Originally Posted by Gowza
the age argument is no longer valid, at 24 nearly 25, there are a number of players who've been at the international level for 2 or 3 years or longer by that stage and are doing much better. alistair cook is 24, averages 44 and has played 44 tests, de villiers is 25 has played 52 tests and averages nearly 44, irfan pathan is 24 has played 29 tests averages 31 with the bat and 32 with the ball, ishant sharma is 20 has played 18 tests with a bowling average of 33 (not great but decent), shakib at 22 has played 13 tests with a batting average of 26 and bowling average of 30.
there are also guys like tendulkar (was 16), ponting (was 21), graeme smith (was 22), dan vettori (was 19 or 20) who start out young, play well from the get go and end up really good players.
the fact that he is young but has already played 49 tests should be a major benefit to his performance but he's still not doing well enough.
24 is young, but it's not so young that a player should be this inconsistent especially when he's been on the scene for 8 years.
This is a valid argument (and one I've used before myself), but there are important exceptions to bear in mind.
The young players you name have all had the advantage of developing their cricket in established set-ups. Bangladesh is a young test nation and the infrastructure that Ash would have been confronted with when he started out would not have even been of the standard of the Under-19 team under McInnes that Shakib came into.
All I'm saying is that Ash has plenty of cricket left in him. Even if he were to "take a break"/be dropped, he shouldn't take it to heart and should instead motivate himself to come back stronger.
He continues to disappoint, but because of his relative youth, he still has enough time to prove himself as a truly great batsman. Alternatively he could be remembered as a great waste of talent. His legacy is entirely in his own hands...