the wrong 'un

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Oh Mudhsuden, Mudhsuden.

As well as being a physical and mental challenge cricket, like most sports, has its artistic side, and there is little about the game of cricket that is more enjoyable than watching quality spin bowling. In theory, batsmen who can find the time to play attacking shots at balls which seam or swing and are bowled at upward of ninety miles an hour should have no difficulty dispatching spinning deliveries bowled at fifty, but they do. And as it is easier for the spectator to pick the subtle variations of the accomplished spinner without recourse to Hawkeye and Slo-mo, the entertainment to the viewer is enhanced.

And now, glory be, after a long hiatus, England have decided once again to play a spin bowler worthy of the name. Where once the pedestrian Giles would send down over after over of flightless, turnless, over-the-wicket dross, we have now moved into the broad sunlit uplands of flight, drift, turn and bounce. It is never easy to project the likely career progress of young sportsmen, but from what we've seen so far, Monty seems to have the potential to be a world class spinner for the next decade and beyond.

Monty is no Murali or Warne, being neither a freak of nature, nor simply a freak, (although England appear to have found a Murali-like bowler in Pietersen, albeit only as far as the bent elbow is concerned), but I hope that he is told that he will play every Test this summer, in preparation for playing every Test next winter in Australia. No, he isn't what baseball analysts call a five tool player, but somebody has to bat at eleven and his fielding will improve, not that it's as bad as some pundits would have us believe.

The future's bright, the future's Monty.


  • I can understand your preference for Monty as a bowler 100% but as "Gilo" is a QPR fan I feel I should speak in his defence !

    Firstly and probably most importantly, he's only doing what he's told. It may well be that he doesn't have the craft to bowl as an attacking spinner but when he's firing it in outside leg stump on the sub-continent, he's not doing it for the fun of it ! If you want to criticise his style of bowling, your target should be the coach and captain. And they'll probably say, like Hussain did in his book, what are we supposed to do, stand and applaud Tendulkar on his double century ?

    International cricket is now so rigorously controlled by coach and captain that it's only the true mavericks like Warne and Murali who are really given licence to bowl as they see fit, IMO. Perhaps the issue is that English captains/Duncan Fletcher don't see spinners as an attacking option ? Certainly Monty was under-used when Sri Lanka were saving the second test, and while Flintoff is an inexperienced captain, surely Fletcher had a huge input in the breaks as to bowling plans. It will be interesting to see how Vaughan handles Monty as and when he returns.

    Secondly, you shouldn't underestimate the importance of Giles' capability with the bat. Yes someone has to bat 11, but that's a little disingenuous. The somebody who was going to bat 11 before now has to bat 10, likewise 10->9 and 9->8. I appreciate that it's not Monty's fault that England have a longish tail at the moment, but neither is it Giles' ! The importance of having players at 8 and 9 who can give proper support to a middle order batsman AND bat together if necessary can't be over-stated. When you have to shift one-gear batsmen like Hoggard (blocker) and Harmison (slogger) one up the order, it make a big difference. When Sri Lanka were 7 down on Sunday they were always likely to add a crucial 50-100 more runs. This was much less of a problem when Stewart was keeping wicket ; it's only in hindsight we realise what a bonus a genuine wicket-keeper batsman could make.

    Thirdly, with the fielding, it's not just the odd misfield and boundary, it's the dropped catches that kill you. When Monty doesn't even get a hand on a simple (by professional standards) catch at mid-off, that's a huge black mark against him.

    I don't think you can give him a guarantee of playing every game, either here or in Australia. If he doesn't improve the other aspects of his game, it will restrict his test opportunities, and while I agree that's a shame, it's the law of the land in international cricket these days.


    By Blogger Andy_Ward, at 11:05 am  

  • For a long time it was claimed that due to a 'condition', Giles was not physically capable of bowling round the wicket. Why he continued to be selected if this were the case remains as much a mystery as this supposed condition. (Typical, Murali's 'physical quirk' makes him unplayable, Giles' even more shit.)

    You also forget that Monty did in fact bowl in India, and didn't have to applaud a Tendulkar double ton because he got him out.

    As for the batting order, I would like Englands fourth seamer or second spinner to be a batting all-rounder who will bat at seven or eight. A fifth front line bowler is a luxury we can't afford at the moment, so I would pick Harmison and Flintoff (if fit) Hoggard and Panesar, plus the batting all-rounder who could bowl 10-15 decent overs per innings (perhaps Clarke, Loudon or Dalrymple) at seven.

    By Blogger Fred Titmus, at 6:33 pm  

  • Fuck me.

    I've discovered the most boring blog in the history of the internet where 3 cunts witter on about the most boring cunting sport this side of crown green bowls.

    Haven't you people got jobs to go to?

    By Blogger The Camel, at 3:23 am  

  • Still waiting for -

    WPT Championship - Day 2

    By Blogger Fred Titmus, at 4:28 pm  

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