingley: "I would imagine that contract would have been signed last year, I don't think it's the type of thing that at the back end of him doing exceptionally well in the Tests, he'd say 'I'm just going to go and sign a Kolpak deal'.

    "I think it was done prior to him having this good run of form where he's played in the system in South Africa [and] done well, he felt he's not going to get given a long run in Test cricket so because of that he signed a Kolpak deal.

    "He's got to think of his future and we all know you only get a limited amount of time, so in his position he'll know he will be well looked after at Yorkshire.

    "He could end up being there for the next five or 10 years. It's a catch 22 situation for him, but I would imagine with the money being talked of that he was offered, he would not make that in international cricket."

  • Wigan 'seeking clarification' over Edwards' intentions Wigan 'seeking clarification' over Edwards' intentions

    Wigan Warriors say they have been seeking contact with Shaun Edwards to "clarify his intentions" after the Wales defence coach stated he would "consider all offers" for a new role.

    Edwards last year agreed to take over as head coach of the Super League champions in 2020, as he will vacate his position with the new Six Nations winners after the Rugby World Cup.

    The Wigan legend said after Wales sealed the Grand Slam on Saturday that his future is up in the air, given he has not signed a contract with the Warriors.

    Edwards' next move remains unclear following a statement released by Wigan on Monday.

    "Wigan Warriors are aware of quotes from Shaun Edwards regarding his future contractual arrangements." the struggling Warriors stated.

    "Following the conclusion of the Six Nations and Shaun's comments, we have been seeking dialogue with Shaun directly since Sunday to clarify to Wigan his intentions."

    Edwards has been linked with a return to Wasps and he said he would be open to any opportunities.

    "I haven't signed a contract," he explained. "The only team I'm not going to go to is Wales, because the new coach [Wayne Pivac] is going in a different direction.

    "He wants to do something different. So that's where I'm at at the moment. So as it stands, come the end of the World Cup I'm unemployed."

    He added: "I agreed with Wigan and thought we would sign a contract,

    "But then Wigan said, 'it's okay, we'll sign one later', and I thought that was unusual. And that was nine months ago. I agreed to go to Wigan, but I never signed a contract.

    "I'll consider all offers, league, union. All I can say is that I haven't signed anything with anybody."

    Adrian Lam is currently in charge of Wigan, his appointment for the 2019 season having been announced alongside the hiring of Edwards from 2020.

  • Ward-Prowse called up by England as Delph, Stones and Loftus-Cheek withdraw Ward-Prowse called up by England as Delph, Stones and Loftus-Cheek withdraw

    James Ward-Prowse has been called into England’s squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro.

    England boss Gareth Southgate is a long-time admirer of the Southampton midfielder, who has hit a rich vein of form under Ralph Hasenhuttl at St Mary's.

    Set-piece specialist Ward-Prowse has scored six goals in his previous nine Premier League games, including finding the net in each of Saints' last three outings – a run concluded by a stunning free-kick winner against Tottenham.

    The 24-year-old, who won his only previous senior cap against Germany in 2017, will join up with Southgate's squad on Monday following a trio of withdrawals.

    Midfield duo Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Fabian Delph are out, while Delph's Manchester City team-mate John Stones remains sidelined by a groin injury.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.