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Category Archives: World Class Fast Bowlers

An emotional day in a lot of ways.  Not only was Graham Onions back on the competitive field for the first time in 14 months.  He took 5 for 53, nice, as he seems to have come back where he left off; taking plenty of wickets.

But it also saw our whole attack looking like the attack of old, the attack of Championship winning form.  Demolishing Yorkshire for 149 in 60 overs.  After us not getting any bowling points in this fixture this time last year it was just the best to see the attack back to how we know it can be.  I wish had been there.

Today was Ryan’s day he ended up with 6 for 47, and 9 wickets in total.

Mitch also took a total of 9 wickets in the match.

Hilf kept it tight.

So did Siddle.  And that is what you want from an attack.  I rather like this attack.

England did ok, we didn’t bowl too badly.  But on todays evidence – the Australian attack is better than ours.  Yes the pitch suited the seamers, and they were used well.  But our batters were on good form coming in from a triumphal win.  The Aus seamers all bowled peerlessly and with control, and that is what you need to win a match.  And win they did, by 267 runs, in competitive conditions.

Another venue, another pitch type, and we have Swann, but their seam attack works better than ours.  Well it certainly does when it played like it played during this match.

There are times when it does not matter who wins, as long as it has been a competitive exciting hard fought match.  A match were the balance between bat and ball is equal.  This does not happen as much as it should in Test cricket.

The Third Test at Perth, for a change the bowlers were on top, and I think that is as it should be.

He may have turned up earlier, except I made him captain of my fantasy cricket teams; Mitch, I know, unfair hobbling.  I apologise.

The majority of modern day fast bowlers are generally quite mercurial.  Something that gets glossed over as the post match stats stack up.  Speed and control are found regularly only in the form of the cartoon apparition – machine like, aggressive mean tall mega macho quick.  The real life version wangs it to 2nd slip and ends up in rehab faster than a rat up a drain pipe.  If not it just wasn’t ‘his’ day!  Harmisonesque, a descriptive that sums it up for most.

But we know this, we have been watching and waiting, and duly thrilled with the unplayable spell yielding 4 wickets for 20 runs.  And with 6 for 38 against a set of batsmen who up until now looked to be in fine form, a truly sublime performance.

Just a shame he had to do it to England!

Don’t forget, many things slip off the hook when elections happen and the ECB are one of those to have been handed a lifeline in the shape of the general election.  This means the thorny subject of the Ashes and its status as a ‘must be broadcast free to air event’ [the so called ‘crown jewels’ list of British sport] due to be decided this June, now of course will not be.

So there, the ECB will have lots of lovely time to think about how it can get cricket on the free to air box, whilst not pissing it’s purse string holder, Sky, off! How about some domestic Twenty20 finals at the very least?  Worth a barter surely?  And Sky could try to benevolent as part of it’s ongoing Ofcom squabbling?

Sky has been allowed to be the be all and end all of British Cricket, well by the ECB anyway….. and yet there is viewer appetite for cricket on free to air, even if it is not test stuff as had been shown by ITV 4.

Siddle b Flintoff 7. Australia 388 for 9. Andrew Flintoff celebrates his five-wicket haul as England close in on their first win at Lords against Australia for 75 years.  Andrew also becomes fifth man to get on Lord’s honours board with bat and ball.

How many kids saw this moment live?  How many kids saw this moment at the time of the Ashes series?  How many kids actually know this moment existed?  Ok the kids may have been at school – but there were 5 Ashes matches some took place over the holidays, how many kids caught up with Ashes action?

How many urban kids?  How many from the heartlands of the greenfield rich countryside? Deepest Oxfordshire; in a small village called East Hendred. The very kind of place you would expect cricket still to be thriving;  but the view from Mel, of the fantastic Ceci and Mel, of Swanning about fame, paints a rather grim picture even from the rather more privileged areas of the county.  “The people in the village (who all educate their children privately) provide the bulk of the junior cricketers for our village team; those in state education (including my own lovely offspring) just aren’t interested unless they come from a cricket mad family”.

If Mel is not cricket mad enough, then the sport has problems.

She wrote this in reply to a Wisden Cricketer blog on the subject of cricket, TV and the ECB, from March 25th.

Unless they are from a ‘cricket’ family, I’m afraid that all of my kids’ friends are ambivalent at best about cricket. Ask them to name a current England player and most have to think a bit before coming up with Flintoff or KP; most don’t know how to play the game because sport at their school is run on an elective basis – therefore they don’t opt for cricket as they know nothing about it. The Ashes victory last summer passed most of them by.

It’s a real shame as it’s not as if they are not interested in sport – most of them love to play or watch football – but now that cricket isn’t something you come across on terrestrial tv but something which you have to actively seek out on a satellite channel it just doesn’t register on their radar. The highlights package on Five during home games just isn’t enough.

As a consequence, our local cricket club’s junior section mostly consists of the offspring of the senior players.

Shame.

The ECB may be using Sky money for a few lucky children, but the sport as a whole is slipping from the national conciousness.

Do they make them like that any more?  Legendary England and Surrey cricketer Sir Alec Bedser has passed on.

236 Test wickets at 24.89 and a staggering 1924 first class wickets at 20.41, that really is quite something.  Perhaps bringing back the balance between bat and ball to the longer forms of cricket might be a fitting lasting tribute?

I suspend Mitch watch for a moment to turn my attention to my own team playing with the pink balls in the desert and what does Mitch go and do?  He goes and bags a 10 wicket hall against New Zealand.

10 for 132, his second test 10 fer and 41 wickets for 25.90 this season, looks like he has got over the Styris indecent!

Bret Lee; my favourite of the really fast bowlers.

If he makes a return to cricket, his test cricketing days are over.   It’s not really a surprise that he is bowing out of the longer form,  at 33 and with a history of injuries, one of which he has yet to overcome,  it’s very sad but also probably a good idea.  On the upside he was bowing at 95 mph during the pictured match, and took 5 for 49 in 9 overs.   So if his elbow comes good, it will still be a thrill to see him play.  Let’s hope his elbow does the right thing!

In the second ODI against India, England women’s top bowler struck with 5 for 22, a career best.  This time in a tight 3 run win over India.  Jenny Gunn also did well adding 64 runs and 2 wickets at 38.

An imperious bowling performance and an innings and 6 runs win for South Africa.  This is the kind of Test match and Test match bowling I like.  I like Dale Steyn – you might have guessed. But I like him because he tends to be good at what he does – Teutonic even.  And yes, I have always thought of him as looking like the synth operator in a Germanic electronic band.  [Yep I like electronic music].  Yes he does not smile much and yes he often looks like he is sucking a lemon.  But I kinda like that.

But he cannot do all this without backup.  So a well tuned performance from the Saffer bowling attack. [one is tempted to say Durhamesque!]   So if Dale is the Synth player – this could be the rest of the line up.  Kallis the solid drummer, Morkle the suicidal looking bass player, Harris the silly haired guitarist, and Parnell the rebellious singer.  [Duminy comes on and does occasional procession and the odd bit of back up singing.]   So not quite a German electopop outfit then, but they make a good noise.   What they are called? You can think up the name.

And of course  an excuse for a Paul Harris picture.  Harris; a tall man who does not spin the ball much, but who does what he does very well.  I like that.

But the super efficient Steyn is not a tall man.  Not for a fast bowler.  Do you think anyone else has noticed this?

So two cricketers who perform much better than you would expect from looking at them.  Anyone in the England squad development noticed this too do you think?