Friday, March 14, 2008

Jacob Oram and his deadly straight one

Being a self-obsessed pom, I spend a lot of my time whinging about my deficient team and ignoring the efforts of the natives.

Tonight, I hope to correct this.

In this latest test match, Jacob Oram bowled 29 overs, 11 of which were maidens, conceding 46 runs and taking three wickets. The economy rate was just over a run and a half an over.

As far as my sleep-deprived, semi-unconscious brain is concerned, Oram was far and away the best bowler for New Zealand.

He has a bowling average of 31.74, which is either equal to or better than all of England’s bowlers. He is also better at fielding and batting than the lot of them.

Now this is odd. I’ve seen him. He looks like young Norman Mailer after a heavy session of pumping iron and downing Ouzo. He is a lumbering brute of a bowler, who delivers balls at a modest pace that should be biffed as the stiffness of his action deserves.

And yet, he quietly sidles up, pitches on a length and tantalisingly close to off stump time and again. And even though he seems ripe for some seasonal tonking, his relentless accuracy avoids this.

We must assume, the commentators tell us, that his metronomic precision of bowling in the right area shows you the value of persisting on line and length.

I don’t buy this, partly because I’m so exhausted by staying up so late to listen to those goons throw away their wickets, and partly because I demand more of expensive international batmen.

No. I say that his bowling is so boring that, in this world of wayward Harmison wides and huge Murali spinners, that the honest straight ball is just an unexpected novelty in modern cricket. Batsmen are so busy working out the complicated trajectory of the next delivery that they overlook the devious undeviating ball.

And that’s your answer. Bowl boring balls; bowl batmen.

1 comment:

Miss Field said...

Yay for whinging.