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5 County Cricket Players Struggling for Form

Damian CooperContributor IMay 27, 2011

5 County Cricket Players Struggling for Form

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    CARDIFF, WALES - MAY 27:  Chris Tremlett (R) of England takes the wicket of Tharanga Paranavitana (L) during day two of the 1st npower test match between England and Sri Lanka at the Swalec Stadium on May 27, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Michael Ste
    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Many of the top performing county cricket players in England in recent seasons are struggling to find the same kind of form so far this summer. But having not yet reached the Twenty20 stage of the season, there is still a lot of cricket to be played, with around 12 four day games for each side to come.

    Here's a look at five players that are too good to stay quiet for long, and whose class will shine through sooner rather than later.

Adam Lyth

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    LEEDS, ENGLAND - APRIL 20:  Adam Lyth of Yorkshire pulls the ball during the LV County Championship match between Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire at Headingley on April 20, 2011 in Leeds, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
    David Rogers/Getty Images

    Yorkshire youngster Adam Lyth has not been doing his First Class batting average any favours at all this season, with only three scores over 50 in 15 innings. With a high of 64, Lyth has had his wicket removed on eight occasions this summer for less than ten runs.

    Lyth averaged over 50 in the four day format of the game last term, and had three hundreds and nine scores over 50. With 39 and 14 in his two innings this week, he is still horribly short of his potential.

    His county management will be wondering but will most likely keep the faith and give him the opportunity to open again against Sussex on Sunday. He may benefit with a move down the order if he fails again, but Adam Lyth won't be quiet for long, and will find a big score any day now .

Stephen Moore

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    BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 17:  Stephen Moore of Lancashire plays a shot during the LV County Championship match between Warwickshire and Lancashire at Edgbaston at Edgbaston on May 17, 2010 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Aussie born and England eligible Moore has been an inconsistent performer for both Worcestershire and now Lancashire. But anyone who has ever seen him in full flow will know there is no disputing his class, which is also demonstrated by the 15 First Class tons he has to his name.

    Batting at an average of 25 last term and 35 this, Moore has only managed two scores over 50 in seven attempts (not including Pro40) opening the order this summer. That might not be an horrendous start to the season, but if he doesn't push on soon, he will be back closer to last season's very poor average.

    It could actually be argued that Moore is terribly in form rather than out of form, as he has never really been able to perform to his full potential. But as opening bat for a Division One contender, and at the age of 30, the time is now for Stephen Moore.

Neil McKenzie

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    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 24:  Neil McKenzie of Hamphire strikes a boundary as wicketkeeper Richard Johnson of Warwickshire looks on during the Clydesdale Bank 40 match between Hampshire and Warwickshire at The Rose Bowl on April 24, 2011 in Southampto
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Hampshire's McKenzie has been a thorn in the side of many an opponent with his ability to frustratingly linger at the crease. But the only place he's been lingering during this season's County Championship is in the changing rooms.

    With just one score above 50 in nine innings, he hasn't been occupying the bowler's thoughts too much at all, and is averaging just 21. McKenzie's international Test average is over 37 with a highest score of 226. And with the same county side last season, he posted a batting average of over 40, with two hundreds and four fifties.

    Hampshire were beaten by Lancashire this week in Division One, and McKenzie was unable to put up a fight batting at number four. He's not one for giving up his wicket cheaply too often, so expect him to be back annoying bowlers in the not too distant future.

Nic Pothas

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    SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 06:  Nic Pothas of Hampshire CCC poses for a portrait at The Rose Bowl on April 6, 2011 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
    Warren Little/Getty Images

    Staying with Hampshire, Pothas has been one of the most impressive Wicket-Keeper batsmen in the County Championship for several seasons, but he has started slowly in front of the stumps this year.

    Pothas has just one fifty in nine innings, with an average of just over 16. Contrast that with an average in the thirties last year, and an amazing average of 74 in 2009.

    He won't thank me for putting him out to pasture, but Pothas is now 37 years old, and some may consider it a season too far. But his class is definitely permanent and his form temporary, and he has every potential to begin to stand up to be counted as the season progresses.

Chris Read

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    NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 05:  Chris Read of Nottinghamshire shows his frustrations as Yorkshire pile on the runs during the LV County Championship match between Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire at Trent Bridge on May 5, 2011 in Nottingham, England.  (Photo
    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Another glove man who has out performed almost every Wicket-Keeper in the league with the bat for season upon season has not been making hay this summer.

    Chris Read, has always had the reputation of being the best English Wicket-Keeper batsman in recent times. And although it feels like he has been around for years, he is still only 32 years old. 42, 75 and 45 are his four day game averages for the three years prior to this.

    With just two scores over 50 in ten innings so far, Read will be hoping for better times with the bat in 2011. He does seem poised to pounce however, as he hovers under an average of 30 with a long way to go in the season.

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