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Groundsmen must help turn for England to burn South Africa

July 7th, 2008 by King Cricket in England, South Africa in England and tagged ,

South Africa arrive with a clutch of fearsome fast bowlers, all of whom should trouble England’s batsmen. Paul Harris completes their bowling attack and while he has a pretty decent record, he is nevertheless a South African spinner, so his average should start to slip before too long.

Next year Australia arrive and they don’t have much in the way of spin either. Shane Warne, Brad Hogg and Stuart MacGill have all retired. A handful of Aussies are doing their best to talk up Beau Casson, but that isn’t going to make him a better bowler.

Casson’s only going to be fit for Test cricket when he gets that Christian name sorted. How about Brian? There’s a name you can trust. Or Bert? We wouldn’t want to face a Bert. Bert would be canny and calculating. Bert’s seen and done it all before. Beau? He’s only having a bowl so that the outfielders don’t get bored.

Anyway, our point is that these two sides will be touring England with flimsy spin resources. We say it’s time to serve up some dust bowls.

A huge part of cricket’s appeal lies in the fact that each nation has its own unique playing conditions, but an even greater appeal for the England fan lies in England victories. So let’s spit in the face of history and tradition. You can’t change the climate, but these days groundsmen can achieve pretty much what they like with the pitch.

Look at Old Trafford. Prejudice dictates that it should be a spongy, damp, green pitch, what with all the rain we’re supposed to get in these parts. In reality it out WACAs the WACA. The surface is rock-hard and it turns like a spinning top on a roundabout.

Now the turn’s good. Monty Panesar’s taken a whopping 25 wickets at 16.72 in his three matches there. However, the bounce might conceivably encourage Dale Steyn or Brett Lee to bowl even quicker, so we need to refine this pitch further.

A turning wicket with low bounce is what we’re after - helpful to Monty, but physically and mentally sapping to our opponents’ muscular enforcers.

Perhaps the template should be Galle. Now there’s a ground that knows about low turn. On the pitch they prepare with him in mind, Muttiah Muralitharan has taken 91 wickets at 16.50 in just 12 Tests.

Yes, let’s get us one of those bad boys. English batsmen can wear down the opposing quicks before we unleash Panesar to fully capitalise on home advantage.

So what is Panesar’s record at Galle? It’s 0-76 in his one match.

Maybe we should prepare some traditional pitches and pick four seamers.

See King Cricket’s regular blog at King Cricket is a cult figure in the world of cricket blogs and was TWC’s first Best-of-blogs winner in April 2008.

Posted in England, South Africa in England |

4 Responses to “Groundsmen must help turn for England to burn South Africa”

  1.   jrod says:

    Where are these Aussies who are talking up Beau Casson?

  2.   King Cricket says:

    Think it was Stuart MacGill, actually.

  3.   jrod says:

    Nuff said really.

  4.   bush says:

    The weather is remarkably similar to the first Test v India last year so I guess the conditions will be similarly swing friendly. That should suit England but I would love to know which English batsmen will knuckle down and grind out a match winning score.

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