Lancs sign Shazad

This move surprised me. It surprised me when Shazad left Yorkshire, to be fair, but even then I expected him to go to Somerset. They badly need a bowler and he is a good fit. Really, it never occurred to me that he would cross the Pennines. Now that he has, it forces the questions of where he will fit in to the side and how much of a boost it actually will be.

I suspect that he will come in roughly in place of Saj Mahmood. Saj has been our third seamer for a while and whilst he can be brilliant he is also erratic and using Shazad in his place would probably be an improvement. That said, whilst Shazad is certainly talented he seems to wax and wane as well. It was not so long ago that he was almost a full time England bowler, but since then he has fallen off rather a lot. If the change of scenery and change of coach can bring about a revival than he will be an excellent weapon, but otherwise he might just end up giving the Championship players a rest in the pyjama matches. I worry about that second possibility, as if that happens he might be an overall detriment to the side. His behaviour problems are fairly well established and I think Lancashire more than a lot of sides need to stay tightly knit and disciplined. It was a truly team effort that won us the title last year anything that jeopardises that team mentality is a huge risk.

On the whole, however, I think it is more likely than not that he will come good. He has a lot to prove right now and a very coach in Peter Moores. Whilst most of Lancashire’s problems this year have been with the bat, we have conceded big scores and especially big partnerships at inopportune times and I think that more than anything else has cost us. If we can have a solid second or third seamer to help stop that, it will be a major boost.

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