I thought of the next poll on my way home tonight.
Chris Rogers - should we keep him or look elsewhere?
After this game he averages a shade under 47 in the four day game and just over 40 in one day matches. Not spectacular if one compares him to the averages attained by a Kirsten, Jones, Azharuddin, Katich or - dare I say it - Di Venuto.
Still, my gut instinct is that we could have done a lot worse and we could do a lot worse. There are many out there who have done far less this year and he has scored 300 more runs than anyone else in the side. Some might say that this was because the rest had batted so badly and others might also say that he should on an overseas salary.
I just cannot see where a better player might come from for next year. Between Test commitments and the IPL there are few, if any who will fancy a six-month slog around England in between. I'd be loathe to see us go for a rent-a-pro system where people fly in and out for a few weeks and then go home, pausing only long enough to pocket a cheque. I think Durham the best side in the country and they have a fine bunch of players, but Neil McKenzie, Albie Morkel, Sean Pollock and now Shiv Chanderpaul have played for them this season. Good players all, but real club men? I'm not so sure and none have pulled up trees with their performances.
We may delude ourselves that a big name might join us, but I genuinely don't see it. If we said thanks and goodbye to Rogers, we would probably end up, indirectly or otherwise, with another up and coming young Aussie. For every David Hussey there are a handful like Jon Moss, Travis Birt, Michael Slater, Shaun Tait - decent players all, but not really up to standard.
In 18 innings Buck now has 3 centuries and 5 fifties in his 788 runs. With the pitches now drier and harder, I could see him close to doubling that and taking his average over 50, which would be satisfactory by any standard. Sixty takes him close to legend standard but there are few who have sustained such a level.
He's a thoroughly decent bloke, a committed club man (he didn't need to play against Bangladesh) and a very good cricketer. The next few weeks will see if he can reach the fifty average, but if he does, surely there can be no further arguments?