Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hole without Harmison or whole without harmison?

So England were denied a deserved victory by the gloom and rain. Some people are annoyed. I am not. I was more annoyed about missing Harry Potter on TMS. And I hate Harry bloody Potter.

This draw is exactly the sort of last-minute escape to Impending Doom that England have been inflicting on other superior sides for years. They had this coming.

Nevertheless, they were the better side. The England advantage came from one factor: swing bowling. English bowlers were better at controlling it, and English batsmen were better at playing it.

This next test, when the bowl presumably won’t be swinging as insane amounts as this last test, things should be more even. And hopefully the Indians are a little more adapted to English conditions.

Anyway, England showed their best bowling effort as a unit for years. Why? What explains the sudden change? I’ll tell you: no Steve Harmison. Not having that gangly liability leak away runs allowed a test quality group of bowlers to sustain pressure over a whole session, and keep the Indians honest.

All the quicks put in a better performance than Harmison in the past two years. Who would you drop for the man from Durham? I don’t think you can justify the replacement of any of the seamers from him. Harmison has shown us that he does not hold any influence on the game at test cricket.

A more taxing question is that of Matthew Hoggard. The Hogster is great. For a number reasons. However, who do we ditch for him? Surely not Chris Tremlett – as three swing bowlers is too limited. Ryan Hairybottom? Well he is old but, he’s our best bowler at the moment, so probably not wise. James Anderson? He’s bowled like a demon. What to do?

I really don’t know. It’s hard. Damn success and its blame-reducing potential. Bring back the glory years of relentless defeat. That's what I say.

2 comments:

Samir Chopra said...

Atheist,

In general, I think England did better than India in this match, but I think the Indians will be happy that a) their bowlers recovered well, and bowled out England for less than 300 in each innings and b) that Jaffer, Karthik and Dhoni all got some runs (not enough, but still). If the Big Four can get their act together, it should get even more interesting.

Incidentally, I've started to try and collect cricket references in the philosophical literature starting with a couple from JL Austin. If you have any to contribute, I'd much appreciate it.

Cheers,
Samir

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