Andre (not Andrew as my spell checker prefers to call him) Ryan Adams. Now aged 36, and three quarters, joined the Outlaw’s in 2007 – you would imagine after a highly successful international career with New Zealand.
Since joining he has been the main-stay of their attack. 25 wickets in three-and-a-bit games this season, 67 from 16 last season (average of 22.61) and 68 the year before – including the wicket of Chanderpaul to seal the title County Championship . He was successful in 2008 and 2007, did well at Essex for three seasons before that, and has been winning trophies for Auckland during the English winter since 1997. Combine that with some mighty biffing down the order (good enough to score three first-class tons and eighteen fifties) and spritely fielding and you have a very fine player.
So a highly successful international career? No – I don’t understand why though. He made his one and only Test match appearance against England at Eden Park in 2002, a match that New Zealand won and in doing so squared a three-match series 1-1. So you would assume Adams didn’t have he best of games? Wrong again. He took 6 for 105, the six being Vaughan, Flintoff, Giles, Hussain, Foster and Hoggard, but was never picked again. In era where New Zealand have remained just about competitive, and only just, it really does seem like they missed a trick with Adams. A highly effective bowler in all conditions, but especially those that offer a little for the seamer, like Trent Bridge and the majority of New Zealand’s home Test match grounds.
My assumption is that Adams for too long was labelled a one-day player. Not because of amazing success in one-day cricket, he bowling and batting averages are far stronger in first-class cricket (the opposite is the case for many bowlers), simply because he could whack a ball at number 8 or 9. That is why his international career reads 1 Test match and 42 ODI’s. His ODI performances were solid but he did not set the world alight – one-day cricket is not his strongest suit. If he was a rabbit with the bat like Chris Martin, his record might have read 42 Test’s and 1 solitary ODI.
I hope England learn a lesson from Adams’ career, and apply that knowledge to the career of Chris Woakes, the Warwickshire bowling-allrounder. Woakes currently averages 33 with the bat and 24 with the ball in First-Class cricket, and 18 and 35 in List A. He has played 4 ODI’s and 0 Test’s. He like Adams, will always be a stronger 4/5 day performer because of the type of seamer he is. Unless the selectors realise this, Woakes will have to bat like Hoggard and Fraser to ever get a chance of playing a Test for his country.