Neither Trescothick or Vaughan had great county records before their England call ups but succeeded at the top level.We all do it; I'm as guilty as anyone, perhaps more so. We have an opinion and we attempt to back it up with figures.
In recent threads there have been attempts to compare Bairstow with his England ODI rivals. There are comparisons between Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, and someone has just started looking at Azeem Rafiq's figures.
I just want to make the point how CRUDE the average is as a measure of performance, especially in the one-day versions. Bairstow has played almost all his games, Yorkshire and England, batting at 5, 6 or 7. Every time he goes in, he's either trying to accelerate the scoring against wide-spread fields, or he's repairing the damage of an early collapse.
Okay, so he doesn't face the new ball, but he is quite happy to sacrifice his wicket in the closing-overs slog. And he's done this in FC and Test cricket too.
Likewise Rashid. I have never, EVER seen him play for himself as a batsman. Even in this latest game, he was run out off the final ball of the innings, which partly explains his List A average of about 21. I have seen him do this in FC cricket, too, quite frequently I think, though I can't back up that opinion with 'facts'.
Rafiq, this season, has bowled against desperate batsmen who are having a slog with the game already lost. So he's gone for loads of runs, and taken loads of wickets. Has he bowled well or badly? You would have to be there to know, and to understand what's going on. I thought he bowled well against Lancashire, which is the only RL50 I have attended, to date.
Coming from an averages-driven culture, where the scorer was charged with preparing up-to-date averages before every selection meeting, I can only applaud the modern professional game - and I suspect club selection is more enlightened than in my time.
I certainly hope so!
But in more recent times we have seen England pick the form county players and they have generally struggled. Lyth, Carberry, Vince, Robson good examples